Bush to start, but he will he carry the load?


Coach Tom Cable has remained noncommittal when asked about how he’ll deploy is three running backs, now that all are reasonably healthy.

Depends on who has the hot hand, down and distance, formations, etc.

With Michael Bush coming off a 119-yard effort against Kansas City, the first time a Raiders running back has gained over 100 yards this season, you’d think he’d be actively campaigning for a chance to see how much damage he can do with a heavier workload.

Bush got his yards against the Chiefs on only 14 carries, the most work he’s had in a game this season. His previous high was 12 carries for 55 yards in the opener.

He leads the Raiders in rushing with 350 yards, is tied with Justin Fargas for the team lead in rushing touchdowns (2) and at 4.5 yards per carry, is ahead of both Fargas (3.7) and McFadden (3.1).

Bush is the only one of the three who hasn’t been hurt, and the only one with a carry above 20 yards and above 40 yards.

I asked Bush this week if there’s a part of him that wants to demand 25 carries to see what happens, or even if he didn’t want to say it, if he felt that way inside.

“Sometimes, but I mean, that’s just not me,” Bush said. “I’ve had to be patient about a lot of things. Even at Louisville, I was behind a couple of guys. The whole leg injury taught me more patience. And now, with three running backs, it’s the same thing. I’m OK with it.”

While Cable has not named a starter for the last two games, Bush expects to be on the field when the game begins and figures the amount of work he gets will correspond to his production.

“I know I’ll be starting and I’ve just got to make the best of my opportunities,” Bush said. “That’s the only thing I can do right now.”

Bush may have derailed his own chance for a bigger role down the stretch when he asked for a breather in the third quarter after his most extended use of the season.

With the Raiders starting at the Chiefs 43, Bush carried on five consecutive plays, gaining 35 yards, and the Raiders reaching the Chiefs 22-yard line. After the fifth carry, a 3-yard run for a first down on third-and-3, Bush asked for a breather, Fargas came in and was stuffed for no gain.

The drive stalled when JaMarcus Russell threw incomplete, a 15-yard screen pass to Zach Miller was called by on a penalty for ineligible lineman downfield, and Russell threw incomplete to Bush on third-and-15.

Sebastian Janikowski followed it with a miss from 45 yards and the drive came up empty.

From the time Bush asked out of the game, he carried only four more times for 15 yards and never had consecutive carries. His two carries in the fourth quarter gained 10 yards.

Cable was enthused at Bush’s early breakaway run, a 60-yarder that was the big play in Oakland’s lone touchdown drive. In the past, Bush’s previous big gainers have come in the fourth quarter.

It also sounded as if Bush had been able to remain in the game on his run of carries, Cable would have kept giving him the ball.

“I would have rode that one,” Cable said. “Five tough runs like that in a row is a pretty good deal.”

One area that’s been largely unexploited has been Bush’s pass receiving skill. He leads the running backs with 14 catches for 83 yards, but that has more to do with the fact that he’s the only one who has played every game other than a concerted effort to get him the ball.

Russell had trouble with touch passes on short circle routes and screens, and if Bruce Gradkowski can feather some of those passes to the 245-pound Bush against corners and safeties, big gains could result.


The Raiders added starting strong side linebacker Jon Alston to the injury list with an illness. He is questionable.

Alston split the strong side linebacker position on a rotation basis with Sam Williams against Kansas City. He has had two concussions since Oct. 11 which the club said were minor. He has missed minimal practice time, according to the injury report.

Note: Offensive lineman Paul McQuistan, cut by the Raiders, was signed by Jacksonville. The Jaguars cut safety Brian Russell to bring him aboard.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • jhill

    LOL at Quinn torching Phillip Buchanon and Stafford rolling up Rob Ryan!

    Stafford to Calvin Johnson combo is going to be NICE for some years.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams


    Would love to get DirecTV….Unfortunately, my neighborhood doesn’t allow the dishes…..gotta move.

    But not missing anything with this Raider play. So I have to go to the watering hole to watch this madness.

    Anyway, I hope Gradkowski can get something done if for nothing else to get some of these young players some confidence.

