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Off-day notes

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, November 7th, 2009 at 11:03 pm in Oakland Raiders.

A few random thoughts gathered from shuttling kids to and fro Saturday and catching a little college football in between with the Raiders in their bye week:

– The steady drumbeat of Jim Harbaugh to the Raiders will soon pick up steam, if for no other reason than the Stanford coach has a healthy respect for Al Davis having worked in Oakland, and because Merc columnist Tim Kawakami will see to it.

Watching Stanford’s 51-42 win over Oregon, Harbaugh’s offense had exactly the sort of power running (38 carries, 223 yards from Toby Gerhart) and downfield throwing (12 completions for 251 yards from Andrew Luck) that Al Davis loves. You’d think think it was a more athletic Marv Hubbard clone hammering the middle with Lamonica doing deep.

Interesting dilemma for Harbaugh should the Cardinal win a couple more games before the end of the season. Does he strike right away, or ride the Andrew Luck train closer to completion when the Cardinal could potentially win a Pac-10 title and get him an even better gig?

Regardless, he’s not coming to Oakland.

As much as he admires Davis, Harbaugh’s agent is (or at least was) a business partner of Mike Lombardi at the National Football Post. Rest assured Harbaugh will never disparage the Raiders, but will seek out a more stable opportunity. The guy does seem a bit detached from reality on occasion, however, so I reserve the right to be dead wrong in public.

– Speaking of Luck and the Cardinal, is it really that much to ask for Raiders receivers Louis Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey to occasionally make a leaping catch as if they had some sort of connection with quarterback JaMarcus Russell? Yes, it’s pros vs. colleges, but, every once in awhile it would be nice to see the Raiders even approach something appoximating a legitimate passing game.

– According to one report, William Joseph was brought back in by the Raiders for another look. Let’s say I’m a little skeptical that 30-something Greg Ellis will be back for the Chiefs game after arthroscopic knee surgery, but even if he’s out, Joseph is a tackle, not an end. The Raiders could, however, play Richard Seymour exclusively outside in the meantime.

One thing’s for sure _ Matt Shaughnessy should be given as many snaps as possible after what looked to be a breakout game against San Diego.

– For anyone who seemed confused over the “revelations” contained in Friday’s post on the Raiders and the likelihood of Jon Gruden returning, there was no new ground covered there. It was all reported in 2004 in the days leading up to the Bucs-Raiders game at the Coliseum. The only reason I repeated it was because of the volume of talk about Gruden’s potential return.

– Damn frightning injury to Cal’s Jahvid Best against Oregon State, even more so because he was coming off a “minor” concussion the previous week.

It’s a murky medical area, but there’s a scary collaboration between the pride of a football player and the eagerness of a team to get a player to return to action following a concussion. Strong side linebacker Jon Alston sustained a “minor” concussion after the Oct. 11 against the Giants, then again following the Chargers game.

Alston was back on the practice field the Wednesday following the Charger game. Coach Tom Cable said he’s passed all the tests.

Here’s a guy passionate about football and will do whatever it takes to get on the field. He’s also a Stanford graduate who will have no trouble making a good living when his football days are over. If the Alstons of the world are going to push aside concussions, so is everyone else. The NFLPA would be wise to protect players against themselves.

– Profootballtalk.com is reporting the Raiders are working closely with the NFL to determine what to do with Tom Cable and allegations about his his history of violence toward women.

While that may be true, my understanding is they’re just as obsessed with ESPN, unable to let go of what they believe was a pipeline of information between former coach Lane Kiffin and the network, specifically Chris Mortensen.

Time to move on.

– The general consensus regarding the pot arrest for Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum? No big deal. Entitled to a mistake. Pretty dumb, but hardly a blip on the radar screen.

Just for the hell of it, let’s substitute Lincecum in his Mercedes for a hypothetical quarterback in a Rolls Royce. Instead of a wispy 150-plus pounds with long hair, the offender weighs upwards of 270 with something approximating a mohawk. Instead of being the toast of major league baseball, he’s considered a potential bust as a No. 1 overall draft pick.

Same crime, but assuredly two entirely different reactions, and we won’t even get into the sociological implications which are sure to be debated.

The moral of the story is it pays to be productive.

