Raiders look everywhere but Russell


Once the company line gets rolling, it’s like trying to stop a ocean liner on a dime.

Sounds as if JaMarcus Russell could have led the Raiders to victory Sunday if his receivers had held on to a few more passes instead of absorbing a 29-6 loss to the Houston Texans.

“I thought he played his best football all year in terms of where he is going with it and his presence and all of those things,” Raiders coach Tom Cable told reporters after the game. “He got sacked a couple of times and was hit a number of times.”

Cable said he counted nine dropped passes, and it’s conceivable that nine balls did touch the hands of receivers which weren’t caught. Whether they were thrown on time and gave receivers the best chance to make a play is another question entirely.

“That’s the difference, you know,” wide receiver Louis Murphy said. “That’s the difference. You’ve got to come down with those balls. JaMarcus, he’s throwing good balls, man, and we’ve got to make those plays to give our offense a spark.”

Russell, who like his coach and teammates has been quick to point out he’s far from the only problem, was asked how much the drops affected his performance and said, “A lot. When we are trying to stay on course . . . I don’t pay too much mind while it’s happening but as it goes on it’s a lot back down deep inside. I know you have to keep guys with confidence. Keep coming at them; keep throwing the ball to them. That’s the only way it will get better.”

Asked if the drops bother him, Russell said, “It does. We had a lot of game left from the beginning but once it comes dow to the ending moment, you always sit back and think what you could have done differently. I think that is one of the things we come out with today.”

Russell (12-for-33 for 128 yards) said he thought he played well, “but obviously it wasn’t good enough. I really thought I got some things done out there. Whatever it takes for us to win, I guess I must play better.”

Some more postgame news, notes and quotes:

— Tight end Zach Miller sustained a concussion – he was hammered on back-to-back plays late in the game — and there’s no word if he’ll be ready to face the New York Giants as the Raiders take on a 4-0 team on the road.

— Murphy is either in denial or plans on pulling the Raiders up to the standard of winning achieved at Florida, insisting with a raised voice in the locker room that the Raiders were “really good” and suggesting fans not believe what the media says about them. (Like, for instance, that they’re 1-3 this season, 25-75 over their last 100 games and haven’t scored a touchdown in the last eight quarters).

— Guard Cooper Carlisle was one offensive player who felt bad for the Raiders defense despite the bounty of big plays they surrendered in the first half (259 yards on nine snaps).

“I do feel like we are out of rhythm, out of sorts from running the ball, Carlisle said. “It’s affecting our team obviously, putting our defense on the field a lot. Kind of wearing them down. So it’s not only affecting us not scoring points, it’s affecting the whole game.”

— A 1-3 record heading into consecutive games against the Giants, Eagles, Jets and Chargers (teams with a combined 11-4 record) before the bye week is daunting enough if you’re coaching under Al Davis.

Then there’s a Yahoo.com report which says an anonymous Raiders assistant coach said the staff is wondering who the head coach will be if Cable is suspended.

Cable’s got two problems if he were to be arrested and disciplined by the league and the legal system is only one of them. The other is if the team steams into the bye week at 1-7, the two issues combined would give Davis all the reason he would need to make two in-season firings in two years — a first even for him.

When asked about the legal situation involving his coaches at the Richard Seymour press conference, Davis distanced himself from it by saying, “I don’t get involved in those things. I don’t know much about it. I don’t expect anything to happen. I hope nothing happens, let’s put it that way. That’s what we don’t need right now.”

Not exactly the sort of “it’s nonsense and Tom Cable is my coach” stance Davis could have taken, and that was before the Raiders had lost a game.

— If nothing else, the Raiders can revel in the fact that while Rich Gannon has no trouble breaking down the weaknesses of the organization, he has no clue about the NFL’s overtime rule.

Post-game locker room quotes furnished by the media relations staff of the Houston Texans


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Einstein

    # OFL71 Says:
    October 5th, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Don’t get me wrong,Davis is the reason the Raiders WERE great,but as much as he deserves credit for past glory he is just as much to blame for recent failure.


