183

Wednesday wrap

News, notes and quotes from the Raiders Wednesday following the open locker room session, practice and the post-practice press briefing from coach Tom Cable:

– Let’s get the legal stuff out fo the way first. When asked if there had been any change in the Napa assault investigation involving Randy Hanson and whether he’d been contacted, Cable said, “None from me.”

When asked if he had any comment on the assertion by attorney John McGuinn to the NFL Network that Raiders defensive backs had been contacting Hanson for advice through a borrowed computer, Cable managed a chuckle and said, “No, no. I have no comment on about any of that.”

– After talking about what a great job Bruce Gradkowski was doing as the backup for JaMarcus Russell, was surprised to hear such a soft response from Cable regarding the possibility of bringing back Jeff Garcia.

“We haven’t talked about it at this point,” Cable said. “That’s all I can say right now.”

That’s a long way from, the “No, we’ll move ahead with what we’ve got” answer I expected considering Garcia requested his release.

– There’s showing loyalty to your guys and then there’s, well it’s hard to say exactly what this is.

When asked about what it would take Javon Walker to get on the field, Cable said, “Well, I think right now it would take injuries. We’re about to get Schilens back. You feel like that group has really done some good things and you want to keep that going obviously.”

The group has done some good things and you want to keep that going.

Aside from the eight catches for 138 yards from Louis Murphy, Raiders wide receivers have caught two passes for 46 yards in three games. Todd Watkins has one for 28 yards, Darrius Heyward-Bey the other for 18 yards.

It’s not exactly like he’d be breaking up the lineup of the ’27 Yankees.

Maybe it’s that Walker simply can’t play anymore and that Al Davis doesn’t want to cut a receiver guaranteed $4.6 million this season and next season. Or that he’s simply sticking with the young receivers the same way he’s going with Russell.

But the “good things” haven’t exactly been visible to the naked eye.

– Kickoff returns specialist Justin Miller had a new home on the opposite side of the locker room and a professional outlook regarding his return to a team that sent him packing on the final cutdown day.

Miller averaged 24.8 yards per return and had returned two kickoffs for touchdowns with a long of 92 yards last year. He was even on the field in the secondary when the Raiders beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to close out the season.

He signed a new contract _ but didn’t make the roster.

“That’s the nature of this business,’’ Miller said. “You’ve got to understand how it goes. Sometimes it’s really not about you as a person, it’s just what fits for the team or what the team needs at that point in time. You take it in stride and try to be ready for the next opportunity.’’

– Fullback Oren O’Neal’s take on the “on any given Sunday” philosophy: “Every team in the NFL is an NFL team.”

– Defensvie end Greg Ellis had this to say about how a torrent of pregame enthusiasm means nothing when preceded by a subpar practice effort.

“It’s not anything we can correct five minutes before a football game by jumping around and slapping each other high-fives, yelling and screaming,” Ellis said. “You need that energy but you have to have a foundation with that energy. You start establishing that foundation for the week starting on Wednesday usually.”

Ellis on leadership: “I think it has to be more than one guy. You can have that guy who wants to yell, scream and cuss at other teammates but everybody in the NFL we’re grown men so we can choose how you respond to that firecracker guy if you will. The head coach can yell at you, anybody can yell at you but you as an individual have to take it upon yourself to say, ‘OK, I’m going to receive this stuff and I’m going to use it as a positive.’ ”

– Ellis and Richard Seymour agreed with Nnamdi Asomugha’s contention that last Friday’s practice was a big part of the Raiders downfall against the Broncos.

“I think we had a lot of mental errors. Friday practices aren’t tremendously physical practices. But it’s more of a mental day,” Seymour said. “And I think that’s something we all have to tighten up on if we want to be a good football team.

“You’ve got to be in the right place at the right time. The main thing is, what we want to do is take care of responsibilities and do your job. No one can do my job but me. I can’t go out and do the linebackers’ job, the corners can’t come up and do our job. So if everybody takes care of their own responsibilities, I think we’ll be a much better football team.”

“Hopefully everybody learned and we can go out there today and leading up to this game and be more concentrating in practice and eliminate mistakes,” added Ellis. “Early in the week you expect some mistakes because it’s a new, you don’t change the whole scheme but there’s some new things that coaches tell you, ‘For this team we got to do this.’ Today you can kind of expect some mistakes. But when you get down to Friday you expect for it to be real crisp, not so physical practice just crisp and not making
those mistakes.”

– Count Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson who believes the Raiders to be a warehouse of talent just waiting for a little direction and purpose.

“If they can just get things going in the right direction they’ll be a team to be reckoned with,” Johnson said in a conference call to Bay Area reporters. “ You look at the players on that team, it’s kind of like an all-star team.”

Which is exactly the kind of thinking which could lead the Raiders down the wrong path, Ellis believes.