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  • raideredoutL.A.

    it sure sucks 504, hate being out of contention by mid season again.

  • Roch R

    Funny 504 Raider, if only we had a guy like that! And if only we would never hear about that stupid game ever again. I realize that Favre had a 3rd degree tear of his grieving muscle, what a miracle performance, how he could even walk!! ..with all of that grieving, is beyond me.

    Truly a medical wonder.

  • raideredoutL.A.

    kc scores 21 like today next week, 99% chance they win.most we’ve scored in a game this yr., 20.

  • raideredoutL.A.

    but i’m sure we’re coming out of the bye week swinging, cable and tollner are dialing up a great gameplan, gallery creating big holes 4 our running backs, mcfaddden comes back receiving short passes and creating them into big gains, chaz comes back and gives russell a real target opening it up 4 miller up the middle . the d will be well rested and knock cassell out 4 a season-turning victory next sunday. try it, its fun.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    raideredoutL.A. Says:
    November 8th, 2009 at 6:27 pm
    kc scores 21 like today next week, 99% chance they win.most we’ve scored in a game this yr., 20.

    *******************************

    KC had 6 points at the 2 minute warning. They got a garbage TD, an onside kick and another garbage TD.

    Not a good performance from their offense today.

  • 504 Raider

    Yeah Dude,

    you would come out and talk after the fact when LSU took an L and your squad squeaked by a mediocre team. I mean “juggernaut.”

    McKnight went there for two reasons:

    First he was scared of competition from our TB rotation.

    The second reason sealed the deal for him as he was following a piece of a$$ he called his girlfriend at the time.

    LSU got robbed by the worst officials in Football history (SEC refs).

    We LSU fans can only pray that we meet up with SC in a bowl to settle that 2004 debate.

  • raideredoutL.A.

    SC will pray as well.

  • priesttj

    504, NO has the most accurate passer I’ve seen since Kenny Stabler. But he has a stronger arm then Kenny and his revccievers believe in him and will runn through brick wall to catch a ball. The biggest asset they have though is that 4th ranked running game and that ball hawking defense. My brother-in-law is in heaven down there. That win today was very unlikely and their confidence is through the roof.

    As much as we(y’all) rag on Russell I do believe he is starting to get it. He protected the ball well against SD which kept us in the game. But until he starts to trust DHB along with getting Chaz as well as others back he wont benefit this team the way we need him to. It will only make us better and contrary to popular belief I have a lot of confidence in Russell getting much better. He needs to show confidence in his WR’s and that thing about reading defenses will be put to rest.

    The biggest thing for this team is that the HC now accepts the fact that we have to be a run first team. If you look at the NYG ask your self what’s their problem? Eli was playing lights out football early this year and now he’s playing no lights on football. The biggest reason is the lack of a consistent running game to take pressure off Eli. His mechanics have suffered because teams know they can’t run and they’re pressuring him. He’s taking a lot of hits and his confidence is down. Take a good look at the Packers they have everything except an Oline to protect a very good to great QB.

    When Tony Rome didn’t have a go to WR and no running game he was aweful. Now he’s playing Pro-bowl type football because his recievers have stepped up and his running game has returned.

    I gaurantee you if you take that running game away from Drew Brees he immediately will start struggling. Because his line will be under siege and he’ll start getting hit and sacked. All of a sudden his confidence starts to sag and he starts throwing picks. Then they start losing.

    My point is at this level the players are just too good and the coaches are even better they will jump on a weakness and beat you to death with it.

  • islandraider

    Just walked in the door. Nice to be here after staring in the window for a few years. Thank You, really, glad to be here.

    I’ll toss one out for debate (since that’s what mostly goes on in here), with more to follow.

    Why on earth would you put $29 mil into someones hands without knowing what that person would do or become? I do believe JR is not hungry enough to ever be great. He simply is not hungry. He’s well off and well fed, and sometimes we just lose the edge.

    And true, many other issues surround him. But hunger is the motivation of winners and I fail to see it him. I know big Al likes his brute strength and all, but it takes much much more than talent to succeed.
    So I really don’t want to blame JR as much for his play as I do the owner who put that kind of money into his hands. Sort of ‘bizzaro’. I do hope for the best, but I have trouble seeing it.

