By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 at 12:59 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell believes he and wide receiver Chaz Schilens can pick up where they left off during training camp.
“(It’s) like he hasn’t missed a beat,” Russell said. “Just had to get back used to him running certain routes but other than that he’s looking good.”
The last time the two played together in a game was Aug. 13, when Russell and Schilens carried out on the field what they had been doing during training camp as the Raiders beat the Dallas Cowboys 31-13.
On the Raiders’ first offensive snap, Russell hit Schilens for an 11-yard gain. Next Schilens went deep and drew a 47-yard pass interference penalty from Gerald Sensabaugh. Passes of 6 and 10 yards followed.
The next time the Raiders got the ball, Russell found Schilens for 16 yards on a third-and-8 for a first down. Schilens also caught a 9-yard pass from Bruce Gradkowski early in the second quarter before taking the rest of the game off with five reeptions for 52 yards.
In all Schilens was targeted five times and caught five passes for 52 yards. Russell was 4-for-4 for 43 yards and the penalty.
Contrast that with these ghastly stats through six games. While passing to wide receivers, Russell is 18-for-74 for 259 yards, five interceptions and one touchdown _ a quarterback rating of 18.0.
All five of his interceptions have come while throwing to wideouts.
Russell thinks having Schilens around will change the way opponents defend the Raiders.
“It’s a guy that they have to put down in their books, ‘We’ve got to watch where he’s at all time,,’ ” Russell said. “He’s a guy who can really make a game change in a matter of a few catches.”
Schilens reiterated he doesn’t know how much he’ll play.
“Well, right now I think it’s really up to the coaches to see how they want to use me,” Schilens said. “I haven’t been in there for a while, so I’m sure they’re going to pick and choose situations where they feel I can succeed. It’s really up to the coaches. Maybe I’ll be playing a little bit of both. But it felt good, it felt good.”
No changes on the field as the Raiders began practice . . . still no sign of Robert Gallery and no notable absences . . .
More to come later . . .