316

It’s Miller time in Jacksonville

More news, notes and quotes from the Raiders open locker room session and press briefing from coach Tom Cable:

– Sad but true.

Since Oct. 24, the Raiders Zach Miller has eight catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. Meanwhile, the “other” Zach Miller, of the Jaguars, has 13 receptions for 165 yards and a touchdown over the same span.

The Raiders’ Zach Miller was a Pro Bowl alternate last season and his team’s go-to receiver since he was drafted in 2007. The Jaguars’ Zach Miller was a sixth-round pick out of Nebraska-Omaha, a former college quarteback who switched to tight end as a rookie and is less of an in-line blocker than veteran starter Marcedes Lewis.

The Raiders Zach Miller said he has never met the Jaguars’ Zach Miller, although he did say he received his insurance card in the mail once, with both of them having the same first name “Zachary.”

“I knew who he was when he got drafted. I thought it was kind of funny there was another Zach Miller playing tight end, too,” Miller said.

The Raiders say their Zach Miller continues to improve from a leg contusion and plantar fasciiitis. The last five weeks has been the most significant dropoff in terms of receiving production in his career, which indicates he’s playing hurt. If the Raiders hope to challenge for the division title in the last four games, Miller needs to be spry enough to be involved because they simply don’t have enough threats at wide receiver in games where they’re struggling with the run.

– Jason Campbell sees the Raiders at the final quarter-turn and is hoping to finish on a dead sprint.

“It’s been a roller coaster ride, not just for me but for a lot of guys on this team,” Campbell said. “To be in the position we’re in now, still in the fight and still in the hunt to do something special, it means a lot because of all the things we had to try to overcome.”

Campbell said his more relaxed play has been a gradual thing shaped by circumstance.

“It’s just feeling a little bit more comfortable with the guys, the team, understanding the personnel that we have, where I fit in,” Campbell said. “I think a lot of that comes with time and a lot of that is learned with time. A lot of times people want things to happen in an instant. Things in the NFL don’t happen instantly . . . I just feel like over the weeks we have grown together.”

– Running back Darren McFadden thinks he knows why the Raiders weren’t the same team after their three-game win streak.

“I feel like the bye week killed us,” McFadden said. “Coming out of the bye we had two bad games. But I feel like that now everybody has their focus back and we should be all right.”

– Safety Michael Huff, who has forced a career-high three fumbles, has four sacks and is playing the most diverse football of his Raiders career, acknowledges he is in the void year of his contract, meaning he’ll be a free agent at the end of the season unless he is signed before then.

“Yeah, this is it,” Huff said.

A cynic would suggest Huff is showing more varied skills that at any other time just as he could hit the open market. Classic case of a player excelling in a contract year.

“Not really, man,” Huff said. “I am just playing football. Every year I want to have my best year, so I don’t play attention to the contract year, stuff like that.”

The real reason Huff is showing more is he’s been allowed to do more. Being a single deep free safety with with the Raiders is a lonely and sometimes frustrating existence. You’re far away from the action a lot of the time, the last line of defense between an offensive player and a breakaway touchdown.

But something has happened especially in recent weeks that’s allowed Huff to be more versatile. When seventh-round pick Jeremy Ware struggled against Pittsburgh and fifth-rounder Walter McFadden the following week against Miami, the Raiders opted to slide Huff in as a corner and put Stevie Brown, another seventh-round pick, at free safety.

Brown has shown a knack for the position since training camp and had a key breakup against San Diego.

“He’s made plays ever since he’s been here,” Huff said. “I think that helps, having him step up there and letting me slide to corner or to nickel if I need to. I definitely think having him helps me.”

Hopefully the Raiders will remain creative enough to keep Huff in position to do things other than play single deep when Chris Johnson returns.

– Wide receiver Chaz Schilens keeps practicing, and that means his role will continue to expand as the Raiders look to find a reliable outside receiver.

Schilens (knee, foot) was limited Wednesday in the rain, as was Miller (plantar fasciitis, leg), defensive tackle John Henderson (soreness), strong safety Tyvon Branch (shoulder) and Johnson (groin). Johnson’s appearance is notable given he’s missed the last two games.

Those who didn’t practice were cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle) and linebacker Rolando McClain (foot).

Said Cable of McClain, whose injury was called “arthritis” last week and later amended to tendinitis on CBS: “I think the correct term is tendinitis and I’m not a doctor.”

— Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly is a soldier in Tom Cable’s army, so if he has to get up earlier to prepare for an East Coast game, so be it.

“I’m a lieutenant. I’m gonna’ go wherever the head man say,’’ Kelly said. “ So, you know what I’m saying? It ain’t my choice. I just don’t like getting up at six o’clock in the morning, but hey if Cable say we gotta’ get up, we gotta’ get up.’’

