Veldheer on the fast track


Tom Cable is a lot like Bill Callahan when it comes to versatility on the offensive line.

They may not teach the same schemes, but both are of the opinion that having linemen who can switch positions in an instant not only stimulates their ability to learn, but helps the team in the long run.

It’s with that in mind that Jared Veldheer can put himself in position to be the tallest center (6-foot-8) to start an NFL game. A week after getting some snaps at left tackle, against Julius Peppers, no less, Veldheer will start against the 49ers Saturday in place of Samson Satele.

Cable told reporters Wednedsay Satele was questionable with an ankle injury, but he almost certainly won’t play. And it doesn’t really make a lot of sense to start veteran Chris Morris, when Cable can get an idea of whether it’s feasible to make Veldheer a starter as a rookie third-round draft pick out of Hillsdale.

“It’s two different worlds,” Veldheer said in a post-practice interview. “You just have to transition yourself, outside to inside. This week I’ve been able to get back into that inside world more. It will be fun on Saturday.”

The “different worlds” could also apply from Veldheer’s jump from small college star to NFL rookie, but Cable hasn’t seen him back down yet.

“The first thing you look for in a small school guy is, `Is he kind of fearful of competition?,’ ” Cable said. “That’s never once been the case on any day throughout camp.”

Cable said Veldheer has handled the mental challenges of the tackle-to-center switch “very well” and has had no setbacks.

More news, notes and quotes (as relayed by beat writer Steve Corkran):

— For anyone wondering whether perennial Pro Bowl center Kevin Mawae could be in the Raiders’ plans, Cable said, “We’ve never had any discussions about that.”

— Cable hinted the Raiders would game plan more to put players in situations to make roster decisions easier, rather than devise a plan to beat the 49ers. The third regular season game typically is the one that’s a dress rehearsal for the opener. The fact that the two teams play in the regular season is also a factor.

“Because we’re playing them later we probably won’t show everything we normally would,” Cable said.

— Is there a role for linebacker Thomas Howard, or will the Raiders be looking to get something for him at the final cutdown day?

Cable, asked about Howard’s standing, said, “I think we’ll know more after we get through this one. I’m not trying to avoid the question. I just think that the way this game is set up and some of the things that well be doing defensively we’ll have a chance to see where he is at.”

Like, perhaps, put hoping Howard has a big enough game so that he can at least bring back a draft choice.

— Cable on whether Chaz Schilens could be ready for the opener: “I don’t know that yet. They’re telling us we can probably answer that question the first of next week.”

— Bruce Gradkowski, when asked about the young receiving corps, did the only sensible thing _ give them a public vote of confidence.

“I’m confident in all our receivers,” Gradkowski said. “They do a great job. I don’t know how many we’ll keep, but it’s always tough. . . . I’m proud o fthose guys and we’ve just got to keep going and finish this out right.”

— Hue Jackson, talking to the media? He jokingly took the podium today before walking away. Unless they’re serving him up Thursday as camp breaks, he’ll probably talk to the media for the first time in Alameda. The Raiders have taken advantage of vague league guidelines in the preseason which request reasonable access by not making him available at all. Once the regular season begins, they’re required to make Jackson available to the media on a regular basis or be subject to a fine.

— The Raiders hold their final practice of the Napa training camp Thursday at 8:30 a.m. and then get out of town. The Raider Nation Celebration will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland.

— According to my transcript, the first words out of Cable’s mouth were, “Where is McDonald? He’s just taking time off. He’s got David White disease.”

I don’t know about the David White thing, but I have felt “fatigued” lately.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • 8 OL:

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    TH adds depth in the event an end goes down and Scott has to step in….also can be used in the 3-4.

  • The Autumn wind is upon us…

    RAIDER NATION…..are you ready for some FOOTBALL????

  • RaiderRockstar

    I think Thomas Howard and Mike Mitchell are the same player wearing different numbers. You can cut either one, cause they do the same thing.



    Mitchell can hit (for a safety) but has questionable cover skills

    Howard can cover (for a linebacker) but has questionable tackling skills

    interesting scenario you brought up … maybe Mitch should bulk up and play WLB or Howard should slim down and play safety?

  • Cut:

    T Goethel
    S Brown

  • I agree RR. 2 diff players. A cover guy and a head hunter. We need both IMO.

  • RaiderRockstar

    TH adds depth in the event an end goes down and Scott has to step in


    Mudslide: Scott, Wimbley & Groves can all play DE

    so can Seymour, Kelly & Bryant

    J-Rich will be the first guy in if Shaughnessy or Houston get injured anyways …

  • RaiderRockstar

    Howard = Darnell Bing?

  • Captain,

    Exactly. We need to keep TH.

