By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 at 4:09 pm in Oakland Raiders.
News, notes, quotes and observations Wednesday as the Raiders prepare to face Kansas City Chiefs:
— Indications are tickets for the Chiefs game are going fast with the help of a 2-for-1 promotion sponsored by Compass Media Networks, making it possible the Raiders will snap their blackout streak at 11 and have a full house for their biggest regular-season game at this point of the season since 2002.
“It’s just exciting to know come Sunday we’re going to have our partner in this thing, and that’s the commuity and the fans there with us,’’ coach Tom Cable said.
— Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha isn’t putting weight on his injured right ankle and did not practice, but Cable hasn’t ruled him out of the Chiefs game.
— Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski continues to progress and a decision regarding his availability to start, Cable said, would probably be Friday.
“He did good, and he’s moving forward rapidly now, and the question will be, kind of what we talked about a couple of weeks ago, if he can do everything that’s necessary to go out and play,’’ Cable said.
— Tight end Zach Miller (arch) did not practice
“It looks very good so we’ll just see,’’ Cable said. “It’s questionable at this point, but at this point he’s improving rapidly.’’
– Best guess _ look for Asomugha and Gradkowski after the bye week. The Raiders may try and get Zach Miller through the Chiefs game and then let him rest through the bye.
Miller was clearly hobbled at some points during the Seattle game.
— Gradkowski was looking forward to throwing at practice to measure his progress.
“That’s the most frustrating thing is you know you want to play, you want to be out there but your body is just not letting you,’’ Gradkowski said. “I’ve just had to deal wit that. I can’t control that. But recently I’ve been starting to come around, feel good. So it’s a matter f how I could practice and be in live situations and see how that feels.”
Gradkowski’s evaluation of Campbell: “I think he’s done well. He’s protected the football good. He’s made some plays. That’s what we needed.’’
If Campbell is even a little irked about having the best back-to-back games of his career in terms of quarterback rating only to have Cable reiterate Gradkowski is the starter, he’s keeping his feelings well hidden.
“I haven’t talked to him about it. My main obligation is to just win and keep winning and try to play at a high level,’’ Gradkowski said. “The decision is coach’s decision. I’ve been in the league six years and starting for a while. You have to be prepared for all types of situations. My mindset right now is not even about that.’’
— Only three players on the roster _ punter Shane Lechler, kicker Sebastian Janikowski and right tackle Langston Walker _ have played a game in November with the kind of implications the Chiefs game has Sunday.
As much as Cable is stressing “the process,’’ there’s undeniably a different feel to the week.
“This is huge. Where we are right now, a lot of us, we haven’t been in uncharted waters like this before,’’ defensive end Trevor Scott said. “Just the fact that we’re 4-4, and it’s been a long time since we’ve been .500 here. We’re very excited about that. We’re just going to keep the foot on the gas pedal.”
“It’s a totally different atmosphere in here,’’ said linebacker Sam Williams, a third-round draft pick in 2003. “It’s a great feeling because we know we have something to play for, we know we’re a good team, and the sky’s the limit.
— Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly’s assignment will be to get the better of Casey Wiegmann, the squatty 6-foot-2, 285-pound center of the Chiefs, and disrupt the Kansas City interior running game.
With Kelly at 6-foot-6 and in the 325-pound range, Wiegmann is more an issue of leverage than power.
“He’s a position blocker,’’ Kelly said. “Wiegmann’s a vet, wily, he’s going to give you everything he’s got on every play. As long as I get off and get my hands into him, I should be OK.’’
— The Raiders didn’t put in a claim for Randy Moss, who wound up with the Tennessee Titans. Whether Oakland stayed on the sidelines because they found out through Moss’ agent he wanted no part of the Raiders, or simply thought the better of it hardly matters.
Considering they never made a move toward Terrell Owens or tried to trade for Anquan Boldin or make any other move regarding a receiver, there’s no reason to think they wanted to claim Moss.
– Tight end Brandon Myers spent practice working with the first team and if Zach Miller can’t play or can’t finish, he’ll take three catches for 21 yards to the field and hope to add to his numbers.
Myers figures he’ll need to make a play or two in the receiving game to get more chances.
“It’s all about Hue and Jason and Bruce and those guys trust me a little bit. Zach’s established, so whenever I come in and get a chance to make a play I’ve got to make it,’’ Myers said.
Cable on the development of Myers: I think the last two weeks, what he’s done has been a great improvement from where we thought he was at the beginning of the season. And it’s starting to show up on special teams as well. We feel like he’s where he needs to be and he’s on the come now. Which is a great thing, particularly with the situation now with Zach.’’
— Cable confirmed that Jake Grove, the the former Raiders starter and a second-round draft pick in 2004, was brought in for a visit Tuesday. Grove was cut after one season in Miami, receiving $14.5 million in guaranteed money.
“We had him in for a workout, just in case, kind of to see where he’s at,’’ Cable said.
Starting center Samson Satele was limited in practice, practicing with a large wrap on his knee.
Cable said he’d like to level Veldheer at left tackle to develop at that position, but noted, “It’s how your roster fits and if you’re able to do that. Right now this is where we’re at and we’re OK with it.’’
— Linebacker Travis Goethel practiced without restrictions and Cable said the rookie could be active to and play on special teams and as a backup linebacker against Kansas City.
— Other injury notes: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (shoulder) was limited, S Hiram Eugene (hamstring) was limited, WR Louis Murphy (bruised lung) did not practice,WR Chaz Schlens (knee) did not practice, DT John Henderson (stress fracture) did not practice.
— Like Cable, Chiefs coach Todd Haley is a football lifer who enjoys the historical of Raiders-Chiefs and seeing it be a crucial game.
“For the fans of the game, which we all are, the Raiders and Mr. Davis are such a big part of NFL lore and the history,’’ Haley said. “You can’t put on NFL Films and not see the Raiders and the great teams they’ve had through the years. So any time you have teams like the Raiders and Chiefs that are big foundations of the league playing each other period is a big thing.
“Add into the mix that both teams have been able to have some success early in the year and it obviously makes it special for everybody’s who’s a fan of the NFL.