– Getting some e-mails and Twitter questions about Chiefs’ quarterback Matt Cassel’s appendectomy and what it means in terms of when he can play. The Robert Gallery comparison doesn’t work, because Gallery had his before training camp and there was no rush to get him back into an actual lineup. He had surgery in mid- to late July and was back on the field on Aug. 11, although not doing any real hittting.

San Francisco Giants outfielder Andres Torres came back after two weeks to contribute to his team’s postseason run. True, he plays baseball, but a full swing of a baseball bat after any surgical procedure to the midsection is impressive.

My wife had an appendectomy in late August and could not have played in the NFL in two weeks.

Her procedure, as was that of Gallery and Torres, was laproscopic, meaning there isn’t a big incision and the appendix is essnetially pulled out through the belly button.

In my expert opinion, no way Cassel plays against the Chargers Sunday, a game that affords the Raiders a chance to move within a game of first place should they beat the Jaguars. You’ve got to think the Dec. 19 date in St. Louis is up in the air as well.

Trust me, I’m (not) a doctor.

  • Share/Bookmark

Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • inonewordraider

    Have you ever seen, or heard of anybody rotating Offensive lineman?

    ———————-

    Tom Cable, LOL!

    He found his guy, though.

    The game after Scott went down Shaughnessey looked ineffective probably gassed from getting the extra reps. Mario and Veldheer split snaps early in the year and Veldheer seized the job but I don’t think it’d be a bad idea to give guys a break who need one

  • Just Fire Baby

    Seems the run D has weathered the storm and growing pains of a rookie MLB and DE, and a sometimes faulty offense.

    I expect steady improvement from here on in.

  • bcz24

    We have faced the top echelon of running backs this year. Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson, Arian Foster, Frank Gore, Charles/Jones… There is a DRASTIC difference in our run defense this year over the last 7 years. We used to average over 5 ypc, even early this season we averaged 5 ypc. Over the last 7 games we have reduced that to 3.4ypc (only 3 teams in the NFL are better) and to go one further, if you take away the 3 runs by Roethlisburger (where we were playing pass) we are actually averaging 3.1ypc (only Pittsburg is better) You say we are twisting the stats to suit our argument but the reality is you are ignoring the stats that clearly show improvement, simply because you wont admit that you cant get over the PERCEPTION that we are a bad run defense.

  • bcz24

    Miami’s time of possesion was 2 to 1.
    ***********
    Miamis time of possesion was just shy of 3 to 1. 42:17 to 17:43.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Don’t*
    away*

    MIA time of possesion was 2-2 cause they rushed for 186 yards!!!
    WTF is wrong with you people?

  • http://blackhillsphoto.com/sturgis-weddings/black-hills-weddings.jpg Dakota

    Just entered Ron Artest’s raffle to win his ring.

    Sell that biotch and pay off my mortgage!

  • LA to TheBay

    O,

    I disagree, Miami was on the field for so long because of….

    1. a completely ineffective Raider passing attack and non-existant running game

    2. Miami passed for and completed numerous 3rd and medium and 3rd and long plays.

  • hwnrdr

    We are 13th in Total D now…in December, when could we have said that? Yes, we don’t have the best, but…that is an improvement. If not Marshall, who do you want in there?

  • bcz24

    We allowed 186 yards rushing to Mia, and you font see a problem cause their YPC is 3.4?!?! They rushed for 186 yards!!!!!!!
    *******************
    I think it is a testament to the quality of our run D that on 51 carries we ONLY allowed 186 yards. Our defense was on the field for 42 minutes in that game, and Miamis 51st carry was a 45yard run. I guarantee you there is NO defense on any level of football that could stop the run for 42 minutes out of a 60 minute game. The 186 yards is FIRMLY on our offenses inability to sustain ANY drive in that game for more than 7 plays!

    FYI. When I said we are averaging 3.4ypc over the last 7 games, I did NOT take away any of those long runs. None of them. Even WITH those long carries we are STILL in the top 5 in the NFL. Your argument fails to hold water O. You are simply relying on perception. You are wrong.

  • bcz24

    MIA time of possesion was 2-2 cause they rushed for 186 yards!!!
    ******
    You cant even get the stats right to support your argument.

    The Raiders LONGEST drive of the day was SEVEN PLAYS. THAT is why Miami held a 3 to 1 TOP advantage. They had 186 yards because they were able to run the ball FIFTY ONE times because our offense could not sustain a drive at all.

  • Just Fire Baby

    I blame Walter McFadden for at least 50 of those rushing yards in the Fin game.

    If he actually made one or two plays out of 6 or 7 chances, the D would have gotten off the field and hence less rushing attempts.