    I was a “young buck” during the “greatness” days. Most of my fandome has been terrible seasons after dysfunctional seasons. Yet my loyalty for Al “Shames Us” Davis remained. NO LONGER. I will ALWAYS be a Raiders fan NO MATTER WHAT. But I am NO longer an Al “Shames Us” Davis supporter or fan!!! Don’t give me this crap that the Raiders are Al and Al is the Raiders (I used to use that line)

    Al is a complete shame on this organization.

  • OFL71

    Like it or not Einstein,that is what it is.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Michael Huff was an Art Shell pick, not an Al Davis pick. Huff is due to make over $5 million next year. Hiram Eugene will be an unrestricted free agent. I think Routt is too. 2010 is uncapped. Wave goodbye to Walker, Eugene, Routt & Huff.

    Goodell: With the #1 pick in the NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select Taylor Mays, USC

    secondary – Asomugha, Johnson, Bowie, Mays, Branch & Mitchell

    Higgins will be the “veteran” of the WR corps next year and probably still restricted to PR duties only

  • halster

    Hey RealMaddenRaider, It really pains me to say what I’ve said but jeezus,
    I have watched this yearly train wreck for too damm many years. It doesn’t help
    that as an OG(old guy) I saw Raider football when it was different, you know,
    better. I can’t waste the time on Sundays for this looser crap. I am new to the blog as I retired recently and have more time for alot of stuff but watching my
    team commit suicide week after week is more than I can take. I used to defend
    the team and Al but no more. My daughter, a big fan, bought 2 box seats for the Saints pre-season game as a birthday gift for me. I had to tell her that I had a great time and that it ain’t easy being a Raider fan. I was pissed, not that they
    lost a pre-season game, but that they phoned it in and right then I new we were
    doomed to yet another season of crap. She put up $500.00 for the Raider
    experience to boot. Am I pissed? Godammn right. So I told her that until either
    they pull their heads out of wherever they are or Al is wormsmeat I am all the way with the Colts as a plan B. Prediction: Colts vs Giants in the SB and Peyton
    beats Eli in a great game. It’s hard to hate Peyton Manning or Eli for that matter.
    I really hate to put my team on the shelve but I don’t even have the strength to rag on the team or coaches. I reserve all that for Al Dogsh-t. I’m out

  • OFL, Davis deserves credit for the past glory as an owner. But as a meddling GM? I dunno. I have a VHS tape of SB 11. We use a ball control, running offense in that game. Our deepest passing play was to Freddy B but most of his yards were after the catch. Hit him in stride on a short timing route. Super Bowl 18, the Marcus Allen show. Handoff to Marcus, dumpoff to Marcus. All day. Not a vertical offense. So, I don’t know if I should give Al Davis credit for the overall management of football operations then, because it’s obvious to me someone else was running the show. I credit Al Davis for his success as a coach in the ’60s, as far as football operations go, and that’s about it. I don’t think he rightfully deserves the credit in other areas, because I don’t think he did the heavy lifting.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    The end of our season


  • Einstein

    # OFL71 Says:
    October 5th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Like it or not Einstein,that is what it is.


    Yes, it sure it, and it is an absolute travesty and shame. Very sad.

  • RaiderRockstar

    headline: Raiders look everywhere but Russell

    should have been “Raiders look everywhere for Russell”

    Raider fans know he doesn’t show up on Sundays or Mondays.

  • flowbees


    i agree with what you are saying, but i am still gonna support the team. but instead of suffering through watching this unprepared, outcoached and uncompetitive team i will prolly spend most of my sundays golfing once the first quarters of these games is over.
    i think it is not fair to the fans to pay that kind of money for a substandard product. if this team would compete week in and week out it would be a different story.
    but this team, in large part because of its owner, is outmatched and simply overwhelmed EVERY WEEK. they have tremendous players (or potentially tremendous players) who will never come close to their potential unless the environment changes, which hasn’t happened since bruce allen and jon gruden were here.
    the game has changed, but how the raiders go about their business has not. the result: the worst team in the league.

