49ers have a ways to go to catch Raiders


Not a lot of Raiders news here today, because, truth be told, I had a 49ers shift and figured it would be no problem doing both.

I passed along Steve Corkran’s information regarding injured players and the like, and finished off my usual Thursday-Friday stuff (NFL rankings and NFL column for Sunday papers).

Thought I’d have time to come up with some more Raiders stuff later, but instead got hung up on a bit of drama which was old hat to me but had jaws dropping in Santa Clara.

Strong safety Michael Lewis didn’t show up for practice. His agent, Rodney Williams, told Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area that Lewis wanted his release. (Williams didn’t respond to my e-mails or phone calls _ damn it , Maiocco).


The first time I attended a Raiders practice after they’d re-established themselves as the Oakland Raiders, Mike White stepped to the microphone in El Segundo and announced Patrick Bates had left the team. Bates was a former first-round draft pick, the next Jack Tatum, a young talent approaching his prime. Lewis is 30 and prone to concussions.

The 49ers were already reeling, having seen Kentwan Balmer, a first-round draft pick in 2008, leave camp until he was dealt to Seattle for a sixth-round draft pick, and Glen Coffee, a third-round pick out of Alabama in 2009, decide he didn’t want to play football. Balmer may have been cut anyway. Coffee averaged under three yards a carry as a rookie and there was little or no evidence he was going to ever compete with Frank Gore for playing time.

Yes, they left after training camp began, but compared to Steve Wisniewski retiring with a couple of years still in the tank and running back Napoleon Kaufman deciding to join the ministry while still an explosive runner, this was small potatoes.

It’s true Jimmy Raye got fired this week (anyone remember he was Norv Turner’s offensive coordinator in Oakland?), but near as I can tell, no one claimed his head hit a desk or that a local district attorney was considering filing charges. Singletary’s domestic life has gone unchallenged.

At no time has the 49ers coach waged an insurgency directed at ownership or been destroyed by overhead projector.

To the Raiders credit, they’ve minimized distractions since Al Davis decided to keep Tom Cable aboard, and only time will tell if the relative serenity will pay off in the won-loss column.

So the 49ers have surpassed the Raiders for the moment in terms of dysfunction, and there is mounting evidence Singletary is more nut job than charismatic genius.

But if they truly want to be a longterm player in terms of dysfunction, Jed York is going to have to be truly bold. Michael Crabtree’s disinterest isn’t nearly enough.

Whether it’s at this year’s trade deadline or in the offseason, Randy Moss and DeAngelo Hall could be up for grabs.

And that’s only a start.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • raiderlaker1980

    His route running will come in time, that’s for sure. His tracking of the ball may or may not develope. 9 times out of 10, that is pure instinct that you either have or don’t have. I hope he can improve in that area, but that’s no given. Equivalent of being a ball hawk on offense if you will, either you know how to attack the ball or you don’t. I’m rooting fort he guy to pick up these nuances, but that’s where he HAS to improve to make that next step to every down threat.

  • TerrapinRaider

    If you watch DHB he does not use his arms to seperate from the defender – to provide distance if you will. Watch him. He never does. That’s what he has to learn next. His route running is much improved and will get better; but its this little technique he must master. Not just his arms but using his body as well.

  • priesttj

    Jhill IMO Mario is still growing as a LT he can get a lot better if he wrks at it. However I also really like Veldheer at OT whomever of those two wins the LT spot the other should play RT IMO.

    Then get BCampbell in at RG this line would settle down in a hurry. I’m starting to think we have the material for a very good line they’re just very young including Mario. But the most important aspect of any line is continuity they have to gel and there is just way too much movement in this line for that to happen.

  • TerrapinRaider

    Take Jerry Rice for example: obviously he wasn’t the fastest guy on the field yet he would burn defenders deep all the time. What Jerry did (as I remember being commented) was he would use his body to slowdown the DBs then accelerate out of it to the ball.

    You watch DHB he never does. He’s now only focusing on his route – which has clearly gotten better – but eventually he will come to use his body as well once he becomes aware and comfortable in the routes. Steps.

