News, notes, quotes and observations as the Raiders wrap up their practice week:
With the Raiders having already made two in-game switches on the basis of performance this year with quarterback Jason Campbell in favor of Bruce Gradkowski, he could be forgiven for looking over his shoulder if he gets off to a slow start.
Not that he’s going to admit it.
“We’re at home, and the main thing about it is we just need to bring the energy into our stadium, no matter what’s going on. I feel like, for the most part in this season, I had a pretty good year, and hey, we lost two tough games, but that happens,’’ Campbell said when asked directly if he feared getting a quick hook. “the main thing is you’ve got to push forward and keep winning and understand we’re still in the fight.’’
Coach Tom Cable said Campbell understands the job description.
“He and I, we talk all the time,’’ Cable said. “We talk about a lot of things all the time. He is OK with where we’re going and what we’re doing and he understands it’s the job. It comes with it.’’
— Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha practiced without limitations for the first time this week, clearing the way for him to start against Miami. He is listed as probable.
Also back to full strength and listed as probable is wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who Cable said would move back in to the starting lineup after missing the Steelers game with a sore hamstring.
Listed as out are wide receiver Chaz Schilens (foot) and cornerback Chris Johnson (groin), neither of whom practiced. Tight end Zach Miller (foot) was limited and listed and questionable but will play.
Guard Robert Gallery (leg contusion), safety Tyvon Branch (shoulder) and safety Hiram Eugene (stinger) were listed as probable and participated fully.
— Getting Miller back to full strength could help the Raiders offense establish some kind of rhythm, given his status as the team’s most reliable receiver since 2007. Cable said he thought the timing of both Miller and Louis Murphy wasn’t quite right given their missed practice time because of injuries.
“I don’t really know if it’s the timing as much as just in the game, in the passing game, the ball’s coming out fast and guys are flying everywhere so you have to react fast,’’ Miller said. `Missing all that time I did in that game against Kansas City , it just took me a little while to try to catch back up.
— Although Johnson is out, it appears rookie Jeremy Ware will not automatically slide in as the nickel back, as has been the case in previous weeks when Asomugha was out and Johnson was the starter.
“We’ll do some different things this week, but I don’t want to share that with you right now because we’ll kind of have to adjust some things,’’ Cable said.
Possible adjustments could include making Asomugha or Michael Huff a slot corner in the nickel, with Stevie Brown potentially getting more time at free safety in the latter scenario.
– Cable said it has not been determined whether newcomer Jarvis Moss would be active against Miami and play as a reserve defensive end. Matt Shaughnessy will start in place of Trevor Scott and play more snaps than usual, with relief coming from either Quentin Groves, Bruce Davis or Moss.