  • El Negro Cato

    # MaineRaida Says:
    October 5th, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    CJ, Russell may be better on another team but I’d bet not a whole lot better, right now anyway. He’s shown his own flaws (coming in overweight; simple playbook; neglecting video study). After watching a few games of Sanchez, I dunno there’s something just not ‘there’ with JR.


    When he’s sitting on the bench after another 3 & out you see everything that is wrong with JR in a nutshell. Physical skills aside, this kid just does not understand what it takes to be a QB in this league. Yeah, the whole team sucks…but the QB is the face and leader of the team. When he just sits there with that blank stare it tells everyone else on the team that they don’t need to care, either.

  • RaiderRockstar

    bench Russell. sign Aaron Brooks! sign Shaun King!

    somebody. anybody…

  • 4evaRaider

    thats some funny schizzzitt,Exla


    I think the phrase for Mr. Davis is- “If you love something, set it free.”

  • RaiderRockstar Says:
    October 5th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Michael Huff was an Art Shell pick, not an Al Davis pick.


    HA HA HA HA HA!!!! An “Art Shell pick”. You’re too much.

  • El Negro Cato

    Who wants to take bets that Al dumps JRUSS and drafts Tim Tebow as our next QB? Of course, he’ll just suck as bad because once again we won’t use any draft picks on O-Line….

  • Since Jerry’s sleeping in….

    Ch-ch-changes? Davis won’t take this kind of play for long

    Scott Ostler

    Monday, October 5, 2009

    (10-04) 21:00 PDT — HOUSTON – You know things are going lousy for your team when the network TV people flash “MISCUES” on the screen, followed by a blooper reel of your bungled plays, and it’s not even halftime.

    At least the TV folks didn’t add zany background music.

    The bloopers continued in the second half, and the Raiders aren’t laughing. With Sunday’s 29-6 loss to the forever-struggling Houston Texans, the Raiders are the AFC’s fastest-moving southbound train.

    What now? Coach Tom Cable maintains his confidence in his team. He found a few bright spots Sunday. Many of the players also were saying, essentially, “We’re close.”

    But the team is 1-3 and the offense is in tatters.

    Time for changes?

    The guess here is that Raiders boss Al Davis is, uh, restless.

    Unlikely: Davis is blaming himself for the team’s horrendous start and the wretched output of his three massively compensated young players: JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden and Darrius Heyward-Bey.

    More likely: Davis is willing to spread the blame and is pondering changes. Such as:

    New coach? Tom Cable is 5-11, and he’s the coordinator and play-caller for an offense that Sunday averaged about half as many yards per play as the Texans.

    Davis fired Lane Kiffin last season after four games, but that was because Kiffin continuously defied and goaded Davis.

    Cable is a good soldier, but the Raiders are 25-75 in their last 100 games. Though Cable can’t get the blame for all that ineptitude, Davis can fire only one head coach at a time.

    Best guess, Cable survives at least until his team’s bye week, after Game 8.

    New play-caller? Davis could “suggest” that Cable hand over his play-calling and/or offensive-coordinator duties. The way the offense was working Sunday, that laminated play sheet Cable used might as well have been a menu from Pappadeaux, the Southwestern seafood restaurant chain.

    Who would call plays? Probably quarterbacks coach Paul Hackett.

    New QB? It should be worrisome to Raiders fans that Sunday’s game was considered a step forward for Russell. He was 12-for-33 for 128 yards.

    “I thought he played his best football all year in terms of where he is going with it and his presence and all of those things,” Cable said.

    Russell, assessing his performance, said, “Obviously, it wasn’t good enough. I really thought I got some things done out there. Whatever it takes for us to win, I guess I must play better.”

    Cable said he counted nine dropped Russell passes. I counted more like six, and Cable might be trying to boost Russell, who, in his best performance of ’09, threw more way-wild balls than needle-threading QBs like Drew Brees throw in a season.

    New wide receivers? I mean, really.