  • priesttj

    T’pin that is spot on those are the tricks of trade the vets use to get separation. Now he doesn’t have to do that quite as much because he flat beats guy’s with his speed only the great corners will give him trouble.
    That’s when those tricks will help him succeed. But right now he’s just tryng to settle down and get the game to slow down for him. The rest will come..

  • raiderlaker1980

    Terrapin, totally agree, the reasson he doesn’t use his body in this manner IMO is he’s not very good at tracking the ball right now, he doesn’t anticipate how nor where to position himself for the catch, hopefully he developes this. That is usually more of an IT factor, but he’s such a hard worker, I am pulling for him to figure it out.

  • TerrapinRaider

    I don’t think Veldheer is your LT. I keep saying it. And I’ll keep saying it until he proves me wrong. But he has not. Velheer may be your RT not LT. Get Campbell practicing LT imho ..not starting ..but at least practicing to see what you can build there. He is the most gifted Olinman we have. To have him solely at RG is a mistake imho.

  • raiderlaker1980

    priesttj Says:
    October 2nd, 2010 at 2:03 pm
    Jhill IMO Mario is still growing as a LT he can get a lot better if he wrks at it. However I also really like Veldheer at OT whomever of those two wins the LT spot the other should play RT IMO.
    How much better do you think Mario can get? What I see is a tackle who has lost all confience and is seriously regressing, I’m not sure he could ever be anything more than what he is at this point

  • TerrapinRaider

    I don’t know what to say about Mario. Still was a good draft pick in the mid rounds for his services so far. I’m still a little reluctant to say, OK put Veldheer there to see what he can do, becuase in Veldheer’s limited snaps he has been beaten repeadily.

  • lefty12

    Terrapin,no offense,but your opinion on the Oline is very biased.The Terrapin colored glasses get in the way of any evaluation.

  • raiderlaker1980

    Mario is our LT for the rest of the year barring injury IMO, but we’ve got to address that in the offseason, Veldheer hasn’t shone enough although in limited time to make me confident if he were annointed starting LT next season.

  • priesttj

    I think Mario has the ability to be a great LT if he gets his weight down and watches more film and uses better technigue he has everything it takes. And that will help his confidence, good preparation.

    T’pin I’m not going to arguie with you on Bruce Campbell because if that guy wants to he can do whatever he wants. He’s a better version of Mario IMO when Mario came in he was very athletic and light on his feet very agile. Now Bruce is somewhat stiffer than Mario but he’s got long powerful arms just like Mario and quick like Mario maybe just as powerful if not more. The reason I like him better at RG is his ability to pull. Think about it if Mario settles in at LT with BC at RG the power game would be better than anytime in our history. A G at 315-20 lbs. that fast out on the edge pulling or on a counter tre (17 bob trey-O) would be ridiculous.

    I’m looking at the line in totality as a working unit that’s why I like them at ths positions. BC a pulling G what could be scarier.

  • TerrapinRaider

    lefty12 Says:
    October 2nd, 2010 at 2:24 pm
    Terrapin,no offense,but your opinion on the Oline is very biased.The Terrapin colored glasses get in the way of any evaluation.


    lol. com’on man …i’m being fair & balanced here ..i’m just keeping it real ..its how i see it.

  • TerrapinRaider

    priesttj Says:
    October 2nd, 2010 at 2:26 pm
    The reason I like him better at RG is his ability to pull. Think about it if Mario settles in at LT with BC at RG the power game would be better than anytime in our history


    Yes, I understand this logic. This is the same logic Cable is using – i.e. leveraging Campbell’s tremendous punch and pull. He has showed the ability in the preseason. That’s why I’m not all gun hoe about Campbell stop practicing at RG. I think he can have the most Immediate impact at RG.

    All I’m saying is at least have the guy practice at LT because over the longer term thats the area on most need. I guess I’m more focused on the long haul than immediate gratification.

  • TerrapinRaider

    If I had to chose a position for him to practice solely that would be LT not RG. He can fail at LT and then be moved into the RG position imho.

  • TerrapinRaider

    Speaking of immediate gratification. I think Kiffin & Cable to a lesser extent may have done us a huge service with stickin with McFadden between the tackles vs using him like the Saints use RBush. He’s finally getting it and he’s running like a big time RB back there.

