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Veldheer on the fast track

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 at 7:52 pm in Oakland Raiders.

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.

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  • hwnrdr

    Good Morning Big Ted!
    Marley…I agree, goven time, I think JV will be that utility player … or maybe even the next Barrett Robbins (Sorry, he’s no Barrett, but can he be?)

  • bcz24

    I say we cut the regular season down to 4 games, no preseason. The other 12 games + playoffs will be played on the PS3 Madden of that year. This way we dont have to worry about the players getting hurt… the greed is showing through if you ask me. They players arent saying they wont play an 18 game schedule… they are just saying they wont play 18 games for without being paid more. The owners are at fault for letting these contracts sky rocket to such exorbitant amounts.

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

    Plunkettnead….

    I hope they think it all the way though.

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

    I like the idea Bcz24!

    Greed and ego’s if you ask me.

  • Plunketthead

    I would rather the NFL add one more game and seek revenue elsewhere. They already milk ticket holders to the bone.

    I would pay 10 to 20 to watch the game on the one eyed hypnotist sitting in my layzboy.

    Especially if the NFL network spiked it up by letting us watch warmups, more interviews, taking us closer to the locker room, aftergame PC, etc.

  • Lakota

    Now we just need a Cooper Carlisle rolled ankle and the line will be much better off one way or another.

  • Plunketthead

    and cheerleaders, lots of bouncing boobs, long legs, big smile and interview one once in awhile

  • fat kidd

    The Raiders released running back Justin Fargas in hopes of creating more opportunities for McFadden and Michael Bush, who is considered stronger between the tackles and better-built to be an every-down back. McFadden has surpassed 14 carries just twice in 25 career games, in part because of health issues.

  • CJ Legend 34

    I think it is time for big John Henderson (6’7″ 335) to have a big game. What has he done to save his spot on the team?

    If he does not get his $#!T together I am going to gangster slap his @$$!!!!!!!

    That should get his motor going.

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

    Cheerleaders!!!I forgot all about them.We’ll need bigger squads of them.

  • CJ Legend 34

    OK…….true.
    ———————————-
    fat kidd Says:
    August 26th, 2010 at 7:18 am
    The Raiders released running back Justin Fargas in hopes of creating more opportunities for McFadden and Michael Bush, who is considered stronger between the tackles and better-built to be an every-down back. McFadden has surpassed 14 carries just twice in 25 career games, in part because of health issues.

  • hwnrdr

    I just wanna have a bunch of beers and go in ans see our starters blow it up on Saturday!

  • J Wiggle

    Big John is competing with William Joseph and Kellen Heard for the last DT spot. I don’t see him having any problem making the team.

  • CJ Legend 34

    Yeah, Coop sucks as well. I think the biggest issues we are going to have this year is our O-line and droped passes by a bunch of young speedy WRs with C+, B- hands.
    ————————————————–
    Lakota Says:
    August 26th, 2010 at 7:17 am
    Now we just need a Cooper Carlisle rolled ankle and the line will be much better off one way or another.

  • CJ Legend 34

    J Wiggle do you think they are just resting the high milage vet for the season?
    ————————————
    J Wiggle Says:
    August 26th, 2010 at 7:26 am
    Big John is competing with William Joseph and Kellen Heard for the last DT spot. I don’t see him having any problem making the team.

  • J Wiggle

    I wouldn’t say they are resting him, and now that I think about it, he may not be safe.

    He is the 3rd NT on the depth chart behind Kelly and Bryant. No way he gets snaps at the 3 tech which is why Joseph was in the game before him.

    If they are intent on keeping Bryant at NT, Henderson might be in trouble.

  • BigTed707

    Maybe if it goes to 18 games, the league would allow more than 53 players per team, to compensate for “fatigue”.

    I’m OK with watching more games, I just hope that players will be able to stay healthy.

    I’m fine with things the way they are.

  • BigTed707

    Keep up the good work fellas.
    I’ll check’ya Raider.

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

    I’m out too.

    Have a great Thursday everyone.

  • fat kidd

    Chad Ochocinco Now Has His Own Cereal (of Course He Does)8
    Comments
    Say Something »

    8/25/2010 4:00 PM ET By Ryan Wilson

    PrintAText Size

    Ryan Wilson
    Back Porch Editor
    Chad Ochocinco’s day job might be NFL wide receiver, but at this point he’s more entrepreneur than professional football player. The Pro Bowler often seems busier away from the game than he does preparing for it.

    If it’s not UStream or “Dancing With the Stars,” or his own news network, Ochocinco is making things that make our lives easier. In theory, anyway. Last year, he revealed the prototypes for prophylactics bearing his name (they’re still in the development phase*), and now comes word of his latest endeavor: Ochocincos. That’s right, Chad has his own cereal.