“We’re not the golden child where we stand out enough talent wise where we can go out there and kind of BS through practice and think we can win,” Ellis said.

– Here is how Seymour, brought in to be a leader, plans to lead:

“ I think you lead by example. I’m not a rah-rah guy coming out and giving speeches. You go out and get the job done by your play in practice, preparation. Cause it’s really two games. It’s the game throughout the week as far as preparation. And then it’s also the game on Sunday. So we want to win both of those battles,” Seymour said. “And if we don’t do a good job throughout the week as far as preparation, then they’ll have the edge on us when it comes to the game. So it’s a process on getting it done, and I think guys are willing to put in that work.”

Seymour doesn’t plan on leading by talking about his previous place of employment.

“Man, I’m not in New England. I’m tired of the New England questions,” Seymour said. “That’s a chapter that’s over and done with, and I’m here as an Oakland Raider now. I’m a Raider, and that’s what it is.”

– Cable gave the Wednesday practice positive reviews.

“Today was excellent. It was tremendous focus,” Cable said. “We got the base plan in, tempo was good, effort was good. Shoot, I think maybe two or three repeats the whole practice so that’s what we’re looking for.”

– Cable was asked if Chaz Schilens returning to action Sunday was a “longshot” and answered yes, then in the next sentence said it was 50-50. Assuming the former unless Schilens is on the field Thursday. Also out are Robert Gallery and Nick Miller, while Hiram Eugene is questionable. Michael Huff did not practice but is expected to play. Mike Mitchell was practricing with his right thumb bandaged. Tyvon Branch had both thumbs wrapped but was not mentioned as being injured.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    If you are going to go retread veteran…go with Michael Vick. In all seriousness..he’s a guy that can improvise. Which is necessary for the ancient offense the Raiders run

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    lefty12 Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 9:15 pm
    SnB,what you fail to see,imo,is nobody is asking for one of these “retreads” to permanently take the job.its kind of like a hitter in baseball.if he is in a slump,you sit him for a game or two.Russell needs to be sat down so he can evaluate what we wants to do-take the money and run,or dedicate himself and become what he should be.
    ======================================================
    Either Russell gets it this year or you cut him

  • lefty12

    SnB,in reality in the 50 years of this franchise with 5 SB appearances and 3 SB wins,we have only had 1(one) QB who was developed by the team.

  • gilbert

    Look,as a season ticket guy,since before 95,Im lost for words,trying to explain to my kids and grandkids WHY I follow this team after six YEARS of JUNK,its because the RAIDERS have brought me so much in terms of family,friends,tailgating,and the GREAT YEARS,so hard to explain to the new young fans,they have seen losing,keep the faith,lets not GIVE UP on THIS team,I dont believe this team are quitters,dont think Im wrong,guess we will see,SUN RAIDERS!!!!

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    The Raider offense is set up for a big arm QB/gunslinger in the mold of a Marino, Favre or Cutler….

    Those Jake Delhomme look a likes you guys are tossing around will result in failure here.

    Better off looking at some Undrafted Free Agents and getting them a shot.

    Gradkowski is injury relief..Frye is just an arm.

    This is about Russell…either he gets it and the Raiders move on or he fails and we just continue what we’ve been living for the past 6 yrs.

    Not very complicated

  • Mistabrown

    Lefty why am I reminded of you telling us how good DHB looked in a pre-season game with 0 catches?

    Looks like he’s keeping pace eh Lefty ?

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    lefty12 Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 9:20 pm
    SnB,in reality in the 50 years of this franchise with 5 SB appearances and 3 SB wins,we have only had 1(one) QB who was developed by the team
    =======================================================
    And 25 of those years: 1987 to 2009 (sans 2000-2003) has been awful.

    Wilson, Schroeder, Beurlein, Evans, Marinovich, Hostetler, Hobert, Hollis, Wilson, George, Gannon, Collins, Brooks, Walter, McCown, Culpepper and now Russell.

    Develop a QB if you want to win consistently. That’s the way things are done in the 21st century..unless of course you happen to trade for your opponents coach and said opponent doesn’t change the playcalling and terminology……

  • lefty12

    SnB,if everyone thought like you we would never have seen players like Unitas,Bradshaw,Plunkett,Favre,Young,and many others.i’m not saying Russell will ever compare to any of those guys,but sitting him might be the wake-up call he needs.

