By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 at 4:10 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Notes from the post-practice press briefing by Raiders coach Tom Cable:
— Cable’s message to the fans and media is the Raiders are still operating as if they’re in the playoff race, so much so that no extra motivation need be found anywhere.
No need to worry about the Raiders being overconfident after laying a 59-14 beating on Denver on Oct. 24. Or about the Broncos raising up and playing spoiler.
“We have been so focused about this opportunity that we have, and we feel like it slipped away from us on Sunday,’’ Cable said. “It’s over, we have to move beyond it and so it hasn’t been about those kinds of things.
“It’s been about staying true to the opportunity. We need some help now, but we really can control whether we’re ready for it to happen by winning football games. So our approach has been to go after this Denver game like nothing before and let it rip. That can be our only thought process right now. ‘’
— No public diagnosis yet on the left foot of Rolando McClain, an issue which kept him out of practice Wednesday.
“We’re working on it all the time,’’ Cable said. “He’s here rehabbing all the time. It is improving. So we’re hopeful we’re going to get some work done here pretty quick.’’
Also missing practice were wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins (ankle), cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle) and defensive tackle Richard Seymour (knee). Those were limited were wide receiver/return specialist Nick Miller (ankle), tackle Khalif Barnes (lower back) and quarterback Kyle Boller (quad).
Tight end Zach Miller (foot, leg) and cornerback Chris Johnson (groin) were listed as having participated fully.
Asomugha and Seymour’s conditions are not expected to threaten their availability against Denver. If Higgins can’t play, Nick Miller would return punts.
Quarterback Jason Campbell, who has had three stingers this season, including one in each of the last two games, was asked not to address the condition before his media session but not listed on the injury report.
“This was the least of any issue before it,’’ Cable said. “For him wanting to go back in the game tells me he was O.K. and there’s been no lingering effects from it. ‘’
— Although the Broncos were strictly a passing team when they last met the Raiders, they’ve attempted to run the ball more under interim coach Eric Studesville, featuring second-year back Knowshon Moreno.
Although Studesville has named Kyle Orton the starter, the rookie Tim Tebow is expected to play _ it’s just a question of how much.
“We’re preparing and are up to speed on that,’’ said Cable, noting the Raiders use a running back on the scout team to simulate formations with Tebow.
— Cable made it a point to make a request for fan support over the last two weeks.
“We have two games here back to back, and the fact that we’re still in it, we need a little help, but the fact that we’re still in it, I think the fans can appreciate that fact, that the Oakland Raiders have something that they’re still playing for here at the end of the year,’’ Cable said. “So we’re excited, we hope that we have a great crowd here to the next two weeks.’’
— Asked specifically about the five safety formation that was victimized against Jacksonville for a 48-yard touchdown pass from David Garrard to Jason Hill, Cable was asked if using Stanford Routt or Chris Johnson (assuming Asomugha was out to rest his ankle) wouldn’t have been a better option than going with all safeties.
“We really hadn’t practiced that. We practiced all week doing that because of injury, because of those conflicts there,’’ Cable said. “ Michael (Huff) has played corner in the nickel, so you really have the right guy doing it, it’s just whether or not you execute it.’’