Media members were surprised but honored to learn Monday about their contribution to the Raiders’ cause.
When coach Tom Cable was pressed about what evidence he had that Darren McFadden could run as hard and break as many tackles as he did Sunday, he said “I think that’s him probably hearing you all question whether or not he’s for real. So, good job by you guys.”
Having put McFadden on the path to stardom, it’s time to fire up Darrius Heyward-Bey.
So here goes.
Rams wide receiver Mark Clayton joined the team six days before the opener, acquired by trade from Baltimore, and had 10 receptions. That’s the same number of receptions Heyward-Bey has in 12 career starts.
Consider it a public service.
Today’s schedule includes a just-concluded conference call with Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo, a Raiders open locker room session at 10:45, Jason Campbell’s weekly press conference, and a conference call with Rams quarterback Sam Bradford.
Spagnuolo, of course, built up the Raiders as if the 38-13 loss to Tennessee never happened.
“When we look at the Raiders whether it’s on the offense side, defensive side or special teams we just see a lot of team speed,” Spagnuolo said. “There’s no question that team has been built to run fast and they do.
“That’s going to pose problems. They’ve built a football team just the way they wanted to. I think it presents problems for anyone who has to play them. It happens to be us this week.”
He also praised quarterback Jason Campbell, who, if comments on this blog are indication, has already achieved Public Enemy No. 1 status among some of Raider Nation for his contributions to the Week 1 disaster.
“Fortunately or unfortunately, I’ve had to coach against him quite a number of times when he was at Washington,” Spagnuolo said. “He’s a quality quarterback that at any time can make a big play with his arm or with is feet. When you go against quarterbacks like that it can be scary for a defense.”
Spagnuolo coached against the Redskins five times when Campbell was the starter _ once head coach with the Rams last year, once as linebackers coach with the Eagles and three times as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants.
In those games, Campbell was 92 of 161 for 879 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions and had a quarterback rating of 73.5 The Redskins lost all four times against Spagnuolo as an assistant, but beat the Rams 9-7 last season.
Spagnuolo looked forward to seeing Mike Waufle, the Raiders defensive line coach who served in the same capacity with the New York Giants.
“I tell you what, exactly what I saw when I turned on the film, and that’s guys that get up field, guys that play passionate and guys that play fast,” Spagnuolo said. “And Mike, he breeds that in those guys. He did a terrific job when we were together. I’ve got a lot of respect for him. I look forward to seeing Mike out there. Anytime he’s involved with coaching a defensive line, those guys are going to be playing fast and playing hard.”
More to come . . .