Part of the Bay Area News Group

D-line steals the show

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, August 12th, 2010 at 10:20 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Some observations from the Raiders’ 17-9 over the Dallas Cowboys to to consider or disregard:

– Impressive showing from the Raiders defensive line, with the only downside being if they can get this much natural pressure, someone will think it’s a good idea for John Marshall to scrap any ideas of blitzing and moving Nnamdi Asomugha creatively and let the front four handle everything.

– Like the idea of having Lamarr Houston back in the game at the end, getting a feel of what it’s like to close out a pseudo-game in the NFL. Hard to imagine Houston and Matt Shaughnessy being any more impressive considering their experience level.

– If the Raiders had made Hue Jackson available at some point in the last 200 days, it would have been all hearts and flowers. Now everyone will want to know what’s wrong with his offense.

– Would have been nice for Darrius Heyward-Bey to get a catch or two to demonstrate his offseason progress isn’t a mirage.

– Two of the late heroes of the Raiders win were running back Michael Bennett (68 yards, 12 carries, one catch for 33 yards) and safety Jerome Boyd, and there’s a chance neither of them will be around when the season opens in Tennessee. Rock Cartwright is at present the No. 1 kickoff return specialist and plays on other special teams as well. Boyd’s touchdown was a essentially a gift and seventh-round draft pick Stevie Brown, as well as Hiram Eugene, are more likely to stick on the final 53 along with Tyvon Branch, Michael Huff and Mike Mitchell.

– Yes, the Cowboys had already played a game _ supposedly an advantage. They played it on Sunday in Canton, meaning they had a day off and a couple of light practices before playing again. Let’s not overplay their competitive edge.

– Can the Raiders keep both Ricky Brown and Travis Goethel? Both played well. Quinton Groves had his moments as well. The three starters _ Kamerion Wimbley, Rolando McClain and Trevor Scott _ are etched in stone in terms of the 53-man roster, health permitting. Then there’s Thomas Howard, a starter for three -plus years. A nice problem to have.

– I don’t understand field goal attempts with established kickers in the preseason. Why bother on a play with a 99 percent success rate when you can find out something about players you’re not sure about in a game-type situation on fourth down? Oakland’s field goal attempt with Swayze Waters was a waste of time.

– If stopping the run is an attitude to be displayed at all times, giving up 66 yards on 22 carries was a good start for the Oakland defense.

– Nice catch by Nick Miller and Johnnie Lee Higgins and Yamon Figurs did some good things, but keep in mind we still haven’t seen Chaz Schilens or Jacoby Ford. There’s a long way to go at wide receiver.

– Penciling Jared Veldheer and Bruce Campbell into the starting lineup on the basis of handling some tired Dallas scrubs is a bit of a reach, but it’s nice to dream of some young blood ready to help right away.

– You wonder if Colt Brennan will get a chance to take a snap in a Raiders uniform. If Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye get back on the field this week, he could be UFL bound within a couple of weeks. Kyle Boller’s numbers (12 of 21, 148 yards, 1 TD, 94.9 passer rating) were good, but he got lucky when the Cowboys dropped an easy interception in the red zone. Had the Cowboys held the ball, the perception of his game would be much different.

– The Raiders were 2-for-12 on third down, and the first look at the Jason Campbell offense wasn’t encouraging. No turnovers, though _ and that alone makes it an upgrade from you-know-who. If Oakland can approach its 4.4 yards per carry average against the Cowboys consistently, the passing game should come along eventually. Campbell told reporters afterward the Raiders hadn’t gone deep into their playbook and were keeping it simple.

(JaMarcus Russell, by the way, told ESPN he’d turned up positive for codeine in 2007 after being selected by the Raiders with the No. 1 overall pick but said he doesn’t have a drug problem. Guess that rules out the Raiders being oblivous to Russell’s problems).

– Coach Tom Cable said linebacker Sam Williams sustained a concussion and Walter McFadden had a shoulder injury (although he returned to the game after leaving). Kicker Swayze Waters had a calf strain.

– Friday is a player’s day off, with practice resuming Friday. Coach Tom Cable is scheduled to be available to reporters by conference call Friday evening.

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  • MistaBrown

    translation:
    He was just the right color Qb for me thats why I named him “Black Moses” despite his lack of talent or commitment to the game.
    ____

    # priesttj Says:
    August 13th, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Russell is one of the most talented QB I”ve ever seen if that doesn’t mean anything to him. Why should I give a damn.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Btw, Savage (Browns GM) wanted Jabustus!!

