Part of the Bay Area News Group

Tough job for the other Russell

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, October 16th, 2009 at 1:33 pm in Oakland Raiders.

On the Raiders unofficial depth chart in this week’s press release, the starting fullback is Oren O’Neal and the backup is Luke Lawton.

There’s about as much a chance of that being the case as JaMarcus Russell making it through Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles untouched.

In training camp, the only problem with the fullback position was that it was too crowded, Lorenzo Neal, a veteran lead blocker for 1,000-yard runners for the better part of 15 years, came aboard as a free agent.

Oren O’Neal was making a surprising recovery from reconstructive knee surgery and Luke Lawton had played more at the position the previous year than any other Raiders fullback.

As for Gary Russell, he showed up during minicamp as a short-yardage and goal line runner who was cut not long after he scored the first touchdown in the Super Bowl for the victorious Pittsburgh Steelers. Part of the appeal, coach Tom Cable said at the time, was that Russell could play either running back or fullback.

Except Russell barely played any fullback at all. He was, in fact, the Raiders leading rusher during the preseason with 155 yards on 28 carries and three touchowns, but never had a realisitc chance at breaking in to the top three spots occupied by Darren McFadden, Michael Bush and Justin Fargas.

In the meantime, Neal partially tore a hamstring and now apparently has retired, and O’Neal was waived/injured and will probably wind up in the Raiders injured reserve unless he reaches an injury settlement.

Returning to the Raiders last week, Russell finds himself as a relatively undersized 5-foot-11, 215-pound starting fullback against the most blitz-happy team in the NFL.

The mindset of his role in Pittsburgh and his new job in Oakland doesn’t change much.

`I was a short-yardage and goal line running back. Pretty much the same thing,” Russell said Friday. “ attitude is to come in there and run you over.”

His theory on blocking?

“Get on them before they see you,” Russell said. “Once they see you, they’re coming downhill on you and it makes it more difficult.”

Russell doesn’t seem overly concerned about the Eagles and their blitzing.

“I come from Pittsburgh, and we played against Baltimore, we played against Philly,” Russell said. “I know it’s more about being mentally prepared and doing everything right.”

Cable liked Russell’s work at the position during the week and stressed the blocking will be a collective effort againts Philadelphia.

“Well for not having ever done it (until) last week, he did it very well, looked really good in practice so this will be more just getting him work at the position all week will make it an easy transition for him,” Cable said. “He’s an athlete and he’s a good football player.”

More Friday news and notes:

– Chaz Schilens was officially listed as “questionable” Saturday and looked to be a game time decision. Cable said the determing factor would be “Seeing how he feels on Sunday where we’re at in terms of whether it’s time to pull the trigger and get him out there. Again he still has some soreness after each day so it’s just a matter of how he gets through that.”

– Sounds as if Erik Pears could get a quick hook at right tackle should he falter against the Eagles, with Khalif Barnes being at the ready.

– DE Greg Ellis (knee) and Schilens were listed as questionable. Lawton was doubtful, while RB Darren McFadden (knee), LG Robert Gallery (fibula), tackle Cornell Green (calf), wide receiver/return specialist Nick Miller (shin) and LB Ricky Brown (ankle) are out.

Brown will have his ankle in a cast for three to four weeks, after which time the Raiders will determine whether he will need surgery _at which time he will go on injured reserve _ or rehab to salvage the remainder of the season.

– Cable declined comment on Randy Hanson’s offer through Yahoo! Sports.com to take a lie detector test regarding their alleged altercation on Aug. 5.

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  • http://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 408RAIDER

    I think the team just gave up after the opener… just like last year

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw Raider75

    This is a good article…

    http://www.insidebayarea.com/raiders/ci_13563256

    Hope someone read this to Al Davis

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw Raider75

    I see the blog is messed up again. Posting entries out of order

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    JHill,

    The devloution from last year is infuriating. Because now the team is blasted back to 2006.

    You are exactly right. The big need WAS NOT wide receiver! JLH, Schilens, Miller and Russell were developing the kind of chemistry we can only dream about today. It was the O-Line that was in desperate need of talent. They needed to add a talent on the Center to Right side of the line…not two more wide receivers.

    Russell and this offense can play. But it appears that Davis and Cable scrapped the playbooka and approach from last year and opted to start from scratch. The neglect of the O-Line should cost Cable his job.

