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DHB might be too rusty for finale

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, January 1st, 2010 at 12:56 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Sounds as if we might have seen the last of wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey for the season.

Raiders coach Tom Cable said Friday a tape of Heyward-Bey’s practice performance would be evaluated to see if he is ready to play in the season finale against the Baltimore Ravens. Heyward-Bey has been out the last four games with a foot strain.

“We’re not sure he’s ready, so we’ll evaluate it, look at it on tape, the little bit he did today,” Cable said. “If he was ready to go and all that I think it would be valuable, but if he’s not, it wouldn’t be right to do it.”

If Heyward-Bey does not play, he’ll finish the season with nine receptions for 124 yards and one touchdown as the No. 7 overall pick in the draft. Not exactly what the Raiders had in mind when Heyward-Bey arrived in training camp, with Cable saying his speed was already making a difference in terms of clearing out areas for other receivers.

It’s probably just as well that Heyward-Bey not play. He was struggling when starting every week. After four weeks off, the last thing he needs is the sound of thunderous boos chasing him into the offseason after a dropped pass. Better to work at his game in the offseason and come back a better player in Year 2.

Heyward-Bey’s first season has only been slightly more depressing than that of Darren McFadden, who will get ample time Sunday against one of the NFL’s toughest run defenses to live up to his status as the No. 4 overall pick in the 2008 draft.

You want to see what the Raiders had hoped for McFadden, look on the opposite sideline at Ray Rice, taken 52 selections after McFadden by the Ravens in the second round. The former Rutgers star, downgraded slightly because he’s 5-foot-8, has the sort of stats which had been forecast for McFadden as a runner-receiver _ 1,269 yards rushing, a 5.3 yards per carry average and a team-leading 74 receptions for 683 yards.

“He’s complete, runs it tough, great, great vision, good acceleration, catches it extremely well,” Cable said. “The thing that jumps out at you that kind of shocks you a little bit is how good a blocker he is. A very complete back.”

Asked if Rice’s production and use is a best-case model for McFadden, Cable said, “You hope so, absolutely. I think that because they do so much with him, that really fits the mold of what we’d like to get to with Darren.”

In other injury-related matters, strong safety Tyvon Branch (hip flexor) was limited in practice and listed as questionable, although Cable’s gut feeling is that he will start. Cornerback Chris Johnson (hamstring) missed practice again, was listed as questionable, and Cable said he was getting better.

Running back Justin Fargas (knee) and left guard Langston Walker did not practice and were doubtful. Defensive end Greg Ellis (knee) didn’t practice and is questionable but will probably start. Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski (knees) is out. Defensive tackle Gerard Warren (shoulders) practiced in full and will start.

More to come . . .

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  • http://atm Raider O

    Allows*

    BTW, I like my QBs to have a strong arm, and I like My DBs and WRs to run fast. It’s am advantage!

  • CaptainBlack

    Gruden was honored during a festive night at Ricky’s in which former and current Raiders employees showed up to party with the former coach.

    That infuriated Davis, and a team staffer called Ricky’s to ask it to remove photos of Gruden posing with current Raiders employees from its Web site. Gruden is seen in a No. 34 Bo Jackson jersey and Raiders visor that he purchased on site. Fans chanted for him to return to Oakland, and Gruden wasn’t dismissing the possibility.

    “It was a pro-Raider party,” said Ricardo, not understanding Davis’ distress. “The guy (Gruden) is working for ESPN. … It’s like the Gestapo over there.”

  • CaptainBlack

    Winning feeling just a memory in Oakland
    John Shea, Chronicle Staff Writer

    Saturday, January 2, 2010

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    ——————————————————————————–

    (01-01) 16:23 PST — Greg Papa, for years the voice of pro sports teams in Oakland, has seen and broadcast better times.

    ——————————————————————————–
    Images

    View More Images

    ——————————————————————————–
    John Shea
    Winning feeling just a memory in Oakland 01.01.10
    GIANTS DeRosa gives GM options 12.29.09
    Radmanovic’s funk has team scouring D-League 12.17.09
    Selig’s committee lacks diversity 12.17.09
    More John Shea » .
    ——————————————————————————–
    He called Warriors games when Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin were “Run TMC.” He did the A’s in the 1990 World Series and early 2000s, when playoff appearances were annual. As the Raiders’ play-by-play man, he was behind the microphone for the Super Bowl in 2003.

    At various stages of Papa’s career, the Coliseum and its adjacent arena were hopping with good teams and good times.

    Now?

    “If you lay out a map and put teams in the most desirable places, I don’t think Oakland would be in the top 50 anymore,” Papa said. “It’s sad to say because I live in the East Bay and have worked with all these teams.”

