Cable: Raiders are accountable


News, notes and quotes from Friday’s practice, group interviews with running back Bush and linebacker Trevor Scott, and post-practice press briefing from coach Tom Cable:

— Cable believes the Raiders players are past the point of deflecting blame and can finally look themselves in the mirror after a mistake.

`I think the accountability has gotten where it needs to be now,’’ Cable said. “It’s not a matter of how we did this or what we called, or whatever this or that is. It’s on all of us and we recognize that, and I think we take responsibility for it now.

“That’s really, really huge for us, for this football team, because it’s the first time in the four years I’ve been here where guys man up and say, hey, that’s on me. So that’s a good thing. The next step is you can’t let it happen.’’

— Officially listed as out for the Chargers game Sunday are WR Chaz Schilens (knee), LG Robert Gallery (hamstring), RB Michael Bennett (hamstring), LB Travis Goethel (lower back) and DT John Henderson (stress fracture).

Listed as questionable are LB Ricky Brown (hamstring), LB Quentin Groves (hamstring), CB Walter McFadden (hamstring) and CB Jeremy Ware (ankle). All were listed as having limited participation in practice.

Listed as probable are QB Bruce Gradkowski (A-C joint), TE Zach Miller (hip), S Hiram Eugene (hamstring) and CB Chris Johnson (ankle).

LB Rolando McClain returned to practice after two days off because of a personal issue and will start at middle linebacker.

— The Raiders pass rush was negated by a Houston rushing attack that kept the front seven on its heels. Trevor Scott, moved from end to outside linebacker this week with injuries to Groves and Howard, was asked what it would take to get the pass rush going and said, “I’m going to do it this week. I’ve got it.’’

Might that mean a lot of blitzing, given that Scott will play linebacker (Cable said Scott would start even if Groves recovers enough to be active)?

“I’m going to be all over the place,’’ Scott said. “That’s all I know.’’

—The seemingly endless wait for the debut of wide receiver/return specialist Nick Miller will come against the Chargers, Cable said.

Miller made the Raiders last season on the basis of a strong training camp, only to discover that what was originally diagnosed as shin splints was actually a broken shin bone.

For reasons never fully explained, Miller stayed on the 53-man roster for 15 games before going on injured reserve for the final game, and was listed every week as “not active.’’

Miller had another solid camp and made the team again this season, only to find himself inactive in Week 1. He wore the Raiders uniform in a regular-season game for the first time in Week 2 against the Rams, but was the only player suited up who didn’t get into the game.

He was active but didn’t step on the field in Weeks 2 or 3, either.

Against San Diego, Cable said Miller would play as a punt return specialist _ he was fielding punts along with Johnnie Lee Higgins _ and on special teams.

If the Raiders wanted to get creative, Miller had his own package of plays during each of the last two training camps which have never been used in regular-season game.

“Because of our injury situation, he’s going to have to help us in some teams and things like that. He’s a very energetic guy, naturally, so he’ll bring some energy to the game, that’s for sure,’’ Cable said. “He wants to get out there and go.’’

— Defensive coordinator John Marshall isn’t the only one surprised at the inability of the Raiders defense to force turnovers. Oakland has only five takeaways, and two of those were gift punt muffs by Arizona.

The other three were a sack fumble of Vince Young in the opener and interceptions by Groves and Stanford Routt.

“We seem to be late. If a ball’s tipped we’ve gotten a couple of those,’’ Cable said. “It’s just go get the football with an aggressive style. I don’t quite think we’re there yet.’’

— While McFadden’s speed and versatility will be missed in the backfield, the fact is that in terms of breakaway ability, his track record doesn’t match that of Michael Bush as a Raider.

In his last 26 games, dating back to a 50-yard run in Week 2 against Kansas City, McFadden’s longest run is 33 yards. During that span, Bush has runs of 67, 60 and 40 yards.

