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Raiders can’t lose in Henderson acquisition

The Raiders, looking even thinner than usual on their interior defensive line this week with the “excused” absences of Tommy Kelly and William Joseph, bulked up considerably Friday with the free agent acquisition of defensive tackle John Henderson.

At 6-foot-7, 335 pounds, Henderson’s strength has been as a run defender _ a weak spot for the Raiders in recent years. In theory, Henderson, who reportedly signed a one-year contract according to beat writer Steve Corkran, would join an interior line rotation that would Kelly and Desmond Bryant. Others on the roster include Joseph, Chris Cooper, Ryan Boschetti and undrafted free agent Kellen Heard.

No confirmation as yet from the Raiders.

With the trade for Kamerion Wimbley, the selection of middle linebacker Rolando McClain and former defensive end Trevor Scott at weak side linebacker, Oakland on paper looks considerably more stout.

Assuming Henderson is being paid at or near the veteran minimum, there is no gamble inherent on taking a flyer on a two-time Pro Bowler who was the ninth overall pick of the 2002 draft out of Tennessee, where he was a teammate of Albert Haynesworth. Henderson was a Pro Bowler in 2004 and 2006, but his dedication was openly questioned by coach Jack Del Rio last year (the two later hashed out their differences in a meeting) and the Jaguars put almost no pressure on the quarterback with a league-low 14 sacks.

The Jaguars tried to trade Henderson before the draft, releasing him April 26, not long after taking Cal defensive tackle Tyson Alualu. He was scheduled to make approximately $5 million.

In talking to an NFL personnel-type a few weeks back about Henderson I was told flatly, “he can’t play anymore.”

Still, Henderson is 31 years old and doesn’t need to be a Pro Bowler to help the Raiders. If he can contribute 15 to 20 snaps on running downs and help keep blockers off McClain and Co., he’ll be well worth the signing.

If not, Henderson would be like other veteran acquisitions of recent years such as Donovin Darius and Lorenzo Neal. Worth a look, and gone before the regular season begins.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Sweep The Leg.

    I believe I speak for 99.9% of American males when I say, soccer sucks.

    No, really, soccer TRULY sucks.

    Here is a list of things I like more than soccer:

    A punch to the face.

    Food poisoning.

    Shaving with a cheese-grader.

    Vomit.

    Attending a high pressure time share sales seminar.

    Scorpion stings.

    Losing my wallet.

    Plunging the toilet.

    A dead car battery.

    Stepping in a dog turd.

    Being late to work.

    Getting the flu while on vacation.

    A kick to the nuts.

    Festering boils.

    Cockroaches in the pantry.

    Unnecessary surgery.

    Running out of gas on the Bay bridge.

    My dog dying.

    Well, have fun watching the tournament!

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

    # Raider O Says:
    June 13th, 2010 at 8:44 am

    LMN,

    I always loved Italian soccer, but now I like Argentina for other reasons. My wife and her entire family love Brazil, so I had to become a fan of Argentina to spice things up. lol
    _______________________________________________________

    LOL, yeah south american football is funny to watch… I dont care for Italian soccer, its very boring and to defending..

    I love spain and holland soccer for the attacking play, and their 4-3-3 formation is just better to look at, Italian soccer wins a lot of games, but its a waiting game, not funny to watch..

  • Just Fire Baby

    LMN,

    Question on the substitutions in soccer, if you can help out your yankee friend here.

    First off, how many guys are on the bench? When a guy gets substituted can he come back in? How many subs do you get a game?

    The reason I ask, is that Ruud Giulutt (spelling off I’m sure) was railing on the England coach for his subs, and I was completely lost.

    Thanks in advance!!!

  • Thec07

    I dont like soccer at all. Just a bunch of guys doing cardio…

    they score as often as MaddenRaider does, which is not very…

  • Thec07

    Sweep the Leg…Agreed…

  • Sweep The Leg.

    Thec07,

    Feel free to add to the list.

    It’s cathartic.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Nothing wrong with getting excited about soccer for a month once every four years.

  • http://atm Raider O

    LMN,

    I agree with most of what you said, but Italia has a good offense, but people think it’s boring because of all the short passes to find the point of attack. I love it!

  • Sweep The Leg.

    # Just Fire Baby Says:
    June 13th, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Nothing wrong with getting excited about soccer for a month once every four years.
    =====================================================

    No, not wrong, just stupid.

