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Mum’s the word on Raiders aches, pains

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, August 30th, 2010 at 2:52 pm in Oakland Raiders.

The Raiders entered lockdown mode Monday in their first post-training camp practice session at the club facility in Alameda.

Some news and notes as relayed by beat writer Steve Corkran:

– Coach Tom Cable conceded he was happy to see Jason Campbell throwing the ball after suffering a stinger and a right wrist injury against San Francisco, but wasn’t going into detail about injuries to Campbell or anyone else.

“We are going to adhere to the in-season injury policy and we’re not going to talk about injuries, or where anyone’s at or what’s going on with them,” Cable said.

Editorial aside: OK, then how come through at least 90 percent of his coaching tenure with the Raiders, Cable has opened press briefings with the statement, “Quick injury update . . . ”

Cable left it open regarding Campbell’s availability Thursday night, even though it’s a virtual certainty he won’t play.

“Don’t know that yet,” Cable said. “And it has nothing to do with injuries, it has to do with what we’re going to do with our team.”

Editorial aside: Oops. He just talked about injuries.

As for Michael Bush, he may or may not have had a super secret procedure done on his fractured left thumb Monday.

“We’re not going to talk about those things, any of that,” Cable said.

When asked if he could confirm Bush had the procedure, he answered, “No.”

Editorial aside: An educated guess _ sounds like the head coach got a lecture about being too forthcoming about injuries. Another educated guess _ Al Davis would have much rather have heard Cable say Bush’s thumb was “sore” rather than fractured and not mentioned that Chaz Schilens would be out three to six weeks.

– Cable repeated there has been no movement about adding an extra wide receiver given the absence of Schilens. Receivers recently on the market include Antonio Bryant (cut by the Bengals) and Laveranues Coles (cut by the Jets) although Bryant has been injured and Coles has talked of retiring.

– Cable on Bruce Gradkowski: “I think he certainly went and proved he’s the backup quarterback here.”

– It may be time for an in-season policy on about injuries, but it’s not yet the in-season policy for media access as the locker room remained closed and only a few players were made available.

– Safety Tyvon Branch didn’t sound overly concerned about the 49ers rushing for 166 yards, pointing out that the Raiders are still getting adjusted to new schemes and were without a key piece of the run defense.

“We still have to work out the rough patches. We changed a lot of stuff up coming into this year as opposed to last year,” Branch said. “And then Richard Seymour not playing I think is the biggest difference. He gets those guys fired up up front. Once we get him back it’s a tremendous change in the defense, tremendous.”

Cable thought there was no issue with run fits or assignments. It was poor tackling, pure and simple.

– Left tackle Mario Henderson wasn’t ducking the issue of who was responsible for Campbell’s stinger. Forty-Niners outside linebacker Travis LaBoy was his assignment.

“I take responsibility. That’s my fault. The only thing I can do is get better,” Henderson said. “Thank God the injury is minor. All I can do, like they told me, is get better and move on. Just try not to let it happen again.”

Campbell told Henderson there were no hard feelings.

“I even texted him. It was like, ‘I apologize. I hope you’re OK.’ He told me he was good,” Henderson said. “Like I said, now it’s behind me. We can just move on. It shows a lot of credit.”

– Rookie middle linebacker Rolando McClain arrived with the reputation of carrying himself like a veteran on the field and in the film room. He’s already a pro at avoiding interviews as well. Sometimes he doesn’t even respond with to a request with his voice, he’ll put his hands palm down in a gesture which apparently means “no chance” and then keeps on walking.

– Cable’s review of Jared Veldheer, in his first start as a center in the NFL:“I thought pretty good. There are two plays I would like to have back. He probably would do. But I thought overall he did a fine job and I think for a guy going in playing against a 3-4, being covered every snap like that, you would have to say it was probably a little better than expected.”

– With Schilens out, here is how Cable handicapped the wide receivers competition behind Louis Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey: “I think there’s a number of guys. I think Yamon Figurs has stepped it up. Jacoby Ford. We’ve got to teach him to get his feet up underneath him when he’s coming out of breaks a little bit. Johnnie Lee Higgins has showed some things. So we have a nice corps right there, a next group just ready to step up.”

If Todd Watkins had caught that last pass from Gradkowski, he’d probably have merited a mention.

Cable’s top three priorities for the Seattle game on short rest: 1) Tackling; 2) Kick coverage; 3) Consistency on offense.

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  • ArmChair GM

    # priesttj Says:
    August 31st, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Satele may or may nt be a long term answer if I can get a better player at C I’ll take him in a heartbeat but Veldheer aint that player……….period

    It’s nothing personal against Veldheer I think he’s a fine player but people are trying to force this kid into something he’s not ready for.

