By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, October 14th, 2010 at 4:31 pm in Oakland Raiders.
News, notes, quotes and observations Thursday as the Raiders prepare to face the San Francisco 49ers:
— The San Francisco 49ers were serious enough about Hue Jackson as a potential offensive coordinator they brought him back for a second interview.
The general perception when Jimmy Raye was eventually hired was that several candidates had pulled themselves out of the running because coach Mike Singletary’s view of how the offense should be run was too conservative.
“It was a position I seriously did consider. It just didn’t go right at the time,’’ Jackson said. “Obviously they went in a different direction and I was back in Baltimore and and wished him well, and I’m here in Oakland.’’
Asked if it was his decision, Jackson said, “No, no. That was their call at the time. And that’s OK. I feel I’m where I’m supposed to be now, here with the Raiders getting this organization where it needs to be.’’
Not long after the 49ers opportunity fell through, Jackson met with Al Davis and agreed to become the Raiders offensive coordinator, canceling an interview with the Chicago Bears for the same position.
Other candidates who either rejected the 49ers or were rejected were Clyde Christensen (now offensive coordinator in Indianapolis), Rob Chudzinski (assistant head coach in sAn Diego), Rick Dennison (offensive coordinator in Houston), Scott Linehan (offensive coordinator in Detroit), Jeff Jagodzinski (head coach of the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL) and former Broncos and Falcons head coach Dan Reeves (retired).
Linehan turned down a job offer to go to Detroit, and was also interviewed with the Raiders.
– Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski did not practice, with the Raiders essentially waiting to see if there’s a miraculous recovery Friday before going ahead with the obvious _ Jason Campbell will start, Kyle Boller will be the backup.
“We kind of know where we’re headed with it,’’ coach Tom Cable said.
No sense in Gradkowski being the backup if he can’t start.
“If he’s good enough to go in and win the game, then he’d play and start,’’ Cable said.
– The thought of Boller having to play _ a possibility if he’s the backup _ isn’t something that’s keeping Cable up at night.
“Kyle’s kind of a rare bird. He studies everything and prepares as if he’s a starter all the time,’’ Cable said. “I know you hear that, but when you watch him work and listen to him talk, he’s talking a like a coach. I have no issues or worries whether he’s ready to go or not.’’
– Cable was holding out hope Darren McFadden would be ready to play with a strained right hamstring. McFadden seemed skeptical, and when Cable was asked if they’d be cautious if he played at less than 100 percent, he said, “He wouldn’t. He’s got to be ready to go.’’
It appears McFadden, who missed three games as a rookie with turf toe and four games last season with minor knee surgery, will miss his second straight game after the best sustained play of his career through the first four games.
– It’s slow going on the Chaz Schilens front.
“I don’t know that it’s moving along as quickly as we would have liked, obviously,’’ Cable said. “I know it’s improving, but it seems to be rather slow.’’
Schilens had surgery more than seven weeks ago and was originally supposed to be out for three to six weeks. Cable hoped Schilens could make it on the field to begin shaking off the rust “next week or the week after.’’
Last season, Schilens missed eight games with a broken metatarsal on his left foot. Looks as if he’ll be out at least that long this year.
– Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly knows how the 49ers feel.
In 2006, he had a respected Hall of Fame player as a head coach, high hopes going into the season, and then. . .
“I’ve been in their situation. I know that 0-5 is a desperate situation, you just want to get a win,’’ Kelly said. “You’ve put all that work in it. You want to get a little fruit for your labor and they’ve been struggling. They’re a good team, a good running game . . .I’m sure they’ll try and get it going against us.’’
The Art Shell Raiders of 2006, in fact, were in fact 0-5 and didn’t reach 0-6, beating the Arizona Cardinals 22-9.
Later that season, the Raiders took a 13-7 lead on the 49ers only to eventually fall 34-20 as Frank Gore rushed for 134 yards and Alex Smith was 15-for-19 for 165 yards and three touchdowns.
“You already know what they’re going to do,’’ Kelly said. “They’ve got a real simple game plan. They’re going to run the ball, try to chew up the clock and take shots downfield.
“We stop the running game and hopefully we can put some pressure on Alex Smith. He’s had a little trouble throwing it to the other team this year with his picks so hopefully we can put some pressure on him and cause a couple of turnovers.’’
– When the Raiders faced the 49ers in the preseason, Mario Henderson failed to get to the outside and slow down blitzing linebacker Travis LaBoy, who flattened Campbell and left him with a stinger and injured right wrist.
LaBoy is a reserve. Henderson, along with Jared Veldheer, the other left tackle who alternates by series, will get a heavy dose of Justin Smith, the right end in a 3-4, as well as Parys Harelson, who is swifter coming from the outside than LaBoy.
“I’m not going to let that determine how I play,’’ Henderson said. “I look into that matchup and know I’ve got to do better, but I’ve got to take it play by play.’’
– Robert Gallery, who said he’ll start against the 49ers Sunday, realized instantly in the season opener he’d be gone for awhile.
“It popped when I did it. It’s not something that just tightened up,’’ Gallery said of the hamstring injury which cost him a quarter of the season. “I was going full speed on that interception in the Tennessee game, and when you pop it like that, it’s hard to come back from.
“Obviously I would have liked to have been back sooner. You’ve got to be able to get into a stance and until this week I wasn’t really able to do that.’’