    BTW, the ZBS does not mean you don’t need talent. The Broncos expended a #1 pick on Ryan Claddy when they ran the ZBS. Of course they are now a power o-line. In fact, that’s what the Raiders need to do. Davis is in agreement. You know Davis brought in Langston Walker…a 368lb RT. Cable’s ZBS experiment is rightfully coming to an end. This offseason should be about getting the nastiest RT, RG, C they can find.

    I would also suggest giving the Giants a call about Kevin Boothe. Remember him.

    We are now stuck with DHB and Murphy. I think JLH is better than both of those guys and was developing the chemistry and confidence until Tom Cable worked his magic.

    Davis did make a mistake with Cable. Tom Cable is unqualified to be a head coach. it shows everyday in his personnel lineups and playcalling. I wish Davis would reign in this guy!

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    408RAIDER Says:
    October 17th, 2009 at 11:00 am
    I think the team just gave up after the opener… just like last year
    =======================================================
    No, this team was fighting in every game except last week. I actually admired the way they played against K.C. Gutted it out and didn’t quit. Denver was disappointing, but the team fought for the most part. The game plan didn’t leave them a chance and the lack of adjustments were stunning.

    Houston they were victimised by mistakes and poor play.

    Against the Giants…the team quit.

    This week is a new week. Like this Cable guy says…your trying to go 1-0.

    We have to plow through this year and replace Tom Cable with a competent coach and allow this new coach to design the game plan and manage the roster.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Crude Earl Says:
    October 17th, 2009 at 10:59 am
    Once again for you “Slow Learners” the ZBS doesn’t require low round draft picks to be successful…My take is Cables replacement at O L coach isn’t up to the task.
    =======================================================
    That’s not true Earl. you still need good players. Maybe not the 350 roadgrader, but you still need guys that can block, are quick and smart.

    Not a bunch of scrubs from the Denver Broncos!

    And Jake Grove is doing just fine out in Miami. Although the Raiders were right not to pay him what he was looking for.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    I also agree with Davis sticking with JaMarcus Russell. QBs that can go down the field are the way of the league.

    Mistakes aside, the Raiders are much better off fighting through this with Russell than wasting time with Josh McCown II aka Bruce Gradkowski.

    Tell Cable to get JLH and Schilens back on the field. Tell him to run more 22 sets with 2 TEs and 2 RBs
    Tell him to include the checkdowns and not make everything deep 9-routes.

    More importantly…tell Cable to focus on being the head coach and give the playcalling to a professional.,

    In fact, Cable would do right to drive over to San Fran and ask for a 30 minute chat with Singletary on how to RUN the team and let your subordinates do their damn job.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw Raider75

    So what excuses will you guys come up with when Philly hangs 40 on the Raiders tomorrow?

    This team is a mess.

    Hanging articles in the lockers to get guys motivated? How about being professionals and having pride?

    Tom Cable has reached his peak as a coach. The ra-ra stuff is only effective for so long. Sooner or later, you have to have Xs and Os that put your players in a position to be successful. Cable is not capable of doing that.

    The Raiders will come out all fired up because of the ra-ra coach, but after a few 3 and outs followed by TDs from Philly, the team will lay down again just like last week.

    I predict that this will be Cable’s last week as Head Coach.

  • Crude Earl

    It doesn’t matter what play you call if it isn’t properly executed….you cant put the wagon in front of the horse….period….but idiots who don’t understand the game will never comprehend that simple fact…..on the other hand a properly executed play is damn near impossible to stop….thats why the Chiefs under Shottenhiemer always made it to the playoffs…..evevy one watching knew they were going to run but you couldn’t stop it.

  • r8dr4lfe21

    The 9ers will hit there wall soon enough, they have benefited from a week division not to mention schedule.
    When they play the good teams they get a dose of reality. What is the goal for the 32 teams in the league, to win a super bowl right. So that means that 31 teams failed cause i dont anyone that is satisfied with just getting there, that in my mind is a loser mentality. As fans lets grow up and support this team, show them that homefield is exactly that.

  • Dude

    Not caring if “we” win or lose means your not a fan. Simple as that.

  • Crude Earl

    Paul Hackett is the logical choice to finish out the year as Head Coach….He’s had HC experience….he won’t change the Offense, and he of all people knows the shortcomings of JaMeatloaf and should be able to put together a gameplan to exploit the few positives JaCarcus does possess.

  • r8dr4lfe21

    Crude earl great point,
    How can we judge Cables play calling if we dont execute the right way. I think with the make shift line and young WR we have to keep it simple but execute.