  • Florida Pete

    Florida Pete Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 5:37 am

    this whole mess has to do with drafting from the outside in…

    i really thought we should have gone after Brees… good, experienced quarterbacks are hard to find… and the raiders have experienced good results with these “old-timers”…

    the way the draft works these days… if it were my money… i would simply announce before the draft that i have no intention of paying first round money to whoever i draft… then i would promptly draft a 3rd round caliber fellow… and tell him 3rd round money will be the offer… take it… leave it… retire… i would not care…

    big money should go to big players…

    russell, mcfadden, heyward bey are not big players… they weren’t on draft day… and it doesn’t appear that they are now… but between them, they account for a big part of the payroll…

    money that could go and should go to signing legitimate big time players…

    drafting for need is a heck of an idea… it all starts up front… lineman… offense and defense… draft them, try them out… toss the losers… run with the winners…

    Gibbs proved years ago that an outstanding line can create a probowl quarterback… the opposite is not true…

    russell may very well turn into the pro-bowler we all hope he will eventually be… but the cost of training him is huge… losing while he learns… paying him all-pro money while he learns… and here’s what’s really special…

    his appreciation when his contract is up… and assuming he does become the franchise QB we are all hoping for… is to demand as much money as he can or find a new team…

    IMHO… Brees was a missed opportunity…

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Here’s how valuable a franchise QB is.

    Cincy busted with Klingler, Akili Smith and they still went ahead and got Carson Palmer #1.

    The Jets traded way up to get Sanchez….

    You either have one or you are developing one.

    Drew Brees, Jay Cutler’s of the world rarely come along in free agency/trade…..rarely if ever

  • Florida Pete

    Florida Pete Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 6:36 am
    you know… if we didn’t have any talent at all… i could understand the past two games…

    routt should never see the field… he should never get another check with the Raiders logo on it…

    Bush should be the main back…

    put your best receivers out there… and one of those is not Heyward-Bey… who, by the way, does NOT deserve to have a hyphen in his name… he needs to earn that freaking hyphen… in the meantime his name should be “fastguy”…

    Russell should be pulled after his first 8 throws if his completion percentage is less than .500… hell, even Elway got pulled in favor of Gary Kubiak early in his career… yeah, the guy we’re about to face this weekend…

    i’m sick of Zombie Football…

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Florida Pete,

    Hindsight is perfect vision. When Brees was available he had a busted up shoulder. The other big time free agent was Daunte Culpepper and his busted up knee.

    No one was sure which guy was the pick. Saints got lucky…Dolphins ended up going 1-15 with Cleo Lemon.

    Gotta develop a young QB. He doesn’t have to be a #1 pick…hell the kid could be a 7th round pick. But you gotta develop him. Most free agents are deeply flawed QBs or too damn old for a developing team to be any use

  • Florida Pete

    Florida Pete Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 5:31 am
    McDaddy can look for a wrestling match every time he encounters a pile up… people are not going to want him down… they’re going to want to stand him up and hack at the ball…

    he needs to sit and watch… a game or two ought to convey the importance of ball security…

    right now i am so discouraged with this team… i was so impressed with the effort against SanDiego… and now we have… what??? zombies…

    zombie football…

  • NoMoreFargas

    Every post SnB wrote ditto and I feel the same way , life long Raider fan and it gets bleaker and bleaker every loss. The opening game vs SD at the end after Sproles TD they had two great shots of the crowd 1 real football fans just disgusted to blow another late lead and the other laughing and waving to the cameras in their Raiders jersey they could care less its all about jersey color and saying Raidersss and wearing halloween costumes to a football game.

  • NorthernD

    I don’t know why everyone is hating on Delerious Heyward-Bey. He still has more catches than Michael Crabtree…

  • lefty12

    SnB,you have been reading too many KK posts.take away the last 6 years,and i admit they have been deplorable,and we haven’t been awful.we might not have won any SBs but we were more than just competitive.
    BTW,you speak of developing a QB,how long did the Stealers wait on Bradshaw?if they would have cut him like you want to do with Russell,they wouldn’t have had the success they had in the 70s and early 80s.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    lefty12 Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 9:28 pm
    SnB,if everyone thought like you we would never have seen players like Unitas,Bradshaw,Plunkett,Favre,Young,and many others.i’m not saying Russell will ever compare to any of those guys,but sitting him might be the wake-up call he needs.
    =======================================================
    Perhaps. But you have to remember something. The Raiders are not very good at evaluating free agent talent. So the probability of THIS organization finding a diamond in the free agent rough is quite low.

    Better off seeing if Russell can sink or swim…No more swimming in the shallow end of the pool.

    Can’t get it done..cut him. Now, Russell has the tools where proper coaching and a disciplined environment might unlock his talent. Hopefully its here..and hopefully it starts this weekend.

    Otherwise, draft a hungry young QB from the Big East, Big 10 or MAC and work with him. Bring in Michael Vick and let him entertain the fans while we bring the kid along.

    Hopefully Russell lights it up this weekend and saves this season….

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    lefty12 Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 9:35 pm
    SnB,you have been reading too many KK posts.take away the last 6 years,and i admit they have been deplorable,and we haven’t been awful.we might not have won any SBs but we were more than just competitive.
    BTW,you speak of developing a QB,how long did the Stealers wait on Bradshaw?if they would have cut him like you want to do with Russell,they wouldn’t have had the success they had in the 70s and early 80s.
    ======================================================
    No, you said 50 yrs and S.B titles. And I am proud that this team has done that. But you can’t say 50 yrs and ignore 18 of it. It is what it is. I am not here to down the Raiders.

