Murphy back in stride, looking forward to mud


The day the Raiders beat the Broncos 59-14 and established that the 2010 team might be something different than the seven previous editions that lot 11 or more games, Louis Murphy was having a hard time enjoying the celebration.

Murphy was too busy coughing up blood, having taken a sideline hit that gave him a bruised lung and cost him two games.

“I’d never been hurt before. Never missed a game in my life,” Murphy said Friday. “Being hurt and missing games, it takes away from your rhythm. I had to learn that, see how it felt, come back and get into rhythm, get into the flow of the game.”

With the Broncos coming to town for the rematch Sunday at the Coliseum, Murphy is coming off a 6-catch, 59-yard game against Jacksonville. He caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Jason Campbell, his first touchdown since Week 2 and a 4-yard touchdown pass from Bruce Gradkowski.

“I felt like my old self against Jacksonville, and it didn’t hurt to be back home, back in Florida, my entire family watching,” Murphy said.

His first touchdown this season came while catching 15 passes over his first three games. Coming off a 34-catch, 521-yard rookie season with four touchdowns, it wasn’t difficult to envision Murphy doubling his catches and yardage, giving the Raiders their first 1,000-yard receiver since Randy Moss had 60 catches for 1,005 yards in 2005.

Murphy’s Week 7 injury and an inconsistent passing offense in part due to the Campbell-Gradkowski quarteback shuffle will leave him well short of 1,000 yards. But he’s still Oakland’s most productive wideout with 36 catches and 530 yards and he’s not done yet.

“I feel right now I have three games left, I have better stats than last year except for the touchdowns,” Murphy said. “I can still finish the season strong.”

As for the potential of a wet one Sunday, bring it on.

“I love the rain. That’s my favorite,” Murphy said. “Ever since I was a little kid, playing football games in the rain is like second nature . . . you know where you’re going. You know what’s going on. The DB doesn’t know. He could slip. I’m excited about this game and what’s at stake.”

Some Saturday notes and observations:

— U.S. Marines will be stationed at gates throughout the Coliseum and at the BART station to collect new unwrapped toys for their annual Toys for Tots campaign.

— If you’re not going to the game, Marcel Reece and Kamerion Wimbley will be signing autographs in exchange for toys at the Raider Image store at Hayward’s Southland Mall Tuesday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

— When offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was asked about his reluctance to split Darren McFadden outside on occasion as a wide receiver, his logic was sound. Having McFadden in the backfield, where he’s a threat to either catch it or run it, as opposed to leaving him outside, where he’s clearly only going to catch it (with the exception of a reverse), is to the Raiders advantage in terms of strategy.

Here would be my amateur rebuttal: Putting McFadden in motion, in the slot, or outside on occasion in alignment with Michael Bush in the backfield as a single back could draw a defender out of the box and open things up for Bush.

I would stress “on occasion.” McFadden has clearly established himself as a quality runner, both inside and outside.

— The CNN-SI “Draft redux” article by Don Banks in which he does a draft do-over has created a buzz among some Raider fans, who were delighted to see three Raiders moved into the first round _ defensive end Lemarr Houston (No. 22 by Denver instead of WR Demaryius Thomas), wide receiver Jacoby Ford (No. 25 by Denver instead of QB Tim Tebow), and offensive tackle Jared Veldheer (No. 30 by Detroit instead of RB Jahvid Best).

As noted earlier, Banks had the Raiders drafting wide receiver Dez Bryant of Oklahoma State in hindsight, with Rolando McClain lasting until No. 20 before being taken by Houston.

As long as we’re dabbling in hindsight and fantasy, let’s take it a step further.

In 2009, the Raiders pass on Darrius Heyward-Bey and instead take Ole Miss tackle Michael Oher (who went No. 23 to Baltimore) or Virginia tackle Eugene Monroe (No. 8 to Jacksonville) to give them a second tackle to go along with Veldheer for the next decade.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Angry Villager with Pitchfork


  • VARaider

    Redraft Heyward-Bey for Oher. If only we can go back in time

  • VARaider


  • 385.Raider75 Says:
    December 18th, 2010 at 11:29 am
    Al has his QB and Campbell seems to be getting better as the season progresses.

    He has never had consecutive years in the same offensive system. Next year will be the first.

    I like where this team is going. The addition of a veteran WR and a few upgrades along the O-line and this team will be special.

    I even anticipate a much improved defensive backfield next year.