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    RR, my weak attempt at keeping Howard on the team…

  • We have 4 slots available in this league!!

    C’mon and join!!


  • RR, O, Dingle berry!!

  • RR,

    -Bing never played a full season
    -TH had 6 INTs in one season. 2 more than Huff in 4 seasons.
    -has 23 PDefs, and 381 tackled in 4 season.

    He has more INTs than huff in 4 seasons!!! He has 7 and huff has 4!!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    my weak attempt at keeping Howard on the team…


    Mudslide: hey man, I was right there with you last offseason and even the first part of this offseason

    I thought Morrison & Howard were fine, but obviously the coaching staff (and my buddy Jwigg) felt differently. I thought the problem was more with that 3rd LB Brown/Williams/Alston and the DT’s Warren/Kelly

    we moved Scott to WLB (Howard’s old spot) last year
    traded for Wimbley & Groves
    tendered Ricky Brown – 2nd round
    re-signed Sam Williams
    drafted Travis Goethel
    McClain obviously replaced Morrison

    the writing is on the wall bro. Howard = cut or traded

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    whens the draft R8eray?

  • Tackles*

    I appreciate the invite R8, but Im sorry that I have to decline. I have school, and I like to chat with You People, so I don’t have time to play/WIN in FFL.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Huff > Howard

    Huff = 16 game starter last year. projected starter this year

    Howard = benched for Scott last year and currently on the trade block

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    well said, RR…your take last year was much the same as mine.

  • Raider Dell

    r8eray Says:
    August 26th, 2010 at 10:24 am
    We have 4 slots available in this league!!

    C’mon and join!!


    Ray would like to, but I’m in to many leagues. This takes more time than many people think.

    The waiver wire and the bye weeks keep you jumping.

  • Sept. 2nd @7pm

  • RaiderRockstar

    Ray would like to, but I’m in to many leagues. This takes more time than many people think.

    The waiver wire and the bye weeks keep you jumping.


    Agreed – same here

  • I know….this is my second!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Sept. 2nd @7pm


    isn’t that during the Oakland/Seattle game ???

  • NO…….don’t say that!!!??

  • Week 04 Thu, 09/02 at 7:00 PM PDT
    Home: Oakland Coliseum
    Team LeadersPassing: . Rushing: . Receiving: .
    TV: KICU TV36
    Sirius: 125

  • Sh!ettt!!!!!!

  • That’s why that day/time was in my head!

  • RaiderRockstar

    sorry ray 🙂

  • RR,

    TH > Huff!!!
    -TH: has more tackles (380), more INTs (6) 4 seasons, and about the sane PDefs (23).
    -Huff has 240 tackles, 4 INTe, and 31 PDefs.

    TH > Huff!!!!

  • I’ll change it to something more convenient!

  • RaiderRockstar

    it’s no big deal to change the date or time …

  • Captain Mudslide & the Dingle Berry Posse

    R8eray, a Saturday

  • RaiderRockstar

    O: in a year or two you’ll be able to hire Thomas Howard at the used car dealership

  • Sat. good for you guys? I have one at (actually its a live draft)??

  • In 4 seasons:
    -TH: 380 tackles, 7 INTs, and 23 PDefs.
    -Huff: 250 tackles, 4 INTs, and 31 PDefs.

    TH was a 2nd RD pick, and Huff was a 1st.

    TH > Huff!!!!!

  • RaiderRockstar


    stats are for losers – Warren Sapp & Mike Tomlin

  • And Huff can be a farmer in The PEF Project. lol

  • bcz24

    What time is the draft this Sunday? I have a draft at 7pm eastern for my big money league so I hope it wont interfere. I hate preranking and autodrafting

  • LMAO RR!

  • RaiderRockstar

    The PEF Project ???

  • RaiderRockstar

    new post up

  • 30 year raider

    WHATS UP NATION!!!! havent been on much lately my wife was in the hosp. needed bedrest due to complications of pregancy. all is good now mom and son are home safe and my lilraider is ready to kick some afc west azz!!!!

  • I hope they don’t trade Thomas Howard, because some excellent offenses like the Patriots and Saints will see that between Asmougha, CJ, Seymour and Houston our weakness is covering in the middle of the field. We got a bunch of undersized, pass-rushing DE’s playing OLB, and when someone like Tom Brady is pulling the trigger at QB he will pick those guys apart, well before Scott or Wimbley get anywhere near him. Howard gives us so much diversity on defense.

  • RR,

    BTW, did you know that I like Huff, and I wanted us to draft him or VY?
    I don’t think we are using players like TH, Huff, Nnamdi, MM, JLH, and DMC i’m a way to get the most production out of them.

  • Nakota