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Huff could be key to controlling Cribbs in Wildcat

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, December 25th, 2009 at 1:21 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Media free day at the facility today, with the Raiders scheduled to depart to Cleveland Saturday. A few notes to the admirably tortured souls who insist on checking in for some Raiders news on Christmas Day:

– Happened to catch the USC-Texas national championship game on ESPN Classic the other night, and while I remember all the offensive fireworks, what I didn’t note at the time was Michael Huff making plays all over the field for the Longhorns.

Sure, I remember his role in stuffing Lendale White on the fourth-and-short which put Texas in position to win, but Huff made some remarkable plays in the field as well _ similar to what he’s been doing for the last month or so with the Raiders.

Huff could play a huge role against the Browns Sunday if Eric Mangini decides to go heavy with the wildcat formation and Joshua Cribbs.

It makes sense. Cribbs considers himself a bad-weather runner, is adept at breaking tackles, and the Browns could do worse than putting it in the hands of their best player 20-plus times when you put together kick and punt returns, receptions and wildcat runs.

Nnamdi Asomugha told me Thursday he thinks the Browns run the Wildcat as well as anyone, including Miami, and wouldn’t be surprised to see it a great deal.

Which brings us to Huff. He could be the man who shadows Cribbs, a thought that was laughable a year ago while he languished on the bench, penalized for missing too many tackles.

Coach Tom Cable talked about how Huff was told last season he was being put on special teams to work on his tackling, and defensive John Marshall amplified how Huff was lectured on improving that skill.

“I think he was mad he’d been benched, and I was glad about that,” Marshall said. “I told him the challenge is you have to prove you’re a tackler. There is no question about your range to go from the middle to the sideline, no question about your coverage ability. The only question is the decision was made to move you out of there basically because you miss too many tackles.

“Now you take care of that, that’s on you.”

So how did Huff improve?

“He took all his tackles, cut ‘em up, studied his angles and footwork, and Lionel Washington went over it with him. He spent time on the sled. Plus tackling is an attitude _ maybe 95 percent attitude.”

– Asomugha got a kick out of Rob Ryan bragging to the Cleveland media about how the cornerback had dominated Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, intercepting two passes from him.

Asomugha has one career interception against San Diego, it came in 2006, and the game play-by-play said it came while defending Vincent Jackson.

“It did. I remember it,” Asomugha said. “I remember I should have had one against Gates but I dropped it. But that’s Rob _ he is always promoting his guys. And his guys love him for it.”

Note: Saw a second transcription from Ryan where he didn’t specify two interceptions, but said Asomugha had taken the ball away from Gates.

– Browns offensive coordinator Brian Daboll thinks the Raiders, as the club philosophy goes, look good getting off the bus.

“You know Al Davis, what he does over there is he gets big, strong, fast, athletic, tough guys and when they come out of the tunnel you are like, damn. They all look like Rob (Ryan),” Daboll said.

– Maybe there is something to this NFL vs. Raiders stuff. Why else would the NFL Network show the “Tuck Rule” game on Christmas Day?

– The Browns needed an extension to avoid a local television blackout. It must be a full house by Saturday at 1 p.m. The last blackout in Cleveland was 1995.

– Have a great holiday.

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  • Florida Pete

    losing Morrison is… well…

    i’m not sure anyone will notice…

    unless we draft a Spikes, or a Micah Johnson…

    THEN we’ll notice…

  • neilb

    Tbone….

    keep your fingers crossed!

  • neilb

    Pete…

    Ref your mock draft, 2 right tackles ? Why not take a corner with one of those picks ?

  • raidermarty

    Merry Christmas RAIDER NATION!!!!!!!

  • raidermarty

    Yeah Jerry I did see where the tuck rule game was on xmas day- that’s a cheap shot at RAIDER NATION;espeon sucks!!!!

  • Florida Pete

    neilb Says:
    December 26th, 2009 at 6:52 am
    Pete…

    Ref your mock draft, 2 right tackles ? Why not take a corner with one of those picks ?

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    i like power blocking…

    unless a college guard is especially big or especially good… i would draft right tackles and let the loser at right tackle become a guard…

    so one of those guys would become a backup o-lineman or a 1st team guard…

    personally, i think we have plenty of corners…

    we need front seven on “D”… hence 2 DT’s and one MLB…

  • raidertbone

    # neilb Says:
    December 26th, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Pete…

    Ref your mock draft, 2 right tackles ? Why not take a corner with one of those picks ?
    ________________________

    FA has both Cornell Green and Khalif Barnes up this year. Granted, Khalif leaving won’t be all that big a loss (!) and we need to get younger and stronger than Cornell … so I think a first round tackle is a priority for us. We can probably help shore up the defensive front with a FA pickup (perhaps Johnny Jolly, from the Packers); then we can concentrate on “best available players” for our interior lines. I think we can hang on to Seymour for at least one more year. Wouldn’t it be great if we could also add Wilfork?