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

    # Just Fire Baby Says:
    June 13th, 2010 at 9:00 am

    LMN,

    Question on the substitutions in soccer, if you can help out your yankee friend here.

    First off, how many guys are on the bench? When a guy gets substituted can he come back in? How many subs do you get a game?

    The reason I ask, is that Ruud Giulutt (spelling off I’m sure) was railing on the England coach for his subs, and I was completely lost.

    Thanks in advance!!!
    ______________________________________________________

    1) each team have 3 subs…
    2) No, first out of the came you cant go back in..
    3) the squad consist of 23 players, including the 3 obligatory keepers, (so you in theory have 2 plyers for each position)
    4) usually you start substitutions after the 70minmark, that why Ruud was pi55ed, Capello, Englands Coach, took out a man after 30 min, thats very disappointing for that player, but Capello is ruthless…

  • Just Fire Baby

    I know I have watched way more soccer than the Olympics in my life.

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

    #

    # Raider O Says:
    June 13th, 2010 at 9:11 am

    LMN,

    I agree with most of what you said, but Italia has a good offense, but people think it’s boring because of all the short passes to find the point of attack. I love it!
    _________________________________________________________

    No I not talking about short passing soccer, there are more short passes in 4-3-3 than in 4-4-2…

    Italian tactic is to wait, wait wait and then in hte 89min they score… if Italia gets behind, its the only way to see an exciting soccer game..

    their ideology is of a vulture, they are not the creating team on the field, so they are boring…

  • http://atm Raider O

    World cup is like the Olympics. It’s a world event, and countries from every continent compete.
    It’s great!

    Ole!!! Ole….

  • Just Fire Baby

    All right, so to switch off the soccer talk to include all, what will be the best, most important or most entertaining camp battle?

    A) Bush-Darren for the bulk of carries?
    B) The RT spot, with Barnes and Walker and others probably involved?
    C) The KR game? JLH-Ford-Figures-Miller battle
    D) 3rd QB spot between Frye-Boller
    E) Howard just tring to stay relevant and on the roster?
    F) DT rotation, with Henderson and Bryant likely locks, and guys like Dick Seymour and Houston who can rotate in, should be intersting what happens to TK if this Heard kid can emerge as a player.

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

    # Raider O Says:
    June 13th, 2010 at 9:23 am

    World cup is like the Olympics. It’s a world event, and countries from every continent compete.
    It’s great!

    Ole!!! Ole….
    ______________________________________________________

    Nothing like the olympics, thanks, the olympics is boring, couldnt care less about olympics… well the winter ‘O’ is even more boring..

    the olympics have filtered all interesting games out, now there are silly stuff like soft ball, beach volley..

    vaste of time.. no wonder, no tv-stations wants it..

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

    *Waste of time

  • Sweep The Leg.

    # Just Fire Baby Says:
    June 13th, 2010 at 9:25 am

    All right, so to switch off the soccer talk to include all, what will be the best, most important or most entertaining camp battle?

    A) Bush-Darren for the bulk of carries?
    B) The RT spot, with Barnes and Walker and others probably involved?
    C) The KR game? JLH-Ford-Figures-Miller battle
    D) 3rd QB spot between Frye-Boller
    E) Howard just tring to stay relevant and on the roster?
    F) DT rotation, with Henderson and Bryant likely locks, and guys like Dick Seymour and Houston who can rotate in, should be intersting what happens to TK if this Heard kid can emerge as a player.
    ===================================================

    I am very interested in the DT’s. I think if we can stop the run it will change the whole team.

    I think we should be excited about the new additions in Houston, Henderson, and the emergence of Shaughnessy and Bryant.

    Stopping the run will keep the defense off the field, the offense will get more chances, and it just sets the right tone for the team.

    I am hoping Henderson will really help in that area and return our run d to respectability.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Sweep,

    If Heard looks like a guy who can should stick on the roster and Henderson can still play, what do you do with TK and that salary?

  • Plunketthead
  • the_big_one_of_83

    # Just Fire Baby Says:
    June 13th, 2010 at 9:25 am

    All right, so to switch off the soccer talk to include all, what will be the best, most important or most entertaining camp battle?

    A) Bush-Darren for the bulk of carries?
    B) The RT spot, with Barnes and Walker and others probably involved?
    C) The KR game? JLH-Ford-Figures-Miller battle
    D) 3rd QB spot between Frye-Boller
    E) Howard just tring to stay relevant and on the roster?
    F) DT rotation, with Henderson and Bryant likely locks, and guys like Dick Seymour and Houston who can rotate in, should be intersting what happens to TK if this Heard kid can emerge as a player.

