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`Fatigue’ slows Heyward-Bey

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, August 19th, 2010 at 7:40 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Darrius Heyward-Bey has worked so hard in the offseason to validate his status as the No. 7 pick of the 2009 draft he is at present too tired to do anything about it.

But have no fear. He’ll be rested and ready to explode come Sept. 12 and the regular-season opener in Tennessee.

That’s the company line, and the Raiders are sticking to it. There is no injury.

Is it just me, or does it seem a little odd that the Raiders have a 23-year-old receiver who worked so hard in the offseason he sits out four practices in the middle of training camp for no other reason than he is tired?

Since players for years have worked out in the offseason in order to stay on the field and not off it, what in the name of Jerry Rice is going on here?

“He is fatigued. We wrap him up, we keep him out of things,’’ Cable said. “When it gets to the point where if we push it anymore he might get injured, I’m not going to do that. I backed off.’’

When it was suggested to Cable that Heyward-Bey may have overtrained in the offseason, he said, “Yeah. I think guys do that now, especially with the way the offseason are and as long as they are and all that. He’s OK. I’m just not going to put him a situation where it may get us a negative outcome.’’

In the days preceding Heyward-Bey’s rest period, he had a few sessions where he was almost invisible. While not dropping passes at the rate he did a year ago, Heyward-Bey up to that point had been making the occasional play which had inspired enough confidence from the organization to send an “I told you so” press release.

After signing a few autographs for fans invited to practice, Heyward-Bey said he was, “just a little fatigued. Coach Cable is holding me out a little bit for that. That’s pretty much it.’’

What kind of fatigue, exactly?

“Body, legs, you know just fatigue,’’ Heyward-Bey said. “Doing a lot of running. Receivers, we’re low in numbers anyway. I feel bad for the other guys out there and me missing. But we’re working hard out there, so it takes a toll.’’

Heyward-Bey said he’s not concerned about losing any timing with his quarterbacks, and both he and Cable expect the process to accelerate as the regular season approaches.

But as of now, the old adage of fighting through the pain doesn’t apply to Heyward-Bey.

“You gotta be smart out there. You have to ask yourself, ‘Can I play at the level they want me to play at?,’ ‘’ Heyward-Bey said.

And right now you can’t?

“Right now, we’re being smart about it,’’ Cable said. “You want to get the reps in, but if its’s going to take a toll where I will be out a long time you gotta weigh the pros and cons.’’

With Chaz Schilens still missing more practices than he’s participating in _ he watched again Thursday as the Raiders continued to be “smart’’ with his surgically repaired foot _ it’s not like the projected starting receivers have had lots of time with quarterback Jason Campbell.

“I don’t know if I’m losing (our timing as much as I’m a little worried that what we’ve gained we’re not growing from there,’’ Cable said. “ That’s my only worry. But we’ll be OK. I’m confident in that. I see what they’re doing. I’m just not going to put guys in a position where I don’t have them here in a few weeks.’’

More news and notes from Thursday’s practice:

– Quarterback Charlie Frye underwent a surgical procedure on a ligament in his throwing wrist which will need four to five months of rehabilitation, according to Cable.

Frye was placed on injured reserve, leaving Bruce Gradkowski, Kyle Boller and Colt Brennan to compete for three spots. Gradkowski won’t play against the Bears, With Boller entering for Campbell some time in the second quarter and Brennan mopping up.

– Ruled out of the Bears game by Cable are running back Darren McFadden (hamstring), tight end Tony Stewart (ankle), linebacker Sam Williams (concussion), cornerback Chris Johnson (hamstring), wide receiver and Paul Hubbard (hamstring).
Cable said he would probably add more to that list, and with Schilens and Heyward-Bey almost certainly being on it.

– McFadden was going through agility drills at what looked like full speed with a trainer and Cable said he expected his running back to be back on the practice field Tuesday.

Richardson’s knee procedure is expected to keep him out two to three weeks, Cable said.

