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Jackson to Gradkowski: `Get down!’

News, notes and quotes from Thursday’s practice window, post-practice briefing from coach Tom Cable, sessions with the offensive and defensive coordinators a pretty barren open locker room session:

– Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson likes the way the Raiders move the ball with Bruce Gradkowski at quarterback, but has two areas of concern. First, he wants Gradkowski to quit taking on defenders.

“I’ve told this young man, ‘What are you doing? Get yourself on the ground,’ ‘’He’s not a running back, he plays quarterback. He has to understand that he’s the quarterback of our football team, and we don’t want him taking those unnecessary chances of trying to demonstrate how tough you are. We know you’re tough.

“I want him to get down and make sure he’s able to live for the next play.’’

Jackson also thinks Gradkowski is partially responsible for the four sacks the Texans had.

“I know on the offensive line, they would tell you that there’s some things they wish they could have done better,’’ Jackson said. “But I also know, and our quarterback understands, that we have to get this ball out of his hands. We had three sacks that he was directly involved in. That ball needs to come out, We’ve got to make great decisions with the ball.”

Gradkowski was listed as limited with a sore A-C joint during one of his ill-advised running forays against Houston, but Cable said there is no question he’ll start against the Chargers.

– Second-year wideouts Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy will need to step up and be ready to adjust on quick-hitting routes designed to beat a vaunted San Diego front seven which had nine sacks against Arizona.

“They’ve got to play big, and they’re definitely going to get that opportunity,’’ Cable said.

– Middle linebacker Rolando McClain missed practice for the second consecutive day with a personal issue relating to a death in the family.

“He will be back here in about three hours,’’ Cable said. Cable said McClain will start.

— No sign of Darren McFadden or Michael Bennett (both with hamstring pulls), meaning the NFL’s second most productive back in yards from scrimmage (554) and first downs (26) will give way to Michael Bush, with Rock Cartwright in reserve.

“I do think Bush is 100 percent but those stats are very strong,’’ Cable said. (McFadden) has been productive and we’ve got to find a way to get that same production, but I think Michael’s ready to take that load.’’

The Chargers are giving up just 80.3 yards per game rushing and have allowed one touchdown on the ground.

– Others who did not practice included LG Robert Gallery (hamstring), WR Chaz Schilens (knee), CB Walter McFadden (hamstring), LB Travis Goethel (lower back), LB Quentin Groves (hamstring), LB Thomas Howard (knee) and DT John Henderson (stress fracture).

Cable floated the idea that Gallery, should he be able to practice today and look good, could conceivably play against San Diego.

—As expected, the game failed to sell out, giving the Raiders their 10th consecutive blackout. The last televised home game was against the Chargers in last year’s season opener on Monday night.

– Judging from defensive coordinator John Marshall’s session with the media, those expecting a bevy of blitzes against quarterback Philip Rivers will be disappointed.

“You do it with pressure, but you’ve got to be careful about how you do that because you’ve got one-on-one with (Antonio) Gates, and No. 80 (Malcom Floyd) and No. 11 (Legedu Naanee), and that’s not good either if you don’t get him.

“So you’ve either got to get quick pressure on him, or the four-man front has to be able to generate that kind of stuff.’’

—The prevailing opinion among defensive players following the Houston game was they had been adequately prepared by Marshall and the defensive staff, only to fail miserably at executing their plan.

So what now?

“Just stay with what we know is a winning formula,’’ Marshall said. “I mean, you come out, you practice the way you should practice You work on your technique, you work on your gap control, you work on your tackling, and those are all those things.’’

Marshall said the Texans managed to get the Raiders on their heels, with the Raiders being dictated to instead of doing the dictating.

It hasn’t helped that the Raiders have just five takeaways. The Chargers, for example, already have 11.

