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Raiders revert, and it hurts

Brought back some bad memories, didn’t it?

The same team that went into its bye week at 5-4 and full of hope is either a shell of itself or has simply reverted to what it has been starting in 2003.

The Raiders were out-blocked, out-tackled and blacked out. They were inferior in both the passing game and the running game. Had it not been for Jacoby Ford and and a couple of early Miami failures in the red zone, a 33-17 loss to the Dolphins Sunday at the Coliseum would have been _ and probably should have been _ much worse.

If you’re looking for some positive reinforcement, check out another site. Having had no problem saying how good the Raiders have been during their three-game winning streak, putting flowers on this pig is not an option.

News, notes and observations from the Raiders’ most disappointing game of the season:

– Even up to the time when press box announcers are supposed to announce lineup changes, Jason Campbell was the alleged starter. Asked a media-relations member and was told, “We have no changes to announce.”

If only the Raiders could only get over on an opponent the way they did with the media. What an incredible waste of time for a team that claims to put all its emphasis on winning to act in such a moronic fashion.

Sure fooled everyone with that Bruce Gradkowski switch. Gradkowski said he learned he was starting “at the beginning of the week.” Campbell said he found out Tuesday. Cable said he realized Gradkowski would start Wednesday once he was 100 percent healthy.

Because, you know, it was always going to be Gradkowski’s job once he was healthy. Cable has contradicted himself on this several times, but no matter. Coaches aren’t obligated to tell the media the truth except when it suits their purposes, and now that Gradkowski is hurt, it doesn’t really matter.

Not that it was handled with aplomb. If the Raiders were actually trying to go out of their way to look ridiculous, they couldn’t have done any better.

It’s apparent Gradkowski (surprise!) is down for awhile, re-injuring his throwing shoulder. He didn’t want to talk about or think about it, but said it felt like it did following the first San Diego game. And he returned five weeks later.

So now Campbell is back in the saddle, unless Kyle Boller is warming up in the bullpen. I heard second-hand Sunday night the reason Campbell was benched is that he’s not right for the Raiders as currently constituted, considering his issues with a pass rush and the club’s problems at wide receiver.

– Campbell wasn’t pretending to understand the double-talk, on one hand being told Gradkowski would get the job when healthy, and on the other hand still getting the start against Pittsburgh.

“My thing was in the Pittsburgh game, well, he was healthy,” Campbell said.

– Behind the scenes, the Raiders are fighting the perception that Campbell is the favorite of Al Davis, while Gradkowski is preferred by Cable and Hue Jackson.

“You’re a competitor and you like to compete, but by no means are you understanding or anything,” Campbell said. “It’s kind of tough because you’re caught right in between something and you don’t know what’s going on.”

Must be all that great communication Cable has talked about with his quarterback.

– Darren McFadden has fallen and he can’t get up.

In the last two games, McFadden, who has looked every bit the No. 4 overall pick in 2008, has 16 yards on 18 carries. Yes, there are issues with the offensive line. Privately, the coaching staff is concerned that he’s not running as he did before.

Right tackle Langston Walker seemed to think opposing teams are simply taking him (and other Raiders running backs) away.

“If teams are smart, if they have good defensive coordinators, they are going to load up against the run when they play us,” Walker said.

– The more Jacoby Ford does, the more damning it is for Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Telling moment _ Gradkowski has Heyward-Bey in single coverage on his left, with the safety drifting cheating toward the middle. He sees this, drops back, and lets fly a deep pass down the right sideline toward Marcel Reece. It is intercepted by Yeremiah Bell. Gradkowski said he was giving Reece a chance, given what he’s shown as a playmaker. He never considered Heyward-Bey even after he saw the coverage.

Reece is an intriguing but undrafted wide receiver turned tight end turned fullback. Heyward-Bey is the No. 7 overall pick in the 2009 draft and the alleged deep threat of the future.

The coaching staff is starting to reduce Heyward-Bey’s time on the field. He had far fewer snaps than normal and when asked if Heyward-Bey was still nursing a sore hamstring, Cable said it was simply a factor of the wide receiver rotation.

Not sure if another Raiders receiver is capable of making the 44-yard touchdown grab from Gradkowski, smoothly hauling it in while turning to his left and stradding the sideline for the score. He later repeated his magic act of taking an interception away from a defender with his 52-yard reception to set up a field goal.

– Davone Bess of the Dolphins caught six passes for 116 yards, had three punt returns for 60 yards with a long of 47, and the Raiders had no interest in him as an undrafted free agent. He went to Skyline High, grew up within sight distance of the Coliseum and was a big fan of Tim Brown.

Bess doesn’t have the 40-yard dash time Al Davis prefers, but his skills as a receiver are off the charts. He had subtle pushoffs on at least two catches worthy of a 10-year veteran.

