Raiders won’t go the MJD route


The prevailing notion of the Raiders is a sound one. When scoring a touchdown is akin to conquering Everest on roller skates, you don’t pass up the chance no matter the circumstances.

When Maurice Jones-Drew took a dive at the 1-yard line to burn clock with his team trailing by a point, with the Jacksonville Jaguars eventually prevailing 24-22 against the Jets on a point-blank Josh Scobee field goal, it became an instant debate classic.

Offensive tackle Khalif Barnes, lauded his former teammate for being a team-player, and various analysts and pundits weighed in with similar sentiments.

The flip side is the entire mentality of passing up a touchdown in favor of a place kick, which leaves purists of physical football (some of whom have an open disdain for kickers and all they stand for) with a feeling of revulsion.

When I asked Tom Cable if he’d ever consider passing up a touchdown, he shook his head no. You take the points.

Statistics say what amounts to an extra-point would have a nearly perfect success rate, but my problem is the act of going down in the first place. It’s not something running backs practice, and if done awkardly, could cause the ball to be left unprotected where a defender could knock it loose.

Of course, if you’re the Raiders and you’ve only scored seven touchdowns in nine games, there really is no debate.

“I’ve only got one touchdown,” tight end Zach Miller said, making it clear taking a knee wasn’t an option.

Said running back Justin Fargas: “Now maybe if I was Maurice Jones-Drew and I scored about 12 touchdowns a year . . . he’s got throwaway touchdowns.”

Jones-Drew has played in 56 games and scored 52 touchdowns _ 46 rushing, four receiving and two on kickoff returns. He’s been in the end zone so often stopping at the 1 was a break from the monotony of the spike.

But apparently there’s one Raider who can see the value in passing up a touchdown to use the clock. The one in charge.

“I remember my (position coach) Skip Peete telling us about a situation where Charlie Garner had a long run up the sideline,” Fargas said. “He went ahead and scored and I guess Mr. Davis asked Skip Peete why he didn’t go down on the 1.”

Maybe Cable ought to rethink his philosophy.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Chris in NY

    Walker didn’t give up guaranteed money. He was either going to get cut and get nothing more than the guaranteed money he already got (which was a lot) or he could stick around for far less than the original contract was going to pay him in years 2 and 3 of the deal (while still keeping his guaranteed signing bonus money). The reason it made sense to the Raiders is because it allowed them to spread out the cap hit of the signing bonus over two seasons rather than having to absorb it all this year if they had just cut him.

    Players generally don’t restructure just to help the team. Usually it either helps both them and the team’s cap situation or it helps the team’s cap situation while having no real negative effect on what a player is going to make in the long-term.

    I don’t know Russell’s contract terms but if all his guaranteed money has already been paid he may indeed have to restructure for next year. Especially if it’s an uncapped year and the cap ramifications of flat-out cutting Russell are not an obstacle. No one is going to pay JaMarcus the 5, 6 or $7 million he’s probably due to make next year. The Raiders could say: ‘Listen, we’ll give you $3 milllion or so for this season with some big performance incentives that could drive the money back to or above the original amount you were supposed to make. Take it or leave it. Leave it, and good luck finding a better deal elsewhere.’

  • DownTheBayMOG

    talk is cheap. the oline isn’t going to magically get better. the receivers won’t magically run better routes or catch better. grads played a whole half & led the raiders to zero points against a worse defense than cin. so he’s magically going to transform every player by spouting cliches on friday? if the same plays are called, expect the same results & lots of post-game excuses. what the raiders have don is given in to paul hacketts wishes & hackett set russell up to fail from the get-go.

  • DownTheBayMOG

    my money is on russell jetting to another team that actually has an infrastructure in place that will help him to succeed. honestly, getting cut from the worst organization in the NFL is not a bad thing. a coach that doesn’t like you (hackett), fans that don’t like you & an owner not committed to surrounding you with the pieces necessary for success…as I said, it won’t be bad for russell at all. don’t think for one second that the league has given up on this guy the way you all have. his agents are smart, if he leaves oakland, hell have another job in no time. book it.

