Part of the Bay Area News Group

Russell not the only Raider on notice

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, April 26th, 2010 at 9:03 am in Oakland Raiders.

As the Raiders gather for their mandatory minicamp this weekend, JaMarcus Russell isn’t the only player whose job security will be tenuous.

Whether Russell will actually be there, as coach Tom Cable said he would, is open to question. The last thing the Raiders need is an injury which would delay the process of sending him on his way in the wake of the acquisition of Washington quarterback Jason Campbell.

Campbell is already in the area, and was spotted at a Jack London Square restaurant with offensive coordinator Hue Jackson by a reader with a who sent a photo. Russell, meanwhile has been kept out of public view.

Willie Brown’s glowing review of Russell on Comcast last month aside, you talk to a few Raiders employees informally and it’s more of a collective roll of the eyes.

(Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reported Russell is tipping the scales at 300 pounds).

The Raiders could pull the band-aid off the wound and dispense with Russell quickly unless they’re looking for a way of getting out of paying that last $3 million.

Either way, Russell can’t feel real confident about his status, and only he knows if he cares or wants to try again somewhere else.

If Russell isn’t at minicamp, then Campbell, Charlie Frye and Kyle Boller will get all the work as Bruce Gradkowski recovers from a pectoral tear. (The good news on Gradkowski’s injury is that it was to the left side, and not his throwing side).

A handful of other players, who make far less money, are also less comfortable as the 2010 Raiders begin to take shape.

Among them:

WR Johnnie Lee Higgins: Coach Tom Cable was clear in his intentions for fourth-round pick Jacoby Ford. It’s also a safe bet Nick Miller, if injured during training camp, won’t be kept on the 53-man roster for 16 weeks this time around.

“I’m looking for that guy to see if he’ll take the reins of our return game and become a guy like that for us. Those are the expectations early on,” Cable said.

Any linebacker not named Rolando McClain, Kamerion Wimbley or Trevor Scott: Cable promises I’ll love how the defensive plan shakes out. If it includes attackers coming from different directions, sometimes as an end, sometimes as a linebacker, and an element of unpredictability, he’s right.

Quintin Groves, a former second-round pick, joins holdovers Thomas Howard, Ricky Brown, Isaiah Ekejiuba, Sam Williams and second-year men Slade Norris and David Nixon. Add sixth-round pick Travis Goethel, who Cable described as being a stout inside player. It’s survival of the fittest (and fastest) with a heavy emphasis on special teams.

Any offensive tackle not named Mario Henderson: Khalif Barnes will probably stick around, but nothing is certain after the picks of Jared Veldheer and Bruce Campbell in the third and fourth rounds. If Campbell ends up as a guard _ Cable said it was a possibility _ it opens up another spot.

Fullback Oren O’Neal: Could be just an oversight, but Cable has now left O’Neal’s name out the last two times he was asked about the fullback position. It’s a good situation for Manase Tonga, the undrafted free agent from BYU and Aragon High in San Mateo, to show if he can be an NFL quality blocker. There are unconfirmed reports the Raiders also signed UCLA fullback Chase Moline, who began his Bruins career as a linebacker.

With undrafted free agents, it’s a difficult to project. A year ago, I received a flood of e-mails and assurances that linebacker Frantz Joseph was a tackling machine and a real find at linebacker. Instead, Joseph looked a step or three slow from the outset and the gem turned out to be Harvard defensive end Desmond Bryant.

With O’Neal’s healthy and Luke Lawton starting the season under suspension, Oakland’s 2010 fullback position is wide open.

Defensive end Jay Richardson: Richardson is a point-of-attack player on a team that hasn’t been a good run-defending team for seven years. The plan for Lemarr Houston, Cable said, is to play end.

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  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    ?

  • jhill

    Who is Rock Cartwright?

    That name doesn’t even ring a bell.

  • Nnamdi21

    448. Now you’re gettin’ it. Diversity on D.

  • nader64

    “tJpriest: “RAIDERS SCREWED RUSSELL. If they would have let him play behind center with the new tackles he would have led the league in yards, shoe-in for ProBowl…it’s NOT HIS FAULT!!!!!!” >>> i’ve officially heard everything.

  • jhill

    Wassup Young B!

    Minglin’ with the 2 new guys, huh?

  • Nnamdi21

    Ok this is important, has anyone sent McClain game tapes to start working on yet?

    Get to it Raiders!!!

  • Damn They Suck

    Raiders picked up Rock Cartwright from Skins…

  • Nnamdi21

    jhill Says:
    April 26th, 2010 at 2:09 pm
    Who is Rock Cartwright?

    That name doesn’t even ring a bell.

    =================

    “Hoss” on Bonanza.

  • nader64

    Rock Cartwright is a BALLER. The underappreciated team-player type every team needs. There were times that if i were a redskin fan i would been happier w/ prima-donna Portis sittin on the sideline and lettin Rock run it: similar results, less drama

  • aig

    England,

    The funniest line was this one for me….Some women pay thousands of dollars to have breasts like Russell’s.

    so funny but shameful that we had to put up with that crap. I almost left Al’s bandwagon over the Jawalrus issue. And I have put up with lots of craps from Al over the years, starting with Marcus Allen.