    Oakland once was a city of champions. Its sports teams now are about lousy records, frustrated fan bases and questionable management decisions.

    While the Raiders and A’s would prefer to relocate because of the outdated Coliseum, the Warriors draw well as the only Oakland team without a San Francisco rival. Yet they’re no better in the standings than the Raiders and A’s.

    A sampling:

    – The Warriors have had two winning records since the 1994-95 season, reaching the playoffs once (by going 42-40). During that 16-year funk, they’ve gone 460-769 (only the Los Angeles Clippers are worse) while burning through nine coaches. They haven’t had an All-Star since 1997.

    – The Raiders have had 11 or more losses in six straight years, an NFL first – remarkably, the streak began immediately after their 2003 Super Bowl appearance. They’re last in the NFL in attendance, averaging 45,125, their lowest since 1967, and seven of this season’s eight home games were blacked out in the Bay Area after failing to sell out.

    – The A’s have had three straight losing seasons since reaching the 2006 American League Championship Series. Their attendance has dropped six straight years, and they ranked last in the majors in 2009 with their lowest fan count since 1998, 1.4 million. They were last in their league in payroll.

    “I think it’s the owners and bad management,” Oakland fan Morie Kahane said recently at Ricky’s Sports Theatre and Grill in San Leandro. “Al (Davis, Raiders owner) needs a general manager, someone to make personnel decisions. The Warriors, with or without (Anthony) Randolph, they don’t know what they’re doing. The A’s, you can’t buy a jersey because they won’t keep players year to year. They’re only looking at the bottom line.”

    Silver, black and blue
    Davis remains the Raiders’ boss at 80 despite deteriorating health and poor decision-making. He guaranteed $84 million to his past three first-round draft picks: quarterback JaMarcus Russell, running back Darren McFadden and receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, and the result is an offense that ranks second to last in the NFL.

    He has little luck with coaches, having fired four since the Super Bowl. That came after he “traded” Jon Gruden to Tampa Bay because of a contract squabble and clash of egos, only to lose to Gruden’s Buccaneers a year later in the Super Bowl.

    “It’s probably the worst decision they made,” said Ricky Ricardo Jr., proprietor of Ricky’s. “If Gruden stays, we would’ve won that Super Bowl. You wouldn’t have had the other coach knowing your game plan.”

    Gruden, now on the “Monday Night Football” broadcast team, remains popular among Raiders fans. On the eve of the Dec. 14 broadcast at Candlestick Park, Gruden was honored during a festive night at Ricky’s in which former and current Raiders employees showed up to party with the former coach.

    That infuriated Davis, and a team staffer called Ricky’s to ask it to remove photos of Gruden posing with current Raiders employees from its Web site. Gruden is seen in a No. 34 Bo Jackson jersey and Raiders visor that he purchased on site. Fans chanted for him to return to Oakland, and Gruden wasn’t dismissing the possibility.

    “It was a pro-Raider party,” said Ricardo, not understanding Davis’ distress. “The guy (Gruden) is working for ESPN. … It’s like the Gestapo over there.”

    A team spokesman ignored several requests for interviews for this story before finally saying the entire Raiders organization had no comment.

    It wouldn’t be so bad if the Raiders weren’t perennial losers. They’re 30-82 since their Super Bowl appearance – the third-worst seven-year run in NFL history (behind the 1983-89 Buccaneers and 2003-09 Lions).

    Compounding the problem is Davis’ resistance to hiring decision-making assistants. Bruce Allen, who exited in 2003, was the last closest thing to a general manager, prompting Raiders fans to rent a billboard this season near the Coliseum with this message: “MR. DAVIS, DO THE RIGHT THING. PLEASE HIRE A GM.”

  • NorthernD

    4evaRaider Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 6:54 pm
    Patriots are always a threat because, well, they cheat.
    *****************************************************

    Yep
    =======================================
    Creative interpretation of the rules

    History is written by the victors…

  • 4evaRaider

    Thanks Captn

  • 4evaRaider

    Thats 4sure D

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    O,

    Surely it helps, but a strong arm with no leadership or accuracy equals…….Jamarcus Russell!!!!

    Accuracy and timing of the pass is what matters most. There is no amount of arm-strength that can compensate for being just a half-second late on your read.

    And certain people just make everyone around them better, in all facets of life. Bruce is a leader, and everyone around him played better during his 3 game and a half game stretch than at any time during the year.

    It is no coincidence.

  • CaptainBlack

    Al has destroyed his legacy, and the Raiders reputation. Great job, Al.