    I never understood why in the world people get so mad, and hold in there anger. I love our Raiders everything in my life, kids, wife, even my black Great Dane is all raiders. Guess what when they lose i say ok and live my life the same, cause win, lose, or tie Raider till i die. I will not allow another man or group of men to alter my life cause they didnt play a game to my liking.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAaQNACwaLw Raider75

    Crude Earl Says:
    October 17th, 2009 at 11:33 am

    It doesn’t matter what play you call if it isn’t properly executed….you cant put the wagon in front of the horse….period….but idiots who don’t understand the game will never comprehend that simple fact

    ………………….

    The game is about mach-ups. It is about using formations and plays that create match-up problems. No team in today’s NFL has the talent to win player on player schemes.

    The NFL is a copycat league. If this style of play was really effective, you would see more teams trying it.

    Yet good coaches can win with less talent by putting their players in the right places to make plays.

    Yes, the players still have to execute. However, asking them to line up and simply beat the man in front of them doesn’t work anymore. The players in the NFL say it, the coaches say it, and those who study the league say it.

    Only person not saying it is Al Davis, and his record speaks for itself.

  • jhill

    SnB,

    They had a shot of Boothe on the sidelines, and I can’t believe that guy is still in the league. He looked like one of those big girls who were spandex. Dude HAD to be 400!

  • Frank YoooooooLLL

    Just spotted JaSupersizeit in Hayward Plunge parking lot eating wendys burgers and throwing fries at the seagulls

  • Dude

    Would be nice if there was an actual TEAM to support. This Raider bunch is anything but a TEAM.

  • jhill

    LOL at the not being able to execute line of thinking.

    The Raiders were executing the hell out of something last year, which is why Cable got to keep his job.

    WTF happened????

    Why did Cable hire a WCO guy in Hackett to go along side a Vertical passing game coordinator. That is they type of confused shyt Cable has done since he got the reigns.

    Last week, first play from scrimmage, Bush for big yards. Why not run him again, and again, and again instead of calling a play for Watkins that is 20 yds downfield?

    Not executing? Cable really expected Pears, Satele, Morris, and Carlisle to execute well enough against the NYG defensive line that Jamarcus would have time to go deep?

    LMFAO!

    Cable looks like a guy who has never had an play calling duties in the NFL before.

    Wait ….

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    jhill Says:
    October 17th, 2009 at 11:47 am
    SnB,

    They had a shot of Boothe on the sidelines, and I can’t believe that guy is still in the league. He looked like one of those big girls who were spandex. Dude HAD to be 400!
    =======================================================
    That’s fine. Let’s just get some big dogs on that O-Line is all I am saying.

    Al Davis is in agreement. Langston Walker at 368lbs is a signal that this experiment with underpowered o-lineman is coming to an end.

  • r8dr4lfe21

    So in you’re mindset you only want to support when all is going great. Thats a shame cause i will always support this team no matter how long Al davis owns it and there after. He is the creator of this team that we all grew up loving and others grew up hating, the us against the world mentality. I will not throw that away cause we have a group of youngsters i feel just need some experience and some cohesivness.
    The prior years we had veteran players, to many leaders not enough workers. There young Jmac is still the 3rd youngest QB in the league, in all fairness this is only his 2nd year full year anyways. He didnt hold out he did like all NFL players do, yake the word of his agent that says he can get him more money.

  • Crude Earl

    No… Langston Walker is proof that there’s no good linemen to be had right now and he’s cheap.

  • 4evaRaider

    we are devo…D~~E~~v~~o

  • jhill

    The game is about mach-ups. It is about using formations and plays that create match-up problems. No team in today’s NFL has the talent to win player on player schemes.

    ——————————————————-

    Exactly!

    Other than the first play of the SD game, I have yet to see one creative thing from Cable. I just don’t understand why he isn’t calling the same plays that won him the Houston and Tampa games to keep his job.