– Eric Butler, recently released by the Rams, was added to the Raiders roster as a tight end. Butler, a practice squad player in St. Louis who has played mostly H-back, was playing tight end Thursday.

– Cable reiterated that he saw all he needed to see against Dallas to tell him the Raiders will be a much improved team physically, and that he has no intention of increasing the amount of hitting in training camp.

“It would be stupid or ridiculous for anyone to say, ‘You need to hit more’ or anything like that,’’ Cable said. “We’ve already proven who we are that way.’’

– Practice updates can be found on my Twitter page.

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  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    I wanna see it 860…proof is in the pudding….i find it so weak though that dude is out for 4 straight days…might as well make it 6 cause he aint gonna play on Saturday…due to fatigue. WTF? How tired can he be!

  • JB

    # 860Todd Christensen Says:
    August 20th, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Teach, I think it’s too early to call DHB a bust, not enough league time, I think he’ll come around sooner than later, as will this Young team. We have the potential to be scary for the next 10 years IMO.

    I agree but at some point we have to stop having the potential and start doing the scary things. That goes for ALL the players.

  • Lakota

    I’ve heard the “they have so much potential” or the “they have so much talent” arguments for the past 25 years.

    Only time it amounted to anything was when Gruden was here.

  • Lakota

    ….But Al doesn’t think coaching is important…you can have all the talent in the world, but unqualified HCs are not going to maximize that talent, only destroy it.


  • edward teach


    I agree that we struggle with player development sometimes, and it seems that certain positions present more of a challlenge than others. Not sure why that is.

    Our problems last year on offense were almost too numerous to count. The starting quarterback was in a daze most of the time and didn’t seem to mind, the o-line underperformed and the playcalling was utterly nonsensical. Based on the situation we were in before last season started, I thought (and posted as much) that Crabtree was perfect for the offense because he had a knack for getting open and would catch anything remotely close to him. A reliable receiver that could help move the chains would be great for a young quarterback’s confidence, would provide for more opportunities for Zach Miller and would as a result of being able to contribute first downs, keep our defense from spending two-thirds of the game on the field.

    Whether it would have happened that way or not is open for debate, but to me it made a lot more sense than drafting an extremely raw “project” that couldn’t bring those things to the table.

  • RaiderTW

    If DHB is a bust is Harvin one also?

  • 64Chevy

    new guy to the blog!

    DHB is hurt PERIOD, there is no way that guy stands there watching other guys that are also fatigued bust their a$$!! knowing they would resent him. Its a hammy and they don’t want to let on as this is a very sensitive issue right now with the Raiders.

  • Lakota

    You can’t call DHB a bust yet….not after just one year. Probably not even after next year if he makes some progress this season.

    I kid about his Hands of Stone, but he certainly is not a bust….yet.

    But if he drops more balls than he catches this year, we may be able to call it earlier than expected lol.

  • JB

    From my perspective, this is a make/break year for Tom Cable. I would say a .500 season would be the minimal acceptable performance. I actually DO expect to do better than that this year but that would be a minimum acceptable result. Make it and Cable continues. Not make it and Cable is history. If that were to be the case I could only hope that AD would go out & try to get John Gruden back as the HC.

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    How can Harvin be considered a bust? Dude balled-out last year. The only thing busted is his head.

  • theRAIDERdude

    Long time reader first time poster here. I MUST sound off. This organization pisses me off! First Al with his propensity to “dispel” rumors, hold press conferences for things other than lifting trophies, loser media releases to compare current unproven players to great PROVEN players, and all around EMBARASSING behavior to defend the “honor” of the organization.

    Second, I have no problem with players getting rest to be ready and healthy for the season but man if DHB is hurt just tell us because i believe just sitting DHB is BS. At least have him work on some routes or play catch with a QB. In all honesty we don’t have the luxury of great proven receivers that we can say “hey at least we know come Sept 12 he’ll do his thing” Our receiving corps is young, unproven, and RAW. These guys need to get off their butts and hustle!

