By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, October 28th, 2010 at 1:21 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Some notes from the Raiders media availability period Thursday as passed along by beat writer Steve Corkan and those on site:
– Jason Campbell and Kyle Boller took first-team walkthrough reps during the media practice window, with Bruce Gradkowski confining himself to a handful of 10-yard throws off to the side.
– Center Samson Satele, defensive end Matt Shaughnessy and cornerback Chris Johnson were all at practice and could be on track to face Seattle after concussions sustained against Denver.
– Guard Robert Gallery, who was on the field Wednesday with a calf strain and then held out of the actual practice, was on the field again. Cable said Wednesday he expected Gallery to practice.
– LB Travis Goethel (lower back) was on the practice field, was was LB Thomas Howard (knee). TE Zach Miller (arch) was working in team drills, as was Brandon Myers, who missed the Broncos game with a concussion.
Those not present included defensive tackle John Henderson (stress fracture) and wide receiver Chaz Schilens.
– Defensive coordinator John Marshall served in the same capacity for the Seahawks from 2006 through 2008 and was the Seattle linebackers coach from 2003 through 2005, but said the changeover on offense isn’t going to give him much in the way of advance intelligence.
“There’s none, scheme-wise, other than Matt Hasselbeck and being a West Coast quarteback,” Marshall said. “That part of it is still intact. The routes have changed, the philosophy, that kind of thing. Not many of the players are still there from when I was there.”
Marshall said Seattle has a fast-flowing defense, pointing to middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu and outside linebacker Aaron Curry as the key.
“I don’t know that there’s a real standout big playmaker guy, they all make plays,” Marshall said. “They just scurry around and play good, hard defense.”
– The way Marshall sees it, the Raiders longstanding tradition of coveting fast players who look good “coming off the bus” makes more sense than ever given the direction of modern offenses.
“They spread you out and get a lot more one-on-one type situations, a lot more area for linebackers and safeties to cover,” Marshall said. “It sounds stupid, but `bigger, faster, stronger.’ The more speed you have on the field, the better flexibility you have in your defense to cover people and to run down plays.”
Defensive coordinator John Fassel agreed.
“Fast guys usually means success on special teams,” Fassel said. “What I try not to do is overcoach the guys, especially the athletes, the fast guys, the kind of guys that are a little crazy. They;e perfect for special teams. I don’t want them to think too much out there. That’s kind of the way we’ve been going about it.”
– Rookie Jacoby Ford, talking with reporters about being prepared regardless of his role, let it slip that he’d be the starter opposite Darrius Heyward-Bey Sunday in place of the injured Louis Murphy.
“I’m always preparing like I am going to be the starter, that’s what coach Sanjay (Lal) tell us,” Ford said. “It just so happens that I actually will be the starter this game, so it’s no different for me, preparing-wise. I’ve just got to go out there and mkaae some plays when my number is called.”
– Nick Miller has been getting extra work at different positions and should get more snaps, although coach Tom Cable made it sound Wednesday he’d be fourth in the pecking order Heyward-Bey, Ford and Johnnie Lee Higgins.
“I’m getting to know all the positions just in case they need me,” Miller said.
Miller and Ford, both sub-six-footers, have gotten a nickname from the coaching staff.
“The coaches call us the Smurfs. They’re like, `Oh, the Smurfs are in there,’ ” Miller said. “They joke around and say that but you guys can say what you want, I guess.”
More to come after coach Tom Cable’s post-practice press briefing . . .