    Via Sports Business Digest by way of PLBSports:

    “Chad is a great personality, and with his involvement in social media and his interaction with the fans, he was an athlete that we were very excited to work with,” said PLB Sports President Ty Ballou. “One way or another, America has learned and is continuing to learn more about Chad Ochocinco off the field, and they’re finding out how great he is. Who wouldn’t want to share a breakfast table with him?”

    So if you live in Newport, Kentucky or have internet access you too can get your mitts on some “low fat food” goodness (note to manufacturers: might want to include a hyphen between “low” and “fat” just so there’s no confusion).

  • CJ Legend 34

    Yeahman it is hard to tell. Maybe the coaches have seen more of Henderson at practice then we have to make that call but Bryant did not do a bad job in there. Plus, Bryant has an upside not the same case for Henderson.
    ———————————–
    J Wiggle Says:
    August 26th, 2010 at 7:34 am
    I wouldn’t say they are resting him, and now that I think about it, he may not be safe.

    He is the 3rd NT on the depth chart behind Kelly and Bryant. No way he gets snaps at the 3 tech which is why Joseph was in the game before him.

    If they are intent on keeping Bryant at NT, Henderson might be in trouble.

  • Thec07

    What up NATION???

  • RaiderRockstar

    good morning AM crew!

    I step away for 2 seconds and the whole herd shows up …

    Tbone, ET, Neil, Hwnrdr, Plunk & Ted get the early bird special.

    Jwigg, Marley, BCZ, Lakota & CJ34 get a hot cup of coffee and some oatmeal

    fatty gets a bowl of Ochocinco crunch

  • Thec07

    V <——- to get starting C reps…Great Move…

    Let him take his lumps in practice games. My hope is that he sticks, and moves satele to backup. Morris can hit the bricks…

    I beleive this is what the org wanted all along. To me it seemed they were going to ease the rook in, now it will be trail by fire….

  • RaiderRockstar

    what up Thec?

    sounds like I missed some good convo RE: John Henderson & Cooper Carlisle

    My thoughts are Carlisle will start 16 games (barring injury) and my favorite offseason addition big John is in trouble

    Cable says BCamp isn’t even close to being ready and as Jwigg points out … Jhenderson is the 4th DT in the rotation and has battled through a few camp injuries (shoulder, knee) seems to sit out every other practice which reminds me of Lorenzo Neal last year

    Henderson in his prime was great and I still think that if fully healthy he can be a monster in the middle. that is the sole purpose of him being here. is William Joseph ready to peak in his 7th or 8th season? doubtful, but if he gives us more than JH it’s a no brainer

    I personally would rather keep Henderson for 10-20 snaps per game and hope he stays healthy than have a guy like Bryant, Joseph or Heard and try to polish a turd

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/skew-t/166654980/ BART Bridge Blues

    Season is almost upon us…I am getting amped for some RAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIDDDDDDEEEEEERRRRRRRSSS football.

    Veldheer getting in at center may be genius, the guy is a load in the running game. I hope they are in a position to run another QB sneak against the Niners. Now if we could just light a fire under Bruce Campbell to replace Cooper Carlisle we would be in business.

    Henderson-Gallery-Veldheer-Campbell-Walker

    on paper at least, that sounds pretty sweet.

  • Thec07

    RR, what up Bro???

    BC playing on the right side at somepoint is inevitable. seems like we have some moving parts that could work.

    Jhenderson is a shock, as i wanted to see him in the game on all running plays. the guy knows how to stop the run period. he loves knocking the SH!T out of running backs. Want to see some more of heard as he may have some potential.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/skew-t/166654980/ BART Bridge Blues

    Is the AM crew in the mood to talk roster moves?

    Safe:
    Asmougha
    Chris Johnson
    Routt
    McFadden
    McClain
    Branch
    Mitchell
    Huff
    Eugene
    Wimbley
    Scott
    Brown
    Kelly
    Seymour
    Houston
    Shaugnessy

    J. Campbell
    Boller
    McFadden
    Bush
    Henderson
    Veldheer
    Gallery
    B. Campbell
    Carlisle
    Walker
    Z. Miller
    Meyers
    DHB
    Murphy
    Ford
    Schilens

  • J Wiggle

    My thoughts are Carlisle will start 16 games (barring injury) and my favorite offseason addition big John is in trouble

    ——————————————————-

    To be honest, I’d rather see Carlisle replaced than Satele. Let Veldheer play RG if they are determined for him to be the first rookie addition to the Oline.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I would like to see Jared the Giant play the entire game against SF & Seattle at Center …

    Morris can get some reps at guard with Loper, Campbell and the scrubs

    plenty of guys can play Tackle – Barnes, Pears and the scrubs

  • Thec07

    BBB, Thats my starting Oline… May come to pass by game 3. I am hoping satele comes back from injury to add depth. I really hope the rook sticks, he is that good and needs to start somewhere on the Oline…

  • Thec07

    Is the AM crew in the mood to talk roster moves?