“Some guys to me have that innate ability, that when they get through they can make the safety miss and go, and he’s shown that,’’ Cable said.

Through three four games, McFadden was averaging just over 25 touches per game with 85 runs from scrimmage and 16 receptions, a workload Bush hopes to duplicate.

“I’ll be doing the same thing he was doing when I was out,’’ Bush said. “If he got the ball a lot, I expect to do the same thing if that’s the way the coaches are going to go. Whatever’s thrown my way, I’m ready.’’

— Cable, an unabashed New York Yankees fan who hasn’t been above gloating to a press corps member who is a Twins fan, conceded that Tim Lincecum would be good enough to pitch for his team.

“If George (Steinbrenner) was alive, he’d buy him tomorrow,’’ Cable said.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • GG

    I really really hate Cable. I cannot bear anymore of him. Either listening to him or seeing him ‘coach’ on the sideline.

    Even tho he’s hog-tied to a certain extent, there’s still enough talent on this team to be better coached and perform better.

    But then the same problem too of Al and his roster management and scouting. Al works best when he has someone contest him, therefore getting their way, doing things the non-Al way enough that it wins us more games, makes us more competitive, sees us getting that DT or OT instead of a fiftieth DB/WR.

    Since Gruden got shipped out, it’s like Al gave up, dementia of extreme stubbornness and control. Like he doesn’t want a tough accountable self-thinking X&O coach.

  • GG

    But yeah, in 2010, the thing that’s lacking is clearly the coaching, you’re spot on Raider O.

    The games we’ve lost we got out-coached. That also includes pre-game preparation and roster management.

    Special Teams, OL, WR, HC. Cheap labor of inexperienced no name coaches. And the HC is an idiot. The DC probably hog-tied.

  • Guy

    Anyone want to trade Branch to the Colts? He may be useful to them because they lost Bob Sanders and Melvin Bullit.


    SNB, you’re right, he probably shouldn’t be starting.

    It’s politics. He’s the highest paid WR and he’s going to start and we have to hope he gets better quick.

    Let’s face it, JLH might be more polished right now, but he’s not exactly Jerry Rice either.

    I don’t have a problem with rotating DHB in and out depending on the situation, but he’s got to be given playing time and a chance to develop.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    I am not trading Branch or anyone. The Raiders have to coach up these young players. Constant busts and reliance on veterans….tired of it.

    Nope. Branch is the strong safety and Huff the Free.

    Tell the fricken front 7 to stop someone.

    Only in Raiderlamd do we blame the safeties for bad run defense

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Here’s the deal.

    You can only get rid of Huff and Branch if you get rid of Tommy Kelly 1st!

  • GG

    Even tho they’d get shown up from time to time, i wouldnt mind seeing a Stevie Brown FS and Mike Mitchell SS combination.

    We need OL, DT, LB help in constant waves for the next 2+ seasons of drafts and acquisitions.

  • Guy

    It seems like Branch is giving up atleast 1 TD a game though. Some said 3 vs Tenn, I saw 2 him give up two to Clayton against St Louis. Idk how he did in Houston though, and I think he was the one slow to react against Breaston on his TD.

  • TerrapinRaider

    These comments are becoming completely irrational.

    The offense scored 24pts! 24pts! And you guys are complaining about the offensive players?!?

    The Texans scored 31pts! Thats why we lost the damn game! How many teams in the league scores over 30pts any given Sunday and lose!?!

    This has almost NOTHING to do with DHB or the offense for that matter. They played a really good game but the DEFENSE could not get a stop to justify thier paychecks.

    So why the hell all the attention is on offense? This board has become absolutely ludicrious.


  • SnB offense defense specialteams


    The Raiders are playing from behind in every game. I wonder how much of that 24pts was due to Houston playing off being up by 17 and all.

    I am on DHB because I think he’s taking up a roster spot.

    I’ve given up on the defense all together. Until the Raiders get serious about building a D-Line with a big run clogging NT and putting pressure on the QB without the same ole stuff….I don’t think the defense will be stopping ANYONE this year.