“The best thing we can do is turn the ball over and put in the end zone ourself,’’ Marshall said. “We owe this football team seven points on defense. You try and get their mentality focsed back on the game, and instead of saying, `Aw, shucks, what’s the matter now?” Is this going to happen again?’ ‘’

Marshall conceded he is “shocked’’ by the lack of takeaways but said is confident they’ll arrive soon.

“I think they come in bunches and clusters,’’ Marshall said.

— The Chargers look just as formidable without LaDainian Tomlinson than they did with him, but the Raiders still ought to have some sense of relief that he’s gone.

In the 13-game win streak over Oakland, Tomlinson rushed for 1,506 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also caught two touchdowns and even threw two touchdown passes _ accounting for 22 touchdowns in all.

The scary part? As Nnamdi Asomugha put it, “It’s not like L.T. was the only one hurting us.’’

Over the same span, the entire Raiders offense scored 16 touchdowns. Oakland has nine touchdown passes (four by Kerry Collins, three by JaMarcus Russell and one each from Daunte Culpepper and Aaron Brooks) and seven rushing scores (two by LaMont Jordan and one each from Tyrone Wheatley, Derrick Rhodes, Reshard Lee, Michael Bush and Justin Fargas).

The Raiders had four scores on returns during the streak, a punt return by Phillip Buchanon, kickoff returns by Doug Gabriel and Justin Miller, and an interception return by Howard.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • J Hill

    LOL…..he ain’t Micael Vick!!!

    How many QB’s juke a Safety in the open field?

    C’mon!!!

    ——————————————————-

    I’m just trying to see some of these running skills that have been advertised.

    A simple hesitation and cut up the field at least avoids the big hit. The angle Gardowski was running made this very possible. If he has running skills that is. Middle of the field was wide open. Not sure why he didn’t head that way from the get go.

  • J Hill

    Truth is Gradkowski was just trying to show he’s a fiery player and if he keeps it up it’ll end his career.

    —————————————————–

    Totally agree.

    He has to be smarter than that!

    Relax Gardowski, the job and fans are yours!

  • RAIDERMAN99

    McClain back with the team yet ?

  • RaiderRockstar

    99:

    ROMAC was due back 3 hours after Cable’s press conf yesterday … he should practice today and start on Sunday

  • Just Fire Baby

    Scrambling skills are one thing, breaking a tackle from Bernard Pollard (he is not Michael Huff) is another.

    We are just lucky he lived to see another day. That dude is a 230 pound safety who hits like a LB.

    Apparently Bruce didn’t get the memo.

  • 2sense

    Just read an aritcle on NFL.com about mcfadden. An AP writer is quoted as saying “McFadden’s absence will be a blow to Oakland’s SPUTTERING offense. I’m not sure if you can classify 9th in the NFL as sputtering.

    I’ve been a Raider fan for a long time and I’ll be the first to call out their shortcomings. I wish some reporters would do me a favor and at least do their homework before they write innaccurately. I understand its deserved because of the team has been garbage for so long but give a beaten team credit at least once in a while for the things that they are at least doing average.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    He was supposed to be back at practice yesterday and didn’t make it.

    Did he go back to Alabama ? Who died ?

  • priesttj

    He’s got it now!!

  • PurpleDrank81

    Hey Jerry can we get a update on McClain????????

    The dude has had a pretty rough life…

  • DMAC

    Morning peoples!

  • priesttj

    That’s like expecting a thief to give back some of the stolen stuff. Writers are the scum of the earth.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Writers are the scum of the earth.

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

    Damn, that’s pretty harsh Priest.

    Jerry is just a beat writer with a fairly successful blog. Not even an op-ed, or columnist.

