By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, December 6th, 2010 at 1:27 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Working in Santa Clara today subbing for 49ers writer Dan Brown, but here’s some day-after reaction Monday from group interviews relayed by beat writer Steve Corkran:
– Offensive tackle Langston Walker was focused on the man he was blocking, but couldn’t help but notice the Raiders’ running game was taking its toll not only on the Chargers but their fans.
“It was sort of funny, there was a sign in the end zone, it said ‘You can’t run.’ I saw it in the first quarter and saw it disappear by halftime,” Walker said. “I think they flipped it over and decided to write something else,like Raider hater or something. If we can get the fans out of it I’m sure we could get the players to sort of give up.”
Walker said the physical pounding became evident in the fourth quarter.
“You’re up on a team and you can look at the opponent and be like these guys have mailed it in,” Walker said.
Walker on sticking with the run: “Most offensive coordinators are ex-quarterback coaches so they want their quarterback to have their big passing yards. That’s just the way it is. But we’re starting to realize that the run does truly open up our passing game. When we’re running the ball well the rush is just that less and it allows us to block better and run a lot of plays and even get guys like Louis Murphy open and Zach and all that stuff.”
– Quarterback Jason Campbell enjoyed seeing the Chargers fall for play-fakes which resulted in a 9-yard touchdown run and a 37-yard pass completion to Louis Murphy. The touchdown run completely suckered Chargers linebacker Antwan Applewhite, who didn’t realize Campbell had the ball until he was well around left end.
“I was surprised and shocked to be out that clean I definitely expected to at least have one guy to try and beat but to be out there, literally I could have walked in,” Campbell said. “It was that clean. It kind of shocked me.”
Murphy was so wide open on the pass play Campbell’s only thought was not to throw it too far.
“The one to Louis was big. I just wanted to make sure I didn’t miss him. He was so wide open,” Campbell said. “I knew it was a big play in the game so I was like, ‘Don’t even try to overthrow him and throw him to the end zone. Just throw it to him and make sure he secures the catch and put us near the goal line.’ ”
Campbell got a big assist on both plays from Michael Bush, the running back who sold the playfakes to defenders who were sure he had the ball.
“I kind of got hit on both of those play actions. That’s something that we practiced all week,” Bush said. “They told me just roll over. I figured I’d just run into the first defender that I saw, and it worked. It was good.”
Told that cameras followed him instead of Campbell on the pass play to Murphy, Bush said, “Good, I guess I need to pursue a career in acting then.”
Bush understands his role in the offense will fluctuate from week to week and has decided to let each game play itself out rather than go in with a preconceived notion of his workload.
“There might be a game plan one week and it never happens,” Bush said. “I feel like, `Show me before telling me.’ He did that. It’s a show-me world. That’s how I always operate.”
– Rather than use the previous game as a scouting report and blitz San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers into submission, the Raiders instead rushed primarily with their front four and redirected pass routes with man-to-man defense. It was old-style Raiders football, apparently still effective when executed properly.
Raiders safety Michael Huff wound up with a sack on one of the infrequent blitzes as well as an interception that led to the second touchdown.
“We only rushed four and we lined up and played man coverage on the outside,” Huff said. “ We pressed and kind of threw off their timing. Our front four got there and we made plays.”
– Tackle Khalif Barnes, who left the Jacksonville Jaguars on less than great terms, has been a Raider for two years now and has put any problems with the organization in the background.
“I can’t spend time looking at the past and in the rear-view mirror,” Barnes said. “I don’t think you progress that way. I’m not bitter or angry toward anything. If anything, I’m good right now and helping myself out. It made me mature. So, now I’m more mature and feel better about myself actually. It’s kind of weird.”
– According to the blog of Jay Richardson, he was all set to rejoin Oakland only to have Seattle come in and make an offer when the Raiders decided to wait a week.
Richardson received the call to come in and work out not from a member of the personnel department or the coaching staff, but from Al Davis.
More to come later after Tom Cable’s press briefing . . .