Henderson says he’s still got it


We’ll know as camp goes on if John Henderson can be the kind of run-stopper he was in Jacksonville.

Having played eight years and 124 games as an interior lineman in Jacksonville, there’s at least some concern Henderson’s body is quite a bit older than its 31 years, and he acknowledges dealing with some shoulder issues.

The Jaguars thought he was finished, cutting him and then drafting Cal’s Tyson Alualu.

Raiders coach Tom Cable said he likes what he’s seen so far of Henderson without being particularly expansive on the topic.

You see this kind of signing from time to time with the Raiders . . . Lorenzo Neal . . . Jeff Garcia . . . Donovan Darius . . . Edgerton Hartwell . . . none of them made it out of training camp, and all were built up during camp by the coaching staff as sage veteran acquisitions.

So maybe it’s wise for Cable to let Henderson’s performance speak for itself and let the situation play itself out.

As for Henderson, he still talks a good game.

The Raiders would like to take Henderson and his 335 pounds and give him a rotational role in the middle of the defense, taking dead aim on the poor run defense that has plagued the team for the past seven years.

“No pressure, I love stopping the run,’’ Henderson said. “I take a lot of pride it. That’s something we’ve got to get better at.

“I live for it. You can take me out on third and long. Just put me in on short yardage and all that good stuff.’’

Henderson’s assessment of how to be a good run defense?

“Just do your job. That’s the most important thing. Each person has got to do their job, the (defensive) ends have got to contain and the inside guys got to keep leverage and push keep it clogged,’’ Henderson said. “The linebackers get them, make sure they don’t get nothing.’’

Asked point blank out much he had left, Henderson said, “I got it all, baby.’’

In Henderson, the Raiders have brought in a player who would rather stuff a running back than sack a quarterback.

“That’s weird, ain’t it?,’’ Henderson said. “Think about who talks the most. Running backs. I want to shut them up.’’

With the Raiders having moved Richard Seymour inside to tackle alongside Tommy Kelly, Henderson and second-year Desmond Bryant are competing for time. In most alignments, it will be Seymour as the three technique and Kelly over the nose, but Cable said the Raiders will be able to slide their line to create mismatches.

Henderson is the biggest player of the four, and in a best-case scenario could push Kelly to either better production or more snaps on the bench.

He acknowledges taking a beating, but still things he’s got a lot to offer.

“I’m blessed. I missed four games in eight years,’’ Henderson said. “I’m playing with pain, playing with shoulder injuries. I still love to play. I don’t love it, then I’ll quit.’’

News, notes and quotes from Friday’s lone practice:

— Quarterback Jason Campbell threw what might have been two of prettiest passes he’s thrown in camp, both in excess of 40 yards, one to Darrius Heyward-Bey and the other to Chaz Schilens.

Heyward-Bey hauled his pass in over the shouder down the left sideline over Joe Porter, who brought him all the way to the ground in the non-padded practice. Heyward-Bey held on.

Near the end of practice, Schilens made a spectacular leaping catch against Chris Johnson, who had been sticking to receivers like glue through most of camp. Schilens went down hard, was examined by trainers and reported later, “It was just a stinger. No problem. I’m good.’’

— Campbell has shown good ball skills, occasionally freezing the defense on play-fakes which buy him time and allow receivers to break free.

“When we started OTA we were not very good at that,’’ Cable said. “That has progressed, and I like where that is headed. There are some times where you’re not sure where (the ball) is at. That’s a good thing. But we’ve got to get that a little bit better.”

— Lamarr Houston, the rookie defensive end who has been a starter since his first practice and has seldom left the field, had a new role _ fullback in the goal line offense.

Houston was a prolific high school running back in Colorado Springs, Colo, before switching to defense at Texas. Listed at 6-foot-3, 305 pounds, he may be more compact than a refrigerator, but he’s at least a dishwasher.

“We might do some of that around the goal line in short yardage situations, things like that,’’ Cable said. “We did some of that in minicamp, OTA, right from the get-go with him. He’s had some history there.”

Two days earlier, after defensive end Alex Daniels took some snaps at fullback and I suggested Houston as a possibility because he’d played running back, Cable said, “Yeah, but I like how he plays on defense.’’

— Visitors to practice included Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, offensive coordinator David Shaw, and assistant line coach Steve Wisniewski _ all with Raiders backgrounds.

Wisniewski talked to the linemen as a group following practice.

“I don’t think anyone requested him to come out here. He came out here on his own, just talked about being a pro and the things that he did to make himself better every day,’’ tackle Langston Walker said.

“Just sort of shooting it to you straight. Instead of coaches telling you, you actually get somebody who played 13 years or however long he played, went to however multiples of Pro Bowls. It’s sort of hard to be like, ‘Ah, that guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.’ It means extra.”

