DHB might be too rusty for finale


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 . . .


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Kirk

    Speaking of hottest fan bases…

    I was walking down the hall before a basketball game one time and walking toward me came the USC cheerleading team. I walked right through them.

    Ay Caramba!

  • Sweep The Leg.

    # Raider O Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Cable is a Fat Talking Monkey who can’t coach or call plays.

    That comment is insulting to monkeys.

  • JB

    Let start the Troy Smith movement now. He is the RFA that could bring the Raiders back to greatness. Forget JsBustus! Kick his sorry large ass to the curb. He’s a bad dream that got worse. And, he doesn;t have the skils, intelligence, desire & ability to turn it around to become a NFL caliber QB.On the other hand, Troy Smith does have the tools, skills, desire and ability to become our next Rich Gannon. Hopefully the old man will know this and go get him while he’s available. He wants to start and we need a starter. A match made in heaven. Nothing against Gradkowski but bruce will make a great teammate and solid back-up QB. That was his destiny all along.

    The missing piece of the puzzle is Troy Smith, RFA Ravens. He’s available and wans a trade to a place where he can start and make a difference. That’s us and he won’t cost an outrageous amount to sign.

    Get 3 new starters for the O-line, a run-stuffing MLB, a back-up CB more d-line help and we’re good to go.

    Start the chant now! TROY SMITH – TROY SMITH – TROY SMITH – TROY SMITH!

  • Raiders4eve

    Please guys

    Can we stop coming with dumb ideas?

    Troy Smith wont come to Oakland as long as JR is here. First of all, I doubt Ravens will let him leave without at least a second round pick plus if a team would pick him up, then it might be a team like the Jaqs,Bills, Seattle maybe even Browns under Holmgren before us. Lets be honest, Raiders have bad rap and players who leave the Raiders always say that they are happy they left this team aka Randy Moss. Troy is high commodity and only way he comes if AL releases JR. Until then lets talk about somethings along with the owner we got.

  • JB


    Troy Smith is a RFA. He doesn’t need the Ravens blessing. He can sign with whomever he wants. The Ravens are given a compensating draft pick not to exceed what the original draft pick was – in this case the fifth round.

    As far as JaBustus being in the equation, I don’t believe he’s going to be here but even if he is, he is no competition for anybody other than perhaps the equipment manager.

    Oaklnand may not be the best place to play right now but it does have two things that would interest Smith. An immediate need for a starting QB & AD pays well. Right now Smith is at an entry level salary. AD can match anyone’s bid if he chooses to do so. Another plus for Oakland is that there is a nucleus of talent here, if we only had a QB. Smith will not be worried about competing against JR – he’s seen him play & there’s no contest.

    There’s only one thing that would prevent Smith from becomming a Raider. That’s if AD doesn’t want him. AD has to know by now that JaBustus is a dead end AND he only has so many more years left to get back to the SB. Smith would be his best shot at making the Raiders successful once again.

  • I love Monkeys, so I do apologize to all monkeys around the world!

    I don’t want to start the new year by insulting Monkeys. Happy New Year Monkeys!

    Happy new year STL. lol

  • jhill

    Shanny getting 10 million from the Redskins ?!?!?!?!

    Gawd Damn!

    Oh well! So much for a big named coach coming to Oakland! NO way Al pays ANYWHERE near that jack!

  • Sweep The Leg.

    Too funny. I was just about to call it a night and checked back in.

    Happy new year O.

  • I like Smith ( I’m an OSU fan), but there is a reason that the Ravens drafted Flacco. Smith is 5’11 !

  • The only short QB I know that played/ plays well is D Brees. He is 6’0

  • Nnamdi21

    Flutie was 5-10.

    Y.A. Tittle

    Eddie LeBaron

    Fran Tarkenton

    Joe Thiesmann

    All 6 ft or under. All had success.

    Gradkowski’s barely 6-1. Its called throwing thru lanes.

    Like Flutie said. “I’ve been playing at this heigth all my life.”

    Smith’s a winner in waiting.

  • Nnamdi21

    jhill Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 11:12 pm
    Shanny getting 10 million from the Redskins ?!?!?!?!

    Gawd Damn!

    Oh well! So much for a big named coach coming to Oakland! NO way Al pays ANYWHERE near that jack!


    Tranny will need help not to run the organization into the ground like he eventually did in Denver. MAN did they ride that f’in O line to death or WHAT?! Nalen must’ve played for 16 f’in years…

    Once the old guard fell away Shanny’s meddling, mortgaging and bad DP’s came back to haunt.

    Long as he’s out of our Division. Who cares.

  • raiderzmaverick

    It’s funny – when you read Cable, it really seems that playing DHB and Russell as starters wasn’t really his idea but he didn’t want to fight it. Now that he’s given more free reign he is playing his best players.

    The exception to that is BUSH which I think is his choice and for whatever reason he doesn’t have any faith in him despite his IMPRESSIVE numbers.