“I’m excited to come home and get to play in front of my home city, my family, my friends, all my close ones that supported me through this,” Bess said. “Just to get the W, that’s my focus. Just get the win.”

– It was almost comical to see the Raiders go into damage control mode, with players getting serious briefings about what to say and not to say if scheduled to take the podium. Players shrug their heads at this later and laugh when it’s brought up informally.

– Zach Miller is confirming that is original “arch injury” was a torn plantar fascia, a very slow-to-heal condition. He hurt his right leg later in the game. Cable called it a “fibula” injury. Miller caught one pass for six yards and is currently a shell of himself.

– When winning, every move a coach makes seems to work out, and then you have Walter McFadden.

McFadden had a good week of practice following a game in which Jeremy Ware got poor reviews from coaches against Pittsburgh. So McFadden was the nickel back, but for some reason, Ware was inactive even though Chris Johnson was out with a groin strain and Nnamdi Asomugha was playing with an ankle injury.

McFadden got torched for five catches and 113 yards, including four third down conversions and another on third down because of a defensive holding penalty. Asomugha, who had given up five catches for 87 yards all season, gave up four receptions for 65 yards and also had a holding penalty resulting in a Miami first down. He conceded afterward he couldn’t plant and turn _ sort of a prerequisite for playing cornerback.

With Ware inactive, it’s not like Asomugha had any choice but to stay in the game.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • DMAC
  • r8rwill

    oh boy, for all the grads supporters, who threw jc under the bus for one reason or another. and we know who you are, you got your reward yesterday!!!!gradkowski is just what every other team who had him on their roster and cut him, thought he is!!! gradkowski stinks…there is no redemption for him, he has zero arm, none.. don’t even try to make excuses (he was rusty, the line didn’t block, they blitzed him etc etc.. the man sucks period. and now that we have thrown jason under the bus to pump grads up we have no quaterback..

  • Jimbo

    Grading the 2010 draft, what are the gems and what are the busts?

  • RaiderRockstar

    O,

    I dont watch college football or even keep up with it

    how is “operation neutered wolverine” going ???

  • YoungAmerican

    McClain had a pretty solid game against the run. Looks like he’s learning his role.

    The problem is that the front four wasn’t able to overcome their lack of gap discipline, and it hurt. Especially on that Ricky Williams TD run where Kelly and Henderson whiffed and Michael Huff got walled off by the ump.

  • DMAC

    Andrew Luck = The truth
    Print that!

  • http://www.aflciodental.com/unions/IBEW.png The Real Ray

    Jimbo Says:
    November 29th, 2010 at 9:53 am
    Grading the 2010 draft, what are the gems and what are the busts?

    ===============

    Walter McFadden

  • http://atm Raider O

    Where is Preppie?
    Go Bucks!! Operation NW was a success!

  • YoungAmerican

    I just don’t know that rookie 5th and 7th round corners are prepared to play man-to-man all game long. Stanford Routt still can’t do it after six years in the league…

  • RaiderRockstar

    Grading the 2010 draft, what are the gems and what are the busts?

    ***

    gems = Houston, Ford, Veldheer, McFadden, Goethel, Brown

    busts = McClain, Ware, Campbell

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Jimbo Says:
    November 29th, 2010 at 9:53 am
    Grading the 2010 draft, what are the gems and what are the busts?

    ++++++++++++++++

    Way too early to tell

  • http://www.aflciodental.com/unions/IBEW.png The Real Ray

    RR, I dont know how you could consider Campbell a bust…not just yet! And McClain??????!!!!!!

  • Thec07

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    November 29th, 2010 at 9:57 am
    Grading the 2010 draft, what are the gems and what are the busts?

    ***

    gems = Houston,Campbell,Veldheer, McFadden, Goethel, Brown

    busts = McClain, Ware, Ford

    ROFLMAO…

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Through 11 games:

    Rolando McClain – 57 tackles, 1 sack, 0 forced fumbles, 1 INT, 4 passes defensed

    Kirk Morrison – 54 tackles, 0 sacks, 0 forced fumbles, 0 INTs, 0 passes defensed

    In other words, McClain, despite some shaky play is already as good as or better in his rookie year as Morrison is now.

    McClain = stalwart in the middle for 10 years.

  • J Hill

    busts = McClain

    —————————————————–

    Should’ve taken Dez Bryant!

  • Thec07

    DMAC Says:
    November 29th, 2010 at 9:55 am
    Andrew Luck = The truth
    Print that!

    +++++++++++

    He is hard however, wil be gone before the 2nd rd…

  • http://atm Raider O

    RR,

    37-7!!! Bucks won again!!!! Since 2003!!!! I hope we to an entire decade without a Mich win!!