  • Plunketthead

    I look at it as a second chance for JR.
    While I hope Bruce does great, I hope JR gets his head out of his JaArse and wins the job back.

    By the way, do you really believe this?

    what the raiders have don is given in to paul hacketts wishes & hackett set russell up to fail from the get-go.

  • Plunketthead

    Dam that was a strange play.
    Mich QB was about to get sacked in end zone but he fumbled, ball went onto play of field, Buckeye laying on ground picked it and “moved” the ball across the plane. TD for the suckeyes.

  • DownTheBayMOG

    I KNOW it. hackett has been against jr fm day 1. wanted garcia, grads & jr before one snap in training camp. didn’t want to and has not coached russell. didn’t even want to give him a chance to win the job. their relationship is damaged beyond repair so one of them has to go.

  • We heard the same thing about Andrew Walter, he will succeed somewhere else with a better structure….I guess New England wasn’t stable enough place either.

    Russell will be out of the league in 3 years or less. Book it.

  • DownTheBayMOG

    whatever u say vegas. this guy is a better player than walter & you know it. you don’t have to believe it, but in actuality there is already interest in the guy. you are entitled to your OPINION but I know the facts. other teams are already sniffing around…but for fear of tampering charges, I won’t say who.

  • DownTheBayMOG

    and even if he is out of the league in 3 years…hell still be richer that you could ever hope to be. book that.

  • And the reason why he will be out of the leauge and not giving a lot of a 2nd chance, is that he brings no value as a backup. He is not a hard-worker or someone with a high football IQ or a hardcore film guy. Expecting him to run with that starting next year at 25 years old as quite the reach.

    Look around the league, back-ups and 3rd stringers are mostly brainaic, future QB coach’s and such. Guys with impeccable work ethics, but not as much talent. Jamarcus is the complete opposite. If he’s not starting, he just doesn’t bring much to the table.

    I think his next paycheck after the Raiders will be paid in looney’s.

    Got to run to the office for a few, catch up later.

  • M Lonetree

    knowing the MGD route as I do ’tis better to bend the elbow than to take the knee.

  • DownTheBayMOG Says:
    November 21st, 2009 at 9:34 am
    and even if he is out of the league in 3 years…hell still be richer that you could ever hope to be. book that.


    No shyt. Thanks captain obvious. Awful protective of Jamarcus aren’t you? You know people, I know people, my people tell me Jamarcus does not place a priority of football, missed a day of practice in the preseason because he got a tattoo on his throwing hand and blew off OTA’s.

    But I’m sure teams are risking tampering charges to position themselves for the great Jamarcus Russell bidding war that is going to take place. Sure pal.

  • DownTheBayMOG

    last post…was walter even given the chance to earn the job in NE? now, what about Kerry Collins? been to the super bowl with NY & deep in the playoffs with Tenn…raiders have no structure in place to develop a QB…I agree with kool kell, when was the last time the raiders developed a serious candidate at QB?

  • Where is BSJ?

    Go Buckeyes!

  • DownTheBayMOG

    e is not a hard-worker or someone with a high football IQ or a hardcore film guy.

    you don’t know that. you really don’t. you are speculating off of someone elses words. I know the guy is bustng his butt & he will get another shot somewhere else.

  • Deep in the playoffs Collins went last year. Scored 6 points and lost their only game, than started this year 0-7.

    We all know that he is not a hard-worker with a high football IQ. His coach says so, and you know he gets his orders from the top.

    Maybe he will turn it around this off-season, but we had that some hope last year and he showed up “a little heavy” (his words) and was a complete disaster through 9 games.