— Another big day by tight end Zach Miller, who left walking stiffly with a wrap around his upper left thigh.

— Among those who didn’t practice were wide receiver Jacoby Ford (quadriceps), Jonathan Holland (ankle), fullback Luke Lawton (concussion), fullback Manase Tonga (knee), left guard Robert Gallery (ankle), defensive tackle Richard Seymour (back spasms) and quarterback Charlie Frye (wrist).

Cable said Thursday that Seymour, who has missed the last three practices, was resting. Gallery got caught in a pile and said his injury was “no big deal.’’

Holland, who was on crutches, will receive an MRI to determine the severity of his ankle sprain but was encouraged by how he felt Friday.

— Double session Saturday, with practices at 8:30 a.m. and 4:20 p.m.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • chrisram73


  • chrisram73

    Jason Campbell will be the difference this year. OL still questionable; but with his mobility, he should be able to make some plays. With the Raiders focusing on getting the RBs the ball on swing passes this should play to their strengths. Z. Miller is JCamp’s knew C. Cooley. Finally, DHB will be his knew Santana Moss, only much bigger and faster.

    Raiders in 2010!
    8 wins +

  • chrisram73

    p.s. Great job this training camp, Jerry! Keep it coming…

  • Plunketthead

    Its as if someone flipped a switch and turned the Raiders from a purple syrup circus into a professional football team. Good news everywhere even from the talking heads.

    Who is responsible for this?

    Wisniewski talked to the linemen as a group following practice.

    “I don’t think anyone requested him to come out here. He came out here on his own, just talked about being a pro and the things that he did to make himself better every day,’’ tackle Langston Walker said.

  • Plunketthead

    Gotta give Jerry some props now and then. Good write up, you deserve a espy for pro bloging.

  • dbaz09

    Clearly, Jerry is the organization’s beat writer of choice.. and that’s a good thing. So the next time Amy peaks her head into the media room to ask if anyone wants coffee, take note that she’s probably looking squarely at JMac.

  • dbaz09

    Also, a NT with chronic shoulder problems is not a good thing but let’s hope it works out. A dozen or so plays a game is all we ask.


  • DarthPirate

    Good stuff Jerry.

  • kidseven

    Not a positive peep about Lamarr Houston since the pads went on. I guess he’s a rookie after all, but reading between the lines it sounds like Walker is crushing him. Was sort of hoping we were getting an instant impact guy. Obviously too early to tell, but not much happening so far.

  • On the beach in Cancun

    Every year you hear the same thing about preseason games. They mean nothing. Basically, that’s true. Their main purpose is to work out the bugs and give the players a chance to show what they got, and hopefully, make the team.

    However, I remember Tom Flores, when he was the head coach for the Raiders (10 years, 2 Super Bowl wins but not in the HOF???). He was being interview after a preseason game and he made the comment that preseason games were very valuable when you “cut-them-in-half” and evaluated “how your starters measured up to the opponents starters.” He added that winning or losing a preseason game was “miss leading,” because the game may have been won by your starters and then loss by your marginal players in the 3rd or 4th quarter, and many of those players wouldn’t even make the team. Great analysis and makes sense. With that in mind, the “first half of next Thursdays” game will be important for evaluating our potential for the up coming season.

  • Raider Dell

    Raider Dell Says:
    August 5th, 2010 at 9:36 am
    On the beach in Cancun Says:
    August 5th, 2010 at 8:43 am
    Condo has to go, along with Sam Williams. Enough already. If Satele or Morris can’t “long-snap,” then get a center who can. If Veldheer can learn to do it, then he’s the man. But why “WASTE” a roster spot on a long-snapper???

    I’ve stated this before over the years and there is always a response that long-snapper is critical. OBVIOUSLY, DUDE!
    I GET IT! (I just can’t understand why any “CENTER” in the NFL, making the money they make, can’t long-snap as a part of the position?) Might as well get an extra QB to throw long passes only? Keep JaFatAss to throw bombs only?
    What’s the difference? It’s a waste of a team slot.


    I’ve read your comments before and others on this blog have commented to you, on the need for a LS. In fact, the most recent comment to you was from Priest a few days ago, regarding Condo.

    I would challenge you to snap a football, between your legs and deliver it belt high in less than one second fourteen yards, Try to do it, very difficult. Not many can!!!

    The rule changes in the punt game over the years, has evolved from the slow bulky center doing the long snapping, to a quicker more agile, athletic player, like Condo. Every team wastes a roster spot for this speciality player, look around the league,all the teams have a athletic and fast LS doing their specialty also.

    Teams, like the Raiders are placing a emphasis on speed and coverage, to stop any return. The return game has come back, due to the blocking rules and allowing only two gunners to leave on the snap, prior to the punter kicking the ball.