  • Thec07

    Quicksain McCLain….Rookie slow instincts, will hopefully improve…Fee look to be in quicksand…

  • http://raiders.com A.B. Paine III

    I want to give a special shout out to Aig:

    F*CK YOU DOUCHE BAG

    Your boy Gradkowski is a piece of sh*t.

  • YoungAmerican

    With Miller and Seymour being key re-signings, I wonder what the future holds for Gallery and Huff.

    With Cable gone, will Gallery be gone too? Al loves Michael Huff, but does he love him enough to extend him?

    Who replaces these guys if either of them leave?

    Gallery’s injury history concerns me, but the Raiders already have the right side of the offensive line to worry about.

    Huff has played reasonably well this year and arguably the hardest position in the NFL. His tackling skills have improved dramatically. But how easy would it be to replace him? There are a few players out there who could be acquired (NE’s Jarrad Page, FS Hines from Ohio State, a 4th round prospect), but could they step in for Huff? Is Stevie Brown ready for Huff’s responsibilities?

  • http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE&feature=related exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    oh boy, for all the grads supporters, who threw jc under the bus for one reason or another.
    =========================================
    Please don’t move the bus!!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    McClain, despite some shaky play is already as good as or better in his rookie year as Morrison is now.

    McClain = stalwart in the middle for 10 years.

    ***

    Why the comparison to Kirk?

    as long as he matches Kirk’s production he’s a stud?

    LOL!

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Keep Huff. As YA says, he plays maybe the toughest position on defense in the NFL (single high safety) and does it about as well as anyone possibly can short of a Hall of Famer like Rod Woodson.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Should’ve taken Dez Bryant!

    ***

    even McCoy or Tebow look like better options at this point

  • SilverNBlackPA

    RRS,

    I’m saying that even if you count McClain as a disppointment thus far (and I think he has performed below expectations) he’s still an improvement on what we had as a rookie.

    Give him another year and he’ll be a beast.

  • Thec07

    MBUSH will be gone also…what a waste…

  • Jimbo

    ***

    Why the comparison to Kirk?

    as long as he matches Kirk’s production he’s a stud?

    LOL!

    ******

    Nice twist of words.

    I think he means that RoMac’s floor is Kirk’s ceiling.

  • Thec07

    Give him another year and he’ll be a beast.
    ++++++++++++

    I sure hope so….Sideline to sideline he is in quicksand….

  • mistic1

    You guys are funny, you dont understand my newton theory. Newton may not go high in the draft, the off field question marks, and the fact that there are a few qb’s rated ahead of him in a qb starved draft class. He very well could drop to the middle or late rounds.

    The knocks are valid to a degree, about his mechanics, and the fact that he is a two year starter ( he led his junior college to a national championship last year). You may also not like the idea of shot gun spread offense.

    The o-line is where we need to draft a guy that can play right away. Drafted as a middle or late round guy, he doesnt need to play right away. We would actually have the luxury of letting a qb develop with coaching and not be thrust into the fire right away. let Jc and man the ship while our o-line continues to improve. At the very least he will have something russell, didnt. he will have solid pro ahead of him teaching him how to be a professional. from the wight room to the meeting room.If a talent like newton falls to us he is too good to pass up.

    Please consider that he is a natural passer. His mechanics do get out of whack from time to time, but he still manages to be accurate. Most of the time his mechanics are solid and he makes all of the throws. This is how he beat alabama, his mechanics were off in the first half, he was accurate with his throws. His adjusted his mechanics in the 3rd quarter, and was even more accurate. besides good coaching can and will improve the consistency issue where mechanics are concerned.

    The shotgun spread passing attack is common in pro football. Brady , manning brees, phillips, all run it and you love it. It is the wave of the future. Newton will adjust to this style easily. Taking snap from center in time will be learned. Again as guy that doesnt have to play right away he brings a tremendous value in the middle or late rounds.

    Please stop the tim tebow, and alex smith comparisons. newton is a passing qb that can run. Tebow, and smith, are terrible passers, that can run a little. Newton would be more accurately compared to mike vick. A raw, mercurial talent, that is an unstoppable force on the field. With the right situation he could be great.

    This is risky, but not if he falls to us in the middle or late rounds.

  • http://atm Raider O

    McClain is a bust?!
    Should have drafted Dez Bryant?!

    What’s wrong with you people?

    -McClain will be our D leader for a long time, and he is a great player (he is a Rookie starting at MLB for the Raiders).
    -Who needs Dez Bryant? We have Ford, and we got him in the 4th. Great pick!

  • J Hill

    LOL!

    Heat begging for Riley to save them.

    That didn’t take long.

  • YoungAmerican

    I like how folks are hating on the one defensive player who did anything yesterday.

  • Thec07

    Good thing going for Quicksain is that he is cerebral…Right now he is a rook and thinking…Hopefully he turns into beast mode, and starts attacking…

  • J Hill

    even McCoy or Tebow look like better options at this point

    —————————————————–

    Who ????