    What a disappointement the QB situation is. Huge disappointment

  • jhill

    Doesn’t allow the dishes?


    You don’t have to attach the dish to your house or condo. There are other options.

  • Only in the world of Rob Ryan will his offense put up 24 points in the first quarter and still not have a lead at halftime.

    Wonder after he gets fired after this year (they are on pace to give up more yards than any defense in 25 years) will he be as bold as last year.

    “I will have a job tomorrow, I am fine…”


  • I can’t get the dish either, my condo doesn’t have a way to face SW other than having it on my front porch, which is a no-no with the HOA.

  • jhill

    For less than the price of going to one game, you could see all the Raider games. Raider O is going to pay that just trying to get that virus out of his computer. Most of us piss away a couple hundred buck on BS, so I made up my mind when this first came out. I’ve had the NFL and NBA package for as long as I can remember. Best reality programming on TV, lol!

  • When is the NFL going to get off it’s high-horse and let cable packages offer the NFL package?

    Less than 40% of cable owners have a dish, OF ANY KIND!!!

  • jhill

    That’s a trip, fellas!

    The little things. I’ve NEVER had that situation. Now that you mention it, when we had a condo some years back, I never asked anyone. I just put it on the roof, lol! How would they know if you just snuck up there around 3am and installed it yourself?

  • Did Cleveland just line up for a FG, fake it, get a first-down, to set up another FG???

    What the hell is the point of that?

  • jhill

    DirectTV is paying ridiculous coin to the NFL for those rights. There have been all kinda lawsuits by fans and they still have the rights. I thought the lawsuit that was about fans having the right to purchase individual games instead of all the teams might have worked out, but I guess DTV had better lawyers, lol!

  • jhill

    Have you been watching this game Vegas?

    Matt Stafford is the type of QB I want, not Brady Quinn!

  • Remember the Rodgers vs. Alex Smith debate in the draft??

    My boy Rodgers is crushing him today. Does Smith even have 25 yards passing?

  • jhill

    Is there ANY chance that DHB turns into Calvin Johnson?

    He’s already on par with Hines Ward in the blocking dept, lol!

  • Jhill,

    I’m not paying anything to fix my Laptop. I have Bit Defender, and they are working on fixing my laptop.
    I understand what you are saying, and I agree with you. Every season I spend about $300 + on just going to Bars to watch the games. Maybe next year I will consider getting a dish.

  • CBS sportsline. I’m a ticker-tracking junkie!!!

  • jhill

    I was watching that game too …

    It’s crazy the arm Rogers has. Why the hell does he hold the damn ball so long though? He’s going to get himself killed out there.

  • jhill

    Wassup O!

    Not to up on the computer stuff. Just an old head getting by on the basics, lol!

    Got a virus on my PC from some fuggin porn link, and it cost me over $100 bucks at the local PC store to get it fixed.

  • jhill

    I think I’m going to break down and by myseld an Apple laptop for Xmas. It’s time!

  • Company gave me a Dell with an air card. It’s pretty sweet.

    I’m not a Mac guy, but those that have them swear by them.

  • All right folks off to the Hilton. Not rocking the usual #2 jersey today for obvious reasons, going with the old-school white C-Wood.

    Come on Bruce!!!!!!! Give us some hope….


    Was watching the Minnesota game because I love watching Favre-now that’s how to play the game Russell.
    Looks like you win that one Vegas.

    Then I watched the Dallas game and the NFL had a SIX MINUTE delay while the booth thoooooght about a play in the last minute!
    Unbelievable waste of time!

  • This is my problem with the Gradkowski situation.

    What if he wins 4 or 5 of the remaining games and the Raiders finish 2 or 3 games out of the Division Title?

    We will all be left with the what-ifs about the losses this season. The Raiders waited to pull the trigger on a move that should have been made after the Houston game.

    But hey, chances of that happening are slim, so probably won’t have to worry about it.

  • Jhill,

    I was thinking the same thing bro. Next laptop is a Mac! Sony Vaio is good, but Macs are the best! Macs are worth the extra $500. IMHO

  • cheap college tuition

    Vegas, does the Hilton let us “root” for the Raiders from there if you get what I’m saying? dont wanna rat em out