  • Nnamdi21

    McClain’s game seems fairly well rounded with an emphasis toward run stuffing of course.

    Heres what gets me excited about him…

    “He sheds blockers well to leverage the ball and understands angles to maintain proper run fits to the line of scrimmage.”

  • jhill

    Ok this is important, has anyone sent McClain game tapes to start working on yet?

    ——————————————————-

    Probably didn’t have to.

    I’m sure he’s already looking at VY and CJ tape.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Cartwright played eight seasons in Washington, totaling 222 kick returns to go with 215 carries.

    ***

    215 carries for 889 yards & 6 TD’s. at least he averages over 4 yards per carry!

    Also has 59 catches for 555 yards & 2 TD’s …

    I personally hope we use him at RB to replace Fargas and compete with Andre Anderson (rookie from Tulane)

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

    Ricochet…

    do you remember, you didnt understand why KoolKell was going to copenhagen…

    well now there is just yet another reason, worlds best restaurant is located there…

    http://www.theworlds50best.com/awards/1-50-winners

  • Nnamdi21

    Heres some of McClain’s weaknesses.

    “McLain only possesses adequate lateral quickness when scraping down the line against the run. Is capable in coverage but can struggle at times when asked to play man. Very sound in his reads and pursuit but isn’t a true sideline-to-sideline guy against the run.”

  • severeraiderz

    Adalius Thomas to the jets or the ravens????

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    The funiest?

    “predicting what Oakland will do is like keeping Russell away from Kripsy Kremes”! LOl.

    “the first quarterback ever to eat himself out of a job”! Lol.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Rock Cartwright is 5’8″ 218 lbs

    30 years old. played FB at Kansas State University

    Brad Hoover is 6’0″ 245 lbs

    33 years old though … but why didn’t we get him?

    do we have to have a FB that can return kicks ???

  • severeraiderz

    Cartwright is a better player than G. Russell imo. I believe he was at one time the FB for the ravens

  • RaiderRockstar

    NEW POST!

  • Damn They Suck

    As teams start to trim the JaMarcus from their rosters, I suggest the Raiders do the same…

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    aig Says:
    April 26th, 2010 at 2:12 pm
    England,

    The funniest line was this one for me….Some women pay thousands of dollars to have breasts like Russell’s.

    so funny but shameful that we had to put up with that crap. I almost left Al’s bandwagon over the Jawalrus issue. And I have put up with lots of craps from Al over the years, starting with Marcus Allen.
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    AIG, you and I have had our disagreements, I can’t even remember what they were over, something about wife beating maybe, but anyhow, the Marcus Allen thing was when I was a 14 or 15 year old kid and I just remember sitting there watching Raider games and there for some unexplained reason was my second favorite Raider (second only to Howie Long) riding the pine while the team struggled.

    And then he became a KC Chief and killed us over and over again.

    Al will always be a fool to me for that situation. And he hasn’t done much since to disprove my opinion of him.

    The curse of Marcus Allen….in 30 years it might be up there with the Cubs/Goat thing.

  • severeraiderz

    NVM he has played his whole career in DC

  • Nnamdi21

    Forgive me, I don’t understand what you mean by CY and CJ?

    I want McClain studying what the Chragers, Denver, KC and everyone else we play did last year…

    McClain was basically a coach in the field for the Crimson Tide and one of the reasons I’m optomistic about him.

    No offense Kirk but I think he was miscast and over whelmed.

    I watched the Raider run D carefully pouring over their games since Morrison took over MLB and the fact is McClain appears to be everything he simply was not.

    Thats good and bad.

    Kirk had the speed and skills to play better man cover and get sideline to sideline, McClain not as much.

    But, through study and understanding McClain’s got “elite instincts” and through his preparation will help his brother Oakland defenders in their assignments should the athlete in them take over more than the football player.

    These were all things Morrison simply wasn’t capable of in Oakland and a major reason why the run defense during his time at the helm gave up so many long runs and TDS.

  • Nnamdi21

    Damn They Suck Says:
    April 26th, 2010 at 2:21 pm
    As teams start to trim the JaMarcus from their rosters, I suggest the Raiders do the same…

    ======================

    IF he takes a pay cut Russell can stay. I really think the balls in his court.

    Look, I’m a man, same as anyone and I’ve been weak and made mistakes but I for one simply could NOT take the money and run.

    $30 million, $300 million, doesn’t matter.

    I couldn’t live with myself and the eternal “might have beens”.

    He’s young, perhaps selfish and lazy. I’ve been there too. Maybe its my age, maybe not, but never in my life but I could not walk away without trying.

  • Kirk

    If Jamarcus weighs 300 pounds, I think we might have found our new nose tackle.

  • QUAGRAIDER

    bring back frantz joseph for camp, hes a thumper not a speed guy.

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