    I hope and pray I am wrong.

    As for the offense, they have to get started in the 1st QTR…not the 4th.

    and DHB has to catch the damn ball. 3 receptions man! freekn 3 per game for a top 10 draft pick! No excuses!

  • TerrapinRaider

    And to make a statement that DHB is not a deep threat is just down right ignorant.

    (As a matter of fact, if Campbell was any good connecting to him deep he would have had 2 for what may have been TDs vs. Tennessee. Versus the Rams, Bruce went deep to him a number of times and you tell me he was not interferred with?)

    The guy is a legit deep threat which is why coverage rolls his way plenty (and why ZMiller gets open underneath).

    A “deep threat” works both ways: The obvious is you are a threat to score at any time on a deep route; the not so obvious is you make the defense play deep which opens up your players underneath. Don’t think ZM having a career day was a coincidence.

  • TerrapinRaider

    Raiders were tied 14-14 at halftime. The pts were not a reflection of Houston playing off. Com’on man, give credit where credit is due. Stop reaching for an argument.

    I just don’t understand how you all can be so biased against one player for xyz things when the player right next to him is did the same thing and all you hear are crickets.

    The bias is clear as day and really pitful.

  • TerrapinRaider

    The ‘hope’ was lost when Murphy drop the ball not DHB. Murphy only had 1 catch; same for DHB and all you hear here is DHB. This sht is ridiculous.

  • TerrapinRaider

    A very very very catchable ball at that!

  • SnB offense defense specialteams


    I am sick and tired of the excuses for this football team. It doesn’t win because its poorly prepared, out schemed, and players rarely step up and play their role.

    Outside of Zach Miller, DMAC and Nnamdi, the rest of the roster is playing to the record.

    I am just looking for wins. If they don’t win. Then start keeping score of who is contributing and who is just wearing the uniform

  • TerrapinRaider

    The problem with you people is you play too much Fantasy Football; where stats are all that matter.

    The offense or the players on it were not the main culprit this game. Not even close. It was the defense clear as day. They couldn’t stop Houston. PERIOD!

  • djohnnyg

    Chargers Continue Streak in Drubbing of Raiders

    The San Diego Chargers got 333 yds. passing from Phillip Rivers and over 500 yards total offense Sunday in a 41-14 thumping of their division rival Oakland. In what has become an all too familiar storyline in games against the Raiders, the Chargers exploited Oakland’s 31st ranked run defense with Ryan Matthews scoring on runs of 34, 13, and an electrifying 89 yd. scamper that left would be tacklers in his wake.

    No Ladainian Tomlinson?, no Vincent Jackson?, no problem for San Diego which extended it’s unbeaten streak against Oakland to an improbable 14 straight games.

    “It’s frustrating you know” said defensive lineman Richard Seymour. “We really wanted to end this streak today, but we just didn’t get it done”. “Just like it’s kinda been all year, they basically did whatever they wanted against us”.

    The Chargers took the opening kickoff and drove 60 yds. in a drive that culminated in Ryan Matthews first TD of the day, a 34 yd. run aorund left end for a quick 7-0 lead. After a 3 and out in the Raiders first possession, it was Rivers time to shine as he hit Antonio Gates in stride for a 57 yd. touchdown with Michael Huff covering to give the Chargers a 14-0 first quarter advantage.

    The Raiders had an opportunity slip away in the 2nd quarter when a Shane Lechler punt was bobbled by Leganuu Nenee, and Oakland took over at the San Diego 12 yard line, but after 3 straight false start penalties and a holding call on Mario Henderson put the Raiders back to the 32 yd. line, The Raiders’ Sebastian Janokowski went wide right with his 47 yd. field goal attempt keeping the score at 14-0 midway throught the 2nd quarter.

    San Diego would score again on a Ryan Matthews 13 yd. run up the middle to complete the first half scoring.