    My question to you is, “why aren’t you whining about the third string QB” he has even less time on the field than the LS, and is rarely ever used and he takes up a roster spot every game and his salary is more.

    I’m sure my comment will not help. I’ve tried as others, to convince you it’s the way football in the NFL is played and some specialities like LS are needed.

    Finally my challenge to you, try to LS. My son did this in high school and practiced every day, 1 1/2 hours a day during football and the off season. He got pretty good, around one second and two tenths was his best, sad for him he couldn’t run as fast as Condo, so his career ended in HS.

    Please stop showing your ignorance to the speciality Condo has, and realize since he’s been a Raider, in the LS and short snap Jano, and Lechler have had, their best years and Condo has been rewarded for his hard work.

  • On the beach in Cancun

    Raider Dell:

    You don’t have to be so “high and mighty” as if you’re the professor of know it all. So when someone disagrees with you they’re whining? Take your head out of your butt and forget the long ramblings. We’re here because we’re Raider fans and we share are opinions and they’re always people who disagree in the process. Doesn’t mean they’re whining or ignorant. Screw you.

    Hey, so your son played football. So freaking what. Most of us played football and means nothing concerning our opinions. Maybe you’re the ignorant one, Mr Know It All.

  • Raider Dell

    I figured I would get an ignorant comment back. You have no knowledge of the position, yet you comment, how easy it is to long snap by any center.

    I have seen you whine on the subject so much, I’m embarassed for you. Get some football sense, on this particular speciality, so you stop whining about Condo.

    If were all “RAIDER FANS” shouldn’t we want the best players in any position. That includes LS.

    Also, the long ramblings belong to you, spare us the comment on the preseason, little man, you come across as the know it all.

    I figured you couldn’t comment on my straight forward response to your comment, so you have to deflect your comment towards me, as a “know it all” get a life.

  • Just Win Baby

    I remember Gannon stopping fools dead with the pump fake. I don’t really recall seeing it much since then. It will be nice to have someone with a bit of experience under center. I just hope the O line can keep him upright and healthy.

  • snnyjcbs

    You know what kills me about you and your artiles. You mention seeing bunches of Henderson type signings that never amount to anything with them not making it out of camp.

    You never mention all the ones that have worked and worked well. Jerry Rice, Rod Woodson, Romo, Risen, Perreli and on and on I could go. Granted it has been awhile but mark my words, Henderson will make it out of camp.

  • Something you might notice is that Jerry does get to everyone, or pretty much everyone. From all of the possibilities before camp starts, to player after player as camp goes on.
    those doing well, and those on the bubble.

    BTW..”mark my word” “I guarantee” “those in the know”???

    Usually comes back to bite ya…

  • fat kidd

    After Further Review


    Miller after 3 shorts seasons in 19th all time on the Raider reception list with 166 . With 80 catches this season he could pass Jerry Rice for the 10th position , all this with Raider mass confusion offensively . Pretty impressive start for this young man . 2027 total yards with 7 touchdowns and 2 fumbles in 47 games ( 86 yards being the longest ) .

    Higgens after 47 games has 47 catches ( 676 yards ) with 4 tds and 9 fumbles .
    ( 84 yards being the longest ) .
    Schilens after 24 games has 44 catches ( 591 yards ) with 4 tds 0 fumbles
    ( 60 yards being the longest )
    Murphy after 16 games has 34 catches ( 521 yards ) with 4 tds 0 fumbles
    ( 75 yards being the longest )
    Bey after 11 games has 9 catches ( 124 yards ) 1 td 0 fumbles
    ( 24 yards being the longest )

    Mcfadden after 25 games has 50 catches ( 530 yards ) 0 tds 8 fumbles
    ( 48 yards being the longest )
    Bush after 31 games has 36 catches ( 267 yards ) 0 tds 3 fumbles
    ( 25 yards being the longest )

    Miller has been quite the go to guy , with all current improvements with players , staff and attitude look for everyones numbers to climb , best of luck to all of you ( make your nation proud ) .

  • aig-raiders

    I was way wrong earlier. They did use Houston in the back field. You guys gotta see this video…


  • J,

    Seymour will be playing UT (3 Tech)!!
    Me and RR are right!!

  • fat kidd

    I am going way out on a limb here but i going to say it!Shsne Lechler will win the punters job.

  • Ask the Giants how important it’s to have a LS.
    People didn’t complain this much about Ekujiba?!?! I don’t get it.

  • Rich,

    I hope all is well. I missed reading your posts.

  • fat kidd

    Raiders Fight Song



    This song is crackin Lol…..I’ve never heard this b4 gotta Love the Enthusiasm LOL

  • Slow night.