  • DMAC

    Zach Miller (hip) was upgraded to full participation in Thursday’s practice.
    Miller is averaging 7.5 receptions, 93 yards, and a touchdown in two games started by Bruce Gradkowski. Though he has a tough matchup against a Chargers defense surrendering just the 31st-most points to opposing tight ends, Miller remains a TE1 option.
    Source: Mac’s Football Blog

  • DMAC

    Coach Tom Cable conceded that Darren McFadden (hamstring) is “very, very doubtful” this week after missing another practice on Thursday.
    He’s not going to play. Instead, the Raiders will strap in Michael Bush for 20-30 touches against the Chargers. “(McFadden) has been very productive, so we’ve got to find a way to get that same production,” said Cable. “But I think Michael’s ready to take that load.” With only Rock Cartwright behind him, Bush is every bit of a solid RB2 this week.
    Source: Associated Press
    Related: Michael Bush

  • PurpleDrank81

    Morning DMAC

  • priesttj

    You ever spend any time around writers?

  • DMAC

    wassup purp

  • PurpleDrank81

    I really do not like Rock Cartwright…. We need a better option as a back up running back

  • DMAC

    Bennet was a cool backup. Too bad he’s injured.

  • PurpleDrank81

    It would be nice to have 2 healthy starting backs

  • priesttj

    They don’t do anything but write about what other people do as if they know and very few of them have ever done it. They just suck blood and crtigue everyone else’s performances as if they know better. They’ve never done anything worth talking about but criticise those who do.

    They have no one who critigues them except those who don’t know any better than they do. They’re in the perfect profession if all you want to do is be a bystander.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Watching Grads grabbing his shoulder, wincing, doubling over in pain on the sideline, then going to the lockerroom…I was convinced he was done for the day and maybe the season.

    I was preparing myself for JaMarcus Campbell and 10 pts a game for the rest of the year (or at least until Campbell got pulled for Boller).

    No one was more relieved when the great Gradkowski returned (even after the immediate pick he threw), except maybe for JaMarcus Campbell. Didn’t look like JaJason was too keen about the possibility of playing.

    Honestly, does anyone here believe the Raid offense would be able to score points without Gradkowski at QB ?

    Or would it be 2009 redux with JaJason at the helm ?

    Without Grads the Raids go back to being the lowest scoring team in the NFL.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Louis Rankin should be RB3.

    he can return kicks too!

  • DMAC

    The Edge???????(James) anyone?

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Rankin got cut by the Seahawks, didn’t he ?

    Surprised he hasn’t caught on somewhere.

  • RaiderRockstar

    i heard the raiders will host larry johnson and willie parker today

    shanny dropouts?

  • RaiderRockstar

    The Edge???????(James) anyone?

    Rankin got cut by the Seahawks, didn’t he ?

    ***

    Yes on both counts!

  • Mistabr0wn

    tj I didnt know you are a writer. Your 3rd grade spelling & punctuation is a good cover! Lets talk “still” photos shall we?
    _____

    # priesttj Says:
    October 8th, 2010 at 10:14 am

    That’s like expecting a thief to give back some of the stolen stuff. Writers are the scum of the earth.

  • LA to TheBay

    Grad will shine on Sunday.

    Will distribute the ball more evenly and get Muprhy and DHB/Higgins the ball earlier and more often.

    Jerry mentioned that they would be doing more quick-hitters, but didn’t quote anyone. Wonder if he is speculating based on what he’s heard/seen around practice or if he’s gotten hard information.

    Of course it’s all a conspiracy (BHP).

    Writers are the scum of the Earth? What? Are you that pro-Raiders that they are above factual analasys of poor play?

    Sports writers or all writers?

    Because without quality and dedicated reporting, the world would be in the dark even more than it already is, with the Masters of the Universe getting it done even easier.

    Also, there would be no entertainment industry. You would be watching nothing but reality shows (and half of those are scripted anyway).

    Everyone knows lawyers are the scum of the Earth anyway, lol.

  • Mistabr0wn

    So all AL would have to do to scoop up a RB like Rankin or W Parker is waive N Miller or H Eugene?

    Sounds like a no brainer but I’m not a GM running this ship into the sand.

  • http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ KoolKell

    Priesttj Says:
    October 7th, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    The Raiders are trying but they just aren’t as good as we all want them to be. They are a very average team.
    ———————————————–
    7 straight losing seasons of 11 losses or more is not average, by a longshot.