  • DownTheBayMOG

    issed a day of practice in the preseason because he got a tattoo on his throwing hand and blew off OTA’s.

    did he get the tat before or after his uncles funeral? you are clueless. he doesn’t blow off otas. not to mention that’s VOLUNTARY. the guy will play somewhere else and prosper. oakland has not won in 6 years and will not win until they get some stability in the organization. we could go on 4 days but I’m not going to waste my time. teams are interested in him as a starter, not a backup. teams that have good evaluation ability. say what you will but his future is not in your hands, thank God.

  • And yes Walter was given a chance to earn the 3rd QB spot this year in NE. He lost to some late-round rookie, and nobody else picked him up, not even the UFL.

    Now I gotta go

  • DownTheBayMOG

    We all know that he is not a hard-worker with a high football IQ. His coach says so, and you know he gets his orders from the top.

    you believe that he’s not a hard worker. you believe that he doesn’t have a high football iq…you don’t know anything & cable has never questioned his football iq. show me when he did. like I said, getting out of the crap hole will be the best thin that ever happened to him.

  • Plunketthead

    My boy did not last one week in NE and they were looking for a backup, not a starter. He must have been pathetic or the Pats would have worked with him.

  • Plunketthead


    Down, Are you having a bad day, are you really that mad about JR being benched (should have happened earlier) or are you letting all the Raider hate here get to you?

  • DownTheBayMOG

    Down, Are you having a bad day, are you really that mad about JR being benched (should have happened earlier)

    not having a bad day…but the poor play of the raiders cannot be squarely placed on this guy. has cornell green been benched for false starts and plays being called back? what about the play of the receivers? yes I said it…that place is just not good for a player’s psyche & you know it. I’m looking forward to seeing my man in a different uni…i won’t hold my tongue on that. I am mad because I know that this is bogus, premediated and calculated. it is not all on him but he gets the harshest sentence. that’s bs.


    “if he leaves oakland, hell have another job in no time. book it.”
    And he’ll fail just as miserably as he did with the Raiders. Book that.

    The truth is JaMarcus Russell is an inarticulate moron, who quite frankly, is too dumb to succeed at the NFL level.

    The man is incapable of putting together a cohesive thought or sentence. I can only imagine what it’s like being in a huddle with the moron and listening to him blabbering trying to quickly and clearly call a play.

    He’s also incredibly inaccurate, has no pocket presence, and can’t read a defense.

    True, he hasn’t had a stellar supporting cast around him. But if you’ve watched his play when opportunities have presented themselves, only to seen him miss open recievers with incredibly bad and off target throws, then any observer can only conclude that JR is never going to make it in the NFL.

    Russell sucks, plain and simple.

    I don’t care if he loses some weight. I don’t care if he develops a fantastic work ethic and dedication to the game. He’s always going to be too dumb and too inaccurate to be a winning QB in the NFL.

    And to top it all off, who in their right mind wants to see this idiot with his mohawk and ridiculous beanie sitting on the Raider bench looking dumbfounded after yet another in an endless string of 3 and outs by the offense ?

    Lord knows I wish this weren’t true, but JR will go down, as one of, if not THE BIGGEST bust, in NFL history.

  • Plunketthead

    I dont think he is getting ALL the blame.
    The team sucks and JR has really really sucked.
    But its partly his fault for not putting in 100%

    Look at the bright side. I hope this lights a fire under his butt and he starts working harder, eating right, watching film, etc.
    We will see what he is made of. When tough people get put under pressure they shine, they dont fold. I am hoping JR shines and earns the QB spot next year.

    You can bet money Al will fire Hackett over JR next year if thats the problem.

  • DownTheBayMOG

    99, that’s your opinion. you are basing your opinion of him on what you see. what does his haircut or the hat he wears have to do with anything.? absolutely nothing. everything is personal attacks with this guy. he’s college educated & made good grades in college dude. you have something personal against him & that’s your choice but biggest bust ever? not even close. you do realize that his numbers last season took him out of the running for that dubious distinction? one again, that is your PERSONAL opinion & has no bearing on reality, period. every qb has had detractors and russell is no different. like I said, thank God his future is not in the hands of man & there is nothing that you can do about that. have a great afternoon.

