Huff could be key to controlling Cribbs in Wildcat


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.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Kush

    Oakland Raiders 4 life. Deal with it.

  • 4evaRaider

    A few notes to the admirably tortured souls who insist on checking in for some Raiders news on Christmas Day:

    you know we sick wid it jon and jerry

  • 4evaRaider

    oh and Thank You and MERRY CHRISTMAS

  • Testing

  • Frank YoooooooLLL

    TIME OUT……..Just got up from a very late Christmas Eve….So I want to wish all you Peckerheads a Merry Christmas….hope you all have a great day………Go Raiders!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Merry X-mas you guys and gals.

  • moderndayraidersince00

    hello all. i have been reading this site for about a year now. Finally signed up to share my insight. good stuff jerry, i did check and was surprised you wrote on xmas day. good lookin.

  • El Tato

    I read somewhere Huff had tapes of every tackle made by Polamalu and Ed Reed last season and sudied it in the offseason.

    He has really improved his tackling this season, he and Tyvon are doing a great job at safety.

  • El Tato

    Ok I know I was right, here is the quote:

    August 28,

    “I know I wasn’t playing up to top 10-pick potential, so I could see where [Cable] was coming from,” Huff told the Contra Costa Times. “Cable was a new coach, and he felt like he had to make a move. So, I definitely respect him for that. I just kind of put that in my back pocket and learned from that.”

    Huff said he has rededicated himself to watching film to try to improve his game as a free safety.

    “I watched every tackle from Brian Dawkins, Ed Reed, Troy (Polamalu) and Bob Sanders,” Huff said. “I watched every one of their tackles from last season just trying to see what they do. They all play different defenses, and they approach the game different, so I tried to take a little bit from each.”

  • raiderzmaverick

    Merry Christmas all.

    True fans check in any day of the year 🙂

    Hard work pays off….that’s what Huff’s saying. Maybe Jamarcus will learn….ha ha ha…..nah, that’s askin’ too much for Christmas. I wasn’t that good this year

  • 4eva is right, we Sick Wid It

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

  • Thec07

    Merry X-mas to all the members of the NATION….

  • Kirk

    Jerry, Jesus is a Raider fan.

  • 504 Raider

    Merry Christmas to all of Raider Nation. May this season be the last of our pain and suffering. I really believe we are about to turn the corner. We just gotta settle on who’s behind the wheel.

  • as i said the other day, before season start, i wanted Huff cut, now i want to extend his stay =) i really think he has played as how we wanted him to play when we got him… this DC made him look good!

    Branch, Mitchell and Huff, we have our safeties for the future now… when Huff is done, Asu becomes a safety again (as Rod did)

    Thank God this cristmas is done with

  • UCSBPreMedMike

    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.

  • Florida Pete

    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…


  • LOL, yeah, why are you guys in such a hurry??

  • lefty12

    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND/OR HAPPY HOLIDAYS to everyone in the Raider Nation.

  • 504 Raider

    Congrats PreMedMike,

    If she’s cool with you spending major time on this blog, she’s a keeper. Better confirm this before she starts looking for a dress.

  • Kirk

    Why are they in such a hurry to get married?

    Tax deduction runs out on December 31st.

  • jmeds

    Huff needs to meet this challenge Sunday. If we can “contain” Cribbs, we may end up with our first winning streak of the year.

  • Nnamdi21

    Tuck ESPN and you KNOW by a preponderance of evidence some meida types are more thean unfriendly to all things Raider nation.

    Sickening cowtowing to the Neo Con agenda back then with the whole Patriots 9/11 bullcrap going on.

    Raiders took one for the country.

    I’m not expecting a KC type offenseive blow up by the Browns this week end.

    They had their day against KC team that quit on Todd Haley. I hope he gets fired or actually, I hope he stays. what ever hurts KC the most.

    Merry Xmas Raider fans! Lets get a win.I wonder if we see Jamarcus win again?

  • Nnamdi21

    read baout how the Raiders safeties, such a weak spot for so long, was now becoming a strong point this year on raider nation station. This was at the beginning of the year I think. Wasn’t sure then but sure seems like it now.

    Mitchell looks like he’s going to be good and Branch IS.

    Love to watch Branch’s football speed on ST. He literally has another gear. Gets their early sometimes actually and has to slow down.

