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Did Raiders take running game for granted?

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Throughout training camp, through preseason games, coach Tom Cable made it no secret that the mission was to upgrade the passing attack.

Setting aside that through four games the passing game remains awful, an unwanted anicillary benefit is now the Raiders can’t run, either.

In the first half of the season opener, the Raiders rushed for 105 yards on 22 carries, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. In the ensuing three and a half games, Oakland has 250 yards on 80 attempts, averaging 3.1 yards per carry.

That the Raiders are 32nd in passing is no surprise. Being 28th in rushing, at 88.8 yards per game, is a bit of a shock.

“I do get a feeling, like during the preseason and stuff, we ran the ball a little bit, but it was more of a thing where we say, ‘Well, we know we can run it. Let’s work on the pass.’ And you can’t hang your hat on what you did before,” running back Justin Fargas said Monday. “It’s kind of like you have to still improve it. Like yesterday, teams stack the box against us. And if you’re not really detailed and if you don’t control the line of scrimmage — you’re not detailed in your assignments, you don’t control the line of scrimmage, you’re not going to be able to run the ball.”

Fargas gained 24 yards on 10 carries against Houston and was hit for the first safety of his career, with seemingly the entire Texans front seven meeting him four yards deep in the end zone. It was the first time the Raiders had given up a safety on a running play since Fargas joined the team in 2003.

In fact, the last time a safety was recorded against the Raiders on a run was in 1993, when Seattle’s Rob Stevens dropped Nick Bell in the end zone of the Los Angeles Coliseum.

As diplomatically as possible, Fargas allowed the play call might not have been ideal for the situation.

“I don’t want to be like T.O. (Terrell Owens) and say we can only go with the plays that are called, but it’s tough,” Fargas said. “I think it that situation you want to try and get downhill. We were running an outside play, we were using a hard cadence.

“Things were working against us. In that situation you want to do anything you can to get the ball out of the end zone and we didn’t do it. We didn’t execute the play. May have not been the best play at this time. And it just . . . it was all bad.”

It was suggested that the hard count afforded an opportunity to get the Texans to jump and give the Raiders another five yards to work with.

“You have the risk-reward factor, you understand that,” Fargas said. “But you’re on the road and you can’t really hear the snap count anyway. I felt like they got off the ball before we did and knocked us back a little bit.”

With JaMarcus Russell and the passing game faltering, opponents don’t feel as if they’ll pay by crowding the box.

“It seems like they’re challenging us a little bit to throw the ball,” Fargas said. “Sometimes you say, ‘Hey, you know what? We’re gonna stick to what we do, and we can run it anyway.’ But like I said, it’s tough. And if you’re not at your very best, it’s gonna be hard. And we weren’t at our best.”

The ability to complete a higher percentage of passes would make a world of difference, Fargas said.

“Oh, it changes everything. You don’t have to be all the way down the field, long passes,” Fargas said. “Just throw and catch, get the ball in the receivers’ hands, whether it’s quick gain, anything to move the chains and get conversions and build confidence, and you build your swagger and belief. When you win you’re able to do that.”

More to come following Cable’s press briefing . . .

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Florida Pete

    this season is over…

  • jano11

    I wish we had a bye week. I cant take this anymore.

  • raiderdav

    season is over, i agree boycott this trash, who cares about the remaining games……i got better things to do on sundays then to watch this train wreck, my fellow brothers and sisters…PLEASE STOP WASTING YOUR TIME ON THIS GARBAGE LETS SET APOINT TO MR.DAVIS THAT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH PLEASE BOYCOTT ALL RAIDER GAMES.

  • Florida Pete

    all of the Raider players are zombies…

    they need to change the team name…

    the Oakland Zombies…

  • Tennessee stacked the box against the Jags yesterday. Funny, I didn’t see Jax respond by dropping back 7 yards and throwing the ball downfield. They just picked up the pressure and used slants. They won 37-17.

  • Scottish Raider

    Of the Olinemen who started against Houston, only Henderson is remotely good enough. Pears is a back-up Tackle. Morris is nothing special. Carlisle is over-the-hill and Green is a joke.

    Barnes doesn’t want to play RT. We have no choice but to look at the FAs still available. Langston Walker is still unsigned?

  • I’ve been monetarily boycotting the team since the Gruden trade. Don’t have to tell me. And, no, I really didn’t buy the Russell jersey.