    The Raiders showed life in the second half by taking the second half kickoff and moving down the field with quaterback Bruce Gradkowski engineering a drive that went 80 yds. in 13 plays, and culminating in a 4 yd. td pass to Zach Miller. The drive was helped substantially by a 45 yd. pass interference penalty and a 15 yd. roughing the passer penalty.

    The Chargers would recieve the kickoff, and return the ball to the Raider 49 yd. line, and on the next play Rivers would find a streaking Nenee down the middle of the field for the touchdown and a 28-7 Charger lead.

    After yet another 3 and out for the Raiders, SanDiego returned the punt to the Oakland 21 yd. line and added a field goal to go up 31-7. The Chargers would add anothe field goal after a Gradkowski sack and fumble set them up at the Oakland 22.

    After another 3 and out for the Raiders on their next possession, the Chargers had the ball on their own 11 yd. line and handed the ball off to Matthews who take the ball up the middle and break through would be tackles by Rolando McClain and Michael Huff on his way to an 89 yard clincher to make the score 41-7. Matthews had a spectacular day, rushing just 18 times for 198 yds. and 3 td’s. “We just couldn’t contain him”, quipped Raider coach Tom Cable. “You gotta tip your hat to the Chargers. They dominated he line of scrimmage and kept us out of synch I guess the whole game” I had really hoped, you know, kinda of thought out there and things that we’d be able to stuff and do and things, that we, you know,would do some things that would help what we know we had to, you know things do and so forth”. “We’ll just have to regroup and look at some film you know, and see what we did and then see if we can fix this thing out there, and go forward you know”. Added Cable “I like some things we did out there today, but obviously, you know, it wasn’t enough today” “We’re 1-4 now. It’s not like it’s the end of the world”. “I told Seabass, after he missed that 31 yarder there in the second half, that hey, it happens. I kissed him on the cheek again and told him I love him and we’re gonna need him later on for the games later on in the season that matter”.

    Asked if he feels the season is slipping away at 1-4 Cable responded ” No. I don’t think we feel that way at all. Hey, it’s still early you know. Anything can happen. I can tell you I know we are making progress on a lot of things; you know, getting better and things you know, and I think really, the hardest part is, you know getting over the hump, and we need to do that. I think we are strating to, you know, get closer to where we want to be as, you know, a team and things.”.

    The Raiders added a Michael Bush TD run late in the fourth to round out the scoring.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    and God help this team if Zach and Nnamidi say see-ya when their contracts expire.

    Step up!

    I am trying to get with the team but damn…we have lineman that can’t block, receivers that either can’t or don’t catch, d-line that doesn’t do shhhhhh, safeties that don’t tackle and linebackers with questionable awareness.

    Not one guy that just comes out and bosses up.

    Where’s Kamerion Wimbley?


    Is it about winning…or are the Raiders like our kid’s Little League team where winning is nice but its more about having fun?

    Just sick and tired. Show some damn backbone

  • TerrapinRaider

    I’m out. This board is a freakin’ sham for intelligence.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams


    Its not fantasy football stat freeks. 1 f’n catch for 2 yards is unacceptable for a starting wide receiver. Unacceptable.

    He’s got to do MUCH better if he’s going to start.

    Show me another STARTING wide receiver who is known for just “clearing out” the middle but making few if any catches.

    B.S! Catch the damn ball!


    Huff stinks.

    Can’t tackle. Contrary to popular belief, he’s not good at coverage either. Always a step late in help. Never gets a pick. Sorry, he’s a scrub.

    Looked like a clown in pre-season on Forte’s run in Chicago, and again last week. Those types of plays are backbreakers and inexcusable.

    Considering the Raids have one of the highest payrolls in the NFL, with the least amount of production, it’s not too hard to see who isn’t earning his pay.

    Huff is one.
    TK is another.
    Gallery is another.
    DHB is another.