  • priesttj

    Honestly speaking you don’t know what the hell they would be without Grads it’s your opinion which is fine but it aint fact.

    Grads is playing well and I’m glad we have him but to say that the other two couldn’t do this or couldn’t do that is foolish……….period

  • DMAC

    # RaiderRockstar Says:
    October 8th, 2010 at 10:36 am

    i heard the raiders will host larry johnson and willie parker today

    shanny dropouts?
    ===========
    Fast Willie will probably be signed

  • LA to TheBay

    You guys remember what Rankin said about coming to work everyday for the Raiders, right?

  • RNOraiderFan

    Why worry about a RB? what about a WR that can catch the ball in traffic? Why do our WRs have to be wide open to make a catch? scard maybe? I don’t know. I do know that M. Bush will do just fine for us.

  • RaiderRockstar

    So all AL would have to do to scoop up a RB like Rankin or W Parker is waive N Miller or H Eugene?

    ***

    Yes!

    1 good helmet to Mike Bush’s thumb and Rock Cartwight is your starting RB with nobody to spell him …

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Speaking of thieves giving back stolen stuff…

    Raids recover any of their money from JaMoron yet ?

  • Mistabr0wn

    Refresh my memory.
    ___

    # LA to TheBay Says:
    October 8th, 2010 at 10:45 am

    You guys remember what Rankin said about coming to work everyday for the Raiders, right?

  • The Big Banana

    # LA to TheBay Says:
    October 8th, 2010 at 10:45 am

    You guys remember what Rankin said about coming to work everyday for the Raiders, right?

    ===========================================

    Refresh our memories.

  • RaiderRockstar

    You guys remember what Rankin said about coming to work everyday for the Raiders, right?

    ***

    the work is lousy, but the pay is good?

  • Mistabr0wn

    If I hear that Fargas is coming in for a workout I will vomit.
    _______

    # RaiderRockstar Says:
    October 8th, 2010 at 10:47 am

    So all AL would have to do to scoop up a RB like Rankin or W Parker is waive N Miller or H Eugene?

    ***

    Yes!

    1 good helmet to Mike Bush’s thumb and Rock Cartwight is your starting RB with nobody to spell him …

  • RNOraiderFan

    Use Ford in some RB situations.

  • The Big Banana

    LOL – RRS

  • priesttj

    Dude all you’re saying is that they’re a neccessary evil. I’ve been around them and I’ve seen what they do. It’s my opinion and you’re welcome to yours. Thank you.

    A lot of writers in other genras and walks of life do a lot of good because they experience things and live the life they write about. Not Sports writers and if you knew anything about them you’d know what I’m talking about. I love reading books about history or music or anything worth interest. I read a lot of what sports writers write but I also know crap when I read it. And they are at the bottom rung of writers next to the tabloids.

  • RaiderRockstar

    don’t be naive enough to think that the Dolts wont be targeting that thumb of Bush. especially in a pile, there will be some major bending & twisting

  • RNOraiderFan

    Bush off tackle with a pitchout to Ford, who gains the edge, TOUCHDOWN RAIDERS!!!!

  • Mistabr0wn

    LMFAO

    You gotta luv Raider fans, not an ounce of thought just pull anything out your sphincter that sounds good!
    _____

    # RNOraiderFan Says:
    October 8th, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Use Ford in some RB situations.

  • RNOraiderFan

    Be creative hue, please!

  • Mistabr0wn

    Another Gem!

    Must be Fat Mope with a new handle spewing random retarded nonsense.

    ______

    # RNOraiderFan Says:
    October 8th, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Bush off tackle with a pitchout to Ford, who gains the edge, TOUCHDOWN RAIDERS!!!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    You gotta luv Raider fans, not an ounce of thought just pull anything out your sphincter that sounds good!

    ***

    Brown, I personally would like to see the statue of liberty play and at least 2 flea flickers!