  • LA to TheBay

    Well, we’ll see how much the rund D has really improved this Sunday. There will be no shortage of Jones-Drew between-the-tackles runs.

  • http://atm Raider O

    LA,

    I agree that also contributed, but rushing for 186 yards helped increase their TOP. You kill the clock by rushing and not passing.

  • bcz24

    I agree that also contributed, but rushing for 186 yards helped increase their TOP. You kill the clock by rushing and not passing.
    **********
    That would be true if they were rushing for first downs. They were not, even late in the game they were still passing on 3rd down to pick up the first.

  • LA to TheBay

    See you guys in the PM sesh.

  • hwnrdr

    If MJD has 100 yards…well, whatevers. If he has 200 yards, then, well call it what you want.

  • Just Fire Baby

    There will be no shortage of Jones-Drew between-the-tackles runs.

    ************************

    That’s about all it will be, between the tackles runs.

    The Jags don’t get to the edge much with him, and they have lots of creative, between the tackle type runs.

    McClain, Seymour and Henderson will be severely challenged on the runs, and our DE’s are going to be challanged to not allow Garrard to easily play-action bootleg on us by not biting so hard on the run-fake and crashing down the LOS.

    This should be a great game. I may even slap the epic label on it.

  • bcz24

    MJD has averaged 153.3 yards per game over the last 5. If we hold him to 100 yards or less (no one since Gore in week 6 has gone over 100 on us) I would say that is a pretty solid defensive stand.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    I love me some basketball!

    Lakers’ Andrew Bynum expects to play again on Tuesday at Washington

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/basketball/nba/lakers/la-sp-lakers-web-20101210,0,6345566.story

  • bcz24

    Two evenly matched teams playing for playoff life? I cant think of a better way to spend a Sunday in December, especially since its the first meaningful game in December in 8 years!

  • Moorepark21

    “I’m a lieutenant. I’m gonna’ go wherever the head man say,’’ Kelly said. “ So, you know what I’m saying? It ain’t my choice. I just don’t like getting up at six o’clock in the morning, but hey if Cable say we gotta’ get up, we gotta’ get up.’’

    ———————————————————

    I Love it. Tommy Kelly is a G!

  • RaiderRockstar

    BCZ,

    9 runs accounted for 386 yards & 5 TD’s

    Take away 9 big runs in our 6 losses and the Raiders have allowed 1106 rushing yards on 330 carries & 4 TD’s. That is 3.35 ypc instead of 4.4 ypc and boosts our Run D from 23rd to 3rd! (behind the Steelers & Jets)

    4 rushing TD’s allowed would tie us for 1st with Pittsburgh & Cleveland!

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson
  • http://atm Raider O

    Bcz24,

    Before you say I’m wrong, you have to understand my argument. I’m not saying out D hasn’t improved as far as YPC, but look at the backs we are favre the last few ereks compared to PB RBs early this season. We also allowed 186 yards rushing against Miami, and there is no excuse for that. Good teams don’t allow 186 rushing yards.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Raider O,

    330 good plays against the run … 9 bad ones

    come on bro!

  • bcz24

    I understand what you are say O. But again, I think you are missing the bigger picture and buying into the perception that we are a poor run defense.

  • Just Fire Baby

    9 bad ones were an issue of youth, IMO.

    McClain has already improved from the Gore-Foster long run days.

  • McRaider5150

    Raider O Says:
    Bcz24,

    Before you say I’m wrong, you have to understand my argument. I’m not saying out D hasn’t improved as far as YPC, but look at the backs we are favre the last few ereks compared to PB RBs early this season. We also allowed 186 yards rushing against Miami, and there is no excuse for that. Good teams don’t allow 186 rushing yards.

    ———————
    I just have 1 question. Do you think NE is a good team?

    If you do, then what do you think about the Browns running for over 200 yrds. P. Hillis had 184 alone.

  • RaiderRockstar

    MJD has averaged 153.3 yards per game over the last 5.

    ***

    bla bla bla bla bla

    MJD didn’t rush for 100 against Denver. He didn’t even rush for 50 against SD or KC!

    ZERO TD’s in 3 games against the AFC West (who we’re 4-0 against so far)

    MJD’s 2 longest runs of the season went for 37 yards & 24 yards …

    He’s not Foster, Johnson or even Gore!

    To be fair, he’s not Wells, Ward or Williams either …

    stop the run = win the game. Print That

  • RaiderRockstar

    JFB,

    lucky you have a 1st round bye in Dell’s FF league – because MJD is going to choke this week and that could have cost you a victory!

    You get Indy’s Weak D next week, punk :P

  • hwnrdr

    Here’s the thing…I’m staying positive, but the Raiders have a history of giving that one player a career day, that one winless team their first win…on and on and on…So, Rockstar, you are right and I will print that…TWICE! Stop the run, we win the game…

  • bcz24

    Why are you blah blah blahing me?! I just stated a fact that Mojo has 153 a game over the last 5, which is pretty impressive. I dont think he will break 100 this week though.