  • MistaBrown

    You’ve been predicting 4-12 or 5-11 all off season. Did you forget or change meds?
    _____

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    August 13th, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I’m positive too. I think we can win 9 games if Al never once intervenes with ANYTHING, all year.

  • RaiderLen

    RMR,

    I’ll leave it at this. Whatever approach produces Wins on the field, will be embraced.

    Mike Martz was embraced in St Louis with “The Greatest Show on Turf”

    Now, not so much.

    If the Raiders in some way resurect “The Mad Bomber” and Win. It will be embraced.

    The bottom line is that most Football coaches in the NFL are guys that play it close to the vest.

    Bill Walsh’s they ain’t.

    A good example of a “progressive” NFL coach would be Sean Payton.

    The NFL status quo, in my opinion, is biased to be “conservative”

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Impressive showing from the Raiders defensive line, with the only downside being if they can get this much natural pressure, “SOMEONE” will think it’s a good idea for John Marshall to scrap any ideas of blitzing and moving Nnamdi Asomugha creatively and let the front four handle everything.
    —————————————-
    If that “SOMEONE” butts out, they can win 8.

  • MistaBrown

    KKKell hows the DOW looking today? Recession still over ?

  • edward teach

    Watching Jacksonville and the Eagles.

    Kirk Morrison still sucks.

    That is all.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Satele got beat pretty badly giving up that sack right up the middle on the Raiders 3rd possession.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Brownstains

    You’re an idiot.

  • RaiderLen

    ENGLANDRAIDER Says:
    August 13th, 2010 at 4:02 pm
    A guy says to a woman in an elevator: Can I smell your puzzy?
    Hell no, she says.
    Guy says: Well, it must be your feet then.

    ===================================================
    Satelle, and Carlisle. Of the weak links, these two are the Poster Children.

  • RaiderLen

    Opps, wrong paste. sorry about that.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    ENGLANDRAIDER Says:
    August 13th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    A guy says to a woman in an elevator: Can I smell your puzzy?
    Hell no, she says.
    Guy says: Well, it must be your feet then.
    ————————————–
    LMAO!!!! I keep that one.

  • MistaBrown

    KKKell you’re calling me an idiot after you said the recession is over because the DOW is up?

    LMFAO!!!

  • MistaBrown

    Glenn Coffee retires?

    WOW
    haha

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    BrownStains

    Go google “Recession”, then google the Gross National Product.

    Then go screw yourself, ok?

  • MistaBrown

    KKKell why would i do any of that, for you?

    lol

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Btw BrownStains, It’s Football Season. This is a Football Blog.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3ng4yHw2xk&feature=PlayList&p=E565EF0DE2F587FA&playnext= Raider75

    McNabb leads Skins to TD on second drive. DeAngelo Hall INT leads to second score in 1st Quarter.

    Raiders fans have to love that.

  • Nnamdi21

    Warren Sapp’s an idiot

  • MistaBrown

    So why are you telling me to google “recession” as if everybody isn’t aware of one. Especially the last 18 months!

    U fk’n dork
    :D

  • MistaBrown

    KKKell its football season! The DOW is down, foreclosures up, unemployment up, corruption is up! Lets stick to football ok..
    ____

    KoolKell Says:
    August 13th, 2010 at 5:32 pm
    BrownStains

    Go google “Recession”, then google the Gross National Product.

    Then go screw yourself, ok?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3ng4yHw2xk&feature=PlayList&p=E565EF0DE2F587FA&playnext= Raider75

    According to his Twitter account McFadden is at home attempting to Jailbreak his new IPhone.

    He should put the phone away and study his damn playbook!

  • MistaBrown

    KKKell, taking a trip to Spain during 2 Wars and 20% (real number) unemployment is quite arrogant and insensitive, yes?

    mope & change

  • MistaBrown

    McFadden doesn’t know the playbook?

    First I’ve heard of that..

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    DHB was silent again last night.

  • ohioraider

    Sigh…another season and another year of misguided hype, sycophantic cheerleading, and apologies for the old rocksmoker Al from Priesttj. Hey dude, everybody want us to win, but you don’t have to defend the indefensible to be a loyal fan–by the way, another myth promoted by the kool-aid drinkers. Al still stucks ass, and his derelict neglect of the offensive line proves it.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Regarding Gruden’s ‘conservatism’…I’m one of those Raider fans that felt he was a bit too conservative.

