News, notes, quotes and analysis from the Raiders’ 23-3 loss to Denver Sunday at the Coliseum:
— Raiders coach Tom Cable said he never considered taking JaMarcus Russell out of the game and wouldn’t speculate about replacing him in the future if the quarterback continues to struggle.
“I just feel like we have to keep moving forward, trying to figure out what is going to help him be at his best,” Cable said.
Cable took the blame for Russell’s first interception, having him throw the ball out of his own end zone.
“I thought we could get them in a single-high safety and they bailed out to a two and Darrius fell down on that,” Cable said. “The bottom line is I could have called a better play.”
Former Raider Renaldo Hill intercepted that one. The second pick, to Andre Goodman, “was just an overthrow.”
— According to Russell, both plays should have been ruled pass interference. He said Heyward-Bey was “turned in” by a defender which resulted in what Cable said was an overthrow.
No flag was thrown on the first interception because by officials are not supposed to throw flags when receivers and defensive backs get their feet tangled.
— Asked about the booing Russell received, Cable said, “We have to play better. These fans deserve a better football team than what we showed today. How do they handle that? Obviously you hope it ticks them off and they deal with it the right way, they put more attention to the details during the week, that we demand more from them during the week and we play better on Sunday.”
— When asked if he was satisfied by his progression as an NFL quarterback, Russell said, “I am, but when you get tough looks like that, and a tough crowd, hey it’s the NFL, you have continue to progress yourself in becoming the person that you want to be.
“I know I’m not there yet. I know that. The best thing for myself is to keep preparing for Day 1 and go out and I’m going to keep on playing, until coach, we decide what we’re going to do, as far as, find a way, from coach on down until the last guy on the roster. We have to find a way to make ourselves better.
— My Web exclusive column about how the Raiders came up so small.
— Anyone seen a pass rush lately? Quarterback Kyle Orton (13-for-23, 157 yards) was not sacked and was not hurried.
“He sat back there all day. I don’t know that he was hurried more than once or twice,” Cable said. “Had some pressure there in the second half that was not getting there, where he would get the ball out on time. I thought they did a great job being able to stay on the field by running the football to keep them out of those situations.”
True enough. The Broncos hammered away with 45 rushes for 215 yards, which does a lot to soften up pressure.
— Pretty disturbing that with everything on the line Sunday _ a potential 2-1 start against the AFC West _ that Cable and Nnamdi Asomugha both cited a poor Friday practice as clue that the Raiders simply weren’t ready as they should have been.
“You win it before the game even starts,” Asomugha said. “Because you know what the team is going to do. You know how to attack them. You know how to play defense against them. I think those are the types of things we have to shore up and get better at. And then winning takes care of itself at that point.”
— Just as distrubing _ Denver is 3-0 but could fall to earth rather quickly over the next five games against Dallas, New England, San Diego, Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
Say this for the the Broncos _ Josh McDaniels has established a discernable scheme and style of play and tailored it to throttle the Raiders in every area.
As far as its stingy defense, keep in mind Denver’s last two opponents have been Cleveland and Oakland, two of the worst offenses in the NFL. It’s not like Mike Nolan has re-invented the Ravens in Denver.
— Running back Darren McFadden fumbled three times, losing one, and had 48 yards rushing and receiving on 15 touches as he he awaits the sort of breakout game which has been missing ever since his Week 2 rookie performance against Kansas City.
McFadden was long gone by the time the media came into the locker room, but did show up on a post-game quote sheet compiled by the P.R. staff.
“It was a rough day for us, just one of those days when we couldn’t get things done,” McFadden said.
Guess they forgot to ask about the fumbles.
— Defensive end Richard Seymour wasn’t interested in discussing his 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty against offensive tackle Ryan Clady, and some heavy-handed action by the P.R. staff made sure Seymour didn’t answer any questions about anything else, either.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat columnist Lowell Cohn approached Seymour and asked, “That particular penalty, I wonder if I could trouble you to tell me what happened.”
“Did you see the game?,” Seymour said.
Cohn said he saw the game and asked if the penalty was a “mistake.”
“Wasn’t no mistake,” Seymour said.
Cohn asked Seymour why he did it, and Seymour said, “Get out of here.”
At that point, public relations staffer Mike Taylor terminated the interview and said Seymour wasn’t talking to anyone about anything. He later came to the press box and told Cohn that before he stepped on the grounds again his paper would have to deal with him “inciting the players.”
Inciting, as in, “I wonder if I could trouble you to tell me what happened.”
Look this wasn’t Seymour’s proudest moment, and everyone does something they regret. But it seemed a little out of character for a guy whose reputation was as a leader who would inspire his teammates to greater heights.
— Javon Walker was inactive again as Russell threw seven passes to rookie starters Louis Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey, with Murphy catching two for 25 yards and Heyward-Bey zero.
“All I know is I go out, I practice, I’m always the other team’s number one receiver,” Walker said. “This week I was Brandon, next week, going into Houston obviously, I’m going to be Andre Johnson.
“So, that’s how I get my work in and I give these guys a good look. I just let the staff and the organization make the decisions on however they want to make them.”
— Players that didn’t finish the game were cornerback John Bowie (an MCL issue to the left knee of unknown severity), Michael Huff (rib, quad) and Mike Mitchell (thumb). Defensive end Greg Ellis was still slumped in a chair with ice bag on his left shoulder after many teammates and already showered, dressed and departed.
— Rookie wide receiver Louis Murphy was on the field laughing and joking acquiantences on the Broncos following the game, but was declining all postgame interview requests.
— Saw Rich Gannon when I was coming off the elevator and he was getting on. We exchanged greetings, and he went up to the TV booth and did not come out. A member of a local radio crew tried to get in to talk with someone else in the booth and was told all non-essential personnel weren’t allowed in the booth and that it was a “high-alert” situation.
— The attendance of 45,602 was the lowest since a 44,594 crowd against the New York Giants on Dec. 31, 2005 in the regular-season finale with Kerry Collins at quarterback. That was 25 home games ago.