    OK I feel better guys. I read all the comments to the blogs and you guys (most) are pretty insightful and make some good and bad observations. Looking forward to talking Raiders with you all!

  • RaiderTW

    Harvin had one good year as a #1 draft pick, if he can’t return would that make him a bust?

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    No reason to beat around the bush during training camp/pre-season…call it what it is. During the regular season that’s a different story. By doing what they are doing they are insulting the intelligence of their fan base. Nothing to gain at this point by down-playing the severity of it.

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    cant say that it would.

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    Hey RaiderDude, Al should let DHB sit in his wheelchair and place him in front of a jugs machine to practive his catching….hands only. what do you think?

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse


  • Lakota

    RaiderTW Says:
    August 20th, 2010 at 9:07 am
    Harvin had one good year as a #1 draft pick, if he can’t return would that make him a bust?

    Injuries or health problems do not equal bust in my mind…that is why I never call Ki-jana Carter a bust.

    Not being able to perform at a high level at the position you were drafted at as a top draft pick after several seasons with minimal injury problems = bust.

    Robert Gallery is a bust as the #2 pick and great LT!

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    but he is a solid LG

  • Lakota

    Yep, solid LG. Not exactly the 12 year dominating/franchise helping LT he was portrayed as…but a solid LG.

  • RaiderTW

    OK, wasted #1 draft pick if he can’t play. At least DHB can come back to be a starter & maybe redeem his #1 status. If the Raiders drafted Harvin & now he had to retire the League would laff at us & call him a bust.

  • theRAIDERdude

    Captain, That was an epic mental picture i got. Al sitting in his cart a few feet away writing messages and tying them to a pigeons foot to deliver to the rumor mongers about how genious he is for picking DHB 7th overall and how it was his idea to let him borrow his wheelchair.

  • 64Chevy

    Yo Captain-

    Exactly and well put yet the Raiders have done that in the past. Our team is the most paranoid franchise in sports, thus we don’t even get to hear Hue Jackson….even in the preseason!!

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    LOL @ RAIDERdude….Al takin all the credit. That’s the only way it could be.

  • Lakota

    RaiderTW Says:
    August 20th, 2010 at 9:17 am
    OK, wasted #1 draft pick if he can’t play. At least DHB can come back to be a starter & maybe redeem his #1 status. If the Raiders drafted Harvin & now he had to retire the League would laff at us & call him a bust.

    Don’t be so paranoid. I don’t think the NFL or the media would laugh at us and call Harvin a bust had we drafted him…they know the difference between a medical condition, and actual failure as a player. No one called Leon Bender a bust or even a wasted draft pick because he was drafted by the Raiders and died.

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    as it stands Harvin and bust do not belong in the same sentence.

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    I agree 64…and in a way I think we are our own worst enemies.

  • Lakota

    Now if Harvin’s “migraines” are a result of excessive marijuana use which ends in his retirement, then you can call him a bust.

    Harvin, you have to drink some water while getting high!

  • Lakota

    Lol those fugitives were caught….in ARIZONA!

    They had the authorities looking everywhere but Arizona! Lucky park ranger stumbled onto them….well, lucky that he didn’t end up dead park ranger…

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    i agree Lakota….not being able to play due to certain vices is grounds for bust status. Guess, ol’ #2 is a multi-faceted bust.

  • RaiderTW

    ow if Harvin’s “migraines” are a result of excessive marijuana use which ends in his retirement, then you can call him a bust.
    NOW who’s being paranoid? lol, I suppose excessive marijuana use is the responsible form MOST of the world’s ills. How did Bob Marley do in life? George Washington, almost all rock groups in the 60s 70s 80s? It doesn’t pay to be paranoid about pot unless you are in the act of smoking it. Educate yourself on the practice, it’s a healing herb not a rightwing tool for fear, Lako.

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    Hey TW, i agree with what you are saying, but when it comes to being a member of an elite fraternity such as the NFL it pays to stay above the influence.