  • DownTheBayMOG

    But its partly his fault for not putting in 100%

    this is the part that irks me the most. how do you know that with certainty? no one does. we just have that belief because of how the guy is portrayed by the media. I know he works hard but its like running in quicksand in oakland. good day & stay positive. that’s refreshing.

  • Plunketthead

    Its not so much what is actually being said. Its what is not being said. Cable telling the infoheads that Bruce and Fry are there all the time, working hard, last to leave, first to arrive speaks volumes.
    Plus there are numerous examples of others, outside the Raiders saying the same thing.

    If anything JR is “being protected”. Face it, he does not put in the extra time that it takes to be the best.

  • Mike Davis 36

    # DownTheBayMOG Says:
    November 21st, 2009 at 9:39 am

    what about Kerry Collins? been to the super bowl with NY & deep in the playoffs with Tenn

    Nothing against Collins, but ‘deep?’ They lost their first game! True, they had a first round bye, but that’s quite a spin.

  • 4evaRaider

    I judge Jmac on the throws he misses.4 some reason he cant complete a simply dump-off.2B fair his receievers have dropped some balls.But as a QB,and a #1 1st OVER ALL PICK OF THE NFL…You are EXPECTED 2 make every single 1 of those,imo.The whole NFL see’s Jmac can not do this.I am not baseing this on anything else besides my eye-sight.With my own eyes I have seen Jmac NOT MAKE THESE THROWS TIME AND TIME AGAIN.He isnt ready 4 this,imo

  • AbusedByAl

    DownTheBay, I hear far too much “I know…” from you to take you really serious. Unless you are actually sitting in in those meetings and/or have a football job in the organisation, I consider you just as clueless as anybody else here, me included.

    You can defend JMR all you want, fact is he is out of football right now, and he himself is largely responsible for that. And it was not only his game time performance that led to that decision, this much is certain.

    Now, will he stand up and get serious? Again, it is entirely up to him. His future is what he decides to make of it. Based on what he’s shown so far, I severely doubt that he will ever be a starter on another NFL team again. The JMR up until now is definitely expendable and not worth the risk picking up.

  • BSJ,

    The OSU 14
    Mich Sucks 3

  • Every former player that has anything to do with breaking down film has went on record about Russell’s poor play. The guy is just not getting it right now.

    I have said for weeks that he will get a shot somewhere else.

    Plenty of people out there arrogant enough to think they can succeed where Al Davis failed in getting the most out of Russell.

    Name me one player who has failed in Oakland and went on to be a SUPERSTAR on another team?

    Some decent players have left here as FAs and had decent careers elsewhere, but no garbage player has left here and suddenly blossomed on another team.

    Oakland has got decent players through FA who underachieved here and then left and put up decent numbers elsewhere, but no draft pick of Oakland has failed here and then went on to be a SUPERSTAR elsewhere.

  • 4evaRaider

    You should be a Score announcer Raider O lmao!!!


    Of course I’m basing my opinion on what I see.

    I don’t care what kind of grades he got at LSU or if he earned a degree.

    I’ve listened to interviews with him. I’ve read verbatim quotes from him in the press.

    The man is an idiot.

    He can not express himself or convey a coherent thought.

    It’s not the southern drawl or twang. It’s not his style of speaking.

    It’s the content of what he says.

    He’s literally incomprehensible.

    He comes off as an idiot, because he is an idiot.

    As for Russell not being among the biggest busts ever…time will tell. But as of right now, assuming his career doesn’t progess from it’s present abysmal status, one would be hard pressed to come up with the names of any bigger busts.

    You ask what his haircut and hat have to do with anything.