    Give him time to develope into an NFL calibre player and you might have something.

    Let the coaches work with Veldheer and get him ready then maybe we’ll have something. He almost got DMC decapitated he can’t read blitzes. The OG’s were helping him almost every play. Give that kid TIME!!
    _______________________________________________________

    No argument from me here Priest. Just saying that Satele is not the answer. Veldheer isn’t ready right now, but he will surpass Delilah Satele by the end of this season.

    Bottom line is we need O-line help badly. Center and Left Tackle.

    Walker needs to be moved to Right Guard, he’s never had success at Tackle, here or at Buffalo. And Mario Henderson needs to be moved to Right tackle.

    After the way he almost let J Campbell get decapitated, his QB bodyguard privileges need to be revoked.

  • J Hill

    Q: Is Reece blocking well enough to be considered a legitimate starting candidate?

    Cable: Well, I’ll say this: He just continues to get better.

  • CJ Legend 34

    So they call Kole the moose?

    Bring him in for Thursday’s game for a try out.
    ————————————-
    RaiderRockstar Says:
    August 31st, 2010 at 11:20 am
    where is this Kole guy at now? Was he in anyones camp?

    Muhammad was a good WR back int he day but I think he is done.

    ***

    CJ: Kole Heck was in Seattle’s camp, just released yesterday

    Moose isn’t a #1 WR, but he did well as a #2 for the Panthers last year opposite Steve Smith. he’s a move-the-chains possession WR (exactly what we need) and a vet mentor

  • RaiderRockstar

    What is up with Nick Miller? He may not be as big but it seems like the guy always finds a way to make a play. Why not just keep him he can get open? I bet you he would kick @$$ on a bubble screen. Campbell can put the ball where it needs to go I think that changes the whole dynamic.

    ***

    CJ: don’t ask me that question man. I’m not a member of the Nick Miller fan club

    the guy has done next to nothing outside of training camp, which we obviously didn’t SEE the past 2 years.

    Cable didn’t mention him as a possible 4th or 5th WR. Watkins either, for that matter !?!?

  • RNOraiderFan

    Raiders backfield keepers…
    DMac, Bush, Bennett, Reece, Tonga

  • DKnight007

    Lawton is a better lead blocker than Reece. Reece is a better receiver.

    Lawton will stick around because of his blocking and Reece will remain because of his pass catching.

    Reece will also be used in more of an H back/backup TE role…especially now since Stewart was cut.

    I think Tonga will be kept as well, until Lawton comes back. Then when Lawton comes back, Tonga will go to practice squad.

  • J Hill

    Reece is getting every snap at FB with the 1s. There will not be a FB rotation. Tonga isn’t doing anything to merit a roster spot. There will never be 2 FBs active on Sunday, so we can roll with Reece and a practice squad FB.

  • RNOraiderFan

    I don’t buy that Cartwright is more valuable because of special teams. Bennett is the better player. You keep the better player and let the surplus we have at LB and WR play special teams.

  • RNOraiderFan

    Miller and Watkins = insurance salesmen.

  • RaiderRockstar

    So they call Kole the moose?

    ***

    No. Moose = Muhsin Muhammad

    good idea to sign Kole Heckendorf and have him face the team that just released him this Thursday (at home against Seattle)

    Boller would have a new favorite target in the 4th!

  • J Hill

    I’m with you on that one. Bennett is CLEARLY the better player.

    Ford stepping up to claim the KR and PR job will go a long way towards getting Notwright off the squad.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Lawton is a better lead blocker than Reece. Reece is a better receiver.

    Lawton will stick around because of his blocking and Reece will remain because of his pass catching.

    Reece will also be used in more of an H back/backup TE role…especially now since Stewart was cut.

    I think Tonga will be kept as well, until Lawton comes back. Then when Lawton comes back, Tonga will go to practice squad.

    ***

    DKnight007: Agreed 100 percent

  • RNOraiderFan

    WRs Chaz, Murphy, DHB, Figurs. I think there is a battle between JLH and FORD, with the best getting a roster spot. Will the Raiders keep 6 WRs?

  • RNOraiderFan

    Notwright, LMAO!
    The guy reminds me of someone, run up the middle for 1-2 yards. Can’t remember who though.

  • DKnight007

    J Hill Says:
    August 31st, 2010 at 11:25 am
    Reece is getting every snap at FB with the 1s. There will not be a FB rotation. Tonga isn’t doing anything to merit a roster spot. There will never be 2 FBs active on Sunday, so we can roll with Reece and a practice squad FB.

    ^^^^^^^^^
    Rolling with Reece as the full time fullback especially as a blocker would be futile.

    Keep Reece and Lawton on the roster.