  • Just Fire Baby

    MJD is a great back, a true workhorse.

    Jacksonville will not shy away from giving him 6 carries in a row.

    Also, one of the best blitz-protectors for a RB in the league.

  • M Lonetree

    just checked in to see which dead animals were being beaten this morning.

    prior to Sunday, SD rush defense top of the league. Raiders pummel them for 251.

    prior to Sunday, Raider rush defense bottom of the league. SD ekes out 21.

    so much for debating stats.

  • RaiderRockstar

    We are 9 plays away from a Top 3 Run Defense … if YOU PEOPLE want to crown MJD, crown him!

    I’m siding with Henderson & Groves this week. MJD will have less than 80 rushing yards & less than 120 total yards. no TD’s

    Garrard might run one in or toss one to TE Lewis, but MJD wont be much of a factor

    Dirty Pirates 24
    Florida Kittens 16

  • bcz24

    I only make predictions against Div opponents, but I am on Rockstars side on Mojo. Less than a buck for sure.

  • morilla

    Huge talk down here today on the stations about the LA situation. Ladies and gentleman here are your 2012 Los Angeles Chargers!!!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    so much for debating stats.

    ***

    M,

    the Jags taking on Oakland right now would be like Luxembourg taking on Wales … they aren’t even considered a threat!

    It’ll be 24-9 with 4 minutes left to play and Garrard will run or throw a TD in garbage time to make this game seem closer than it really was, The End

  • RaiderRockstar

    Ladies and gentleman here are your 2012 Los Angeles Chargers!!!!

    ***

    that makes 2 purple & yellow douchey teams in L.A.

    Fitting, I guess.

    Maybe Ice Cube will do a documentary on that ???

  • RaiderRockstar

    McFadden & Bush > Mouse turd & Jennings !!!

  • http://www.aldavissucks.blogspot.com The Real MaddenRaider

    hwnrdr Says:
    December 9th, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Here’s the thing…I’m staying positive, but the Raiders have a history of giving that one player a career day

    ……………..

    LOL. You don’t feel just a little bit stupid basically asking these guys for permission to say something about the team that’s relevant and true?

  • http://www.aldavissucks.blogspot.com The Real MaddenRaider

    # Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    December 9th, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Great article on Amy Trask:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-09/nfl-s-most-powerful-woman-seeks-stadium-cure-for-oakland-raiders-blackouts.html

    ……………

    Amy Trask is an idiot.

    The Raiders are blacking out games because they’ve played bad football for 7 straight years and they have an obviously clueless owner who still meddles with the weekly game plan. These types of things are turn offs to most fans. Only hard core fans will look the other way and just fork their money over no matter what. You know, the type of morons we see in here. Most normal people with their priorities straight are not going to fork over good money, especially in these economic times, to a football team that’s been as poorly managed as the Raiders have in recent years.

  • http://atm Raider O

    I don’t think NE has a good D.

    RR,

    Bad plays are part of the game bro, and they count. I understand your point, but I’m looking at the results.

    Bcz24,

    Being ranked 23rd against the run, allowed 186 yards rushing 2 weeks ago, and you wonder why people are not sold on our Run D?

  • morilla

    Glass is half full this year. I am one of your “idiots” that is dropping $$$ on the team and I don’t care. I want to have a good time, enjoy live sporting events and have been a Raider fan longer than most here have been alive. See you guys at the coliseum for the Denver game!

  • bcz24

    RaiderO you sound as convincing a Raider fan as RMR… IMO take your disloyalty somewhere else.

  • DMAC

    Morning peoples!

  • hwnrdr

    Yes, MR…sad to say that has been true for so long now. However, this game decides what corner they are turning…

  • http://www.aldavissucks.blogspot.com The Real MaddenRaider

    Liar, Morilla. You can have a good time anywhere and there’s several live sporting events you can go to. You’re forking money over out of some bizarre loyalty to Al Davis.

  • http://www.aldavissucks.blogspot.com The Real MaddenRaider

    Why don’t you just admit you go to games out of loyalty to Al Davis, Morilla? Are you that ashamed of him?

  • DMAC

    The doctor that performed Matt Cassel’s appendectomy, Matthew Lublin, said he’s be “very impressed” if Cassel felt good enough to play Sunday.
    Lublin did add, though, that he “would not say it’s out of the realm of possibility.” Cassel isn’t at risk of “popping or bursting or breaking anything,” according to Lublin, so it’s just about whether he feels well enough to play. The smart money would be on Cassel sitting out this week and possibly next week, as well. Stay tuned.
    Source: Kansas City Star