By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010 at 4:05 pm in Oakland Raiders.
To know, or not to know?
At some point in the moments leading up to the kickoff of Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, the Raiders will learn if they’re already out of the playoff race based on the Titans-Chiefs game in Tennessee.
Or still in it.
Raiders coach Tom Cable knows the information will be available but has no plans to mention it, even if the Chiefs lose.
“I wouldn’t bring it up one way or the other,’’ Cable said Wednesday at his weekly press briefing. “The focus needs to be on Indy.’’
Quarterback Jason Campbell won’t be watching the scoreboard.
“I wouldn’t want to know. It’s not going to make us play any harder or any less. This is the game, this is what we get paid to do,’’ Campbell said. “You should try to give it 100 percent regardless and just go out and play extremely hard.
“So, I don’t think it should matter to us either way or not. We just got to go out and play as hard as we can play.”
Shane Lechler recoiled when asked if he would avoid any news about the Chiefs.
“Hell no, I’m gonna’ watch. I watch every game on Sunday,’’ Lechler said before conceding it was a strange situation.
“That’s one thing we can’t control and we all know that,’’ Lechler said. “We wish we could, but we can’t. And I think it’s important. Whether if they win or lose, no matter what, if we can turn this around and win these last two, we’ll have swept the division, which I think is a big statement, big turning point for this organization heading into next season.’’
Cornerback Stanford Routt was ambivalent about hearing the Chiefs score.
“If somebody walked up to me before the game and said, hey, Stan, Kansas City did this or did that, I wouldn’t necessarily shun the information away, but I know it’s not going to have any effect on how we play on Sunday,’’ Routt said.
More news, notes and observations Wednesday:
– Right tackle Langston Walker (concussion), defensive tackle Richard Seymour (hamstring) and punter Shane Lechler (hamstring) did not practice. Those who were limited were cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle), wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins, wide receiver Nick Miller (ankle) and cornerback Chris Johnson (groin). Safety Mike Mitchell was listed as having sore ribs, but practiced without limitations.
Walker’s situation will likely not be clear until Friday, with Mario Henderson starting if he can’t play. Cable said he was concerned about Seymour’s availability but noted, “It’s still early.’’
— Once upon a time (OK, it was Sept. 10, 2000), Raiders middle linebacker Greg Biekert deciphered the audible calls of Peyton Manning at halftime of a game Oakland trailed at halftime 24-7.
With Biekert taking to the chalkboard and tipping off the defense, the Raiders stuffed the Indianapolis offense, scored five consecutive touchdowns and left with a 38-31 win.
Biekert is now on staff as an assistant linebackers coach, ostensibly with some advice for rookie middle linebacker Rolando McClain.
“Sure, it can be helpful, sharing that wisdom with Rolando and the rest of the players,’’ Cable said. “Ultimately, it will have to be us figuring it out and solving it as we go.’’
— Campbell was in agreement with Cable’s assessment Monday that it would be a mistake to go so run heavy because of the presence of Peyton Manning that the Raiders miss chances for big plays in the passing game.
“We have to run our offense. I think we’re a pretty good offense,’’ Campbell said. “We can’t get away from what we do really well to get us out of synch. We understand we’re facing a great quarterback, a guy that’s been in the league for a long time and has been a great quarterback for many years.
“But we can’t get so much into that where we keep ourselves from doing what we do best. It’s a situation where we’ve just got to, it’s going to come down to just playing football and protecting the ball.’’
— Practice squad punter Danny Baugher is preparing himself as if he’s Kyle Boller.
“I kind of picture myself as the backup quarterback preparing to play, as If I’m going into the game,’’ Baugher said. “But things are still to be determined at this point.’’
Baugher played for the Las Vegas Locomotives, which won the UFL championship under Jim Fassel, the father of Raiders special teams coordinator John Fassel.
— Cable spent three games in a Colts uniform as an offensive lineman in 1987 when the NFL used replacement players during the strike.
Cable was already starting his coaching career at Idaho but gave it one more shot.
“Most every one of us had been cut prior to that, so that kind of ended your hopes of being a professional football player,’’ Cable said. “The strike gave you one more opportunity.’’
— The NFL can go until next Tuesday before declaring a Sunday night game for Week 17. Chicago-Green Bay and Oakland-Kansas City could both be games that could be moved to the evening slot which is left vacant on the original schedule.