    Then they can even use Reece as a receiver H back and TE, with Lawton in at the same time as a blocker to provide extra protection in certain passing situations.

    They offense will need Lawtons blocking skills….without a doubt.

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

    priesttj Says:
    August 31st, 2010 at 11:03 am
    It’s nothing personal against Veldheer I think he’s a fine player but people are trying to force this kid into something he’s not ready for.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Son, let me remind you that the “people” to whom you refer are COACHES in the NFL, and they know a lot more about their specialty than you do. They feel Veldheer is ready to compete for a starting job, so lets just wait and see what they conclude before proclaiming Veldheer is not ready to unseat Satele…period.

  • HairyBush

    RNOraiderFan Says:
    August 31st, 2010 at 11:22 am
    Bring back Ken Yon Rambo and Carlos Francis, by now they are both concidered VETS.
    ———————————-
    How about Swervin Mervyn?

  • RaiderRockstar

    whats the use of having a FB that can’t LEAD BLOCK for your RB’s or QB ???

    Reece is a pass catcher. anybody surprised?

    the dude was a WR/TE as well as FB …

  • Bitterorc

    cUTS
    Bodiford
    Brennan
    RICKY BROWN (goethel gets the nod)
    Butler
    Cartwright(not enough skill left— better RB’s on waiver wire to come)
    Daniels
    FIGURS(sucks)
    Gunheim
    Heard(fat and slow)
    Hubbard
    Loper
    Moline
    Nixon
    Norris
    Owens
    Parsons
    Porter
    Smith
    Thomas
    Waters(sorry kid bad idea to try here)
    Lawton(save the cash and maybe resign during season)

  • RNOraiderFan

    Also with D-mac and Z. Miller there is no need to keep more then 4 WRs. I think there is going to be a suprizing cut at WR comming soon.

  • RaiderRockstar

    WRs Chaz, Murphy, DHB, Figurs. I think there is a battle between JLH and FORD, with the best getting a roster spot.

    ***

    RNO: Figurs is a lock, but Higgins & Ford aren’t?

    c’mon bro! you can’t be serious.

  • HairyBush

    Hey Rockstar: I just wanted to know your defense for your boy JLH fielding punts inside the 10 yard line. Those kind of mental mistakes may be overlooked for a rookie but not a guy in his 3rd year.

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

    RNOraiderFan Says:
    August 31st, 2010 at 11:31 am
    Notwright, LMAO!
    The guy reminds me of someone, run up the middle for 1-2 yards. Can’t remember who though.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Lamont Jordan?

  • RNOraiderFan

    Nixon and Norris? I think they will try to keep one. Maybe on the practice squad.

  • HairyBush

    Christmas list:
    -Logan Mankins
    -Patrick Crayton
    -Raiders 10-6

  • RaiderRockstar

    HairyBush: I never said JLH was incapable of error, did I?

    if he was, Jacoby Ford wouldn’t have been drafted for returner duties

    Higgins (as a receiver) remains AT LEAST 3rd best WR on the team

  • RNOraiderFan

    Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    August 31st, 2010 at 11:37 am
    RNOraiderFan Says:
    August 31st, 2010 at 11:31 am
    Notwright, LMAO!
    The guy reminds me of someone, run up the middle for 1-2 yards. Can’t remember who though.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Lamont Jordan?
    *********************************************
    Jordan, Fargas I have no idea. I just know that after a few years of going to the home games I got very used to hearing over the loud speaker “Raiders run up the middle for 2 yards”. After about the 5th time I would give up on thje beer and switch to Vodka.

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

    I just wanted to know your defense for your boy JLH fielding punts inside the 10 yard line. Those kind of mental mistakes may be overlooked for a rookie but not a guy in his 3rd year.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Nick Miller also blew it on the fair catch to end the game. I blame Fassel for the brain farts.

  • edward teach

    Son, let me remind you that the “people” to whom you refer are COACHES in the NFL, and they know a lot more about their specialty than you do. They feel Veldheer is ready to compete for a starting job, so lets just wait and see what they conclude before proclaiming Veldheer is not ready to unseat Satele…period.

    ********************************************************

    Word.

  • http://www.tedhendricks.com/Ted_vs_Montana.jpg BigTed707

    Keep Cartwright as a backup FB to Reece, and move Tonga to the Practice squad. Sometimes we only need 1,2 yards and he would be there on ST.

  • RNOraiderFan

    So concidering that D-Mac and Z. Miller can be split out, which WRs do the Raiders Keep?

  • HairyBush

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    August 31st, 2010 at 11:41 am
    HairyBush: I never said JLH was incapable of error, did I?

    if he was, Jacoby Ford wouldn’t have been drafted for returner duties

    Higgins (as a receiver) remains AT LEAST 3rd best WR on the team
    ——————————-
    No you did not say he was incapable of error, but you do come to his defense quite often, like he was your first born. That is why I ask your defense, I guess I just am not seeing what your seeing in him. DHB & Murphy will be better this year.