  • BornInOakland

    Watching the Raiders and then watching the last part of the Dallas/Denver game was like night and day. One team, an inept bunch of bs……You know who I’m talking about. The other teams, solid play and making things happen as they fought hard to win like an NFL team should. I don’t know who the hell the Raiders are right now, but I’ve been a fan since 1975, and this is just pathetic.

  • raiderrej

    DMC out 2-4 weeks

  • RaiderRockstar

    I hope Justin Fargas gets his scholarship revoked for talking to the media…

    this clown needs to sit on the bench and let the talented, yet fumble prone youngsters have all the playing time. I don’t think Bush or DMC would have simply ran into the pile in hopes of moving it. They would have been smart enough to take what the defense gives you, not run right into what the defense already took away

  • Florida Pete

    if anyone here bumps into Jacarcass…

    say to him: “hey jam, repeat after me… ‘i is a zombie'”…

    then ask him to say it again with his arms out in front of him… bet he does it for a in’n’out burger

  • RaiderRockstar

    Langston Walker is still unsigned?

    ***

    Scottish: please don’t get BSJ started on that rampage again … I agree with you though

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    repost:
    exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    October 5th, 2009 at 1:53 pm
    Testimonial:
    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,
    exlaraiderseasonticketholder

  • Florida Pete

    with the exception of Henderson…

    i’ll bet we could blindly pick 4 linemen that have been cut by any other team… (and that means ANY linemen, including defense)…

    and we would upgrade our o-line…

  • ExLA,

    It’s like the Rocky statue in Philadelphia. The crying Raider. Cable’s going to start jogging today, with the “flying high now” theme playing. The Davis kool aid drinkers are going to follow him. They’re going to get to the steps of the coliseum, drop on their butts, and start crying, like the statue.

  • Roch R

    I wonder when Russell is going to come to the line, motion as if he’s calling an audible … then actually PASS THE BALL???

    Gannon mentioned it in his color commentating of the Denver game, and I’ve noticed it every time since.

    To the Rest of the NFL….

    When Russell waves his arms like he’s trying to fly, the Raiders are going to run the ball. Shhhh don’t tell anyone.

  • raiderrej

    repost:

    DMC out 2-4 weeks

  • Florida Pete

    there is no “optimism” in Oakland…

    in fact there’s really just the O…

  • raiderrej

    torn maniscus…. if thats how you spell it

  • RaiderRockstar

    when I was a martial arts instructor(TKD)

    ***

    don’t mess with Exla!

  • Florida Pete

    raiderrej Says:
    October 5th, 2009 at 2:17 pm
    repost:

    DMC out 2-4 weeks

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

    the only way anyone would notice is if the Raiders suddenly gained 100 yards rushing…

  • raiderrej

    cable presser on CSBA

  • Roch R

    Is Exla down with the foot fist way?

  • raiderrej

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    October 5th, 2009 at 2:24 pm
    He says he “sees it”, again. Said he’s been seeing it since he got here, but that it’s up to the players to enact it. OK. Well then, I see the Raiders winning every game from here on out. Now the players just have to do it. This guy is unreal.

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

    i tried giving this guy as a chance but im afraid he’s just not it.

  • Einstein

    # Florida Pete Says:
    October 5th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    if anyone here bumps into Jacarcass…

    say to him: “hey jam, repeat after me… ‘i is a zombie’”…

    then ask him to say it again with his arms out in front of him… bet he does it for a in’n’out burger

    ——————————————————-

    Triple stack extra cheese animal style is how he rolls.

  • “DEFENSIVE STUDS”.

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    I had a medial menicus tear when I was a martial arts instructor(TKD). Out 4-8 wks if he has surgery.

  • Cable:

    “We dropped a ton of footballs”

    6, Tom. Actually it was 6.

  • He says he “sees it”, again. Said he’s been seeing it since he got here, but that it’s up to the players to enact it. OK. Well then, I see the Raiders winning every game from here on out. Now the players just have to do it. This guy is unreal.

  • UCSBPreMedMike

    Commmmmme onnnnnn bye week!

    …Anybody hear JR say, “I guess I need to play better.” WTF? This is baaaad. This is “Michael Jackson bad,” haha! Ahhhh….I don’t know why I look foward to Sunday’s. I don’t why I keep thinking that every year, every game, I anticpate the Raiders just shutting everybody up. Me, nor anyother Raider fan has any say or control over the outcome of those games. What is it about our dedication to a team, the Raiders, that drives us so insane? I don’t know what’s more pathetic, us fans who believe in them, or the organization that can’t indentify and fix the lack of leadership quality players we have on this team. Of course, that all starts from the top on down.