    Seymour has his moments but isn’t worth what he gets paid.

    I seem to remember Mario Henderson’s agent trying to get him 1st round money. LMAO.

    We’ve got a squad full of unproductive fat-cats, and Huff is at the top of the list.

  • GG

    djohnnyg Says:
    October 9th, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Chargers Continue Streak in Drubbing of Raiders


    That is a magnificent effort! Perfect in every way to what typically happens too often every season for the last 7 seasons, how games pan out, and the typical JaCable-speak at the end was on the money. We’ve been hearing that sort of BS every defeat under Cable. Does anything he ever says resemble the game we just suffered thru?

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    All I am asking is that players on this roster start contributing.

    If every player would just play to half of their capability the team would be ok.

    But we’ve got players contributing NOTHING in a game. NOTHING.

    THe receivers = nothing last week
    Front 7 = Nothing last week
    special teams = nothing last week

    and you wonder why the team is 1-3

  • GG

    Youre completely right, SnB.

    Terrapin is frustrated with us on the blog, there’s elements of truth in what he says. Yes it was all the D, the O fought hard etc, but our WR and OL play is abysmal on offense irrespective of how much better the O is performing.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams


    Sure the offense played ok. They fought and all that.

    What would the offense had done if DHB and Murphy….especially Murphy, had hauled in a couple of more passess.

    How many sacks and forced fumbles were due to Gradkowski waiting for these “receivers” to get separation against the worst pass defense at the time.

    The Raiders were playing 2 men down on offense last week.

    Not going to win with that.

    As for the defense, the execuses for the Front 7 are all we’ve got….because once again the RAiders are 31st in run defense.

    All these players and it still looks bad.

  • armond

    snb why the fugg do u give murphy a pass when he put up the same numbers as dhb and lost the game dropping that pass?where the hell do u get this 3 receptions schit with dhb anyway? he has 11 so far and has been underthrown or overthrown on several deep passes by the HEART OF A LION guy. the bravehearts dont mention that. all this talk of dhb catchin with his elbows is stupid. the int grads threw in arizona was a bad pass that dhb had to dive backwards at and the db got his hands on the ball as well. dhb is still growin as this whole offense is. its a work in progress and u have no choice but to be patient.also no offense snb but u were the genius that said to cut dmc last year and now look at him.

  • GG

    You said it right…the offense was handicapped with injured WRs, and a shoddy OL, but still almost beat the Texans relying solely on Miller and McFadden, but even in that, in the 2nd Half Texans adjustments, they stopped us on some important drives, then got a leg up rushing the ball. I thought the beat-down came in the 2nd half more than the 1st. You just cant be so predictable and lacking weaponry. The Texans poor defense eventually did enough to stifle the 1 real receiving threat we had.

    So yeah, we were basically handicapped, under-manned, and under-schemed due to that and the lack of a vet WR and a better OL. We coulda beat them and easier otherwise.

    As much as i DO like DHB, he’s still not starter material, he’ll get there, but we need a proven vet. And our OL pass-blocking is woeful, players out of position, lack of talent there, no depth, some of the starters back-ups on other teams.

    The defense was pathetic. Missing Henderson. What difference a young legit franchise NT would do for our D. Our LBs are woeful tho.

    What Jerry wondered about all training camp has been evident….these 3-4 OLBs we have playing Sam and Will, and even McClain, are all exposed in space. We need to put Groves and Wimbley at DE rotation with Shaughnessy, Scott, put Houston at UT behind Seymour, get a true young NT to start, and have Henderson backing him up. And then go find ourselves genuine 4-3 LBs.

  • armond

    first both wrs were hurt which is what all of u fail to mention. second grads had dmc open for dumpoffs so thats where he should be going if the wrs arent open. u guys expect a team with all of this inexperience to just whip azz every game before theyre ready. we also have chaz hurt which would help in a big way. all of these guys on nfln told u last year how hard it is to have 2 rookie wrs playing at the same time and this is what u get. it would help if grads was more accurate throwing downfield. now the defense is who we should really be mad at.