  • Crude Earl

    r8dr4lfe21 Says:
    October 17th, 2009 at 11:54 am
    So in you’re mindset you only want to support when all is going great. Thats a shame cause i will always support this team no matter how long Al davis owns it and there after. He is the creator of this team that we all grew up loving and others grew up hating, the us against the world mentality. I will not throw that away cause we have a group of youngsters i feel just need some experience and some cohesivness.
    The prior years we had veteran players, to many leaders not enough workers. There young Jmac is still the 3rd youngest QB in the league, in all fairness this is only his 2nd year full year anyways. He didnt hold out he did like all NFL players do, yake the word of his agent that says he can get him more money.
    —————————————————-
    History lesson for the so called dedicated
    fan….Al Davis did not create the Raiders…in fact he was just the head coach, and then not until the team was 3 years old…. JaMeatloaf Hired that agent ….not the other way around….and could have ended his hold out at any time…..and besides that …how in good conscience does a man hold out for millions and then show up out of shape and unprepared??…Kiffin went on the record saying that he and his coaches were in communications with JaCarcus during that hold out…..Fatass Russell had thetime to find and buy a big home in Oakland but not study the Playbook….UNFORGIVABLE….Period….defend that lazyass loser all you want but the facts speak for themselves as do his failures as an NFL QB.

  • Frank YoooooooLLL

    I think it is more of a signal that Walker is another fat buffalo arse

  • Dude

    1) The Raiders were around before Al Davis and will be around long after hes gone.

    2) Al Davis cares more about pacifying his massive ego than he does winning,

    3) Jamarcus Russell flat out dznt have it and never will. Any moron can see that.

    4) The Raiders are not a team. They are a collection of athletes that can run fast and jump high but for the most part cant play football. Period.

  • jhill

    You will start to see this offense look better once Gallery and Barnes take their rightfull places on the line. We still have a HUGE hole at C though b/c Morris and Satele are just NOT getting it done. No way we can do ANYTHING with our C constantly getting knocked to the ground or in our backfield.

    Also can’t wait to see Chaz and Miller back at WR.

    Looking forward to the draft, we can’t take a C or OG with a top 5 pick. I think we HAVE to go DT or LB in the first roung, C in the 2nd, and TWO more trench picks in the 3rd rd.

    THEN, we might start talking about being a .500 team

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Watching the Texas/Okla game. Damn, I thought Sam Bradford was a senior.

  • DKnight007

    Jamarcus needs to start these things to start becoming successful:

    1. Stop partying and drinking too much.

    2. Hire a personal trainer (if he doesn’t want to do ot, the team better do it)

    3. Start working overtime with his coaches and WR’s. Coming early for practice and staying late after practice.

    4. Use the first two read process and internal clock. If his first two reads are not open or if he isn’t comfortable..TAKE OFF and RUN for the 1st down to get positive yardage.

    5. Start wearing a list of plays that are taped to his left wrist, so he can refer to them whenever he wants or if he wants to change the play in the huddle. That will give him confidence to be independent at times.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    DKnight:

    The very fact that you feel the need to make that list tells us all we want to know about Russell.

    Raider O:

    This is the angriest I think I’ve seen you on here.

  • jhill

    4. Use the first two read process and internal clock. If his first two reads are not open or if he isn’t comfortable..TAKE OFF and RUN for the 1st down to get positive yardage.

    5. Start wearing a list of plays that are taped to his left wrist, so he can refer to them whenever he wants or if he wants to change the play in the huddle. That will give him confidence to be independent at times.

    —————————————————-

    Good ideas!

    I think as Ellis and some of the other players and coaches have elluded to, he is already doing 1 and 3.

  • tazZraider

    jhill Says:
    October 17th, 2009 at 10:45 am
    You guys are really trying to dig too deep for the answer.

    Our defense is bad because CJ is not the player he was last year, and our LBs are soft as cotton.

    Our offense is bad becasue we have NO oline, and NO experience at WR.

    It’s THAT simple.

    ————————————————–

    agree with you on everything except cj. he had on ebad game!! and most of the deep passes wasnt his fault he had miscommunications with eugene and if its anybodys fault its cables for not putting huff in for eugene. johnson is a really good corner on our team and to see peole whinin sayin he sucks is stupid because everybody has bad games.

  • jhill

    O,

    Is it ok to fire Tressell now?

    Purdue ?????

  • jhill

    Taz,

    Did u see him against Houston?

    Gave him BIG props early, but the last few games, he’s been directly responsible for a lot of points.

    Agree with you 100% on the Huff thing.

  • tazZraider

    yeah i saw him at the houston game. the long johnson catch wasnt his fault. but i gotta admit i dont know where he was at at the walter/anderson long catch

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    If anyone deserves the bulk of the blame for this mess it would be Tom Cable,

    I find it baffling why he felt the need to change things up from last year.

    His insistance on throwing the ball cost this season. Look at the playcalling in the 1st half of San Diego game. We haven’t seen that since. Lots and lots and lots of deep throws. 50% of Russell’s throws against K.C were deep throws.

