By Steve Corkran
Monday, December 27th, 2010 at 3:00 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Left guard Robert Gallery confirmed that he is slated to become a free agent after this season, unless the Raiders re-sign him before free agency starts.
Gallery has played his entire seven-year NFL career with the Raiders. He was the N0. 2 pick of the 2004 NFL draft and has been a linchpin of Oakland’s offensive line the entire time.
“I love this place,” Gallery said. “I’m just worried about this last game. I know I like playing for that guy (coach Tom Cable). Everybody knows how this locker room feels about him.”
When asked if he expected to be re-signed, Gallery said he isn’t sure.
“This is the first time going to free agency for me, so I don’t know what the process is like,” Gallery said. “I’m not really worried about it. It’s a long ways away. We’ll see what happens. I, obviously, haven’t thought one bit about it.”
– The Raiders lead the league with 1,199 penalty yards. They can eclipse the franchise record with 76 penalty yards against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
Coincidentally, the Chiefs hold the NFL record for most yards penalized in one season, when they piled up 1,304 yards in 1998. Also, the Raiders have received 1,122 penalty yards in their 15 games this season, by far the most of any team in the league.
– Sebastiank Janikowski moved past Jeff Jaeger for the franchise record for most points scored in a season (135) with the 14 he scored against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
Janikowski’s points Sunday came by virtue of four field goals and two extra points in the 31-26 loss. Jaeger set the mark (132) in 1993. Janikowski’s previous single-season high came in 2002, when he scored 128 for the league’s top-ranked offense.
– Pro Bowl selections will be announced Tuesday. In years past, it was almost a foregone conclusion that cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and punter Shane Lechler were the only legitimate candidates for the Raiders.
This year, strong cases can be made for: Asomugha; Lechler; Condo; Janikowski, who leads the league in scoring; defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, who leads AFC tackles with seven sacks; running back Darren McFadden, who is fourth in combined yards rushing and receiving; kick returner Jacoby Ford, who is tied for the league lead with three kicks returned for touchdown; and special teams standout Rock Cartwright.
Asomugha is the only Raiders player who led the fan portion of the voting process. Fans’ votes counts for one-third of the process, with players and coaches each getting one-third.
– Cable said that defensive tackle Richard Seymour is “improving” in his recovery from a hamstring injury he suffered against the Denver Broncos on Dec. 19. Seymour missed the Colts game.
Right offensive tackle Langston Walker still is suffering from post-concussion symptoms, even though he has passed the mandatory tests for players who get a concussion.
“He’s passed the target but he still has some symptoms,” Cable said. “So, until those are gone, you can’t do much about it.”
Cable said that Mario Henderson fared well in place of Walker against the Colts. It was Henderson’s first start at that position. He spent his first three-plus NFL seasons at left offensive tackle before he lost his starting job to rookie Jared Veldheer six games into this season.
“Mario started off kind of hit and miss, then, as it went, he got better,” Cable said. “He had some struggles on a couple of things but, overall, again for a guy stepping in, who hadn’t played a lot lately, once he got into his rhythm, he was OK.”
– Now that the Raiders are out of the playoffs picture, Cable has had to modify his team’s short-range goals. To that end, he addressed the team about the importance of this Sunday’s game against the Chiefs.
“We talked about that,” Cable said. “That was really the plan this morning because it’s something we all had to face when you woke up this morning that it’s not going to happen for us. We talked about the improvements we’ve made from a commitment level, of where we want to take this thing and where we want to ultimately be and that’s to win a championship.
“It’s a process to get there. We’ve kind of been going through all of those things, but this week is just the last step for this year, and that is to go out and win a game and finish the season 8-8, stop the losing record thing that has kind of been chasing this organization for a number of years as well as complete the sweep in the division. I think that would be a heck of a deal for our football team and launch us into the future and the next year.”
– Oft-injured wide receiver Chaz Schilens finally caught a pass this season. In fact, he caught two against the Colts for 17 yards Sunday, after going three games without a reception.
Cable said he is excited about the prospect of Schilens going into the offseason without any lingering health issues. Schilens has been plagued by foot and knee injuries the past two years.
“The thing I’m really encouraged for Chaz is, hopefully, we get through the last week with him again improving and getting more involved and him being able to walk away from the season injury free or healthy, if you will,” Cable said. ”To go into the offseason would be a huge step for him. It’s good to see him back involved, definitely.”
When asked if Schilens has the talent to be a No. 1 receiver, Cable offered the following:
“I think this. If he’s healthy, he has the chance to lift us up. You can’t sit around and put No. 1 tags on someone until they can have a chance to go out and prove it. Unfortunately, with his injury situation, he hasn’t been able to that. I do think he’s a quality player and I do think he could really be something for us.”