  • Lakota

    It isn’t paranoia TW, Harvin tested positive for marijuana at the scouting combine. Excessive marijuana use can result in sever headaches. That is fact.

    As to the other issue you brought up…I work with people who have had their lives destroyed by drugs and in the vast majority of cases they started with marijuana.

  • RaiderTW

    but when it comes to being a member of an elite fraternity such as the NFL it pays to stay above the influence.
    Agreed, it also helps to put out your best effort instead of pocketing the money & coasting (JaSuckus).

  • RaiderTW

    Excessive marijuana use can result in sever headaches. Excessive marijuana use can result in sever headaches.That is fact.
    Hahahaha, one you would have to prove!!!
    I work with people who have had their lives destroyed by drugs and in the vast majority of cases they started with marijuana.
    If marijuana is a gateway to harder drugs then Religion is the gateway to psychosis!!!

  • raidertbone

    Enough about me … back to the question about Harvin. Whether his headaches are marijuana-induced or not, in no way can he be considered a bust along he same magnitude of JaDrankus or Leaflet. These were two teams who sank a buttload of money and built their whole teams around two individuals (the quarterbacks) and those guys never assumed leadership and then abandoned their teams. Becuase of Favre, a lot of people didn’t even notice that Harvin wasn’t on the field very much. You could call him a “bust”, just on a different level.

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    on what level, tbone? all he did was contribute to his teams success.

  • raidertbone

    I am curious to see what Butler can bring to the table tomorrow night …

  • RaiderRockstar

    SDR “if Routt gets burned by Cutler more than once… then i think its time to trade him”


    Hwnrdr “Baltimore (maybe)? They are hurting for CB’s right?”


    SDR, Dirt Lot & Hwnrdr – interesting take fellas

    I would love to unload Routt via trade, if he has any trade value (doubtful)

    Sounds like rookie DB’s McFadden, Ware & Brown can hold down CB spots 3-5 after Nnamdi & CJ

    Huff, Branch, Mitchell and Boyd/Eugene at safety

  • JB

    # raidertbone Says:
    August 20th, 2010 at 10:01 am

    I am curious to see what Butler can bring to the table tomorrow night …

    Why? We need another TE like we need a 3rd butthole. ZMiller, BMeyers, & Stewart/Owens are more than we’ll ever need for a season.

  • http://atm Raider O



    Make the Me the Leader of the Green Part!!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    new post!

  • Just Fire Baby

    DHB is hurt, and Al is covering for him.

    That’s my two cents. The DHB experiment has been Al’s little pet project from day one.

    Drafted too high, forced to start, out with some bogus injury late last year, the press release detailing how great he is “working” in the offseason, and now this “fatigue” with a giant wrap around his leg.

    Where’s MaddenRaider when you actually need him!!

  • raidertbone

    I am still intrigued by Owens; like Brennan, tomorrow night is his audition for his next team — unless he blows up like Victor Cruz, in New York (highly unlikely)

  • JB

    I agree on wanting to se what Brennan has.

  • raidertbone

    RMR is on the sideline, consoling DHB for the hard luck he is experiencing in life (or, maybe, giving him the phone number of one of the Kar-TRASH-ian ho’s).

  • Nnamdi21

    170. Wish they’d get rid of Stewart. Worthless on the field most of the time.

  • raidertbone

    Stewart HAS been hanging around a long time, considering the limited amount of productivity. It was a good pick-up, bringing in Myers last year.

  • raidertbone

    I just saw Sylvester Stallone on the cover of the new Muscle&Fitness. All I can say is this: Cable should bring this guy in for one of the practices — he would have players running through stone walls … anybody seen the cast member line-up for the movie “The Expendables”?

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  • RaidersHLP

    I think I got this figured out. He is so good now. That to expose his talents to the rest of the league at this early stage would be a disadvantage. He will come is as a shocking suprise that no one expects and lead the league in receiving once the real games start.