  • kidseven

    This game will be one of two kinds:

    A. Despite player statements to the contrary, the Raiders are in fact losing confidence and the game will be more or less decided when the more disciplined, more organized Chargers dominate the line of scrimmage and establish and early lead. Result: Chargers win blowout.

    B. Raiders come out with season-high intensity for a divisional foe and play like they did (was it last year?) in that game where the lost a close one but absolutely demolished the Chargers physically–sending several of them to the I.R., and maybe a few to the E.R. This time the Raiders prove they are just enough better than last year to pull off the upset at home. Result: Raiders win an ugly squeaker. Maybe SeaBass gets to be a hero.

    Being a dranker myself, I’ll go ahead and say:

    Raiders 20
    Chargers 17

  • GG

    Just on Murphy vs DHB

    I think both of them are good and can/will get better. Murphy is clearly the more natural of the two. He makes things happen more. DHB HAS moved up a gear this season and WILL become a good regular threat year 3 or year 4. But for now, a healthy Murphy is more natural and more of a threat. We need a dependable vet possession receiver opposite him, with DHB, JLH subbing them and on multiple WR sets. That would work.

    The OL needs to be priority #1 still.

    Like a broken-record i propose something like…

    LT: New recruit + Campbell back-up
    LG: Gallery/Veldheer (Veld eventually starting, new recruit back-up).
    C: New recruit + Satele back-up (for now)
    RG: Walker (for now) + new recruit
    RT: Barnes/Henderson (for now) but 2 new recruits here.

    Emphasizing mainly that we need to draft/acquire 6-8 OL for next season and then about 2 every draft afterwards for a few years to ensure a high standard OL keeps getting upped in standard.

  • armond

    gg we agree on the 3-4 lb stuff. groves and scott are situational pass rushers.we have guys out of position and i have a problem with trying to do 2 much 2 soon. we need to perfect our 4-3 defense and then get creative with all of the 34 hybrid d. kelly was a better de than dt.if i was to make the d i would go like this. de’s kelly/shawny dts sey/hendu lbs wimbley mcclain howard cb 21/ routt fs branch ss mitchell.
    i saw huff on inside the nfl and he had no energy, fukk him. in this d every1 except 2 players are at their natural position. this lets people do what they do best while doin what they worst do best becuz its their natural position.since hendu is hurt i would activate heard to develope NOW and let branch play deep middle where he might be better suited. mitchell is physical and needs to be out there to generate some energy. we know huff isnt coming back next year so why keep wasting our time with him starting? 34/33 would gives us our most physical safety duo in a longtime.

  • PurpleDrank81

    Pretty quiet today guys

  • GG

    Players out of position is something the bad Raiders teams have had going back over the years too. On offense and defense. Im not sure who is making these assessments and calls. McClain is a lame duck working beside Wimbley/Groves and behind two 3-tech DTs.

  • Any of you guys know anything about Bakersfield?

    In the running for a job there. Would mean moving from TX.

    Just wanting to hear some about the place.

  • PurpleDrank81

    I wouls say its hot as hell but you live in texas so your already use to it..

  • PurpleDrank81


  • Just Fire Baby

    DHB is not a threat until he actually, you know, catches a deep pass.

    DHB is as much as a deep threat as Tommy Kelly is a threat to stop the run, and Nick Miller is a threat to return kicks for touchdowns.

    I like the kid, he is improving, but in the AZ game, when he did get interferred, the team was down 1 point, with a minute to go, and they let their third DB cover him with no safety help!!!

    That tells me the team thought he was no threat, and he got bailed out on the PI call, because he stopped running in the middle of his route.

    3rd and 16 last week, the Texans left him wide open at the end of the game.

    Defensive co-ordinators probably spend about 1/10th the time game-planning for DHB as they do Zack Miller or our running-game.