  • priesttj

    Thec07, unless you were there when they weighed Russell to say he was 50lbs. overwieght is at least disengenuous. From what I heard he reported at 275lbs. if he is 50 lbs. overwieght then his playing weight would have to be 225 lbs. he hasn’t weighed that since highschool his playing weight is 260 lbs. That’s what they asked him to come in at 260-65 instead he came at 15 lbs. heavier and was fined. he’s now somewhere under 270 lbs.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    Hey Priesttj

    If you and Al Davis know so much about winning, Why aren’t you doing it?

    6 winning seasons in 20 years?

  • Trolls 35 Raiders 0

    If all the posters start calling buttholeprick :mrgreen: a lemming and a publican he :mrgree: will go away :-) just like he :mrgreen: has on other boards :lol:

  • priesttj

    Islandraider, you answered your own question. But no one can read minds, no one would’ve given him the money unless they REALLY believed in him. That should go without saying. Mistakes are made at that position all the time.

    You guy’s act as if Mr Davis would be the ONLY one to ever do it if Russell never turns out. Get a grip!! every team in this league has made that SAME mistake. No one can predict the future. You draft the guy you like the most and hope like hell he makes it.

    You all have determined that he’s a bust and you know all, you don’t know squat all you can do is watch and hope like everybody else. Russell will decide if he really wans he’ll get it done……….period

    None of us KNOW one way or the other!

  • priesttj

    KK, move on brotha not interested!! in your stupid questions.

  • Dude

    504,

    I am well aware that SC is not as good this year as they have been in the past. Losing all the guys they did to the NFL the last few years was bound to catch up to them and it has. They are young as hell and are gonna have some growing pains but the next few years will make up for it, be sure of that. I am not gonna sit here and be like a typical SEC fan and bash LSU and the SEC conference cause to do so would be silly. Both are beyond reproach. That being said for you to act like LSU is SOOO much better a program than SC is rediculous. SCs run has been as good if not better than any program in the nation. Not to mention they have beaten every SEC team they have played the last 6 or 7 years. The SEC is a good conference to be sure, probably the best, but the Pac 10 has fared well vs the SEC and has fared VERY well during bowl season. Not opinions, facts. Look it up.

    Your McKnight comments are ludicrous. SCs RBs rank up there with the best in the nation as a group and are better than LSUs and its not close. Your statement about that being a reason for McKnight not going to LSU proves you are a fool. Its almost laughable.

  • priesttj

    You are one twisted person KK. You reallly need a life.

    Come on everynody start calling me whatever this guy wants you to.

    Maybe that will help you KK, you’re so desparate to make me what YOU think I am. You’ve been saying that same crap for years with zero proof other than what’s bouncing around in your own empty head. You love to accuse people of doing what you yourself are always doing, thinking you know everything.

  • priesttj

    You ask everyone the same questions all the time to get them believe what YOU want them to. You looking for your own worshipers KK. Everybody should follow you to get done whatever, you want done. huh?

    You want everybody to hate Mr Davis you want everybody want him dead. You want everybody to want him removed all you want is your own way and everybody to follow it.

  • islandraider

    Souting could have done a little homework. And my other question, does JR really want to be a leader? Can he lead? Does he really really want it? It’s a shame Raider fans have to ask our selves these kind of questions of the face of the franchise. Leaders. It’s all about gritty, gutsy, in-your-face get after it leaders. Proof may have already soured in the pudding.

  • Dude

    Priest,

    What have you seen out of Jamarcus Russell and the organization around him that makes you soooo sure he will turn out to be a good NFL QB? I dont see him or a organization doing the things it takes to develop a young qb.

  • priesttj

    Are you kidding me, could’ve done a little homework? How ’bout a ton of hmework all the way back to junior high. Do you really think we draft in the 1st round without doing research?? this is the NFL not some Mom and Pop store they do thorough background checks and talk to everyone that will talk to them. Highschool coaches and middleschool coaches to his entire community if they can. I simply can’t believe that someone would believe they don’t do their due diligence. Islandraider buy a clue just one. No wonder you guy’s are so negative, your just very uninformed.

