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Can’t blame Friday this time

Never has a day of the week been so culpable in the demise of a sports franchise.

In the aftermath of a 23-3 loss to the Denver Broncos, many key figures pointed to a sloppy Friday practice as a sign the the Raiders weren’t ready to carry the fight to a division rival in an important game on their home field.

Coach Tom Cable said it. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said it. Defensive end Richard Seymour said it. Defensive end Greg Ellis said it.

Cable never mentioned the poor Friday practice until the final score was rendered against the Broncos, keeping his comments to a minimum as he does on most Fridays.

After the game, it was a different story. Not enough focus. Too may do-overs. A lack of urgency. All the things which went into allowing the Broncos to steamroll a previously decent run defense for 215 yards and for the Raiders offense to put up an embarrassing 137.

So how did things go this time around on Friday?

“Much different. It’s the way it’s supposed to be today,” Cable said. “I think the focus, the attention to detail was sharp on both sides of the ball, the kicking game.”

– Then again, the Raiders will have to guard against a Saturday letdown. The club boarded buses to leave for Houston following practice.

“It’s just important to prepare the way we have this week and then put it together on Sunday,” Cable said. “The amount of work we do between now, the end of Friday practice, and Sunday is still ultra-important. I think we’re learning that. I think we’ve done a good job of that this week.”

– It will be huge for the Raiders defense to be on their game and not let a potentially explosive Houston offense get rolling.

In the last two weeks, a 34-31 win in Tennessee and a 31-24 loss to Jacksonville, the Texans gained 420 and 397 yards.

The Houston running game is ranked 30th with a 70.7 average, but defensive coordinator John Marshall noted that Steve Slaton showed signs of getting back on track last week with 76 yards on 12 carries.

Coach Gary Kubiak imported his the running and zone blocking system from Denver, and the Raiders also are a zone blocking team, so that must have been what Cable was referring to when he said, “We’re similar that way. So you want to get started fast. I think it probably bodes well for whichever team can get going soonest.”

When it comes to production, the teams are nothing at all alike.

Houston’s yardage totals in each of the last two weeks exceed anything put up by the Raiders over the last 61 games, dating back to a 416-yard effort against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 23, 2005.

– Defensive coordinator John Marshall said the run defense issues against Denver had more to do with getting off blocks than making tackles.

“They ran a couple of plays in there that we didn’t react to early on and they started doing pretty well with them . . . but we didn’t miss a lot of tackles,” Marshall said. “We weren’t physical enough going after people, driving them back and being physical enough. It’s that simple.”

– During one answer in a very brief media session, Marshall was talking bout Houston’s offensive weapons and inadvertantly hit my notebook with his hand, then gave me a playful tap on the jaw.

Feels OK, although I reserve to right to drive to Napa for X-rays to be absolutely sure.

– Wide reciever Chaz Schilens will officially be listed as doubtful, but he won’t play after doing little more than jogging around at practice, Cable said. Listed as out are guard Robert Gallery (broken fibula) and wide receiver Nick Miller (broken shin).

Hiram Eugene made it through the entire practice and is listed as questionable, but Cable expects him to assume his spot in the starting lineup at free safety with Michael Huff reverted to his role as the deep nickel safety.

Fullback Luke Lawton (hamstring), defensive end Greg Ellis (shoulder), cornerback Jonathan Holland (elbow) and Huff (rib, quad) all practiced without limitations and are probable. Safety Mike Mitchell “tweaked” an ankle and didn’t finish practice, Cable said, but is also probable.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Richochet

    Nnamdi21 Says:
    October 2nd, 2009 at 4:28 pm
    exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    October 2nd, 2009 at 4:22 pm
    Seymour fined for pulling hair
    Posted by Mike Florio on October 2, 2009 6:58 PM ET
    Last week, Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour didn’t want to answer questions regarding his pulling of the hair of Broncos tackle Ryan Clady.

    But the right to remain silent doesn’t matter when the act is caught on tape. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Seymour has been fined $7,500.

    The move came after a play had ended, during the Week Three game between Denver and Oakland.

    =====================================

    Once and for all if you never saw it, Clady got all uppity and incensed trying to throw blows. Seymour negated him by grabbing the back of his head and forcing Clady’s face into his own crotch while the newbie pin wheeled his arms in a vain attempt to do anything.

    Typical negation technique against a violent offender.

    Clady was the aggtressor and got his hair handed to him by the vet.

    Thats what you get for having predator braids and trying to attack a pro bowl vet Cladykins.
    ============
    Numnums? You’re wrong dude.
    Seymour was BEHIND the player..and didn’t just pull it..he yanked it, held onto it, and yanked on it some more..and SEYMOUR WAS BEHIND HIM..not in front of him.

    Seymour was the punk, and he knows it. That’s why he didn’t want to talk, and that’s why the Raiders sullied their rep even more by telling Cohn he needs to leave because he’s ‘inciting our player’..Seymour was bush league for what he did, and what the Raiders did just added on to their rep as a org. gone amuk.

