Huff back as fulltime free safety


News and notes following Raiders practice and a press briefing from coach Tom Cable:

— Free safety Hiram Eugene didn’t practice and won’t play against Denver, meaning Michael Huff will go back to being the fulltime player at that position after intercepting three passes as the deep safety in the nickel defense.

“He’ll just play more. But we’ll have a plan in terms of backing it up in with Tyvon (Branch) and Mike Mitchell, perhaps John Bowie,” Cable said.

— Johnnie Lee Higgins is on schedule to face the Broncos Sunday after doing more in practice Thursday than the day before.

Higgins would return punts, serve as a wide receiver and Cable didn’t rule out using him on kickoff returns. Louis Rankin has averaged 18.0 yards on six kick returns, getting the job when Nick Miller was diagnosed with a shin fracture before the opener.

“I’m not a person who likes to sit on the sidelines and watch,” Higgins said. “ In Kansas City, when we came out of the locker room I still had the shakes and everything and was ready to go and I looked down and was like, ‘I ain’t even suited up.’ Just sitting on the sidelines, that’s really not me.”

— Justin Fargas will be active against Denver, will see some times on special teams, perhaps even in coverage, and don’t be surprised if he gets a carry or three. Cable said Michael Bush will continue to back up Darren McFadden, but likes what Fargas adds to the running game.

“He runs so violently, he changes tempo,” Cable said. “He as a starter kind of sets tempo for you. My opinion is, you need his energy and you need his intensity that he brings to the game.”

When asked if Fargas could have helped against Kansas City, when the Raiders managed 67 yards on 25 carries, Cable said, “There is no question.”

Fargas’ lone 100-yard game in 2008 came against Denver with 24 carries for 107 yards in a 31-10 by the Raiders at Invesco Field. He gained 214 yards on 42 carries against the Broncos in all, and in 2007 rushed for 146 yards on a career-high 33 carries in a 34-20 win over the Broncos.

— McFadden has 47 yards on 20 carries since halftime of the San Diego game and has gone down with minimal contact on a few carries. Cable said McFadden has trouble when he “runs too tall.”

“When he gets his hips down, that’s when he’s at his best,” Cable said.

— At 6-foot-7, Robert Gallery is one of the NFL’s tallest guards. When he went out for for to six weeks with a broken left fibula, Cable replaced him with one even taller. Converted tackle Erik Pears is 6-8, 308 pounds. Most guards are shorter for leverage purposes, with taller linemen usually playing outside.

“We went through that same thing with Robert,” Cable said. “But I think having those same kind of talks with Erik, he’s a very bright guy and he’s figured it out pretty quick.”

The biggest difference between guard and tackle, Cable said, is that things happen more suddenly inside.

“Things are quicker in there. Outside it takes a little more patience,” Cable said. “Inside it just happens right now. It’s like a street fight. You start throwing and you start fighting. Outside you kind of… you’re like in the ring. You move around, you got more room.”

— As the Raiders work with JaMarcus Russell on the field to rediscover the passing touch he had at the end of last season and at the end of training camp this year, the offensive coaches are also working to make sure he isn’t paralyzed by the analysis of his problems from those outside the team.

“I won’t let that happen. As I have said to him and I have even heard him repeat it, there’s two people who are going to take the heat and take too much glory when you win and that’s the quarterback and the head coach,” Cable said. “It is what it is, and he’s had some struggles but offensively as a team we’ve had our struggles. As that gets fixed and he gets better he can take us where we want to go.

“It’s a process, but I still believe with all the improvement we made coming out of camp that we’re going to get there soon.”

— Cable, after learning Sunday’s game would be blacked out locally: “This is a team that’s going to get better and better, and that’ll take care of itself. People will be wanting to get in that stadium probably this Sunday. And as we get better and improve, they’ll be there. They’ll be there.”

— Cable ruled four players out for Sunday’s game _ Gallery (broken fibula), WR Chaz Schilens (broken foot), WR Nick Miller (broken shin) and Eugene (lower leg strain).


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • 4evaRaider


  • The 49ers only hope to recover anything in the Crabtree debacle is to find a sucker team willing to trade their late first round pick to the 49ers for his rights right before the draft and who are also willing to pay Crabtree like a top five pick lol

    Who the hell would do that for a guy that had questionable speed BEFORE he broke his foot and held out an entire year? Visions of Mike Williams will be dancing in most GMs heads when the 49ers and Crabtree’s agent come a callin next spring.

  • 4eva,

    Based on what they teach me, I agree!
    16m > 0m

  • raidertay

    Can we plz see DHB on an end around. The guy ran a ton of those at MD and had a lot of sucess with them. Also its a great way to get him goin.

  • Dakota, I’ve been watching Glenn Beck & learned JD Rockefeller was a Progressive. lol

  • RaiderRockstar

    we traded Randy Moss for John Bowie.

    maybe now we can trade John Bowie for Michael Crabtree?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Crabtree will probably go to the Bears for a 3rd rounder or something so they’ll have a diva WR to go with thier diva QB.

    Cutler & Marshall had a nice connection in Dungver. why not bring a BMarsh clone to the windy city?

    who knows? maybe they’ll get Marshall & Crabtree? LOL

  • Plunketthead

    RIC good luck recovering from Dakotas #233
    That must have left a mark.