  • CaptainBlack

    Baltimore might be missing some big names on Sunday
    Posted by Mike Florio on January 2, 2010 12:11 PM ET
    As the Baltimore Ravens prepare for a win-and-in Week 17 game against the Raiders, the visiting team might be without a few key players.

    He doesn’t mention a competitive game, just that they are playing the Raiders and preparing to win. Nice!

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    I was talking with this guy this weekend on the strip, from the East Bay he told me, and we talked about the damned of you damned if you don’t with Al dying.

    If he doesn’t pass-on and hire a new GM, we will continue with what we have going right now.

    If he dies with the franchise in this state, his families could ditch the team for money (always happens with large estates) and they may just become the LA Glitz, or London Fog or something else but the Raiders.

    We can be like the Browns in the 90′s when they became the Ravens. No team for a few years, than an expansion team afterwards. Either scenario does not sound very promising.

  • CaptainBlack

    Silver, black and blue
    Davis remains the Raiders’ boss at 80 despite deteriorating health and poor decision-making. He guaranteed $84 million to his past three first-round draft picks: quarterback JaMarcus Russell, running back Darren McFadden and receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, and the result is an offense that ranks second to last in the NFL.

    He has little luck with coaches, having fired four since the Super Bowl. That came after he “traded” Jon Gruden to Tampa Bay because of a contract squabble and clash of egos, only to lose to Gruden’s Buccaneers a year later in the Super Bowl.

    “It’s probably the worst decision they made,” said Ricky Ricardo Jr., proprietor of Ricky’s. “If Gruden stays, we would’ve won that Super Bowl. You wouldn’t have had the other coach knowing your game plan.”

    Gruden, now on the “Monday Night Football” broadcast team, remains popular among Raiders fans. On the eve of the Dec. 14 broadcast at Candlestick Park, Gruden was honored during a festive night at Ricky’s in which former and current Raiders employees showed up to party with the former coach.

    That infuriated Davis, and a team staffer called Ricky’s to ask it to remove photos of Gruden posing with current Raiders employees from its Web site. Gruden is seen in a No. 34 Bo Jackson jersey and Raiders visor that he purchased on site. Fans chanted for him to return to Oakland, and Gruden wasn’t dismissing the possibility.

    “It was a pro-Raider party,” said Ricardo, not understanding Davis’ distress. “The guy (Gruden) is working for ESPN. … It’s like the Gestapo over there.”

  • SR Raider

    Al Davis is the sole cause of this shipwreck, and yet he takes ZERO responsibility. Disgusting. Makes you feel sorry for people like Cable, JR, and DHB, even though they suck and have their own problems. No one can survive the dark karma of Al.

  • CaptainBlack

    Al wants everyone to believe that all the good things with the Raiders happened because of him, and thus, he has tried erasing Madden and the teams of the seventies, because the greatness of those teams were actually what made the Raiders great, and Al’s role was very limited. Madden ran the team.

  • NorthernD

    CaptainBlack Says:
    January 2nd, 2010 at 9:30 am
    Al has destroyed his legacy, and the Raiders reputation. Great job, Al.
    =============================================
    I wonder what must be going through his mind these days (other than the breeze).
    He spent most of his life building the Raiders dynasty, only to see it crumble near the end of his time.
    He must have self doubts as to whether his way is actually the best way.
    Or more likely, he’s wallowing in the self belief that the people he has hired are not smart enough to win with his “fool-proof” system. That the Tom Cables of the world are not smart enough to implement the genius of his plan.
    He will probably go to grave unwilling to change, spiting people all along the way.

    Go Raiders.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    I don’t feel sorry for JR. He might be the only guy in the league who did worse at his job than Al Davis this year.

    Guy has no desire to play, just to get paid. Al should have sniffed that out, but Russell is not dumb and can put on the ‘ol southern charm when needed. Russell didn’t just hoodwink the Raiders, but the entire NFL, and future rookies will make less money in the future due to the actions of Jamarcus Russell.

  • CaptainBlack

    You can’t rewrite or manipulate Raiders history.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    If Al would just hire a real football operation department, not just a GM but an actual staff, and if the team started winning some games and playoff-experiences, almost all would be forgotten over time.

    Just about every athlete hangs on too long, and Al is definately hanging on too long and embarrassing himself at the end of his great career.

    Ali did it, Emmit Smith did it, Wille Mays did it, Joe Namath did it. All will be forgotten eventually, but he most walk-away after this year. Just do it AL!!!!