    Banning Gannon FROM THE GROUNDS?
    Kicking out a reporter because he ASKED A QUESTION?

    I dare anyone to tell me Al hasn’t lost it. lol..man’s a total wreck, and is acting like this little spoiled hermit who hates it that everyone is daring to laugh at him, and his organization.

  • UP LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER

    we all support al

    we really do he owns the team we love so we all in a kinky way support him i know i hate it but it’s true

    theres nothing we can do !!!!!!!

  • raiderkoolaid

    I would like to see us find ways to get the ball to Higgins, McFadden, and even DHB in space. Higgins is a touchdown just waiting to happen anytime he touches the ball in the open field. McFadden hasn’t proved much yet at the NFL level, but that is what he was drafted for, and DHB was also very explosive at Maryland when he got the ball with room to go. Other than giving Higgins that one reverse against SD which got good yardage The Raiders have not done much to take advantage of these guys talents.

  • UP LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER

    i would like to say good luck to JaPoatroast please prove us all wrong and don’t emberass yourself more than you have on sunday.

    mcfadden said he knew he was playing bad and he had been feeling bad about it.

    seymour nnamdi and ellis said practice was bad.

    louis murphy jumbed heyward beys azz for running the wrong routes.

    kirk morrison and thomas howard said it was bad and they needed do get refocused and on track.

    JaPoatroast said ” couple of pass interfierence on my int’s recievers are young not running good routes but i’m alright” (IT WASN’T SAID IN QUITE THAT GOOD OF ENGLISH I HAD TO PARAPHRASE IT SO YOU GUY’S COULD UNDERSTAND)

    THAT’S WHY WE DONT LIKE YOU JaChickenFriedSteak !!!!!!

    like the commentator said we would be undefeated if he was as accurate with the football as he is with the fork to his mouth.

  • Plunketthead

    Engine****
    Thats a cool little ditty, to be singing.
    Fine job, keep one foot on the throttle and one on the brake and you will go places, young man.

  • UP LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER

    Richochet Says:
    October 2nd, 2009 at 5:44 pm
    Nnamdi21 Says:
    October 2nd, 2009 at 4:28 pm
    exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    October 2nd, 2009 at 4:22 pm
    Seymour fined for pulling hair
    Posted by Mike Florio on October 2, 2009 6:58 PM ET
    Last week, Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour didn’t want to answer questions regarding his pulling of the hair of Broncos tackle Ryan Clady.

    But the right to remain silent doesn’t matter when the act is caught on tape. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Seymour has been fined $7,500.

    The move came after a play had ended, during the Week Three game between Denver and Oakland.

    =====================================

    Once and for all if you never saw it, Clady got all uppity and incensed trying to throw blows. Seymour negated him by grabbing the back of his head and forcing Clady’s face into his own crotch while the newbie pin wheeled his arms in a vain attempt to do anything.

    Typical negation technique against a violent offender.

    Clady was the aggtressor and got his hair handed to him by the vet.

    Thats what you get for having predator braids and trying to attack a pro bowl vet Cladykins.
    ============
    Numnums? You’re wrong dude.
    Seymour was BEHIND the player..and didn’t just pull it..he yanked it, held onto it, and yanked on it some more..and SEYMOUR WAS BEHIND HIM..not in front of him.

    Seymour was the punk, and he knows it. That’s why he didn’t want to talk, and that’s why the Raiders sullied their rep even more by telling Cohn he needs to leave because he’s ‘inciting our player’..Seymour was bush league for what he did, and what the Raiders did just added on to their rep as a org. gone amuk.

    Banning Gannon FROM THE GROUNDS?
    Kicking out a reporter because he ASKED A QUESTION?

    I dare anyone to tell me Al hasn’t lost it. lol..man’s a total wreck, and is acting like this little spoiled hermit who hates it that everyone is daring to laugh at him, and his organization.

    =========================

    listen i don’t see anything wrong with pulling the hair of the left tackle of your division rival

    at least seymore was pissed about the throttling they were taking show some fire.

    don’t just clap your hands together and say fu%k while you walk of the fiel after another int. like JaPoatroast does.

    call me old fashioned.

  • UP LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER

    gotta go nation keep the faith we need h1n1 (SWINE FLU)
    T SWEEP THROUGH CORPORATE HEADQUARTES i hear that old people are succeptible.

    gotta take my little hethan to chuckie cheese.

  • Plunketthead

    I am confident that Cable will get the Oline run blocking again.
    Its one thing he seems to be able to do no matter who the linemen are. Up till recently its been pass protection problems. Thats another reason this team is about to turn it on.

    Cable is able, Oline run blocks all day
    Dmac run right
    Bush run middle
    Dmac run left
    Bush run middle
    Fargas smash anywhere he wants
    JaPoppinFresh 47 yards to DHB

    Theres no doubt in my mind we win this game by keeping the Boots and the crap that fills them off the field.

    Case closed

  • Plunketthead

    Jerry, your blogs dead again.
    I am gonna go back to the wilderness survival forum and see what the blackpowder militia is up to.

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