    Towards the end of his Raider tenure I must admit I was getting tired of all the short crossing routes and dinking and dunking. Every play seemed to start with the signature man in motion and culminated with a short reception or dump off to a back.

    However, in Gruden’s defense, he was running an offense saddled with a QB with a pea-shooter for an arm and designed plays to maximize his ability. Gannon was a fabulous field general that could make things happen, you just didn’t want to ask him to consistently throw accurate deep or intermediate passes. That just wasn’t his forte. When he first started QBng the Raids it was uncanny the way he would scramble for first downs to keep the chains moving. And that’s what Gruden’s offense was designed to do. Keep the chains moving.

    Was it the most exciting offense ? No, but it worked. Of course back then we had a terriffic OL, some very good skill position players and it seemed we could have been more explosive, but the bottom line was Gannon wasn’t equpped to run an offense predicated on a lot of deep strikes and Gruden’s offense maximized Gannon’s abilities.

    I think Gruden did a very good job coaching the Raids. But I will also say I thought Callahan opened up the offense just a little bit more in the SB year with good results up until he ran into Gruden in SD.

    Gruden was a good coach, even Al admits that. I don’t regret the king’s ransom we got from TB in exchange for Gruden, it was the right move to make. Unfortunately Al whiffed on the draft picks we got for Gruden, and the Raids have whiffed on just about every high draft pick since then. Couple that with some horrible FA acquistions and you get a decade of misery for the Raiders. That’s all on Davis.

    Understandably there’s many Raider fans that want to throw Al under the bus. They’re convinced the game has passed him by and we’re doomed to suck as long as he’s at the helm.

    I’m not one of them.

    I still think Davis will get this turned around, and even if he can’t, I’m going to stick with him. To me, Al Davis is greatly responsible for the Raider legacy and for that he has earned my undying support.

    Heck, one of the reasons I admire the Raiders is the maverick image that Al is responsible for. If and when Al rights the ship it’s going to be all that much sweeter being a Raider fan and having stuck with crazy old Al. I just hope it happens soon because all these miserable Sunday’s have been killing me.

  • priesttj

    DHB

    silence was at least a bit concerning. You would think the coaches would’ve at least wanted to get him a couple of catch’s. He needs his confidence biult up in this preseason more than anyone IMO. To take him after the first series was odd.

  • RaiderRetribution

    I see at least seven rookies making the final 53.

    100%- Mr. McClain, Mr. Houston, Mr. Veldheer, & Mr. Campbell

    99%- Mr.Ford

    98%- Mr. Brown, also Mr. McFadden & Mr. Goethel

    still a solid chance is Mr. Ware

    if so at least one of Mr. Johnson, Mr. Huff, Mr. Routt,or Mr. Eugene could be traded (all to valuable to simply cut).

  • RaiderRetribution

    We need to sign Matawe pro-bowlcenter!

  • raider21

    Looks like the Defense will be awesome this year.

    What made the Raiders Offense famous, was the wild unpredictable gunslinger, Kenny Stabler the “Snake” and the vicious Defense that created fear among the league.

    We need to get back to that same intensity, that “Raider Attitude”.

    The pieces are right there for an exciting, unpredictable, high powered offense. Shake it up!l
    First, bring in the 4 wide spread with Colt Brennan, the most prolific gunslinger in NCAA history, records held, completion %, touchdowns, total yards, 31 records in all. Bottom line, he is accurate and quick, critics say, it’s a gimmick offense, so what, it moves the ball downfield and is exciting to watch, like a machine.

    Redzone, go with the Wildcat, utilizing Rock (young Ricky Williams), Bennett, Bush and McFadden or Pro set with Boller.

    New England and the Colts are successful and fun to watch because of the spread.

    The excitement will be back with the high scoring and mean defense, the country will be talking about the New Raider attack with the old Attitude!

    If the Raider motto is “Just Win, Baby”, then they need to really mean it and shake it up!

    Same old offense with Campbell, who had 5 years with the skins with limited success, will be low scoring and predictable, boring. I don;t think Raider fans want to wait another 5 years for him to “develop”.

  • Musaeus

    Jerry I agree with your comment about wasting plays on field goals. However, Swayze is not a proven entity. I’m not exactly sure what his purpose is, but it can’t hurt to see a new guy attempt a kick. Him missing the easy one should tell you more than an incomplete pass on that 4th down.

    In the future, it’s pointless to go for the kick though, because we know the guy isn’t as good as seabass.