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

  • Richochet

    September 25th, 2009 at 9:08 am
    September 25th, 2009 at 8:59 am
    “I feel he’s doing fine, honestly,” wide receiver Louis Murphy said. “We’ve had some dropped balls; nobody’s mentioned any of the dropped balls. Nobody’s mentioned the wrong routes. JaMarcus, he’s taking a lot of (flak), a lot of criticism for our lack of play, too, as receivers, running backs, the entire offense.”

    that’s a classy, politically correct thing to say, as compared to Russell pointing the finger at everyone else but himself.

    Good to see the QB coach state what EVERYONE knows, (well, except for a few used, abused and confused posters on this site) that it’s ON RUSSELL.

    Oh..but hey..to make some of you feel better? He actually completed an awe inspiring 7 passes last week…WHOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

  • AirRade

    Dakota, I am a Raider fan, just not a DRF like yourself.

  • What’s a DRF?!

    Good morning Nation! RR, Dakota, 4eva, AZ, 408, Dirty, BHP, TW, Bo, Dell, Dogg, Mista, and all others.
    I miss this place!

  • Neilb

    Yep, Matt D is in it.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Richochet, Russell will complete 7 passes in his first 2 drives this week. don’t worry about the big fella

    he may be dumb as a box of rocks and fat as a sumo wrestler, but I’m sure the coaching staff has made the changes that need to be made.

    Hackett: Heyward-Bey is a hamburger, Murphy is a hotdog, Miller is a piece of fried chicken

    Russell: I’m hungry

    Hackett: pay attention. hit the target. can you do that?

    Russell: chill. i got this

    Hackett: what is your assignment?

    Russell: pick up some lunch and watch my excellent performance from the past 2 weeks?

    Hackett: just hand the ball to Darren & Michael, ok?

    Russell: you mean like a screen pass? those are hard coach!

    Hackett: NO! a running play. you’re not throwing the football

    Russell: I’m ready coach. can you move out the way? Entourage is on!

  • Richochet

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 9:05 am
    when Chaz Schilens returns:

    will that push Heyward-Bey to the bench? If so, will Schilens or Murphy be the new X receiver aka “decoy” in our offense?

    will we run more 3 WR sets to give DHB more playing time? We certainly haven’t seen many double TE sets …

    I don’t think anybody is upset about Walker & Watkins riding the pine. Too bad we’re still paying Walker a boatload of cash for essentially practicing and wearing a jersey.
    Bey will stay.
    Al’s picks always stay.
    #7, much ridiculed picks? That Al chose?

    He’s chiseled in.

    Going to be funny watching the comments from all sources wondering why the hell he’s still in, stinking the place up, while Murphy is on sideline.

  • neilb

    Dakota…..hasn’t got over here yet.Is that one with Matt Damon in it ?

  • Richochet

    jhill Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 8:54 am

    I think the point was those 3 things combined gives the Raiders a chance to win every week. Not quite sure what else the fans would want in a football team. The point was made earlier that there are only 8 home games per year. Fans won’t come despite the chance to win?

    That Monday night game was a good game that the home team was in until the last minute. This team should beat the Donkeys on Sunday, and no one wants to see this team do that?

    That’s crazy!
    And you’re surprised?

    Is there any bigger oxymoron than Raiderfan/diehard?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Raider O, long time no see brother.

    you closed my account at Bank of Omerica! what gives man? what bank has an animal cruelty policy?

    where’s Randy Hanson? did the truth come out? LEGALIZE IT

  • RaiderRockstar

    LOL @ Raider O. I always knew you were a Huff supporter in secret. Your hatred for him was really masking a man crush 🙂

    everybody except Jerry Mac knew he was poised for a breakout season!

  • Jhill,

    Where is my sack?!

  • 4evaRaider

    Raider O you should know with-out having 2 ask anyone LOL

  • neilb

    To whom it may concern…….will you please…..PLEASE…SORT OUT THE FREAKING CLOCK.

  • RR,

    Our boy Huff is playing great! WE were RIGHT about him!

  • Where are your seats at Richie? Hope to see you at the game.