    ++++++++++++++++=

    So you think Higgs is on the bubble?

  • Thec07

    I would like to see Jared the Giant play the entire game against SF & Seattle at Center …

    +++++++++++++=

    Agreed…

  • J Wiggle

    Safe

    Defense

    Ware
    Goethel

    Pears
    Gradkowski

    Disagree that Eugene is safe on defense. Stevie Brown is making a push to push him right off the roster.

  • bcz24

    Och-O’s should been the name of his cereal… just sayin.

  • J Wiggle

    JLH is also safe.

  • RaiderRockstar

    BBB: good morning!

    we are keeping more than 4 WR’s and guys like Watkins, Figurs & NMiller are not going to unseat my boy JLH

  • RaiderRockstar

    Jwigg: one can only hope that Stevie Brown pushes Hiram Eugene off the roster this year!

    Porter & Boyd are sure fire cuts

  • RaiderRockstar

    DJ Wiggle and I have similar roster predictions … anybody surprised?

    only difference I think may be Sam Williams vs William Joseph

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/skew-t/166654980/ BART Bridge Blues

    Should Be In:
    S. Brown
    Ware
    Groves
    Howard
    Bryant
    J-Rich
    J. Henderson

    E. Pears
    S. Satele
    K. Barnes
    Gradkowski
    M. Bennett
    Reece
    JLH
    N. Miller

  • RaiderRockstar

    first set of roster cuts is due August 31st – 2 days before we face Seattle

    anybody know the # of guys we have to trim it down to?

  • RaiderRockstar

    BBB: I think Groves & Howard may be fighting for a roster spot and if neither does anything impressive in the next 2 preseason games the wildcard might even be Slade Norris!

    did I just type that?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/skew-t/166654980/ BART Bridge Blues

    JWigg,

    Now that you mention it, I kind of agree with you; they might keep Stevie Brown over Hiram Eugene. Brown and Travis Goethel have been the most impressive rookies during games so far. I doubt that Cable and Al want to risk trying to get these two on the practice squad.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/skew-t/166654980/ BART Bridge Blues

    Slade Norris? God help Al if he replaced Howard with Slade Norris on the 53…isn’t he behind David Nixon on the depth chart right now?

  • RaiderRockstar

    eligible for the practice squad:

    Brennan
    Tonga
    Moline
    Bodiford
    Hubbard
    Miller
    Butler
    Rodd
    Parsons
    Smith
    Daniels
    Gunheim
    Heard
    Nixon
    Norris
    Boyd
    Porter
    Waters

    Possible Cuts not eligible:

    Bennett/Cartwright
    Lawton
    Watkins/Figurs
    Stewart/Owens
    Loper/Pears
    Cooper
    Henderson/Joseph
    Groves/Howard/Williams
    Eugene/Thomas

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Trade DMAC and Howard for a 2011 first round pick!

  • J Wiggle

    Updated 53

    QB Campbell, Grads, Boeller (3)

    RB Bush, DMac, Notwright (3)

    FB Reece, Lawton (2)

    WR DHB, Murphy, JLH, Ford, Watkins, Chaz (6)

    OT Henderson, Walker, Pears (3)

    OG Gallery, Carlisle, Barnes, Campbell (4)

    C Satele, Veldheer (2)

    DE Shaugnessy, Houston, Richardson, Cooper (4)

    DT Kelly, Seymour, Bryant, Henderson (4)

    LB Wimbley, McClain, Scott, Brown, Goethel, Groves, Williams (7)

    CB Nnamdi, CJ, Routt, Ware, McFadden (5)

    S Huff, Branch, Mithell, Brown (4)

    LS Condo (1)

    P Lechler (1)

    K Jano (1)

    Room for 1 more, lol

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/skew-t/166654980/ BART Bridge Blues

    Bubble:
    Joey Thomas
    David Nixon
    Slade Norris
    Chris Cooper
    Greyson Gunheim
    William Joseph

    Alex Parsons
    Chris Morris
    Manase Tonga
    Luke Lawton*
    Rock Cartwright
    Todd Watkins
    Tony Stewart
    Yamon Figurs

  • RaiderRockstar

    BBB: if preseason games mean anything at all, Norris is on the highlight reel twice and Groves & Howard aren’t at all

    these guys are fighting for a spot and I thought Norris was destined for the PS again, before we faced Chicago. don’t think the coaches didn’t see that

    you know Fassel & Dickenson would give AL DAVIS the thumbs up to keep him on board …

  • bcz24

    First cut down is to Max of 75