  • Just Fire Baby


    Hope the job represents at least a 10% increase in pay, going from no state income tax to 10% state income tax.

  • Here’s Gradkowski’s commercial for Arnie’s Sports Bar in Toledo. He has autograph session’s there during the bye weeks.

  • EMRaiders

    I’ll say it again.

    Nick Miller takes one to the house.

    Nam gets a pick 6.

    Offense scores 10 points.

    FINAL: SD 21 OAK 24

    Next we win our basically 3rd home game in a row against SF, we win in Denver as we always do, we get overconfident and lose against the Seagulls at home, but come back and win a close one vs KC. Go into bye at 5-4.

    I feel it. GO RAIDERS!

  • StayinBlack

    Any of you guys know anything about Bakersfield?

    In the running for a job there. Would mean moving from TX.

    Just wanting to hear some about the place.

    Its dusty. Not a very big night life not much to see neither. I got a few friends who are from there and they ran from that place like a bat out of Hell!! None of the less good luck to you it’s hard to get a job right now even if it is in Bakersfield

  • Best thing about passing the Welcome to Bakersfield sign is the leaving Bakersfield sign is coming up soon. 1/2 way to Fresno.

  • lefty12

    Vegas conveniently leaves out how the QB has to get the ball to DHB so he can make a big play.On the PI he didn’t quit running,he was arm barred all the way down the field.

  • lefty12

    Bakersfield is just like Texas only there are mountains close by.

  • kidseven

    “On the PI he didn’t quit running,he was arm barred all the way down the field.”

    Not how I saw it. He’d quit on that route. Yes, he was interfered with, but he was shocked when the ball appeared.

    Obviously he’s getting much better, but he still has a long way to go. The one thing he DOES do is try to get up field immediately–and that’s something only the better WRs seem to do. I like how’s he’s spinning quickly and trying to be physical.

  • Just Fire Baby

    lefty12 Says:
    October 9th, 2010 at 12:03 pm
    Vegas conveniently leaves out how the QB has to get the ball to DHB so he can make a big play.On the PI he didn’t quit running,he was arm barred all the way down the field.


    He stopped running full-speed, be blind to it if you must.

    The NFLN did a piece specifically on his inability to finish his routes and catch passes.

    The kid is lost running deep with the ball in the air. He jumps when he doesn’t need to, sticks one arm out when he can use two, let’s balls hit elbows and forearms that any natural WR would never let happen.

    Improvement yes. Miles still to go, yes.

  • Just Fire Baby

    The FACTS are that when going deep to DHB, the only thing that has been successful is underthrowing the bal and hoping for contact and PI. He has yet to actually catch one ball.

    We are talking over multiple QB’s, multiple offensive co-ordinators, going on multiple seasons and against a season full of different defenses.

    When he makes a big catch down the field, I will be the first person applauding his progress.

  • Thec07

    Tagret JLH and JFORD…when those 2 are on the field they catch the the ball…DHB should be a backup…

    Nation 31 disc 24

  • aig-raiders

    I dont like the writer but a good story to cheer up the Sat Boredom.

    McClain fights his way to starting job

    By Michael Silver, Yahoo! Sports
    Oct 8, 11:05 am EDT

    Quietly, with little fanfare, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain(notes) will be doing his part for the NFL’s top-ranked defense in a home game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon. And as much as I love chronicling the movements of the stars – like the guy who plays next to McClain, Ray Lewis(notes), who happens to be the best defensive player of his era – sometimes selfless players such as this third-year, undrafted free agent are the lifeblood of the sport.

    Like Ravens teammate Michael Oher(notes), McClain took an unlikely path to the pros which required passion, perseverance and the overcoming of obstacles. In Hollywood pitch-meeting terms, think “The Blind Side” meets “The Pursuit of Happyness,” with a touch of the “Rocky” movies (which McClain ritualistically watches to get pumped up before games).

