By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, December 30th, 2010 at 2:39 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Darren McFadden has turf toe and although he hopes to face the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, it’s not a slam dunk.
“It might be a game time decision,’’ coach Tom Cable said. “He’s feeling much better, so we’re not trying to chance it right now and see what he can do tomorrow.’’
McFadden said the condition is not nearly as bad as his rookie year, when turf toe on both feet essentially wrecked his season. Behind the scenes, there were those in McFadden’s camp that felt the Raiders mishandled the injury and should have shut him down earlier. He even sought medical opinions outside the organization.
“It brings back memories but at the same time it’s something you learn to deal with,’’ McFadden said. “You know how to approach it.’’
Following the Indianapolis game, McFadden said in the locker room he had rolled his ankle while Cable said he had turf toe. Thursday was the first day he was available to the media and he confirmed his left toe was the issue.
McFadden said he went out and “ran around’’ at practice, but on the official report he was listed as not having practiced.
“I have full intentions of going out and playing so I’ll see how it goes,’’ McFadden said.
Defensive tackle Richard Seymour did not practice and will be a game time decision. Right tackle Langston Walker was limited, saying he made it through 95 percent of practice before he had a “miniscule’’ headache.
Receivers/punt return specialists Nick Miller and Johnnie Lee Higgins were limited with ankle injuries, as was safety Mike Mitchell (ribs), tight end Zach Miller (foot), cornerback Chris Johnson (groin), and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle) participated fully.
More news, notes, quotes and observations:
— The fact that the Raiders are 15 points shy of doubling their 2009 point total and are having their best offensive season since 2002 is of little consolation to offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.
Asked if he was pleased by the Raiders’ progress, Jackson said, “No. Not pleased at all. We didn’t win enough games, so I’m not pleased by any stretch of the imagination We’ve been very inconsistent moreso than anything and we’ve got to strive to move forward and be a more consistent offensive football team.’’
Jackson gave himself a “C’’ as a playcaller because “when you don’t make the playoffs and don’t win your division there’s nothing to feel good about. The last two years (with Baltimore) I’ve been in the playoffs and I know what it’s like. That’s the reward for all your hard work. I wasn’t able to help the team get it done this year to my liking or our player’s liking.’’
Interestingly, Jackson had no problem with the play-calling against the Colts. He thought the play calls were fine and the execution was poor.
Critics (OK, me _ as well as a lot of you) thought the Raiders erred in going to the perimeter too often against a Cover 2 team noted for speed rather than attack between the tackles.
“They did some things defensively against us that we didn’t do a great job against. I know everybody cried about ‘Oh we have to run the ball more,’ ” Jackson said. “You got to do what it takes to win a football game. That’s the most important thing. I didn’t leave the game saying, ‘Oh gosh I should have run it more. Oh gosh I should have thrown it more.’ ”
Regarding quarterback Jason Campbell, Jackson said, “He’s really done a good job. He really has. I think Jason has really grown into this role here for our football team. I’m very excited about his future and what he can be in 2011.’’
Jackson wouldn’t bite about questions regarding his own future and the possibility that the Raiders’ offensive improvement could make him a potential head coaching candidate.
“Honestly the only thing I’m worried about is the Kansas City Chiefs and winning this game this week,’’ Jackson said. “That’s the only thing that’s on my mind, period.’’
— Former Chiefs coach and Raiders arch-enemy Marty Schottenheimer will enter the Chiefs Hall of Fame as part of the team’s alumni weekend.
It was Schottheimer who gave Jackson his first job in the NFL as an assistant coach with the Washington Redskins.
“He put me in the league so I have a lot of respect for him,’’ Jackson said. “He taught me a lot of football.’’
Reminded that Schottenheimer has a well-documented disdain for all things silver and black (not to mention an 18-3 record against the Raiders as head coach of the Chiefs), Jackson laughed.
“He does hate the Raiders and on Sunday I’m going to hate him,’’ Jackson said. “That’s part of the business.’’
— With San Diego tight end Antonio Gates headed to injured reserve with plantar fasciiitis, Zach Miller can probably expect a phone call elevating him to the team along with Jacksonville’s Marcedes Lewis.
“It would be great. It’s always been a goal of mine,’’ Miller said. “I’m just happy I was voted as high as I was, even though I was playing with a foot injury. Obviously I want to be one of those guys picked on the roster, but with the injuries this year and missing time, I feel like I ended up with a pretty good season.’’
Sebastian Janikowski, on the other hand, wasn’t as upbeat.
“If you can answer that question for me, that would be great, because it’s happened before,’ Janikowski said when asked what’s keeping him from being named. “I lead the league in field goals, scoring, it’s happened before. Same story.’’
— The Raiders find themselves within reach of the NFL record for penalty yards in a season, needing 106 yards to break the 1998 total of 1,304 yards set by Chiefs in 1998.
They’ll have to go some to break the record for penalties. The Raiders have 138 penalties, 20 shy of the Chiefs’ record of 158 in 1998.
The Raiders’ club records are 156 penalties (1994 and 1996) and 1,274 yards (1969 in 14 games).
Oakland’s penalty breakdown this year: 64 for 448 yards on offense (first), 56 for 575 yards on defense (second) and 18 for 176 on special teams.
Oakland has been called 55 times for false starts, offsides or delay of game. By contrast, the Atlanta Falcons, the NFL’s least penalized team, has 54 penalties all season.
The Raiders are tied for fourth with 18 holding penalties, with Jared Veldheer the team leader with five. Veldheer also leads with seven false starts.
Asked about penalties being a problem Wednesday, Cable said, “Actually I know everybody talks about it. But I think our style of play is to really cut it loose as I always say but I think that will grow as we mature. We’ve had a bunch of good games and a bunch of games where it was kind of ugly that way too. The penalties need to get better, will get better but I don’t see them as being as big an issue as I do the turnovers.’’
The strangest stat?
The Raiders are 0-5 in games where they had eight or fewer penalties.