Postgame wrap


News, notes and quotes from the Raiders 34-13 loss to the Washington Redskins Sunday at the Coliseum:

— Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski said he had a sprained MCL and a partially torn MCL afterward and vowed to rehab in earnest to return, but with three games to play, could be done for the season.

“I’ll try to get back, do whatever I can to get healthy fast if I could,” Gradkowski said. “That’s the only thing I worry about. The thing that gets me downis the guys. The guys out there on the field.

“I felt good, I felt like we were moving the ball well, I felt like our attitudes were good. It was going to be a good game. I knew we’d find a way to win this one. It was tough.

“I actually didn’t get to see the second half, I had to come in here. But it’s just tough. It’s tough because the past couple weeks I felt us great positive attitudes and energy and then this happens. But you know stuff happens for a reason. We just have to battle back and we’ll be all right.”

Gradkowski was 10 of 18 for 153 yards and led one scoring drive in the first half. JaMarcus Russell was 10 of 16 for 74 yards. While the pass protection was spotty for Gradkowski, it was non-existent for Russell, who was dumped six times and never had a chance to be effective.

His one interception over the middle to LaRon Landry set up the touchdown that put the Redskins up 31-13, coming on the opening play of a drive following a 13-play, 80-yard Washington touchdwon march which consumed 6:01.

Russell was taken to task for saying Friday that “guys are making plays” for Gradkowski. The truth is he didn’t get nearly the support Gradkowski did in terms of protection. While players won’t admit it, there seems to be a noticeable dropoff once Russell enters the game simply because they don’t have confidence in him.

— Former Raiders coach Jon Gruden had Raiders fans fondly recalling better days or dreaming of his return to Oakland in a visit to Ricky’s in San Leandro while in the Bay Area to work as an ESPN analyst for the Cardinals-49ers game on Monday Night Football. Read about it in my Web exclusive column.

— Having been beaten up by the fans in terms of booing, Russell apparently didn’t feel like sticking around to be beaten up in question form by the media. His locker was empty by the time reporters entered following Tom Cable’s postgame press conference.

— It wasn’t exactly a vote of confidence for Russell that Cable conceded he gave some thought to playing No. 3 quarterback Charlie Frye in the second half and wanted to wait until Monday before saying who would start for Gradkowski in Denver against the Broncos.

— The Raiders offensive line, with Robert Gallery out for the season following back surgery (he had it Saturday), was no better in run blocking than it was in pass blocking. Facing a Washington defense that was ranked 21st against the run and was without tackle Albert Haynesworth, the Raiders gained 65 yards on 24 carries (27 yards per carry) with a long of 10 yards.

Mario Henderson, in particularly got worked by Washington rookie Brian Orakpo, who had four sacks.

“I don’t know man. I really can’t say. I’m going to be a man and take the blame for the ones I gave up,” Henderson said. “I’m just going to leave it at that. I just have to work on that. I’m a team player. I just have to work on things. I take full responsibility for the ones I gave up.”

Henderson’s thoughts on going forward with Russell weren’t exactly brimming with optimism.

“I don’t know what the deal is with Bruce but we’re all going to have to pick it up,” Henderson said. “If (Russell’s) the man we’re obviously going to have to pick it up because he’s back there.”

— The Raiders tied their season high with 14 penalites, and their penalty yardage of 118 was the highest since their 2005 season opener.

— The Raiders have been outscored 119-23 after victories, losing to Denver 23-3, the New York Jets 38-0, the Dallas Cowboys 24-7 and Washington. Those games followed wins over Kansas City, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

“It’s not us. It’s not been us, and again, we had an opportunity to win a game here against the Redskins, and we did not take care of business,” Cable said. “The penalty thing just kind of falls right in line with that.”

The worst sequence came at the end of the first half when the Raiders picked up a debatable 15-yard penalty for interfering with Antwan Randle El’s ability to field a punt. Never mind that Randle El caught the punt and never called for a fair catch.

The Raiders were so angered over that call the bench, received a 15-yard penalty for unsportsman-like contact, with John Fassel and punter Shane Lechler leading the charge.

The Redskins, instead of starting at the 10, opened at the 40-yard line.

Four plays later, they were in the end zone, with Jason Campbell hitting Fred Davis over the coverage of Mike Mitchell for a 17-yard touchdown. The Redskins went into the half leading 17-10.