    “My life has been one boxing match after another,” McClain says. “No matter what gets thrown at me, I keep fighting.”

    Raised in north Philadelphia, McClain was a Golden Gloves fighter from the fourth grade on; local legend Joe Frazier gave him his first pair of boxing shorts. McClain’s father was incarcerated for much of Jameel’s childhood, and his family struggled with poverty. There were periods of homelessness, and for an extended stretch Jameel, his three siblings and his mother lived in a Salvation Army rescue shelter.

    “You’d just have nights where food was a figment of your stomach’s imagination, where you would go to sleep hungry,” McClain recalls. “Having the same jeans weeks at a time, sharing a room at the shelter with strangers and having to be there by a certain time, worrying that people were going to come in your room after you were asleep and mess with you … there were some tough times.

    “It’s not something I made public, not something I was comfortable talking about or sharing in conversation. I guess it would be embarrassing for anybody with pride, to know you don’t have a place you can call home.”

    McClain took solace in small pleasures, such as the late-night doughnuts a local retailer would deliver to the shelter.

    “They’d have leftovers at the end of the day, and they’d donate them instead of throwing them away,” he recalls. “I can still remember the smell – when the doughnuts came late at night, it was a big deal.”

    Determined to improve his circumstances, McClain pushed himself athletically and academically, earning a scholarship to Syracuse, where he was a standout defensive end. His disappointment about being passed over in the NFL draft gave way to excitement about the prospect of joining “the defense I’ve always dreamed of playing for.”

    Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, who saw McClain as a prototypical inside linebacker in then-coordinator Rex Ryan’s scheme, pursued him aggressively as a free agent immediately after the draft.

    [Blog: Did Ravens eject couple for kissing?]

    “Actually, 32 teams passed on me,” McClain says, “but the Ravens gave me the opportunity to come in and show what I could do. They expressed a lot of interest. From what I heard, it was rare for a free agent to get the GM, coach and linebackers coach all calling and saying, ‘We want you here. We know you’re our type of player.’

    “Baltimore was clearly the choice. I played the game the same way they played it, so to me it was a no-brainer. Their demeanor fit my style. I play till the whistle is blown and the play is done, completely, and I don’t back off.”

    McClain beat the odds and made the team as a rookie. He then made an immediate impact, recording two safeties, a blocked punt, two-and-a-half sacks and 17 special-teams tackles. The 6-foot-1, 250-pounder had 33 special-teams tackles in ’09 and another 29 stops on defense, along with a forced fumble.

    McClain listens to Ravens coach John Harbaugh.

    (Geoff Burke/US Presswire)

    This past summer, he took his game to another level by winning a training-camp competition with incumbent Dannell Ellerbe(notes) and former third-round pick Tavares Gooden(notes) to become the starter next to Lewis at inside linebacker. McClain has 25 tackles and a pass defended and is holding his own in a defensive unit allowing a league-low 235.8 yards per game.

    He’s also making a point of spending off days in the community speaking at shelters – he volunteers for the Salvation Army, among other organizations – and counseling at-risk children.

    He has no patience for politicians who talk about slashing social services as a means of freeing up funds: “It’s people speaking on things that they don’t know anything about. To them, you exist only in their imagination, so when they talk about cutting those services, you’re not really real and they don’t have to consider the effect it will have on you.”

    McClain lives a relatively modest lifestyle because, he says, “I’m trying to be in a position so I never again have to go through what I went through as a kid.”

    He does allow himself a few luxuries, such as a robust collection of jeans – “enough pairs that I can’t count ‘em all in my head.”

    There is one guilty pleasure, however, that McClain is happy to resist.

    “I don’t like doughnuts too much now,” he says. “I couldn’t even tell you the last time I had one.”

    His stomach is no longer rumbling, but rest assured he still plays hungry.

  • Thec07

    Put the guys in who actually make plays sit the scholarships….