  • RaiderRockstar

    So concidering that D-Mac and Z. Miller can be split out, which WRs do the Raiders Keep?

    ***

    see post #421

  • http://www.tedhendricks.com/Ted_vs_Montana.jpg BigTed707

    BHP on the radio, LMAO!
    ______________
    He is right about the 49ers tho’. If they make it to the post season, they may regret playing so hard in the pre-season.

  • RNOraiderFan

    DHB, Murphy, JLH, Figurs. Chaz IR, Ford PS

  • RNOraiderFan

    Don’t agree RR, why would they keep 6 WRs when D-Mac and Z. Miller can be split out and are betterplayers then some of the 6 on your list.

  • HairyBush

    DHB and Murphy are the starters, DMAC in the slot and Crayton or some other veteran will be our 4th receiver.
    I am not counting on Chaz. Ford is the return man. If JLH makes the team it will only be because of injury or not being able to pick up a vet to take his spot.

  • RNOraiderFan

    If the Raiders go 5 wide “IF”
    DHB, Murphy, JLH, Z. Miller, with D-mac starting in the back field and motioning out.

  • HairyBush

    Hope Tyvon Branch doesn’t lead all DB’s in tackles this year-if you catch my drift.

  • RNOraiderFan

    I can’t see Chaz or Ford on the field on opening day.

  • RaiderRockstar

    you do come to his defense quite often, like he was your first born. That is why I ask your defense, I guess I just am not seeing what your seeing in him.

    ***

    HairyBush: the 2008 version of JLH was the best PR we’ve had in the last 10 years

    Having said that, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised or saddened to see him take on a bigger WR role and a lesser PR role (due to drafting Thec’s boy JFORD)

    the biggest knock on the guy as a WR in this blog is that he played “scared” after a big hit and some question that he still hasn’t recovered … which has been completely debunked by his play last year with Gradkowski & Frye at QB, combined with his camp & preseason efforts so far this season

    I don’t get the hate-fest with this kid. As my brother Jhill would say “we’ve got bigger fish to fry”

  • RNOraiderFan

    Branch and McClain will make tons of tackles, I’m just worried where they will make them.

  • http://www.tedhendricks.com/Ted_vs_Montana.jpg BigTed707

    Keep up the good work fellas.
    Check ya Raider.

  • RNOraiderFan

    Hey RR JLH is our 2nd-4th best WR (don’t really know) There is a spot for him on the team if he can play WR. It seems there are two many bodies there preventing him from doing that. Chaz, Murphy, DHB, Z. Miller. Not saying these guys are better, I’m saying the Raiders feel that way.

  • J Hill

    whats the use of having a FB that can’t LEAD BLOCK for your RB’s or QB ???

    —————————————————–

    who was blocking for Bush on those nice runs?

    Coach says his blocking is just fine and getting better.

  • RNOraiderFan

    The best pass plays of the preseason have been to RBs on screens and that 1 pass to Murphy.
    Just sayin.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Don’t agree RR, why would they keep 6 WRs when D-Mac and Z. Miller can be split out and are betterplayers then some of the 6 on your list.

    ***

    McFadden & Miller = RB & TE

    neither is or will be a WR, even though they can line up there on occasion. “at times” to confuse the defense is the key here

    both were on the squad last year and we kept how many WR’s ? DHB, Murphy, JLH, Schilens, NMiller, Watkins & Walker

    7 WR’s last year so it would be outrageous to keep 6 this year? Chaz is hurt too, so I think six is reasonable, if not likely

  • HairyBush

    I don’t get the hate-fest with this kid. As my brother Jhill would say “we’ve got bigger fish to fry”
    ————————-

    I totally agree there are much “bigger fish to fry”
    I look at it this way- We have had previous discussions how I liked N. Miller and you liked JLH. I watch every game very closely and to tell you the truth N. Miller hasn’t really done jack with the exception of a touchdown that may or may not have been a good call. Since I haven’t seen anything in my eyes that would be condsidered promosing out of N. Mliller I have ended the love fest for him, at least until he gives me a reason to fall for him again. I watch JLH just as closely as I do N. Miller and every other Raider and say to myself why would someone stick there neck out for this dude? Phillip Buchanon was a good return man, but the key word is was. JLH was a good return man period

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

    Trade DMAC for Phillip Buchanon!

  • RNOraiderFan

    I’m saying that if you keep 6 WRs then 2 will see the field in mabey 10 plays all season long. Why not just got 4 wide, put Chaz on IR and Ford on the PS.