    Sunday was ugly. Heyward-Bey caught one pass, dropped two and pulled up short on one long route. He would be voted most likely to take a temporary seat on the bench, with two catches in four games, but he’s the No. 1 draft pick, big money, Al’s baby.

    Fellow rookie Louis Murphy has been the Raiders’ best wideout this season, but Sunday, he dropped at least four passes, a couple of which zipped through his hands as if the balls had been doctored by Gaylord Perry.

    Waiting in the wings are Johnnie Lee Higgins and Javon Walker. Higgins was the team’s top wideout last season. He’s recovering (recovered?) from a shoulder injury. On Sunday, he got into the game for one scrimmage play, a run.

    “He’s a little bit cautious right now, (we’re) trying to protect him a little,” Cable said.

    Higgins ran back punts, a job that occasionally involves contact.

    Walker was inactive for the third time in four games, although he swears he’s healthy as a horse, and at least one player said Walker has been looking great in practice.

    When Cable was asked if Walker might figure into the team’s plans soon, he said, “He could. It’s more important to look at this (game).”

    In other words, Walker remains in a strange Raiders limbo, a mystery man.

    Al Davis might have been willing to write off this season as a building year for his team and his young offensive cornerstones and for his inexperienced head coach. But the building project has turned into a train wreck, and no way Davis takes it sitting down.


  • Einstein

    Anyone need some peace and harmony today? Check out the following:


    “One Day” by Matisyahu

  • chappy23us

    Where are all you Al lovers now?

  • Tom Cable could find himself in a lot of trouble soon
    October 5, 2009 | 7:18 am

    Tom Yahoo Sports is reporting that Oakland Raiders Coach Tom Cable may be arrested soon for punching one of his then assistants, Randy Horner (MR edit..”Horner”? It’s Hanson, right?), in August and breaking his jaw.

    You would think the NFL would suspend Cable if he is arrested, leaving the Raiders without a coach (well, without a guy to do what Al Davis tells him to do). “Everybody is trying to figure out who’s going to take over if Tom isn’t here,” one unnamed source told Yahoo Sports.

    This comes on the heels of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Scott Ostler guessing that Davis might fire Cable anyway.

    Yep, it’s a real shame the Raiders left town.

    — Houston Mitchell


  • I think the LA Times’ Mitchell watched Boogie Nights recently, and had the name “Jack Horner” in his head.

  • Scottish Raider

    Looking ahead:

    Oct. 11 at New York Giants
    Oct. 18 Philadelphia Eagles
    Oct. 25 New York Jets
    Nov. 1 at San Diego Chargers
    Nov. 15 Kansas City Chiefs
    Nov. 22 Cincinnati Bengals
    Nov. 26 at Dallas Cowboys
    Dec. 6 at Pittsburgh Steelers
    Dec. 13 Washington Redskins
    Dec. 20 at Denver Broncos
    Dec. 27 at Cleveland Browns
    Jan. 3 Baltimore Ravens

    On current form, the only winnable games are at home to Kansas City, home to Cincinnati, home to Washington and away to Cleveland.

    The very best we can hope for is a 5:11 season and the No5 draft pick in 2010.

    Bye bye, Cable.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Where are all you Al lovers now?


    they are spreading the blame to his rookie WR’s rather than his prized possession franchise QB #1 overall pick in his 3rd NFL season

  • Cato, Tebow wouldn’t play here. He flat out wouldn’t show up. He’d pull an Eli Manning on us. And of course, Al would call his bluff, let him sit, and let the situation turn into a season long fiasco rather than wisely trade him for a decent run stopping team’s entire D line.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Who wants to take bets that Al dumps JRUSS and drafts Tim Tebow as our next QB?



    Round 1 – trade down or take the best available tackle
    Round 2 – best available center
    Round 3 – best available guard
    Round 4 – Tim Tebow
    Round 5 thru 7 – who cares?

  • Tebow in Oakland…LOL. A white, southern bible thumper. That would work. And don’t you guys dare bring up Kenny Stabler. He came from an era where people kept their religion to themselves.