    Throwing deep out of the end zone and a stubborn refusal to use Michael Bush and Johnnie Lee Higgins. An equally stubborn insistence on sticking with talent challeged players like Hiram Eugene, Erik Pears and Justin Fargas.

    Cable turned out to be a disaster. There is enough talent to be competitive. Not this B.S we are watching now. If Davis were to accept a mistake? It would be hiring Cable. Promote Tollner and lets move on already

  • Plunketthead

    I seems like I spent the better part of the past twenty years yelling at the TV for the Raiders to run more but they never listen to me.

    Must be an Al thing.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    # SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    October 17th, 2009 at 10:10 am

    jhill Says:
    October 17th, 2009 at 10:08 am
    SnB,

    It ALL went wrong for us the moment we knew Satele wasn’t going to cut it at C. The next head scratcher was bringing old ass Carlisle back instead of drafting a OG. Next was Barnes getting hurt and Green having to go another term at RT. Gallery going down was the final straw.

    I mean, what was REALLY going to happen with that Oline? 6 or 7 wins MAYBE like I told you.

    Did I mention Chaz going down?
    =======================================================

    40 yard screen passes on 3rd and long….

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

    Actually I think it was a 55 yard gain on a screen pass on 3rd and 24. Enuff said.

  • jhill

    Damn Dakota!

    That was way too easy. Might be a long day for the domers.

  • Crude Earl

    SnB offense defense specialteams ….Do you not understand simple English????…or are you just blatantly ignorant????….I’m guessing Both…The “Plays” Cable calls doesn’t mean squat if the “Team” doesn’t execute them properly….Period….You seem to think Cable has the whole Playbook at his disposal to call plays from…..unfortunately JaPorkus (not unlike you) is a mental midget and can’t intellectually handle the offensive philosophy and terminology laid out in the Playbook…..therefore Cables hands are tied and he is limited in what plays he can call during the games….This makes it damn near impossible to make adjustments offensively during the games….The fact that the whole team can’t execute the Plays that are called effectively doesn’t help matters either.
    You tel us all how Cable or any other coach for that matter is supposed to put together an effective game plan wih an idiot for QB that can’t understand the Plays…..No wonder the Giants thought it was a schrimage….The Raiders were unable to make adjustments….to counter what the Defense was doing.

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    O what about Pryor 5 turnovers

  • http://atm Raider O

    Uuuuuuuggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Not a good year for My football teams! Raiders, The OSU, and SDSU!

    All this losing is making me angry England. I compete, and I hate to lose!

    I’m not a happy loser like Cable, all our staff, and most of the players!

  • http://atm Raider O

    Jhill,

    Tressell should have been fired last season, but all that OSU progr cares about now is winning against Mich.

    We start losing to Mich, and he will be fired!

    Fire Tressell at the end of the season, but fire Cable Now!

  • http://atm Raider O

    I was asking my daughter what to watch on TV. She said anything but the Raiders!! She is 2 years old and she knows the Raiders are a bad team. Too bad.
    Why would she want to sit with me to watch the raiders? I don’t cheer, I’m not happy watching them lose, and she can see that it’s a sad day when the Rsiders play!

    FUC!!! You too Al Davis!!

  • http://atm Raider O

    16,

    Dude should only run the option!! That’s it!! He is not a passing QB. He is not even a QB.

  • No More Infield or Trolls

    O you are a moron…

  • lefty12

    pathetic-totally pathetic-and at this moment i’m not talking about the team.all you geniuses want to fire the coach-and replace him with whom-Hackett.then fire him at the end of the year,then hire who?Russell hasn’t been able to learn the playbook in 2+ years and you want to bring in a new one.Cable,Kiffin,Shell,Turner,and the list goes on.if Cable was to be fired it should be because he hasn’t benched Russell yet.

  • No More Infield or Trolls

    As soon as they give JR some good WR’s and he tosses his first 300 plus game for a win most of the idiots here, youself included, will be saying ” I told you he’d be all right”… lol

  • lefty12

    NMIOT-Russell might turn out to be an exceptional QB,but he needs a wake-up call.he needs to understand it isn’t his god given right to be the QB of the Oakland Raiders,but that he has to earn it by his play and dedication.when EVERYONE who has come in contact with him or the team says the exact same thing about him,there has to be some truth to all the statements.if he is sucking it up at halftime,bench his arse to try and get the point across.i’m not advocating total banishment,just make a statement to the young man.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Talking Monkey,

    I like JR, and people here know that.