    What I really don’t know, is what’s more pathetic: the fact that half my wordrobe is Raider clothes (being that i can’t afford any new clothes for about a decade) or the way this team is ran, and the key players it’s been built around, namely Russell.

  • El Negro Cato

    “It seems like they’re challenging us a little bit to throw the ball,” Fargas said.

    a LITTLE bit?

    LOL

  • Cable’s being hostile with the press, accusing them of getting information from the internet, and not knowing anything about football. Uh, Tom, the press isn’t 1-4. You are.

  • 1-3, excuse me.

  • raiderrej

    fire Tom Cable!!!!

  • Cable: “1-3 teams have won the Super Bowl”.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Tom Cable is the man!

  • I AM NOT JOKING, YOU GUYS. It’s on comcast sports, right now, live.

  • dt_raiders

    After the safety & the punt return, I turned off the TV. it hurts so bad i’ve stayed away from TV & web sites related to football. How we have fallen so far from game 1 to yesterday? Coaching? Players? Ownership? How does Denver do it with a rookie coach and lesser talent? There’s no reason to call myself a raiders fan.

  • Einstein

    Cable’s still stuck in the Matrix. The rest of us took the red pill and joined Morpheus…..

    Ok, sorry, i am trippin…

  • RaiderRockstar

    only one team has started 1-3 and won it all. That team was the 2001 New England Patriots

  • mariogee

    Let me say this Tom Cable must have took the little yellow school bus to school because he keeps saying ridiculous things like Jamarcus had his best game what is he thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He says the team is getting close….close to what!!!!! self destructing worse than it has already. AL please oh please fire Cable and bench Russell put us out of our misery and let us salvage whats left of this season and call it a rebuilding year were not ready to compete for a 500. season let alone a playoff spot. Lets get better so we dont give the patriots the top pick in 2011 Yikes!!! I think a big change is needed to turn this thing around and Cable and Russell shouldnt be part of it!

  • El Negro Cato

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    October 5th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Cable’s being hostile with the press, accusing them of getting information from the internet, and not knowing anything about football.

    ————–

    Maybe “the press” just watch Raider games like the rest of us. Maybe Cable should get his info from the press because apparently he’s watching some other football game than the one the Raiders are playing.

  • Chris in NY

    Let’s face it: practice is overrated.

    You either have the players or you don’t.

    You either have the skill or you don’t.

    You either give the effort on game day or you don’t.

    Practice is necessary but I’m sure the Raiders practiced running the ball enough during minicamps, OTAs, training camp and the preseason that the amount of practice is not the problem.

    The fact that Gallery and two off-season o-line acquisitions who were expected to start (Barnes and Satele) are not playing right now combined with the passing game struggles are the real reasons the running game sux right now.

    Guess again, Jerry.

  • UCSBPreMedMike

    Anybody see the “Fan Poll” on Raiders.com?

    What do the Raiders need to do to defeat the Giants on the road?
    Run the ball 21%
    Stop the run9%
    Avoid turnovers14%
    Contain the Giants passing game10%
    Make big plays in the passing game 46%

    Haha! How about: Lock the Giants up in their locker room?

    Too bad they don’t leave an option for “other”

    I think Cable needs to stop kissing Davis’ butt, and Jamarcus.’ Somebody needs to light a fire over that O. I really wonder what coaching staff is saying to them…I don’t see much on the sidelines, and I haven’t heard anything in quotes. All I keep hearing is we got to do better, and we got to fix this thing. hmmmm…. which to me means no hope, no plan, but still get paid.

  • NoGreaterRaider

    I give up.

  • “I don’t want to be like T.O. (Terrell Owens) and say we can only go with the plays that are called, but it’s tough,” Fargas said. “I think it that situation you want to try and get downhill. We were running an outside play, we were using a hard cadence.”

    Wow, Fargas throwing Cable under the bus…I’ve seen it all now!

  • LT_Raider

    During the Battle of Britian Winston Churchill put it exactly: “Sometimes it is not enough to do our best. Sometimes we must do what is required.”

    Time now for those who are just doing “their best” to take a seat and let others who have the desire step up do what is required.

  • Is McFadden really hurt? I can’t find a report on it…is someone pulling a “Dakota” and filing false reports?

  • RaiderRockstar

    2001 Patriots finished 11-5. I can see us losing to the Giants & Eagles. then Russell gets benched and we win our next 10 games, head to the playoffs and make some noise!

  • RaiderRockstar

    new post barack worshippers!