  • 4eva,

    Now I’m confused!! What sack are you talking about? 😉
    Dirty ol’man!!

  • 4evaRaider

    I dont know either Raider O

    I’ve been confused 4awhile

  • Richochet

    Speaking of horrible fan base..

    Two teams didn’t sell out. Just two.
    The team that went winless last year, Detroit…

    and Oakland.

    The team that has fans who, when challenged vertically, and void of thought, are quick to start thread after thread on any number of boards that state “WE’RE THE BEST FANS IN THE NFL. WE’RE EVERYWHERE. WE’RE DIEHARDS.”

    All the while proving, beyond any doubt that they are down the list..WAY down the list, and clumped in with the worst of the worst.

    Actually..you are the worst.
    Last 10 years? Raiders have the most blackouts of ANY TEAM IN THE NFL. Oh..that was before the “recession”.
    Only team that had beat you out previously was Az, who’s fans sat on college metal bleacher seats, in 115 degree weather.
    Now that title goes TO RAIDER FAN.

    Oh..and as salt in the gaping wound?


    So, please, no more “we’re da best fans”..because..obviously..you aren’t.

    NO, NOT SAYING YOU BABBLING BOOBS AREN’T FANS..saying you’re fanbase is nothing like you so desperately want to believe..and it hasn’t been that way since Al said SCREW YOU FANS, and went to LA.

    Reporter: With you moving, this is going to break the hearts of a lot of long time, very loyal diehard fans, who’ve supported you even when the team wasn’t winning. Anything you want to say to them?

    Al: “I don’t care what they think. It’s not their team. It’s mine.”

    Classsy..and so Al, lol.

  • RR,

    Your Account is open!!

    BOO has new rules:
    1- open a savings account & you get a gun.
    2- we took a new stand on animal rights: they have no rights!
    3- it’s all about the green!

    Legalize it!!!

    That’s what they are teaching me at SDSU!!
    Go Aztecs!!

  • Richochet

    Sorry…the above on #220 should have read back in 1982, not “02”

  • Jerry likes to keep us busy!
    I love his new game! Post locator!

  • 4evaRaider

    GO SDSU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • # 224 wow only a one line comment

  • Amazing but true stat of the week….

    After 2 weeks Darius Hayward Drop only has 1 more reception than Micheal Crabtree.

    He also has one contract more than Crabgrass.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Speaking of horrible fan base..


    Richochet: you’re a part of it, otherwise you wouldn’t be here.

    any non-Raider fan who spends all day here must have a mental disorder or seriously has no life nor pride in their own football team

  • RaiderRon

    Amazing but true stat of the week….

    After 2 weeks Darius Hayward Drop only has 1 more reception than Micheal Crabtree.

  • hey, O. Kiffin has to play Miami Sat!!! Boy do they want revenge. Feb Kiffin accused them of violations.lol

  • Dakota, going to see the Michael Moore movie? lol

  • Richochet,

    According to a study by ESPN just a few months ago, the Oakland Raider fan base was ranked 9th based on a study using the following factors:

    -Stadium factor (St.): Loud? Great atmosphere?

    • Live and die factor (LDF): Fans take loss hard? (That’s a good thing.)

    • Traveling road show factor (Travel): Big presence in other guys’ stadium?

    • Loyalty when team sucks (Loyal): You score points with us if you stick with a loser.

    • Hate factor (Hate): Other teams’ fans dislike your fans? (Hate is good in our book.)

    • Tailgate factor (TG): Home tailgates sizzling or stale?

    • Home fans’ creativity (CF): Wacky ideas … or not?

    A rating of 1 is great, 5 the worst.

    The Raider fans scored as follows:

    St. 2 LDF 2 Travel 2 Loyal 3 Hate 1 TG 1 CF 5 TOTAL 16

    Don’t you ever get tired of making a fool of yourself in here?


  • RaiderTW Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 10:10 am
    Dakota, going to see the Michael Moore movie? lol

    What is the subject of his next movie? Why the Dems pull the race card when the public doesn’t accept left-wing policies?

  • RaiderRon

    Crabtrees getting 0 dollars, DHBs getting millions.