    On the field, they have nothing to do with anything. They have absolutely no bearing on objectively analyzing his play.

    But in the overall scheme of things they do have a bearing and some significance to me as a Raider fan.

    On a personal level, I don’t like Russell’s appearance or the way he represents the Raider organization. I don’t like the mohawk. I think the beanie wearing on warm, pleasant days is absurd. I think the diamond earrings and white minks are ostentatious and audacious. But most of all, I don’t appreciate an inarticulate, blathering idiot representing the team.

    Russell has his millions and he’s set for life. If you’re his friend and that makes you happy, good for you.

    As a Raider fan, I take no joy in knowing he’s financially secure. Means next to nothing to me. My concern is the ramifications Russell’s failure to develop into a franchise QB will have on the Raiders.
    And unfortunately, while Russell is counting his millions, it’s likely the Raiders will continue to flounder — since you’re apparently a Russell fan, and not a Raider fan — I’m sure this doesn’t concern or dismay you.

    But I’m a Raider fan, and I can unhesitatingly say I wish the Raiders never drafted this turkey.

  • 4evaRaider

    Jmac is the poster child of why there needs 2B a salary cap 4 rookies,imo…think about it you already got paid 4 your whole future.If he never made another penny,he still dont have 2 work AT ALL.

  • Look I think there should be a rookie salary-cap as well, but that shouldn’t be an excuse.

    Matt Ryan got paid and is putting in the work. No blowing off OTA’s and passing the blame in the media for Mark Sanchez.

    Some guys get it and some don’t.

  • And I don’t think Mark Sanchez is going to be that good, but it won’t be for a lack of effort and inability to take the time to learn the little things.

  • 4evaRaider

    I think thats a very compeling REASON,Vegas…Clearly some people act different than others but 30,20 10 hell even 1 mill in the hand…

  • BTW, Jim Fassel has got his Las Vegas Loco’s in the UFL championship game. They had already clinched that spot and had a meaningless game last night. But Fassel said he rode the backups hard in practice this week, and they won 41-7.

    That’s what a good coach does. Has his team ready to win every week.

  • 4evaRaider

    could you imagine 20 or 30 players in the nfl,say 1 per team at any starting position,get a Jmac contract and conduct himself like jamc has???? The league would be BROKE in less than 7-10 years,imo

  • Trestman’s name surfaces in connection with the Raiders

    Posted by Mike Florio on November 21, 2009 2:12 PM ET

    Eyebrows were raised this week when word surfaced that Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman has landed on the early list for the coaching vacancy in Buffalo.

    The fact that Trestman’s name is churning in the Raiders rumor mill is less surprising.

    Trestman spent three years with the Raiders, first as quarterbacks coach in 2001 and then as offensive coordinator in 2002 and 2003. In his first season as offensive coordinator, the Raiders made it to the Super Bowl.

    Trestman next served as quarterbacks coach for the Dolphins in 2004, and then as offensive offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at North Carolina State in 2005-06. For the past three years, Trestman has coached the Alouettes.

    This year, Trestman’s team has won 15 and lost only three. On Sunday, the Alouettes host the B.C. Lions in the CFL’s East Division final. (We’re not sure why the B.C. Lions would be in the “East Division” of any football league other than one headquartered in Russia.)

    And though Trestman is better known (relatively speaking) than Lane Kiffin or Tom Cable when each became head coach of the Raiders, Trestman fits the “no other NFL options” profile that owner Al Davis currently applies when hiring head coaches, since men with other NFL options will opt not to coach the Raiders.

    Interesting, but never explains how Trestman’s name is linked. Who said it? In what context?

  • DKnight007


    Wake me up when Al Davis is NOT making all the decisions….then I will start to care again.

  • Kirk

    I am really looking forward to tomorrow’s game. I hope Gradkowski does well. Will JaMarcus still be on the bench with his beenie and his diamond earring?

  • Plunketthead

    Will he be eating hot dogs?
    A better question is
    How many hot dogs will he eat?