    Joked about drafting Taylor Mays and shifting Mitchell to CB ala Asomugha, now I’m scared it may happen…

    Maybe we’ll just get DeAngelo Hall back instead…

  • Frank YoooooooLLL

    To PremedMike……….Good Luck to you, does she like football? I have been married 32 years and The Kiffin year is when my wife got interested in football…now shes a keeper! I guess she liked Lance.

  • Demon Raider

    I am 26 and happily married. Unfortunately, my wife is a Chief fan. lol. Weird thing is that my best friend’s dad is a Raiders fan while his mom is a Bronco fan. They’ve been married for about 30 years now… Funny how that works, ain’t it? lol

  • 90210

    I hope y’all enjoy Al’s gift to all the nation which is having JaMichelin for another year!You wait and see CAPTAIN SKITTLES will be a GREAT QB so get over it!!!!!!


  • Nnamdi21

    Got cho back Russell. Step up this off season son…

  • Nnamdi21

    Hope you all enjoyed the Xmas holiday! Merry Xmas, happy New Year Raider nation!

  • 4evaRaider

    Good Day After Christma Morning (glad thats over 4 another yeas)

  • 4evaRaider


  • 4evaRaider

    Congratulations PreMedMike….

    Hope you and the Wife have manynmanymany years of happiness,and I agree with the 504 Raider….

    504 Raider Says:
    December 25th, 2009 at 6:47 pm
    Congrats PreMedMike,

    If she’s cool with you spending major time on this blog, she’s a keeper. Better confirm this before she starts looking for a dress.

  • Florida Pete

    i remember being single…

    whatever i wanted to eat was what was for dinner…

    whatever i wanted to watch was what was on the tv…

    whatever was in the refrigerator when i left in the morning was still there when i got home…

    the only bad thing about being single was nobody took out the trash…

    don’t encourage him… he’s still young… enjoy your freedom…

  • Florida Pete

    Pete’s Draft – 1st Edition

    1st Round – Center
    Stefen Wisniewski*, Penn State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 298.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.13.
    We should trade down to pick up an extra pick in the 2nd or 3rd and then take this kid. A real live, smart center with a little bit of a pedigree…

    2nd Round – Defensive Tackle
    Dan Williams, Tennessee
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 327.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.25.
    2nd Team All SEC – I like big, mean, heavy loads in the middle…

    3rd Round (1st pick) – Middle Linebacker
    Micah Johnson, Kentucky – Scouting Report
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 254.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
    2nd Team All SEC – I like big mean heavy loads in the middle…

    3rd Round (2nd Pick) – Right Tackle
    Anthony Davis*, Rutgers
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 330.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.24.
    Big, strong guy… may not be there when we pick…

    4th Round – Right Tackle
    Chris Scott, Tennessee
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 341.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.43.
    Big, strong guy… should be there when we pick…

    7th Round – Defensive Tackle
    DeMarcus Granger, Oklahoma
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 330.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.40.
    He’s a medical basket case… but if he’s there… and he might be… we should take him…

  • neilb

    A good morning and a merry christmas to the AM crew!!

  • neilb

    ……hope everyone got what they asked for and not a lump of coal!!

  • 4evaRaider

    Morning Neilb….If someone is cold a lump of coal would make an excellent gift =)

  • neilb

    Morning 4eva…

    I was just going to say,a lump of coal is not that bad.It could be worse-a crazy woman might jump over a barrier and attack you.

  • neilb

    I had asked for Lucy Pinder and a Ferrari,but I’m quite happy with what I got!

  • raidertbone

    Huff definitely needs to step up and really prove himself now, considering that we may lose either Eugene and/or Branch to free agency next year — if they sign the new CBA, that is. We also need to look at FA across the offensive line and on the defensive front. And we CANNOT lose Morrison!

  • neilb

    I thought this was Huff’s last year aswell.

  • 4evaRaider

    lmao Neilb

  • neilb


    The Pope or Lucy Pinder ??!!

  • raidertbone

    # neilb Says:
    December 26th, 2009 at 6:18 am

    I thought this was Huff’s last year aswell.

    The point I was trying to make is that the Raiders probably won’t give up just yet on their first round pick from ’06 — especially since it looks like the first pick from ’07 is … well … you know …

  • neilb

    I wouldn’t give up on Huff.It looks like he might just have turned that corner……..or,he might be putting himself in the shop window.

  • 4evaRaider

    the ferrari

  • raidertbone

    Either way — we’ve got to set our priorities. I just hope we do a better job in the first round of the draft than we did in ’09!!

  • neilb



  • 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…