    Its actually the opposite. I am so frustrated with this thing and after thinking about it…I am seeing disturbing patterns, trends etc that don’t appear to be correcting themselves. I know this team is in development…but it should be getting better, not worse.

    They should be building off that S.D game…not regressing all the way back to the Monday Night Game of 2008.

    As for Russell, I like his potential. A big-armed QB that can make all the throws. I think you need that type of QB to win consistently. Not Jake Delhomme / Chad Pennington types. But the Brett Favre, Dan Marino model.

    But Russell is in his 3rd year and we are talking about 40% completion.

    I am not for benching him. He needs to play and prove he’s worth keeping around.

    He isn’t going to learn anything on the bench watching a couple of rejects that were backups in places like Cleveland and Tampa Bay. Its not like Russell would be sitting behind Favre or something.

  • Florida Pete

    SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 9:31 pm
    Florida Pete,

    Hindsight is perfect vision. When Brees was available he had a busted up shoulder. The other big time free agent was Daunte Culpepper and his busted up knee.

    No one was sure which guy was the pick. Saints got lucky…Dolphins ended up going 1-15 with Cleo Lemon.

    Gotta develop a young QB. He doesn’t have to be a #1 pick…hell the kid could be a 7th round pick. But you gotta develop him. Most free agents are deeply flawed QBs or too damn old for a developing team to be any use

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    i really did think at THAT time, shoulder and all, that he would be a good signing…

    teams can put clauses into contracts to protect themselves…

  • Florida Pete

    i did think the Walter pick was a very good one…

    but it goes back to drafting linemen first…

    we basically ruined this kids career before it even started…

    why??? no o-line…

    stupid schit…

  • Florida Pete

    back to bed…

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Florida Pete,

    Yeah, I thought they gave up on Walter too early as well. But Kiffin had nothing but contempt for Walter…so that was that.

    Walter was abused by coaching incompetence and the worst offensive line in the modern era. Plus his receiver (Moss) admitted to quitting on him.

    Too bad

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Franchise QB…that’s why the Bears sold out for Cutler.

    They tried for years to get by on mediocre QBs and they were just treading water…except for a year where they had a boss defense.

    Now the Bears can beat you at any time

  • Mistabrown

    Ladies & Gentlemen we are in BIG trouble..

    When asked about what it would take Javon Walker to get on the field, Cable said,

    “Well, I think right now it would take injuries. We’re about to get Schilens back. You feel like that group has really done some good things and you want to keep that going obviously.”

    Translation:
    AL said do not play J Walker, let JaMeatloaf get’R done with rookies.

    Sad, release him then!!!! This FK’d org pisses me off!!!

  • Culebra

    I don’t get these DMC haters now. I still think he’ll be special, and DHB is barely into his 4th pro game, sheesh! It’s having to run with so-so blocking w/ a mediocre o line. The one player w/ no excuse now is Jacornbread, w/ the o line really giving enough time to 1) find an open receiver, 2) check down 3) scramble or 4) throw the ball away.

  • VT Raider

    Thanks Lefty I was just going to make that point. The Raiders can’t develop talent.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    # Richochet Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Is Winnie the Pooh up to it?
    I doubt it.
    ================================================
    rackette, the Whiners lost in the most brutal losing moment in the NFL in the last 10 years. HAHAHAHAHA. that was on the heal of you lionizing a felon. your team sux dix dude. Good thing is you have an even worse team in the worst stadium in the country. Say hello to the LA Phnoy Whiners!!!

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Mistabrown Says:
    September 30th, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Ladies & Gentlemen we are in BIG trouble..
    ==================================================

    No. Actually your Cleveland Browns are in BIG trouble. They are 0-3 they benched your boy Brady Quinn, who incidentally, makes Jamarcus look like Johnny Freaking Unitas, but look at the bright side: your Cleveland Browns hat that you spent 45 minutes looking for in the Coliseum on Sunday sure looks good on you Dummass!!

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  • cheap college tuition

    good info UP Engineer! Were you around for the SP days like my dad? he retired three years ago and is enjoying his Harley.

    I was going to have my brother order DTV in Fresno and send me an extra card. I may try your method tomorrow.

  • Raiderfreddddddd

    Interestingly, it seems like only “D” guys are stepping up and taking charge in the locker room.

    When, if ever, are some “O” guys going to own up to doing more to helping this team win? D-Mac, J-Marc, J-Miller — those guys are going to have to work harder — put in extra time– and make some plays on Sundays or this team is going to be spinning out of control, with the locker room divided between US (D) and THEM (O).

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