News, notes and quotes from the Raiders practice and media availability sessions Friday:
— Wide receiver Chaz Schilens couldn’t make it through practice because of soreness in his left foot, putting his status in jeopardy for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
“We don’t know if there’s anything wrong, so we’ll list him as questionable for the game,” coach Tom Cable said. “At this point, we may know something this afternoon or tomorrow, exactly what our play will be. But he’s a little sore today. So we shut him down.”
Schilens, according to Cable, had been running with the first and second team and that if was good to go, the snaps would be divided relatively evenly along with rookies Louis Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey.
— Defensive end Richard Seymour did not practice because with a stomach issue similar to the one which caused tight end Brandon Myers to miss two days of practice. Myers practiced Friday and Cable said he expects Seymour to be fine Sunday.
— Players listed as out for Sunday are LG Robert Gallery (broken fibula), RB Darren McFadden (knee), T Cornell Green (calf) and LB Ricky Brown (ankle). DE Greg Ellis (knee) did not practice and is listed as questionable but is expected to play.
Listed as probable are RG Cooper Carlisle (ankle), FB Luke Lawton (ankle), CB Nnamdi Asomugha (eye) and Myers (stomach).
Defensive coordinator John Marshall conceded the Raiders blitzed more than usual against Philadelphia but perhaps not quite as much as the players thought.
“We kept it going through the game. What happened sometimes is you call a pressure but mbecause of formation or something you get checked out of it,” Marshall said. “I think what they remember are how many huddle calls were pressure oriented. Because of formations or whatever might be happening offensively you might be checking out of it. So you don’t really run how many you call during the game.”
Marshall’s assessment of the effectiveness of the pressure against Philadelphia:
“We liked the success of the pressures from a pass standpoint. The thing I didn’t like is that what can happen to you on pressure situations is they popped a long run on us,” Marshall said. That happened just because we had a pressure on and they blocked it.”
— Punt return specialist Johnnie Lee Higgins, averaging just 3.6 yards per return with a long of 19 after returning three for touchdowns last season, thinks better days are ahead.
“It’s not going to take me to break one all the way. I could just break one for 10 yards, some positive yards. That’s how it’s going to start. Me, I was out there trying to make every play. But it’s going to take a five-yard gain, a seven-yard gain, a 10-yard gain.
“And before you know it, it’s going to be that 80-something yard touchdown, that 60-something yard touchdown return. So, it’s just, just be patient.”
— Cable took exception to comments made recently by former Raiders defensive tackle and NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp, who said recently that the Raiders are at their worst after they do something good, an inference that they’re sure to collapse after a win over Philadelphia. Cable said he wasn’t sure who had said it, but brought up the comment after being asked if the Raiders could be overconfident against the Eagles.
“That’s someone who really doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about,” Cable said. “I mean that, you can quote it just like I said it. For us, it’s learning from it, how to do it again, it’s not about confidence, it was the lesson that was there, and take it and use it now. That’s what the hope is for this weekend.
“What do we have to be (over) confident about? We’re 2-4. We have to be confident about going in, playing this opponent Sunday and trying to be 3-4.”
— NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had this response regarding the Cable investigation during a Sirius Satellite Radio interview with Adam Schein and John Madden:
“Well, you know, we’ve monitored it very closely. I just got brief reports last night that the D.A. is not pursuing anything further. We’re going to look at and understand his decision a little bit more closely, make sure that we get all the details and if we think there’s merit, we will continue to pursue it. If not, we’ll make a decision at that point.
“But I think one of the things we’ve learned from all this is you’ve got to have the facts before you start making judgments and we’ve been trying to follow that closely, making sure we have the facts before we make a judgment.”
Reading between the lines on that one, it’s tough to imagine Cable getting anything more than a slap on the wrist. He’s not going to be suspended because of negative press.
— Marshall, who declined comment throughout the assault investigation, answered a few questions following its conclusion and is glad it’s over. Marshall was one of three assistant coaches in the room, along with defensive backs coach Lionel Washington and assistant coach Willie Brown, and was interviewed by police.
“We’re happy for Tom that that’s off his back,” Marshall said. “It never has been an issue. It has never, ever been talked about at any staff meeting or even among coaches.”
When asked if he was pleased to have the truth come out, Marshall said, “I think you always have to be happy when the truth comes out and it prevails. Sometimes it’s tough. I think it’s always great when you win
doing the right thing . . . I felt in my heart it was just a matter of getting all the facts cleared up by the DA or whoever does that stuff.”
— The Napa news greeted by a collective yawn in the locker room.
“Maybe it’s over for Tom, maybe it was something he was thinking about, and it’s over for the media somewhat, but for us it was ever really a distraction because he never brought it up to us so guys never went into games thinking, ‘Oh, what’s going on with Cable?’ or into practice,” Asomugha said. “I think in training camp guys were wondering a lot, but we put it about us at that point.”
Asomugha said it never seemed to be an issue with Cable because of the coach’s ability to focus on the task at hand.
Said tackle Mario Henderson: “It was like, O.K., personally, that’s good, but it never was a distraction. In other words, he didn’t have to come in here and say, ‘Guys, I didn’t get charged.’ He didn’t have to do that because it was never a distraction.”