    F any thing with houston getting into fights will be interesting

  • Just Fire Baby

    So what next for Strasburg today?

    Perfect first with two K’s in the first.

  • 24

    Raiders publicly back Heyward-Bey
    June, 12, 2010
    JUN 12
    7:10
    PM ET
    EmailPrintComments
    48
    By Bill Williamson
    The Oakland Raiders are clearly behind Darrius Heyward-Bey.

    Out of the blue, Oakland sent out a press release Saturday afternoon supporting Heyward-Bey, who struggled mightily as a rookie after being the No. 7 overall pick and being paid $23 million in guaranteed money. The press release listed all the great receivers to come through Oakland and then stated Heyward-Bey could be the next great one.

    This release is significant because Oakland rarely sends out press releases to announce news. It is trying to send a message here:

    Here is the press release:
    Raiders Owner Al Davis has always said that the Raiders have had the greatest players, greatest coaches, played in the greatest games and participated in the greatest plays in the history of professional football. The Raiders have been dominant in terms of winning. The greatest wide receivers in professional football have passed through the portals of the Oakland Raiders or have been coached by Davis.

    Lance Alworth
    Willie Gault
    Art Powell
    Andre Rison
    Warren Wells
    Bob Chandler
    Fred Biletnikoff
    Jerry Rice
    Cliff Branch
    Tim Brown
    James Lofton
    Randy Moss

    Now Darrius Heyward-Bey, the Raiders’ top pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, is prepping to join that select group. Heyward-Bey has enjoyed a workmanlike offseason where he has put in time and energy to prepare for his second NFL campaign, when many of those whose names mentioned blossomed in professional football competition.

    “I’m just working on my game, using this opportunity to get better, to work with my quarterbacks and my teammates,” said Heyward-Bey following a recent OTA session. “Just going out, just playing my game. That’s all I’m doing right now. And I’m using each practice to reach my goals.”

    The list of wide receivers should make any pundit or so-called expert think twice before putting negativity on Heyward-Bey. No one has come close to the excellence at wide receivers that have worn the Silver and Black. These performers have been the greatest players who have ever played the game.

    Hey, it’s great that Oakland is behind Heyward-Bey. It should be. By all accounts, Heyward-Bey has made recent strides in organized team activities.

    He was criticized last year as a rookie when he dropped way too many passes and made no impact. He showed he has a long way to go.

    That doesn’t mean he will be a bust. He has a chance to do good things because he has a decent skill set. But he has to show it during the season. Again, the Raiders believe he can, but stating that players such as Biletnikoff and Brown were great Raiders so Heyward-Bey can do the same, puts unneeded pressure on a player who already has a lot at stake.

    But again, give credit to Oakland for being loyal to its own.

  • YoungAmerican

    E) Howard just tring to stay relevant and on the roster?

    ———————-

    I’m glad he’s still here. May not be much of a run-stopper, but he’s really solid in coverage. I have a feeling if Wimbley or Scott falter through the first part of the season, Howard will back in the starting lineup.

  • http://Noknuckleheads! 909RaiderLifer

    I’m also peeking at TBS, to watch this Strasburg kid pitch. So far he is the shiznit….

  • Plunketthead

    http: //www.sfgate.com/
    cgi-bin/blogs/raiders/detail?blogid=11&entry_id=65623

    Theres Hendersons pregame ritual

    CCT wont let me post the hyperlink so you have to remove the spaces

  • BigTed707

    664 – B) The RT spot, with Barnes and Walker and others probably involved?

    To me, this is the most important competition. The Oline can certainly be the key to success.

    Bush/Dmac will be an exciting competition too. Who will be better as 3rd RB: Cartwright or Bennett?

  • Just Fire Baby

    So watching Campbell in the NFL replay of Skins-Saints and Raiders-Steelers is up in a half an hour.

    JC looks really good, I will admit if the guy has every thrown a non-spiral, I must have missed it. Just a beautiful ball out of his hands.

    One thing, and JHill I hope you were watching, were two Saints DB’s dropped sure-fire int’s. J always rails on Bruce for the lucky dropped int’s he benefitted from.

    The point being, DB’s drop INT’s all the time, almost every game. Just part of the game these days.

  • Just Fire Baby

    And I think I have seen Rock Cartwright break more tackles in this game than D-Mac did all season.