  • neilb

    Pete and Tbone…

    I think we’re a little weak at corner but you both make fair points.

  • neilb

    After 3pm here so I’m going to try and get a premiership game on the net.

    I’ll leave you with this…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO7rF_XbI6Y

    If can’t laugh at yourself from time to time…..

  • Scottish Raider

    Happy Boxing Day Nation.

    Love to see us use Pears again as a blocking TE. He caused chaos against the Broncos. The Donkeys couldn’t cope with a guy of Pears’ size running at them. And the Browns have one of the worst run-defences in the NFL (par for the course with Rob as DC).

    Intrigued how the Walker at OG experiment continues. If he gets comfortable with the zone, an OLine with Gallery and Walker at OG could cause mayhem.

  • raidertbone

    # raidermarty Says:
    December 26th, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Yeah Jerry I did see where the tuck rule game was on xmas day- that’s a cheap shot at RAIDER NATION;espeon sucks!!!!
    __________________________________

    It’s easy for everyone to “pile on” the Raiders right now … which will make it all that much sweeter when we finally turn things around and STICK IT to the rest of the league … always remember – it’s the Raiders against the world! – but that’s just how we like it!

  • Scottish Raider

    Pete,

    I would take Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama if he was still on the Board. We need a real MLB and this guy is a monster against the run, a sure tackler and the leader of Saban’s team.

    The alternative would be a true RT like Anthony Davis from Rutgers.

  • raidertbone

    I STILL think we can pick up a proven run-stopper for the defense through free agency. Our offensive line needs to get younger and stronger — we had an excellent chance to do that in the last draft, but failed to do so. This is the year we need to step up and do that, so that our run game can really flourish next year, and step-up the pass protection a little at the same time.

  • http://www.actionext.com/playlist_57486.html La Milicia Negra

    scottish…

    I hear ya!! you had me at runstopping =) LOL

  • spellcheck

    I’m going to waste hours upon hours compiling lists of players I think the Raiders should draft, and then defend and rationalize my choices to you other idiots,just so I can appear to be more informed and the smartest guy in the room.
    This exercise in futility also gives me the opportunity to be completely frustated and lash out at Al Davis when he doesn’t run “his” team the way I would have.

  • http://www.actionext.com/playlist_57486.html La Milicia Negra

    good fot you…

  • Pingback: Jerry McD: Huff could be key to controlling Cribbs in Wildcat - Oakland Raiders Forum | Message Board - Where the Raider Nation lives!

  • Florida Pete

    the reason i have a center as my first rounder is that this draft has very few good centers…

    if Wisneiwski’s nephew comes out… i would want him… trade down a few spots and pick up a third (if possible)…

    but McClain, Spikes are as definate sure fire starters as you will find at that position…

    but Micah Johnson is almost as good and can probably be had in the early 3rd round…

  • Florida Pete

    spellcheck Says:
    December 26th, 2009 at 7:59 am
    I’m going to waste hours upon hours compiling lists of players I think the Raiders should draft, and then defend and rationalize my choices to you other idiots,just so I can appear to be more informed and the smartest guy in the room.
    This exercise in futility also gives me the opportunity to be completely frustated and lash out at Al Davis when he doesn’t run “his” team the way I would have.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    thank you for your input…

    now piss off…

  • http://www.actionext.com/playlist_57486.html La Milicia Negra

    Jared from Junction City, Oregon wants to know if I think Oakland safety Tyvon Branch is the real deal.

    Bill Williamson: Yes, Jared, I like this kid. The 2008 fourth-round pick has really come on this season. He has 110 tackles and proved he is a hard hitter and a playmaker. I expect Branch to be a part of Oakland’s secondary for a long time. If he keeps this up, Branch will get serious Pro Bowl consideration next season.
    ________________________________________________________

    And when Mike Mitchell and Huff, our backfield looks like rather good, just need to replace Chris Johnson as our CB2, might be okay to be the nickel or dime…

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    DT and OL in the 1st & 2nd round

    AFter that…do what you wish.