    After 2 weeks

    DHB 1 catch
    Crabtree 0


  • Wow, the 49ers completely lost a first round draft pick because they didn’t do their homework on Crabtree, lol. Now that is funny.

  • Raider Headbutt

    So whats the deal with that anyway? if he doesn’t sign with them and is in the draft next year do they just lose the pick and get nothing at all?

  • RaiderRon

    How did they lose a first rd pick? Oh, you mean your one of the foold who actually believe he will re-enter the draft? OK.

  • Man, I thought the Raiders had some bad draft picks in the past decade or so…but what the 49ers have done on draft day makes Matt Millen look like a genius!

    Vernon Davis
    Alex Smith
    Kwame Harris


  • 49er Ron,

    Until Crabbs signs with the 49ers, that is where things are headed right? What, do you actually believe you can trade him before the draft and get back a pick equal to the #10 pick?


  • No More Infield or Trolls

    No they do not get the pick back. They retain his rights until draft day 2010. If they do not trade his rights before then they get nothing and he reenters the draft. They should just do it now. He obviously does not want to play for them. Seriously who would want him in their locker room? He makes TO look like the pope.

  • RaiderRockstar

    regarding Crabtree:

    ESPN says if he isn’t signed by 11/17 he is ineligible to play in 2009 and the 49ers can trade his rights in March.

    If there aren’t any takers I think he can re-enter the draft and the 49ers get thier 1st round pick back …

  • No More Infield or Trolls

    He also won’t be able to run or work out for other teams while the niners hold his rights. No one will know if he has any speed. more than likley he won’t.

  • Rockstar, the 49ers DO NOT GET THEIR PICK BACK!

    Raider headbutt,

    Crabtree’s rights cannot be traded until right before next year’s draft, and they certainly will not receive value equal to the #10 pick they wasted on him in 2009.

    Or Crabtree can re-enter the NFL draft and the 49ers get nothing in return. In baseball, if the pick refuses to sign and re-enters the next draft, you get a compensatory pick…not in the NFL, lol.

    Slick job 49ers.

  • I’m sorry the Reps are racist, but America is FOR the left wing policies just not you. lol

  • TW,

    The kittin is going down, hard!!
    Now they are giving him excuses! He doesn’t have talent on offense!

    Sorry about the delay, but we got too high in the sky and we needed time to land!
    Welcome to AirO!

  • RaiderRockstar

    after voluntarily sitting out of football for a year it’s a lock that Crabtree won’t be selected in Round 1 of the 2010 draft.

    Brandon Marshall is a free agent next year and I can see Dungver going after Craptree in Round 2 …

  • 4evaRaider

    Yeah HOW would you get your 2009 1st round pick back??? You cant cause there will never be another 2009 draft.They surely wouldnt get 2 1st round 2010 picks

  • RaiderTW Says:
    September 25th, 2009 at 10:56 am
    I’m sorry the Reps are racist, but America is FOR the left wing policies just not you. lol

    Only according to Keith Olbermann lol.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I’d laugh if Crabtree basically takes the season off and the 49ers still end up giving him #10 overall pick money. Forget Top 5 pick money at this point, even Top 10 pick money would make the 49ers look like a joke!

    Crabtree’s value can only go down. They better hope he doesn’t get hurt or get into legal trouble between now & March …

  • 4evaRaider

    When I went 2 school 16 million was greater than 0 million

  • RaiderRockstar

    Isaac Bruce, Arnaz Battle & Josh Morgan after the first 2 weeks: combined for 14 catches, 170 yards & 1 TD.

    Darrius Heyward-Bey, Louis Murphy & Todd Watkins after the first 2 weeks: combined 8 catches, 159 yards & 1 TD.

    Maybe we shouldn’t say anything until Higgins & Schilens start catching some passes?

    Right now the 49ers WR corps is a better unit than ours … stats wise anyway

  • SF will trade Crab in March to get something for the wasted pick.

  • No More Infield or Trolls

    Congratulations Niners. You get your fist round pick back in the 2009 draft. too bad you can’t use it in the 2010 draft. Better luck next time.