    Seems like a good back for the ZBS, a one-cut and get downhill back.

  • http://www.safc.com/page/StadiumofLightDetail/0,,10281~1706060,00.html neilb

    Just finished watching the Grand Prix.At least one Englishman knows how to win.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Watching Haynesworth in this game as well, and if you switched him and Tommy Kelly I don’t think anyone would notice.

  • http://www.safc.com/page/StadiumofLightDetail/0,,10281~1706060,00.html neilb

    You’d notice.Kelly would be the one not stamping on another players head.

  • jhill

    Damn it …

    Forgot about the Skins game.

  • Just Fire Baby

    And there it is, why Skins fans hate Campbell.

    Absolutely terrible pick at the end of the game.

  • BigTed707

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU8glxtA0pA

    Looks like a load at FB. Hope he can lead block.

  • http://www.safc.com/page/StadiumofLightDetail/0,,10281~1706060,00.html neilb

    I work with a Skins fan.Was a little pi$$ed off when they got rid of Campbell for McNabb.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Still not Campbell’s fault on that one, Suisam has to make a 23 yarder.

    Times like those make Seabass in the first-round doesn’t seem so bad. How long have the Skins had kicker issues? 7-8 years?

  • YoungAmerican

    Every time I watch Fargas play, I have to wonder what it is that everyone dislikes about him so much. As a third RB, you can’t really ask for much more. Dude runs hard as hell.

  • JediRaider

    Plunketthead, M, Lonetree — it’s good to be back – thanks!

    Although we have a lot of 3-4 capable personnel, and I’ve been begging to run that defense for quite some time, it was based on our lack of defensive lineman and the personnel we had at the time. One of my old posts, I had the following alignment:

    DE Kelly
    NT (needed a draft pick or FA)
    DE Richardson

    OLB Burgess (where the pats played him)
    ILB Morrison
    ILB FA/Brown
    OLB Howard (Joey Porter-esque)

    Later, with Trevor Scott (similar measurables to Merriman) and obviously Seymour last year, I thought the quickest fix for us was to go 3-4 and all we needed was a decent NT and we’d be better off running a 3-4 than a 4-3, just based on personnel.

    Now that we have Houston and Henderson, we can run a base 4-3 and I’m excited to see what McClain can do as a MLB with space eaters in front of him. Even Ray Lewis had a couple down years in the 3-4 because he had to fight off OLinemen and he complained about it constantly – until they drafted Ngata (who I wanted badly over Huff in that draft) and went back to a 4-3.

    Not saying Henderson is at the same level as Ngata now, but Kelly is just average and Warren was a three tech, not a NT, and it showed on running downs because he couldn’t hold the POA. Henderson doesn’t need to make plays in the run game, he just needs to occupy the center and the guard and not get pushed out of his gap. That, in conjunction with a real MLB and two DE’s (houston and Seymour) that can hold the edges to keep those interior running lanes small will compensate for Kelly and allow him to penetrate and disrupt with McClain shooting in to make tackles or at least not getting pushed out of the gap (like Capt Kirk) so the SS can make a play shooting running lanes in closed space, instead of having to wait for the runner to make a cut.

    That’s the theory anyway, we’ll if Big John still has enough in the tank to make it happen and I still prefer Houston at the Three Tech to replace Kelly and Kelly moving to LDE where he played his best ball early in his career. At least we have some good depth at more spots this year, much better starters, and personnel are mostly playing positions that match their skill set.

  • http://www.safc.com/page/StadiumofLightDetail/0,,10281~1706060,00.html neilb

    “Dude runs hard as hell”

    Agreed,but you’ve got to make the first guy miss.Simply running straight into the defender won’t work all the time.

  • jhill

    So can we stop with the Branch to FS talk ???

  • YoungAmerican

    # jhill Says:
    June 13th, 2010 at 11:47 am

    So can we stop with the Branch to FS talk ???

    —————

    This.

    # neilb Says:
    June 13th, 2010 at 11:40 am

    “Dude runs hard as hell”

    Agreed,but you’ve got to make the first guy miss.Simply running straight into the defender won’t work all the time.

    —————-

    That’s true, but again, I didn’t say he was a superstar. But see what a solid, hard runner in your #3 RB spot – think Mike Bell for NO last season. I actually think Fargas is a little better than Bell.

    That’s why I never understood the Fargas hate. We have two more running backs ahead of him on the depth chart. But Fargas understood his role, and played very well for us while he was here.

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