  • 4evaRaider

    U of Minnesota DT’s are like 6-2 320 and 1 of em’s a freshman


    Always liked Fassel as a coach since his days with the Giants.

    I can remember his tough, hands on, take charge demeanor when he insisted on personally calling plays when the Jint’s offense was sputtering. Seemed to have an immediate positive effect.

    Additionally, the Giants always seemed well prepared under his command.

    If Cable goes, I’d be very happy to see Fassel take the reigns. From what I’ve heard he gets along with Al and actually wants the job.

    I’m not terribly negative about Cable. On the other hand, I’m not too enthralled either. There’s been some suspect play calling, but with Russell at QB, what the heck are you gonna call that’s going to work ?

    No, my problem with Cable is personnel evaluation and fitting players to scheme.

    How much input Cable has in these matters is open to conjecture, but I think it’s a greater amount than one would suspect.

    DMac, though injured, has been run between the tackles too much. Who can forget the Kwame Harris debacle ? When’s the last time the Raids threw an option pass with former QBs DMac and Bush on the roster ?

    Also, one other thing I don’t like about Cable, and I’m pretty sure Al doesn’t like — the zone blocking offensive line.

    Give me the good old smash mouth, straight ahead power running game any time.

    I tell ya, the Raid offense is so incredibly inept, it’s almost impossible to watch one of their games without wanting to puke.

    Scoring touchdowns is out of the question. A sustained drive with a few first downs along the way is unimaginable.

    Maybe we’ll see some improvement now that Russell has been benched, but I wouldn’t count on a dramatic change for the better. We’re still way too inexperienced at WR, and most importantly the offensive line is crap. Since that was Cable’s area of expertise, that’s an indictment against him. But to be fair he can only coach the players he’s provided.

    Ultimately, it’s about Al putting together a better squad. There’s just been such horrendous decisions made on draft day and in free agency and trades, that this once proud franchise is now a disaster area. I don’t think any coach could prosper with the current roster, but it’s likely the Raiders could be better prepared and more competitive with a different coach.

    The Raids might very well be starting all over again.

    New QB. New head coach. And better players up front to make the offense go.

    The good news is things can’t get much worse.

  • BlackSunday32

    Wow so Fassell is the only guy, how long ago did he get fired from NY and wasn’t he so bad at calling plays that his best friend Billick fired him from his last job no thanks rather a young and upcomng nobody than a mediocre guy like fassell. Hey but im sure if he wins thats UFL title his price will be go up.

  • ottocrat

    “I remember my (position coach) Skip Peete telling us about a situation where Charlie Garner had a long run up the sideline,” Fargas said. “He went ahead and scored and I guess Mr. Davis asked Skip Peete why he didn’t go down on the 1.”


    Haha. That’s rich! Whatever the wrong instinct is, you can bet it’s going to coincide the old man’s philosophy. It’s a complete 180 from how things used to be with him. And, it just so happens that the Raiders record is also a complete 180 from what it used to be. P.S. That article about Trestman should just delete all of those CFL stats. I was in Montreal this summer, and I watched the mighty Alouettes play the B.C. Lions (An ancient rivalry) just as a goof. And, I gotta tell you, that aint Football. I don’t what that is up there, but it doesn’t even compare to Division 3 college ball. Hell, I bet Chabot or Laney can beat Montreal.

  • DKnight007

    Oh man….it’s freakin depressing thinking about how the stubborn old man has ruined this franchise and team with his mis management and crappy personnel and coaching decisions.

    What happened during the last draft just proves how out of whack the owner/gm/personnel man Al Davis is.

    He need to freakin go away!!! Arrrrghhhhhhhh

  • steveandblack

    Newsflash Jerry, Maurice Jones-Drew reported on the Herd to Colin Cowherd of ESPN two seasons ago that he should be referred to as Mojo-D, NOT MJD.