    We have to get a no-compromise run defense in here and it starts up front. TK and Warren are built to penetrate and rush the passer….we need a space eater up front that can be disruptive to the O-Line. The DT only needs to be the 2-down type….come out during clear passing downs…this run defense has to be fixed once and for all. Tyvon Branch having 110 tackles is not good.

    On the offensive side of the ball…the physicality just isn’t there. No road graders. No guy that just clears out defenders….Langston Walker is a guy I like at guard…but we need another big man that can hold his own in the pass and just knock the %(!@* out of the defender. Phil Loadholt would have been outstanding last year.. need someone like him or Oher

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    As for cornerbacks….corners are a lot like receivers. They can be had throughout the draft. We are not looking for a #1 cornerback so don’t waste a pick in the 1st or 2nd round on a CB.

    The Raiders do a better job on the skill positions when they draft in the 4th round or later anyways. To many height/weight/speed guys early in the draft….and as we know, Davis uses his awful evaluation process on those top picks……let’s get bigger and more physical up front and leave the skill positions to the 3rd day of the draft.

    Louis Murphy – 4th round
    JLH – 3rd round
    Schilens – 7th round
    C.J – Low-end Free Agent
    Branch – 4th round

    See what I mean?

  • weaselbit

    Been reading “They Call Me Assassin” by Jack Tatum.
    THE Jack Tatum.
    Picked it up a couple yrs back at a used bookstore. Prob hard to find now.

    I highly recommend it to those who bleed Silver and Black. It’s intense!

    A common theme repeats itself in his life. ___The advice of mentors and wise family members who raised him. Because of that, when he came to a crossroad, he always made the right decision. So the adversity in his life just made him stronger. Approached all aspects of life like a total warrior.

    JR needs to have the leeches pulled off him and a support structure put in place. Probably way too late for that. But it’s his only hope. He might’ve had it when he was younger, or he probably wouldn’t have accomplished anything in college. But he’s a long way from home. So much food and so many strip clubs. If they decide to keep him he needs a mentor fast.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    # Kush Says:
    December 25th, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Oakland Raiders 4 life. Deal with it.

    ………………..

    Until Russell’s in the lineup. Right, Kush?

    # Kush Says:
    December 20th, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Hahahahahahahahahah. No pocket presence at all.

    (After a play where Russell got the ball knocked out of his hands. Notice the joyous laughter. The game is still on the line at this point.)

  • The Return of Godliness

    MR=HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • The Return of Godliness

    Hahahahahahahaha MR is here LOLOLOLOLOLOL

  • The Return of Godliness

    # Florida Pete Says:
    December 25th, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    UCSBPreMedMike Says:
    December 25th, 2009 at 5:02 pm
    Merry X-mas Raider Nation. Just here at work, looking foward to Sunday’s game. Proposed to my girlfriend earlier, trying to make that leap into becoming a man…finally at 27. All I need now is the Raiders to stay more consistent in winning, and get my butt into medical school and raise my future boy to be a strong minded, independent, respetful young man.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    you’re 27 and you want to get married…

    ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND ???
    ************************************************

    Ouch! School him Pete. Tell him at least wait until you are 35

  • The Return of Godliness

    # KoolKell Says:
    December 25th, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Testing
    *******************************

    New Cialis package

  • The Return of Godliness

    Oh yeah and to my boy Jhill………….what do you think of Calais Campbell now?

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Hope all my Raider Family had a great Christmas! I’m dressing for cold weather for the game in Cleveland tomorrow. 2 1/2 hours down the turnpike and to the Stadium. Got 2 great seats for $40. Priceless to see the game. Wearing all my Silver and Black and like I said, I will be displaying my “Cut JaLoser” sign!

  • M Lonetree

    Need a back-up fullback? Give Tyvon Branch a shot. Said he’d play anywhere. Loves the game. Old school.

  • M Lonetree

    ExlA,

    hopefully you’ll be on display during a crowd shot (unlike a friend of mine who travelled to Denver for last week’s game and was standing in a concession line when JRuss hit Schilens with the game winner – he saw no point in watching it unfold as he could only expect the worst).

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    I’ll be 15 rows up behind the Raider’s bench. Be back Monday. Have a great rest of the weekend. Even M.R. Wasn’t that in the holiday spirit! lol

  • JB

    # M Lonetree Says:
    December 26th, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Need a back-up fullback? Give Tyvon Branch a shot. Said he’d play anywhere. Loves the game. Old school.
    ****************

    Seems like a better choice would be Our #2 pick this year, Mike Mitchell. A Power FB in a running alignment is a THUMPER. Mitchell is supposed to be the new king of Thumping so let’s see what he can do when he gets to blow people up on every play.

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