    I think J Campbell will be a good QB for our Offense. He played well before they implemented the WC offense which doesn’t play to his strengths. He is a better fit for our offense IMO. I think it will go down as one of the best trades in our history. A future 4th RD pick!!! Thank You Shan a rat!!

  • fat kidd

    Oakland Raiders Should Sign Plaxico Burress
    By William Boor (Correspondent) on August 5, 2010
    Al Bello/Getty Images Should the Raiders take a chance on Burress?
    Former New York Giant receiver Plaxico Burress has applied for a work release from prison. If granted a release, it is expected that his suspension would be lifted and the 33-year-old receiver would be eligible to return to the National Football League.

    Work release rules state that an inmate can work Monday through Friday and return to prison on the weekends. The inmate is also not allowed to travel outside the state. Burress would need to get a waiver to be able to play in the NFL and although waivers are rare, they are not impossible.

    Burress is a 6’5″ receiver who has the experience—and the play making ability—the Raiders need. Burress caught 12 touchdown passes in 2008, including the Super Bowl winning touchdown, and has averaged six touchdowns a year throughout his nine-year career.

    The Raiders offense has struggled the past few years, partly because of JaMarcus Russell, but also because there is a lack of experience and big-play ability within the receiving corps. Experience and big-play ability are both things Burress would offer the Raiders.

    Louis Murphy led the Raiders’ receivers with 34 receptions last year. Plaxico Burress has had 35 receptions or more every year of his career except for his rookie year.

    The Raiders top four receivers, Louis Murphy, Chaz Schilens, Johnnie Lee Higgins, and Darrius Heyward-Bey, combined for seven touchdown receptions last year. Burress has had seven or more touchdowns in three of his past four seasons, with the exception being the 2008 season which was shortened by injuries.

    When people think of Plaxico Burress, they think he would bring baggage because of his time in jail, but the shooting was one isolated incident, and was more of an example of Burress being stupid than him having a bad image.

    The Raiders needs to take a chance on Burress and a veteran to the group of young receivers

  • Hobs Gnarly

    If Condo was suddenly cut, that dude would have so many teams after him it would be ridiculous.

  • He hasn’t played since he shot himself.
    No Thank You!!

  • No Mas Diamante

    Semms like Miller and Campbell have clicked pretty well which means that Miller is going to get alot of attention this season. So what happens if Miller gets nicked and has to miss some time? Who is backing him up? Meyer’s? Really? He showed some promise, but he’s still raw.
    We need to pay special attention to the tight end spot. campbell likes a solid tight end.
    So what has Tony Stewart done to warrant a roster spot besides making an occasional catch, some adequate blocking and ok special teams work? I think we need an upgrade there. Are ther any other tight ends on the roster?

  • fat kidd

    Prediction =The Raiders will win every game until November of 2017 where they will be upset by a newly formed expansion team the Idaho TaTers. Please archive this bold prediction!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    In most alignments, it will be Seymour as the three technique and Kelly over the nose, but Cable said the Raiders will be able to slide their line to create mismatches.

    Henderson is the biggest player of the four, and in a best-case scenario could push Kelly to either better production or more snaps on the bench.


    Jwigg: there you have it bro!

    what was I saying earlier this week ???

  • fat kidd

    Jason Campbell will his rushing yards be high can he scramble?

  • fat kidd

    Steve Hutchinson is convinced a lockout is coming
    Posted by Mike Florio on August 6, 2010 5:50 PM ET
    For months, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has pegged the likelihood of a lockout at 14 on a scale of one to 10.

    Vikings All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson apparently agrees.

    “The owners fully intend to lock us out,” Hutchinson said Friday after the team’s practice, according to Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “That’s why they negotiated a TV contract that would pay them with the lockout happening [in 2011]. They fully wanted this to happen because they made sure they were going to be compensated if in fact there was no season played.”

    We still think there’s a chance — a good chance — that the owners are bluffing, and that they want the players to think that a lockout is coming, so that the players will be forced to take the last pre-lockout offer. But we feel less strongly about that than we used to.

    But Hutchinson didn’t mention one key reality of the television contracts. If the union prevails in its attempt to block the league from pocketing the TV money in a lockout, the owners won’t be compensated if there’s no season played. And perhaps the leverage will swing to the union.

    Either way, the NFL season unofficially officially begins on Sunday night with the Hall of Fame game, and it could be the last unofficial official beginning to an NFL season for a while.

  • Good Morning Raider Nation!!

    Summer is nearing to an end, while the autumn wind is upon us….

  • belle

    As a faithful fan of James LeBron ,I believe you will always support him.LeBron’s NO.6 jersey is on the top of hottest sale list now. More details,welcome to jersey-boys