  • raiderlaker1980

    LT and C, the two anchor points, we get those figured out, we can fill in the blanks, agree there Terrapin

  • TerrapinRaider

    Thats think over the long haul

  • priesttj

    That is true T’pin but I think Veldheer is a good OT in the making it’s just a matter of where left or right the sam eis true of Mario. I know most fans have given up on him but I haven’t he can play he’s just a bit immature yet. He’s maybe 25-6 years old that’s still very young. I think Cable needs to leave the Oline alone so they can have one voice in their ear. If Cable ants to be an Oline coach then give up the HC job because I believe he is confusing these kids.

  • lefty12

    There is no question Henderson has the physical ability to play LT.The question is does he have the mental toughness to hold down the position?

  • priesttj

    I agreee lefty12! that’s what I was trying to say, thanks.

  • Dude

    If Mario Henderson was ever gonna be great, he would already be good. He is not good, hes terrible.

    Bruce Campbell has never played Guard so how in the hell does Priest pretend to know hes a good puller?? LOL! Typical Priest comment.

  • priesttj


    It’s OK! man it proves you have no idea who can do what, if you can’t tell Bruce would be great pulling you need to stop watching football. Why do you think they have him there for cosmetic purposes? lol

  • What a horse!

    Zenyatta just won her 19th Grade 1 race in a row. Still undefeated.. Amazing….

  • **Correction**

    19 for 19 carreer wins, 9 G1 in a row, 14 G1 over all…

  • Jerry….

    Got another 9er update for us yet ????

  • RaiderRetribution

    Raiders will need to outrun the Texans by at least one hundred yards to win the game.

    Hopefully Mr. D. McFadden will run for at least 62 yards more than Foster, then he will the leading rusher in the NFL.

    Raiders have both Mr. Bush & Darren run for over a hundred just put this game in the win column for the Raiders now(barring multiple turnovers and another 1:5 TD to red zone ratio).

  • RaiderRetribution

    Raiders 17 Texans 10.

  • Nnamdi21

    Tackling the Texans
    “What does Oakland have to do to come awy with a win on Sunday?”

  • qodrn

    Nice horsey…

    Whatever you may think of the 49er fans, they sold out their opening game. They will sell out their next week’s game too. Maybe the SF area is just richer, but I would sure like to see the Raiders start selling out their games. More fan support in the stadium could not hurt, especially tomorrow. Why do you think the Raiders don’t sell out? Just lousy team or something else?

  • Terrapin,

    I agree 100% with post #107.

  • Nnamdi21

    Balldy’s hack job on Bey was revisionist and deceptive.

    “Aw, he’s gotta catch that pass!” Balldy has waaay too much football and film room experience NOT to know those were poorly thrown balls that were well covered.

    Granted he had some poitns about Bey’s technique but the fact is some of these a-zz clowns do NOT want to admit they may have been wrong and the kids showing improvement.

  • Nnamdi21

    Roch R Says:
    October 2nd, 2010 at 1:33 pm
    Andre Johnson’s “ankle injury” sounds like posturing to me so he can have a built in excuse when Nnamdi shuts him down


    No doubt!

  • Nnamdi21

    Mario’s deal is mental.

    I think his chrtistian god fearing ways are interfering with him kicking azz getting nasty and getting it done.

    Veldheer start LT?!

    OMG, you can tell you haven’t seen any of the games.

    He did block for a McFadden TD against Arizona but has been unbelieveably bad at protection. whiff whiff!

  • RaiderRetribution

    Terraapin & Raider O I also concur, Mr. Bruce Campbell should be trained to be a tackle, either side not a guard, he is way to gifted and he trains hard.

    Both rookie tackles are talented, great work ethic, intelligent, and coachable and both are going to get stronger and bigger each season.

    Mr. Vehldeer & Mr. Campbell could be our bookend tackles for the next ten years.

  • RaiderRetribution

    Since Mr. Henderson is a great run-blocking tackle and weak at pass protection, he should be a RT (period).

    It’s that simple.