  • Dude

    Come on Priest, I asked for your honest opinion on the subject. Are you not man enough to have a civil conversation?

  • priesttj

    KK, it’s personal preerence my man personal preference I couldn’t care less. I just try to help where I can. Lot’s of people I talk to all the time literally hate MR Davis I don’t have a problem with them we discuss fotball in here all the time. SnB and Jhill and Lefty12 aand many others are not Mr Davis supporters it’s their prorogative but they know football and I like that.

  • priesttj

    I love Civil conversations with people I want to talk to, you just aren’t one of them.

  • priesttj

    Thank you KK, I needed that. appreciate it. Now pass your obsession on to someone else I’m done.

    Hey!! everybody KK has me figured out.

  • Dude

    Thats because you wont talk to someone who can destroy you in a debate. You have been wrong about EVERY thing you have said about this team and you are to big a coward to step up and admit it. You are so quick to defend Russell and the organization but the fact is you have ZERO rational reasons to do so. Period. All you are is a glorified PR guy for the worst organization in the NFL.

  • islandraider

    Well, you said it. They must of done a bad job doing their homework. Big Al could have said:
    Here JR, take $29 mil., but I would like you to be earnest in your endeavor, I will expect you to be prompt and dilligent, study and cram like there is no tomorrow, show up early and stay late, work and more work. You are the future, you’ve got to want it. Do you want it? Be careful with all that money, don’t spend it in one place.

    I really do wish JR well for him and the Raiders, but I have trouble seeing it.

    Now I’m done beating on this poor dead horse, so I will pose my next debatable question.

    Could Mr. Cable be a good HC (not great) if his hands were not so tied? Big Al has left the winning coaches alone (to some degree), so is it fair to just wait til seasons end and see? You got me.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    Priesttj

    When’s the last time the Raiders developed a good Quarterback?

  • Dude

    Kool,

    Hes gone man. I braced him on the subject and he bolted like the coward he is. He is only on here to spread the Raider Company Propoganda Line. Thats it, thats all.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    That’s it Dude. Of course when Davis goes, all his blood-sucking incompetent enablers and hangers-on’s will be swept out too. ;-)

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    Also means this will take some time. (FYI: Trask is just about the only Raiders exec who has cordial relationships with the NFL.)

    But every indication is that Al Davis has removed himself from the details of this operation–except to blast ESPN, because that part is 100% Al. He has long ago walked himself away from Cable, by the way.

    (I’ve heard Al wrote the anti-ESPN press release last week and Trask wrote the we’re-investigating-Cable/opporbrium press release. Classic Raiders executive focus two-fer.)

    I don’t know if Trask’s role should be necessarily seen as ominous for Cable. She probably won’t go out of her way to bail him out, but I think Cable is 99.999% a goner, anyway, whoever was running the operation.

    This also raises some larger issues about the franchise.

    I don’t know precisely what this means for the Raiders or Trask–who has been in and out of Al’s favor the last few years, but is, in the end, the single executive he trusts most.

    It wouldn’t be difficult, though, to guess that Trask is assuming more and more authority amid the Raiders vacuum, as Al deals with health issues and mostly shows up just to rail about the team’s current state of disarray and everybody else in the office ducks and hides in order to remain employed.

    -Kawakami

  • 504 Raider

    Dude,

    SC is falling off because they are simply playing by the rules now in light of all that money that was paid to Reggie Bush.

    Don’t worry. When the TV ratings fall the NCAA will turn their backs and SC will rise again.

    That won’t happen down here. Too much alligator sausage to go around.

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    504

    I imagine you watch the Saints every week. Must be a huge difference when you get to watch a Raider game?

  • Mistabrown

    priest = the village idiot

  • http://www.Move2Alameda.com KoolKell

    New post

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  • RaiderRetribution

    Harbaugh accept the job only under the condition you form the entire coaching staff & who starts and who is inactive or active for the 53 man roster, and that you have the complete power to bench someone at anytime; make sure it is in writing within the contract.

    You will not even have to consider moving your family.

    Please get Mr. Davis to consider drafting the lineman from Nebraska if he is available, hopefully we win atleast 4 games the second half of the season so he probvably wont be, yes that means locker will be gone from the UW as well.