  • Einstein

    # RaiderRockstar Says:
    October 5th, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Where are all you Al lovers now?


    they are spreading the blame to his rookie WR’s rather than his prized possession franchise QB #1 overall pick in his 3rd NFL season


    I think Al and JaBlowme probably have the same IQ.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    I wanted to let you know that the weeping Raider’s player monument was installed on Monday and we held a service for the Raider Nation to bless the monument. The Father said he has never seen any headstone like it. Everyone there thought the weeping Raider’s monument was absolutely beautiful. Words can’t express our thanks to you. We could never have created this without your help. We could never have had this done before Christmas without you. It really meant alot to Exlaraiderseasonticketholder to be able to present the monument to the Raider Nation before Christmas. It is a wonderfully beautiful tribute to the Raider season. You have been so very helpful and your carveman’s talent is unbelievable.
    Thanks Again,

  • Scottish Raider

    What’s the betting that Davis is dumb enough to draft Crabtree at No5 next year?

  • RaiderRockstar

    On current form, the only winnable games are at home to Kansas City, home to Cincinnati, home to Washington and away to Cleveland.


    Scottish: only if we bench Russell. otherwise we finish 2-14

  • RaiderRockstar

    new post barack worshippers …

  • El Negro Cato

    I didn’t say it was a smart move to draft Tebow…I’m just saying that the kind of dumb move that the Raiders, er…Al…would make.

    I got a better idea: How about if we draft the fastest receiver so he can blow by DBs at breakneck speed. Hopefully he can beat the DBs before the OLine collapses.

    Oh wait, we already tried that draft move, too.

  • OFL71

    coulda had Aaron Rodgers in ’05
    coulda had Jay Cutler in ’06
    coulda had Adrian Peterson in ’07
    coulda had Joe Flacco in ’08
    one misfire after another,haven’t made a good first round pick since Namdi,Gallery is a bust as LT so he doesn’t count,you don’t take gaurds in the first round…

  • jonniep08

    i just don’t understand what the coaches are seeing.. We all watch the games and see how off target Russell is. I mean he misses wide open receivers.. Murphy would of had a nice long TD if Russell could throw a pass to the player. Cable has got to go as well. the whole staff actually.. When you have a QB who can’t throw and a game breaking back like McFadden you don’t give him 7 touches on the day. Fargas is a favorite of the fans and the team but he is to small and does not have the talent that the other backs have. I don’t want to give up on my team but i find it hard to root for them. An i almost want to root against Russell so we can get him outta there.. I guess you can call me one upset Raider fan…

  • halster

    Real MaddenRaider, Got to give it to you about the old Raider football. The myth
    of the socalled vertical game is just that, a myth con cocted by the media in reaction to the likes of Warren Wells, Cliff Branch and Tim Brown. The truth is that from the days of Lamonica, the Raider offense lived on a steady diet of
    Short to medium passes over the middle, Screen passes to backs and tight ends
    and a punnishing ground game that featured non flashy guys like Hewrit Dixon,
    Pete Bannazak, Marv Hubbard and Mark VanEagan. Then and only then after the other team was fed that did the Raiders throw long. Lamonica threw alot to
    Biletnikoff (a medium distance posession receiver). Tightends were used the same way except in Dave Caspers case as he could also go deep. Stabler was not you typical deep passer nor was Plunket. As I remember, Gannon was alot like the rest as far as the short and medium stuff. The media came up with the Mad Bomber nickname and the cliches haven’t stopped since. Al has always liked speed, but the teams greatest sucess came from the 3rd and 4th rounders that over achieved. I guess Al has bought into his own hpe and forgot how and who got him there. Ron Wolf was there most of the way and as we all saw what he did for Geen Bay when he went there. Ron Wolf was the guy that brought in the Willie Browns, Daryl Lamonicas and helped in the drafting of quality players that could make the team better. Al had a lot to do with the success but the myth has made Al bigger than life. The sad truth is that as time has passed Al has stood still and drank his own kool-aid. He is probably listening to old Bill King play by plays as he drinks from the cup. 10-4