  • 4evaRaider

    I agree Vegas….As the old saying goes….be careful of what you wish 4

  • NorthernD

    vegas raider,
    Perhaps 30 years ago, Al would have sniffed out JR’s lack of desire. He once prided himself on getting players who loved the game.
    I think he must have known about JR’s heart and just decided to overlook it. Perhaps a sense of panic with his advancing years has caused him to be more reckless in his choices. A bit of desparation to return to the glory years.

  • r8eray

    Here are some pictures of that day Gruden was at Ricky’s!!

    http://www.rickys.com/photos/index.cfm

  • 4evaRaider

    Even tho,when Al goes the team could be moved and become the,say….London Fog or something…..well at least Neilb and ENGLANDRAIDER would be happy

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    While it was going on, everybody was talking about Ali tarnishing his legend during the Holmes fight, or Willie Mays tarnishing his legend as the greatest defensive outfielder by dropping fly balls for the Mets.

    But as time goes on, people forgot and focus on the positive aspects of that great career.

    Just hurry it along would you Al!!!!

  • NorthernD

    4evaRaider Says:
    January 2nd, 2010 at 9:52 am
    Even tho,when Al goes the team could be moved and become the,say….London Fog or something…..well at least Neilb and ENGLANDRAIDER would be happy
    ==========================
    LA first, then Toronto…

  • CaptainBlack

    D, Al is trying to prove to everyone that the greatness of the Raiders was all his doing, which is untrue.

  • 4evaRaider

    That is soo true CaptainBlack….Just as 1 man cant take full credit for the greatness of the Raiders….1 man cant take credit for its failure…..I’m glad you finally se this Captn =)

  • CaptainBlack

    Al wont bring in people once like him because he knows what they will attempt to do.

  • CaptainBlack

    4eva, I know it. Al doesn’t That is why he ignores the teams from the 70s which made the Raiders great. He had little to do, and he lost the team to Madden, so he drove him off.

  • CaptainBlack

    The team’s failures are Al’s alone. He makes ALL decisions. Make no mistake young man who makes the decisions around here. Heard that one before?

  • CaptainBlack

    The EGO must go. It’s all about WINNING. That is what Al has lost

  • El Tato

    Just watching Ravens players stats I saw former Raider KR Chris Carr is a Nickelback and backup CB in Baltimore.

    The guy has 38 tackles, 1,5 sacks, 2 FF and 2 INTs in 3 starts at CB and nickelback play, the guy can play, he is better than Routt.

  • 4evaRaider

    Those great 70′s teams started in 1967 when the Raiders went 13-1 under coach John Rauch,imo

  • 4evaRaider

    Well then if all the failures are Al’s alone….then all the raiders successes were Al’s alone CaptainBlack.YOU CANT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS

  • SR Raider

    Good points Vegas. I don’t feel sorry for Russell either; should have mentioned Nnamdi instead. Too bad Al can’t suffer a career-ending injury and retire like he should. Worse than sad; it’s painfully sad.

  • M Lonetree

    appears to be “a posteriori” day here at Ranch Raider.

    hashing and re-hashing to come to the conclusion that it is hash.

  • SaintKaufman

    What sucks about Cable getting fired, and believe me it’s the only thing that sucks, is that we lose him as a very good OL coach.

  • 4evaRaider

    HASH IS GOOD

  • M Lonetree

    Saint,

    I would have understood that argument a couple of years ago but the Raider run game has taken a nose dive the past couple of seasons under Cable’s watchful eye so I don’t quite know what to make of the whole “good O-line coach” idea.

  • SaintKaufman

    A valid point M.
    Was it Kiffin then? They both came in at the same time. Cable isn’t fond of the FB I formations as Kiffin was. Perhaps is cut blocking scheme is missing an element that Kiffin had employed.

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

    merry new year, or something…. =)

  • rat

    1) dhb is the #3 on our team behind schillens and murphy. he should be #4 behind javon walker as well (but that is another story)

    2) dhb sucks and is in no way a difference maker. whats the difference if he plays?

    can someone explain to me why we let crabtree slip outta our grasp? raiders (al davis) are pathetic. i cant wait for al to die already.

  • chucka1122

    DHB is such a bust, I cannot believe the talent the Raiders passed up and took this track guy bust. Jabust and DHB need to go, please just leave. I cannot understand why Raider fans have to continue to suffer through poor play and even worse draft picks. I just hope the Raiders move forward and get rid of all the crap on this team. They need to let go of a bunch of these bums. It is so frustrating being a Raider fan when you have to suffer through crap players like Jabust and DHB. Jabust has made the Ryan Leaf pick by the Chargers the second biggest bust ever. DHB is going to go down as another huge bust. These guys are as bad as Bernie Madoff.

    For the sake of the Raider fans, please get rid of Jabust and DHB.