— Safety Michael Huff left the game in the first half with a stinger and did not return. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha had a forearm bruise that needed to x-rayed and he returned in the fourth quarter. Tight end Zach Miller took a head-high shot from Rocky McIntosh late in the game and left with a stinger.

The blow enraged some members of the Raiders bench, rookies Mike Mitchell and Louis Murphy in particular. Mitchell continued jawing with cornerback Fred Smoot, who the Raiders felt was celebrating over the hit, and made a beeline for him when the game ended.

Players and coaches intervened.

“I was always taught you respect the game, you respect players of the game,” Murphy said. “While Miller’s was down, they were just talking trash while he was down, while he was hurt.”

Did Murphy and Mitchell lose their poise, or was it refreshing that two players who were angry and hated losing were sticking up for a teammate?

Linebacker Kirk Morrison voted for the former.

Defensive end Greg Ellis saw it both ways, feeling it was OK to be mad, but that there’s a time to back off and be a professional.

— Remember when there was room for all three running backs in a game plan?

No longer. Michael Bush had no touches for the first time this season.

“I don’t know there’s room for it right now. It’s a matter of getting in flow,” Cable said. “The plan was to come out and move Darren around so that means Darren and Justin.”

McFadden had three catches for 84 yards _ his most career yardage in a game. In the first half, one reception came on a slant pass, the other a downfield throw, both from Gradkowski, against LaRon Landry. He gained only 21 yards on eight carries, and there was no sign of the pitch play that gave the Raiders a key first-down last week agianst the Steelers.

Offensive lineman Roy Schuening was promoted to the 53-man roster but was inactive for the game. He replaced Gallery, who was put on injured reserve.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • DKnight007

    Thec07 Says:
    December 14th, 2009 at 10:56 am
    Dont draft a qb in the draft, get a Fa, and let him compete for the job….
    Draft a QB, when the rookie salary cap is in place.

    I said the samething last night.

    No point in drafting a top 10 QB this year since big money will have to be paid…..again to an unproven rookie.

    Especially since this dysfuntional organization and team can’t develop a rookie QB properly.

    No drafting a young QB in the top 10 until a rookie salary cap is in place or unless they draft a QB after Round 1.

  • jhill

    I agree, the Oline does stink, but I don’t think they “quit” per se.
    Dejected, yes. Exercise in futility? Probably..but I think we have to consider human nature, and see people who still try, and give their all, but seem resigned to the inevitable.


    I don’t think the team quit either, but they surely resigned themselves to the inevitable once those sacks started piling up. The first 2 drives were actually decent until Mario got beat for sacks. Once Russell got hit from the back twice and the boos starting piling up, it was O-V-E-R!

    We all know Russell isn’t a nimble guy by any means, but the fact that the Oline ADMITS that they can’t block for the guy, is INSANE. An Oline begging for a Mobile QB speaks VOLUMES to me. Like New England said, the first two sacks that Henderson gave up to Russell backside were very un Mario like. There was a sack up the middle from some dude where there was just no getting away. I think Russell created at least 2 of the sacks later on because of happy feet.

    The oline was an unmitigated disaster yesterday. Got the starting QB killed, open no running lanes, and this was all without Haynesworth on the field.

  • 4evaRaider

    Ahh Ja Christmas Turkey….lmao

  • Thec07

    would trade out of the top pick, for this years draft anyway, unless we had a chance at getting SUH, but as we know, We are looking at 5th, SUH will be long gone.
    Give that pick to a real NFL franchise….

  • Don’t forget, the new IBA Raider’s blog facebook fan page is up. Join now and for tons of fun and comaderie: http://www.facebook.com/pages/IBAs-Raider-Blog-Fan-Page/369443335446?created&v=wall

  • Mario Henderson is the lineman that hurt Grads. The big fella fell right on him. Talk about getting blown off the ball, holy crap!

  • jhill

    Wassup Thec!

    Agreed man! Hindsight being 20/20, the lines would have been a good way to go. I think we’ve been ignoring it b/c of the coaching belief in the ZBS and how it only needs marginal line guys.

    I sure would love to see a power blocking scheme next year.

  • Thec

    Brandon Spikes may be available at 5, I would be VERY HAPPY with that pick. Suh will go 1 or 2.

  • JB,

    Willie, I mean Troy’s height doesn’t concern me. It’s his body of work in the NFL. Are we supposed to Limo him in because he won the Heisman and had a better interview at the combine than JaMarcus?