  • SilverNBlackPA

    I think he means that RoMac’s floor is Kirk’s ceiling.

    ++++++++

    Exactly!

  • http://raiders.com A.B. Paine III

    I saw yesterday that Roddy White has 84 receptions. I doubt all Raider WRs combined have 84 catches.

  • Thec07

    Newton would be more accurately compared to mike vick. A raw, mercurial talent, that is an unstoppable force on the field. With the right situation he could be great.
    +++++++++++++

    Are you like a sales executive…after that I want Cam Newton….lol

  • J Hill

    I’m going to have to take a pass on Cam Newton. We could get decent Oline, Dline, and STs help in those middle rounds. Newton has a long way to go to become Jason Campbell.

  • aig-raiders

    Good morning,

    AB or Sammy the Bull (depends on which name you use),

    I’m right here you dubm effer. Didnt you write on here on Sat supporting the decision to start Grad before the game? Dont make me go pull it up. Are you backtracking now?

    Unlike some of you idiotic JC supporters. I’ll call a spade a spade. Grad sucked yesteday and we needed him to carry the team since DMAC, Runblocking and pass defense were a no show. He sucked yesterday. Plain and simple. I dont think the shoulder is there at all. He should wrap it up and heal for next year.

    BTW, yesterday was Grad’s worst game as a Raider and it is still far superior to JC’s 10.7 rating.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    A.B. Paine III Says:
    November 29th, 2010 at 10:10 am
    I saw yesterday that Roddy White has 84 receptions. I doubt all Raider WRs combined have 84 catches.

    +++++++++

    Murphy – 28 catches
    DHB – 19 catches
    Ford – 16 catches
    JLH – 10 catches
    NMiller – 3 catches

    Add ‘em up and you get 76.

    So pathetic.

  • Thec07

    Myst,

    I asked the Question earlier if Newton can be a pocket passer like MVICK??? Do you honestly beleive he will???

  • CanuckRaider

    Yesterday’s game confirmed what I posted after the Pittsburgh debacle…This team cannot rise to elite level until we find a smart, efficient QB and upgrade the right side of our o-line from center on out. Campbell and Gradkowski are serviceable backups at best and Satele, Carlisle and Walker have to be replaced. Hopefully, Bruce Campbell can develop into a good RG, and C and RT can be addressed through the draft and FA. Finding a good, ready to start QB is another thing altogether.

  • J Hill

    All you have to do is look at how much better Sanchez looks since Santonio Holmes came on board. Not to mention all those #1 picks on the Oline.

  • Thec07

    Hill Says:
    November 29th, 2010 at 10:12 am
    I’m going to have to take a pass on Cam Newton. We could get decent Oline, Dline, and STs help in those middle rounds. Newton has a long way to go to become Jason Campbell.

    ++++++++++++++=

    ROFLMAO….thats hard Bruh….

  • Jimbo

    This Grads/JC debate is insane/inane.

    Let’s play the gameshow, “which QB sucks more?”

    Alex, I’ll take Gradkowski for $50, double jeapardy! get it right and you go on to the bonus round where we do JaMarcus Russell trivia!

  • YoungAmerican

    Cam Newton like Mike Vick? Alright, let’s take him, but he has to go to prison first…

  • http://raiders.com A.B. Paine III

    Aig, Campbell is far superior to Gradkowski. Aig, after the Steeler game, I supported Campbell’s benching. But, Gradkowski is worse. At least JC resembles an NFL QB. Raiders could have won yesterday if Campbell started.

  • DMAC

    Someone give me a hand w/out making me look stupid. I thought college players couldn’t enter the draft until they completed there junior year.
    ????????????

  • RaiderRockstar

    I’m saying that even if you count McClain as a disppointment thus far (and I think he has performed below expectations) he’s still an improvement on what we had as a rookie.

    Give him another year

    ***

    ROMAC was brought in for 1 reason. 1 sole purpose.

    stop the run!

    Right now we’re 28th in the NFL allowing 134 rushing yards per game (4.4 yards per carry)

    If you need a Kirk Morrison comparison to make yourself feel better, go right on ahead … but Kirk never had Seymour at DT or Wimbley & Groves at OLB. or Houston & ShoNasty (full time) at DE

    waste of $40 million if you ask me.

    should have taken an O-Lineman. Pouncey at C or Iupati at RG wouldn’t make a difference? what about Davis, Bulaga or Saffold at RT? still nothing?

  • SnB Production

    Aig,

    I think the QB situation in its entirety is just poor. The TV announcer said it best when he basically said JaJason and JaBruce are the same guy with the same results.

    Sure the team is flawed…but the problem is neither of these guys have just come out here and SEIZED the job.

    You shouldn’t have to apologize for backing one or the other QB. Nor should anyone apologize for backing JC.

    We are where we are