    Bingo ❗

  • raiderfankirk

    How about Calvin Johnson for Russell?

  • Wonder if Jani 😳 will refrain from drinking on the night before gamedays? Single most play that stands out to me. The the 0-fer niner game. Team should have won that game, not rolled over. But is wise Al 👿 does his homework, we’ll be ther next year.

    But hey, there still is a glimmer of jope for this season. 😐

    Oakland 51
    Tebow 3

  • GoodOle00

    Oher was considered a risk bcuz of a supposed learning disability and Dez has yet to prove he can stay healthy and not be a distraction.

    Easy to go back and say what might have been.

    5. Case in point…

  • GoodOle00

    Oakland fans will be looking at McNabb next year…

  • Christmas has started a week early around here, so we are all excited for tomorrows game 😀

  • McNabb is not the guy.

    Nor Vince or Lienhart.

    Campbell has 3-5 years left. Bring in a upstart and groom him. Who? Don’t know. Al will find someone, especially if we keep Hue. Or do we all resign to a one year team of musical chairs, and coaches too? This team now if kept in tact is built for the long haul.

  • Wow. Yesterday I said we were out of it, and I just got lambasted in here. People pulling up algebraic equations as to how we can make the playoffs, telling me to have faith.

    I come in here today? Mock draft.

    The game of the flippin’ year tomorrow. I mean it’s the Super Bowl for us, basically. Win or go home. After all, we only need KC and SD to lose one more a piece, and for us to win out. Everything’s on the line tomorrow. Discussion of the game? Breaking down scenarios? No. Mock draft. Planning for next year.

    Weird. Well, being the contrarian I’ve been labeled as, I guess now I’ll have to be the one who still believes in this team, and thinks we can win tomorrow and go to the playoffs. You guys have obviously given up. I’m a real fan. I think we still have a chance. But carry on with your stupid little draft.

  • GoodOle, you know the only reason McNabb’s in Washington is because he wouldn’t come to Oakland, right?

  • PurpleDrank81

    Only way I want Mcnabb is if he’s the Team Cook and is passing around Chunky Soup with his mama before every game

  • Hey RMR, here is my complicated equation:

    1 STD loss

    2 KC losses

    3 Oakland wins

    easy as 1 2 3. Lets keep it simple.

    And yes, win or go home.

  • Raiderjambo

    VA Raider, hell, if we’re going to go back in time, then let’s bring on the ’76 Raiders, with a little bit of Long, Alzado, Hayes, Haynes, Allen, Jackson, Plunkett, and Brown sprinkled in! Forget some of todays over paid prima donnas!

  • Raiderjambo

    RAIDERS 59 broncos10, “JUST WIN BABY!”

  • Kirk

    I called for us to draft an offensive tackle instead of D.H. Bust.

    I watched 5 minutes of film and could tell D.H.Bust was a bust.

    There is a difference between lateral quickness and straight ahead speed. Lateral quickness is much more important.

  • shea801

    Not for nothing, but JV has had been the constant in the teams wins when he’s at left tackle. Even last weeks loss (which any non Raider team would have won) he was a rock. Watch every one of D-Mac’s great runs and guess who you see running full tilt into defenders and opening a huge lane…Valdheer. He’s what Gallery should have been, but the two of them make a fantastic and long term solid left side of the line.

    …now if we could just find a center…
    …and a qb…
    …and a savvy GM…

  • olinesux

    donks are going down tomorrow!!!

  • dbaz09

    I still remember that 09 Draft when JMac tweeted about the Raider’s luck that Monroe was still available, maybe the best of that OL crop, and he was “that good”. What followed shortly thereafter with the DHB pick was so deflating it was indescribable. Unfortunately, moves like that will ultimately define Davis’ legacy.

  • GG

    DHB is not a bust imo.

    I see plenty of him in College catching balls into his stomach, yes, but plenty of times him catching the ball away from his body clean and first grab.

    He hasnt justified his drafting, agree. But I wouldn’t give up on him…..yet.

    The thing that improves receiver stats and play….a top OL and a franchise QB. Time to throw in the pocket, and a QB confident and willing to take shots downfield.

    The Raiders offense has for the last few years been having to rely on conservative safe offense, dinks/dunks, vanilla dive rushes, etc, mainly due to a woeful OL.

  • fingers

    I want to see Tebow ” Blessed ” by the RaIders front 4 this afternoon….
    What a place to get his 1st start… The Darkside…
    Beat the Donks