    JaMarcus is so bad that our standards for his replacement is (drumroll) Troy Smith?

    I’ll take a guy who has many starts, studys like hell, has proven guys will listen and play hard for him, and has won games over tough teams with the chicken salad he has to play with.

  • Silver-n-Smac

    Whoah – sorry about that fellas –

    Mistaken cut & paste!!!!

  • Thec07

    Wasted or Bust Picks
    DMAC – Wasted Pick, redundancy as we had MBUSH
    JRUSS AKA BRL – Wasted Bust Pick, not a leader of men:
    DHB – Bust pick….

    We build the lines the last 3 years we would be looking at Dez Bryant, or Gillyard at WR. Either of who are head and shoulders above DHB.

  • NorthernD

    For all those who think the O-line is not good enough…
    The Colts have had 10 years and 89 picks in the draft since they selected Peyton Manning.
    They have chosen 0 linemen in the first round and only 2 in the second round.
    Yet Manning is annually among the league leaders in fewest sacks allowed.
    I guess it pays to know what you’re doing on the field.

    JaMarcus is completely useless.

  • Thec07

    Jhill, what up Bruh? survival of the fittest, unnatural selection, as in BRL was not in shape, but recieved 38 mil for his troubles, what a trooper…

  • “I just can’t get with this quitting stuff man, for all the reasons you say. 110% effort on every play from every player regardless of what is going on around them.”


    It’s downright sickening isn’t it? How many guys in the CFL/UFL/AFL2 with plenty of talent look at guys like Randy Moss and just puke. Some scrub somewhere is seeing guys quit and cursing as loud as he can in disbelief while he’s getting ready to go schlepp somebody’s bags around at the airport!

  • jhill

    Am I overlooking Brandon Spikes on Kipers draft board? I didn’t see him listed in the top 25 guys.

  • New Post!

  • Thec07

    RaiderDogg Says:
    December 14th, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Brandon Spikes may be available at 5, I would be VERY HAPPY with that pick. Suh will go 1 or 2.


    Dogg a lot of people are sold on him, i am iffy on the guy. doesnt seem to be on the ball all the time. took some bad angles in the bama game, Like the kids, from bama, and South Carolina better.

    We should have taken Cushing or Maualuga.

  • NorthernD

    RaiderDogg Says:
    December 14th, 2009 at 1:44 pm
    “I just can’t get with this quitting stuff man, for all the reasons you say. 110% effort on every play from every player regardless of what is going on around them.”


    It’s downright sickening isn’t it? How many guys in the CFL/UFL/AFL2 with plenty of talent look at guys like Randy Moss and just puke. Some scrub somewhere is seeing guys quit and cursing as loud as he can in disbelief while he’s getting ready to go schlepp somebody’s bags around at the airport!
    I can’t help but think about Kurt Warner bagging groceries and and driving to arena league games.
    I’m sure that experience grounded his feet to the floor. Too bad JaMarcus never went through that experience. Never had any trial that he had to push through to succeed. He was pampered, and groomed for the pros because of the physical talent he showed.
    Maybe he should walk back to Alabama at the end of the season. Gain some perspective and fortitude. Have a Forrest Gump moment.

  • DKnight007

    Moves that should be made for this pathetic Raider franchise but won’t because Al Davis is stupid:

    1A. Restructure down Russells contract or cut him since he is due an undeserved amount of money in an uncapped year next year and use that money to hire the guys in 1B below:

    1B. Hire Holmgren as GM/Personnel Man and Hire Jon Gruden as Head Coach

    2. Hire Bruce Allen as the capologist

    3. Let Holmgeren and Gruden talk to their buddy Andy Reid in Philly about trading for Vick or Kolb to compete with Grads as the starting QB in 2010.

    4. If they get a top 6 pick in round 1, then try like heck to trade down! If they can’t trade down…and if they can’t draft Suh, then look to draft MLB Spikes, OT Campbell or DT McCoy.

    5. The draft should be focused on upgrading the O and D lines and LB corp.

    If the looney old Al man makes all these moves that mentioned above then he actually might have a chance at seeing the team reach a Super Bowl within 3 years or before he dies.

    If the stubborn delusional old man Al doesn’t make any of these hires and moves, then the team will continue to SUCK!!

    It’s simple…..but to Al Davis it isn’t so simple….because he is a senile, stubborn egotistical old man, who only cares about himself.