  • 4evaRaider

    Will Crabarella get a gentle-man caller B4 the next NFL Social???

    Will Crabarella’s evil G/M agree

    Or will Crabarella stay home and “darn” clothes???

    Tune in in March 4these and other “exciting” answers!!!

  • 4evaRaider

    Very Good Raider O

    With the new math an all,I thought the monetary system changed,sooo

    16,000,000 > 0,000,000

    Got it!!!

  • RaiderRon

    Fact is the Raiders are paying big dough for nothing the 49ers arent. 49ers have moved on and are playing well. Tell you one thing, when Chaz comes back and DHB dznt go to the bench this whole thing is a crock. Murphy is doing a good job and should be playing over Bey.

  • Craptree is an idiot!
    All that wasted time & money could have been used to make him more money, and use this economy to benefit. Instead he is going to wait a year, so he can me a few more mil.
    Inflation, time value, etc….

  • Craptree is an idiot!
    All that wasted time & money could have been used to make him more money, and use this economy to benefit. Instead he is going to wait a year, so he can me a few more mil.
    Inflation, time value, etc….
    20 mil next year may be worth less than 16 mil this year.

  • 4evaRaider

    16,000,000 in the hand is worth more than 32,000,000 in da bush

  • raiderkoolaid

    Crabtree will fall further in the draft than he did this year after sitting for a year. and also teams will be less will to take a chance on because of his sign-ability problem, so he will command less money next year than this.

  • Raider Headbutt

    Thank you for clearing that up for me Dakota I wasn’t sure if it worked like baseball or not, aparently not lol.

    Should be interesting to see how it plays out thats for sure.

  • Mistabrown

    Yet, there have been many occasions when it’s all on Russell, Tollner said.

    “When guys are open, you’ve got to hit ’em, whether your footwork is right or not,” Tollner said. “We’ve all seen the unorthodox guy off balance, make a great play and throw it accurate, and his footwork is all out of whack.”

    Tollner said quarterbacks coach Paul Hackett spent inordinate amount of time in the offseason working with Russell on his footwork. There has been progress, just not as much as hoped for.


  • Mistabrown

    Who cares about Crabtree or the Browns. Go to a 9er or Browns blog if thats your cup of tea.

  • CJ Legend 34

    Fargas on the cover team??????????? AAAAAAAAAHHHHHAHH HAHHAHH HAH HA HA HA HAHA HAH AHA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!

    Funniest $#!T I have heard all day. Special teams cover team???? d@mN man!!!!

    Justin Fargas will be active against Denver, will see some times on special teams, perhaps even in coverage, and don’t be surprised if he gets a carry or three.

  • kvnbntly

    hmm lots goin on in here today, seen an interesting idea letting j walker play outside and put dhb in the slot could open up the middle for miller real good espec if they crowd lbs & safetys would be havin poopy pants, not to mention walker should have some local knowledge on bly & crew

  • raidertay

    Can you imagine if Crabtree was drafted by the Raiders and didnt sign. The media would have went to town on Al.

  • GL

    I see a lot of people here talking down on Fargas….how soon we forget that he only started 7 games in 2007 and still ran for over 1,000 yards (look it up). Also, he played hurt most of last season.

    DMC runs well in open space but in my opinion Fargas and Bush should get most of the reps because they are better runners between the takles.

    DMC should be use to return kickoffs & in a similar way to how the Saints use Reggie Bush.

  • 4evaRaider

    I DO NOT like that.Fargas is a RB…An Oakland Raider RB

  • CJ Legend 34

    I am with you there Raidertay, you got that right!
    Now since it is the forty whiners they are like “oh no big deal these things happen.”
    raidertay Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 11:48 am
    Can you imagine if Crabtree was drafted by the Raiders and didnt sign. The media would have went to town on Al.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Fargas aka “Crash Test Dummy” will be the new ST gunner since Mike Mitchell is getting more playing time at safety (due to the Hiram Eugene injury)

  • CJ Legend 34

    They need to keep Fargas in the running back rotation. They are dogging him on the cover team. I guy who has a record of durability issues and you stick his @$$ on the cover team. LOL!!!! I am starting to crack up again.


    i have a hard time bashing a guy like fargas i like the other 2 guys better but fargas is a violent runner and blocker.

    i was glad to see that block dmac through on that db from k.c. last sunday man that was a nice hit.

    if only japotroast had 1/4 the heart of fargas he could be something to watch.

  • raiderkoolaid

    All we need is a three game win streak and it will end all of this bickering about what RB should play land Russel being a bust. Winning has remarkable curative properties.

  • walker should have some local knowledge on bly & crew
    Bly was cut in preseason.

  • 4evaRaider

    Pears should 2,imo.But 2 me 6-8 is waaaay 2 tall 2B a Gaurd

  • 4evaRaider

    Gaurds should be just like FB’s but only bigger.That low-center of gravity counts 4A lot in a game leverage,imo

  • raiderkoolaid

    Because Bey is the future, along with several of the other young players.

  • Why does Bey get to play, and Walker not?

  • Alrighty then.