  • raiderzmaverick

    Chris Johnson (drafted same year as McFadden) is smoking everybody with a 5.8ypc average!
    Bush ain’t bad though. With RBs who average at least a few carries per game, he’s only behind Johnson, Correll Buckhalter (5.5ypc), Ray Rice (5.3ypc), DeAngelo Williams (5.2).

    Bush is averaging over 5 yards per carry. Meaning if you keep giving him the ball there’s a darned good chance you’ll get a lot of 1st downs. Yet, he hasn’t had a game with over 20 carries. Makes ZERO sense.

  • raiderzmaverick

    I’d say bring Cable back. Since he’s been able to not play DHB and Russell he’s been 3 – 3. But, PLEASE bring in an O-Coordinator who will call the plays. That’s my biggest beef (except for not utilizing Bush).

  • Florida Pete

    Raiders4eve Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    We never trade down, AL will take who he wants but will never trade down for more picks thats not his formula. Therefore, be more realistic with your mock draft. Your number 1, 2 and 3 picks are way off. Dan Williams and Micah Johnson are both outside our ranch unless they mess up in the combine. You going with the top names which is good but most teams also want them. Lions and Rams would snatch them up b4 us. To be honest with you, I would rather trade our picks for proven veterans rather then dealing with rookies. Trade a third rounder for Casey the NT for the Steelers or Shaun Rogers from the Browns. Trade a second for DT Docket from Arizona something like that is much better then rookies, proven veterans better then rookies who might not excel.


    i first constructed my draft about 6 weeks ago…

    DT williams, mlb Johnson, and ot Davis weren’t rated that high at the time…

    honestly, i do try to not be ridiculous when i select people…

    as for trading down… it looks like we’re going to be a top ten pick… so no trading down…

    i’ll do a new one… it’ll be very much changed because of the movement of the players…

  • 4evaRaider

    Good Morning NATION!!!!

  • 4evaRaider

    Awwwww…..DHB is a little Rusty Hilger lol

  • Raiders4eve


    as far as I understand the CPA, restricted free agents can be tendered depending on the one year deal the team offers meaning if Troy Smith is offered a high tender which I believe is around 2.15. mill then if he signs somewhere else that team would have to give up a first n third. Even if he is not tendered high, teams can use what they call poison pill (I guess), but only the Vikings n Seattle used this loophole. Regardless of that there a reason Troy requested a trade from the ravens after the trading deadline, the concensus around the league is that the Ravens will keep him for another year and without CPA they can keep a player with them as long as he is not a six year veteren cause then he would be unrestricted. There is a difference between the high tender n franchise tag as the latter provides top 5 money in their respected position. Hope I am right if not please correct me but I can also happily state that AL would go after Vick rather then Troy if he wanted a QB.

  • 4evaRaider

    Sad but true

    SERIES: This Sunday’s game marks the sixth regular season encounter between the Raiders and Ravens. The Ravens lead the series, 4-1. The Raiders have hosted the Ravens only once, on December 14, 2003 with the Silver and Black prevailing, 20-12 at the Coliseum in Oakland.

  • 4evaRaider

    * of course that was from Raiders official web-site

  • El Tato

    I think that just being 6 feet tall is not an excuse for not being let play QB.

    If Troy Smith was good at College, he could be good in the NFL too (or not), Gradkowski is 6 feet tall, and Drew Brees too. I think adding Troy Smith would be great.

  • El Tato

    Gradkowski needs to be resigned, Frye would be cheap to resign too (as a backup, 3rd QB)

    JaMarcus should take a paycut and perform in trainig camp, if not he should be cut

  • sec144r18

    To appear in locker room after game on Sunday



    FROM: AL


    As you know we have traditionally been a ‘players team’ with my strict belief that players ‘police’ themselves, and that great players are irrepressible – and always make plays. However during this off season, I have decided to change with the times, and I am thereby implementing a new policy known as the ‘Earn It’!

    If you are a current or previous pro-bowler; or have been in the league more than seven years – you may stop reading this memo now. We’ll see you at OTAs, or in the case of the great Richard Seymour or the dominating Nnambi Asomugha, you can just show up for the first game. You are the type of player I love and that I’m used to. Janikowski – because of your recent personal best kick, your improved percentages – I’m tempted to let you have the off season off, but for your own good, and to ensure that you are not jailed in the off season, I’m going to ask that you take part in the ‘earn it’ program.

    ‘Earn it’ takes advantage of the expiration of the CBA and the coming uncapped year. For that reason I’m instituting something I like to call ‘Unorganized Team Activities’, or UTAs.

    If you are a skill position player, I expect you to be back at the facilities throwing to one another, running, and working on your craft beginning one month after the end of the season. You will be excused from UTAs if you have a team doctor’s note, there is a death in the family, or if I personally excuse you.

    DHB, I’d be ‘tempted’ to excuse you if you could go five UTAs without dropping a pass.

    Jamarcus, I’d be tempted to excuse you if you could pass a written test about the defense of every team in the league, beat Frye into the office every day, threw 25 swing passes to Bush or DMAC without it hitting them in the shoelaces, didn’t throw an INT in 40 attempts 10 times, and show me general initiative.

