By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, October 25th, 2010 at 1:03 pm in Oakland Raiders.
If the Raiders weren’t going to get the day off Monday, it was never going to happen under Tom Cable.
Past regimes have more often than not instituted a so-called “victory Monday, where players are given Monday off to go along with the mandatory Tuesday off before reporting to work Wednesday.
Cable has never had a victory Monday before, always having the team in in to view film and go through a routine of meetings with a light workout.
All it took to get Cable to institute `victory Monday’ was eight touchdowns and a 59-14 win over the Denver Broncos.
A few players straggled in anyway during the open locker room session to get in a light workout or come in for treatment.
Among them was cornerback Chris Johnson, whose 30-yard interception return, coming eight seconds after the Raiders’ touchdown on their opening drive, lit the fuse that had the Raiders up 24-0 at the end of the quarter and 31-7 at the half.
“To be honest with you the whole world was shocked,” Johnson said. “We expected to win. For us to win like we did, I mean nobody knows where it came from. It was just really our desire to keep playing, keep making points. We didn’t let up until I guess the fourth quarter.”
It was at that point coach Tom Cable eased off the gas by taking out Darren McFadden and Jason Campbell, or Oakland would have been the first team to score 60 or more points in a game since Jacksonville beat Miami 62-7 in the playoffs on Jan. 15, 2000.
The game was so lopsided Alvis Whitted caught a touchdown pass from Jay Fiedler to make the score 55-7 in the fourth quarter.
The last team to score 60-plus in the regular-season was Cincinnati, a 61-7 winner over Houston in 1989, a game notable because coach Sam Wyche had his team kick a field goal with 21 seconds to play.
Johnson said a quick Denver score in the second half erased any thought so the Raiders resting on their laurels.
“You still have to play because in the National Football League you can always have comebacks,” Johnson said. “We couldn’t let up at no point in time to even let them think they could get back into the game.”
Still to be explained is how the Raiders can go from zero touchdowns against San Francisco to eight touchdowns in a single week.
“I think the San Francisco game we just didn’t actually go out and play all three phases,” Johnson said. “We gave up a couple of big plays on defense. Offense didn’t really score like they’re supposed to. I just don’t think that we were prepared like we were yesterday. We knew yesterday was a division game. We came in this whole week saying we have to go out, finish our opponent start to finish and I think we put a whole four quarters together yesterday.”
Johnson rejected use of the term “fluke.”
“ It’s never a fluke with us. We have the talent. I think we’re probably the most talented team in the National Football League,” Johnson said. “If we play like we played yesterday and we do the same thing in practice then we will expect to win and we expect to make plays and we did that yesterday. We put the points up, we had turnovers, it was just an all-out effort from all three phases yesterday.”
So how do the Raiders makes sure they don’t repeat some of the week-after issues of the past?
“Go back to work, look at Seattle, see how they won that game,” Johnson said regarding the Raiders’ next opponent. “They have good receivers. Mike (Williams) was here when (Lane Kiffin) was here so we know what to expect out of him. Really just do our thing. Learn what we’re supposed to do on defense, learn what we’re supposed to do on offense and don’t even worry about them. Just control what we control on this end and on Sunday let our play speak for itself.”
Johnson believes the vibe created against the Broncos will have a carry-over effect.
“It was just fun yesterday. You could just see the sideline. Everybody was smiling, everybody was having fun,” Johnson said. “It was just like going to the playground and having backyard, playground fun with your friends. Everybody was very excited for each other. There’s no way we should have a step back this week. We just have to take this win and keep building and see how the end of the season finishes out.”
Veldheer shows versatility
Jared Veldheer got his first start at left tackle only to wind up at center after startrer Samson Satele sustained a concussion.
Veldheer opened the season as the starting center, only to move to left tackle for Week 2 to alternate with Mario Henderson. Veldheer got the job fulltime against Denver (although coach Tom Cable said Friday the rotation system would continue).
Satele left the game on the last series of the first half.
“You just got to get back to that center world of thought, Veldheer said Monday. “I have to be prepared to step into that role if something were to happen, and something did on (Sunday), and that’s why you have to stay on top of your playbook, stay on top of what you’re doing, because any minute I could go from being back out there to back in there.”
Veldheer had a problem with false starts but was conspicuous in opening up holes on the left side before moving to center.
With the Raiders rushing for 328 yards, the third-best total in franchise history, it was a lineman’s dream.
“It’s real fun from an offensive lineman’s standpoint, because we were able to run it on the edge, run power, basically opened up the running game,” Veldheer said.
Veldheer said he was concentrating too hard to take a moment and savor the score as the points piled up.
“It’s on to the next play, the next series, you never look up there and be satisfied,” Veldheer said. “At the end of the game, when you look up at the zeroes and see you’ve got 59 points, then you can be pretty happy.”
`An intensity they couldn’t match’
Rookie wide receiver Jacoby Ford ran 29 yards with a pair of reverses and caught two passes for 15 yards in his most extensive playing time after Darrius Heyward-Bey left with an illness in the first quarter.
“I definitely did enjoy it. I had a lot of fun out there playing with those guys,” Ford said. “I definitely would love to keep it up and just go out there and show what I can do so they can keep having trust in me.”
Ford said of the blowout, “We just played with an intensity they just really couldn’t match. Everything was clicking. Offensive line was blocking, we were blocking, running backs were hitting it hard. We just came out and played our game really well.”
Heyward-Bey said he became ill in the first half, left the field and watched the game from the locker room.
More to come after coach Tom Cable’s press briefing at 2 p.m. . . .