    Bush – we are going to run you until you are so well conditioned that you NEVER ask to come out of a game.

    DMAC – well we are going to ask you to run 40 x 40 yard dashes with everyone on their back grabbing for your feet, when you can complete 40 straight dashes without falling down, you can go home.

    Defensive players – there are two things that I would like to work on during UTAs – tackling and tackling. To help with this, I originally was thinking of bringing in an outsider, but then I realized that I had the perfect tackling instructor right here in our back yard – the great John Madden. Enjoy.

    For seven years, our great franchise has languished near the bottom of the NFL. I’ve overpaid under performing players. The earn it program allows you to ‘earn’ the money that you so clearly haven’t earned during the regular season.

    The greatness of the Raiders will continue. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to clear out your locker.


  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Happy New Year Raider Nation!

    Has Cable been fired yet?

    Have they cut Jaloser yet?

    That is what I asked for in the New Year!

  • If Troy Smith is so good, then why did the Ravens draft Flacco?!

    If he was so good, then why was he a 5th RD pick?!

  • You guys think everyone will be a Gannon if we give them a chance. There is a reason those QBs were cut. They were not good enough to win the job with their team, but you think they can be stars in Oakland!!


  • Fire Cable!

    Cut Walker, Green, Cooper, Warren, Euk, Fargas, and TK if he doesn’t restructure.

    Draft Ol, DL, LBs, and a CB!

    Hire Harbaugh, Fassel, Gilbride, fox, Del Rio, or John G!

    Sign a proven vet QB who can compete and teach Jabustus!

  • Nnamdi,

    It’s called running for your life trying to find those throwing lanes! I remember Flutie Flake!

  • Why did the Chargers draft Rivers ( Eli) when they had the great Brees??!!

    Why did the Bills draft Robo Johnoson when they had the great Flutie?!

    Why did the Ravens draft Flacco when they had the great Smith?!

    Brees is the exception and not the Norm!

  • I like Troy Smith the person, and he may deserve his chance to start a few games in the NFL.

    But for those that say Bruce is too short, too small and not strong enough of arm, well Troy is shorter, smaller, and has even less of an arm than Bruce.

    If the Ravens didn’t draft him late in the 5th round, he would have been border-line undrafted.

    Besides, he is a Heisman winning QB. Most of those guys turn out to be no good. (Jason White, Leinart, Crouch, Wuerfel, Torreta and on and on)

  • 4evaRaider

    Vegas…. did you see that true freshman RB for Oregon….Barner is his name I think

  • Vegas,

    “Less of an arm than Bruce”

    I don’t know about that. Bruce has a Girls Arm!

  • 4eva,

    He was really good, buy not good enough to win against the Great OSU!!!

    Go Buckeyes!!

  • He did look good, and returning kicks right? He was almost single-handly keeping them in the game.

    Did you watch that Williams kid at Va Tech? He was shut down most of the first half but than got going before he got hurt.

    He is a red-shirt and may come out next year. Top 10 pick, guaranteed.

  • 4evaRaider

    Happy New Year to you Raider O and to your beautiful family as well =)

  • 4evaRaider

    No Vegas I didnt get a chance 2 see Williams but will keep an eye-out 4him in future =)

  • Raider O Says:
    January 2nd, 2010 at 8:55 am

    “Less of an arm than Bruce”

    I don’t know about that. Bruce has a Girls Arm!


    A girls arm huh? Can you think of any examples where he was unable to complete a pass due to being underthrown? I saw him OVERTHROW a few guys, and the Murphy TD in Pitt was beautifully thrown away from the defender.

    You don’t need to throw the ball 60 yards in the NFL. How many of those are completed a year by a team? Maybe 10 if your lucky. Accuracy and leadership are easily the two most important qualities of an NFL QB, and those happen to be Bruce’s 2 biggest strengths of his game.

    RE-sign Bruce!!!

  • 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.”

  • Happy new year my friend. Its going to be a good year for us 4eva.

  • 4evaRaider


  • 4evaRaider

    Happy New Year 2U2 CaptainBlack and the WHOLE GREAT RAIDERS NATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • CaptainBlack

    And you say Davis is not the problem? WRONG! Davis is all that is wrong with the Raiders.

  • 4evaRaider

    Is that he said-she said bullsh!t Captn or you got a link?

  • CaptainBlack

    Davis fears Gruden. Look at the Raiders Web site. It’s all about Al. Did anyone notice he focused on the 1967 Raiders team. Not once is Madden or the best Raider teams from the 70s mentioned. John Madden was the Raiders. Al is a pretender.

  • Vegas,

    Having a strong arm allies the QB to make hard throws: against his body, off his back foot, etc..
    A QB doesn’t need to throw the ball 60 yards, but it sure helps to have a strong arm. The ball gets to the WRs faster, so less chances of INTs.

    Look at Rivers and that game against the Pats in the POs. He couldn’t throw against the wind.

  • CaptainBlack

    4eva, go to the chronicle

  • CaptainBlack

    Al needs a Head Coach pliable like Gumby. Hey, have Al build a HC with Play-doh.

  • 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.”