By Steve Corkran
Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 at 6:20 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders are wrapping up meetings right now in Alameda, about one hour before they hit the field for the first of three straight night practices.
Coach Hue Jackson is bringing in portable lights so that the Raiders can practice at night in an attempt to simulate the feel and conditions of what lies ahead Monday night against the Denver Broncos in the regular-season opener.
In the interim, let’s hit on a few topics before the news of the night unfolds.
*Earlier today, I fielded a question from a reader on the live chat who claimed the Raiders had traded for Chicago Bears outside linebacker Lance Briggs, and that the NFL Network was airing the details.
Naturally, once the live chat ended, I checked into the Briggs situation. As it turned out, that was just some prankster yaning everyone’s chain.
Briggs still wants out of Chicago. Reports from the Windy City say that the Bears aren’t about to trade Briggs or give him the restructured contract he wants. We’ll monitor the situation on a daily basis, even mindful that Raiders managing general partner Al Davis traded for defensive tackle Richard Seymour eight days before the 2009 opener.
*Jackson said he doesn’t put too much stock in the Raiders’ sweep of the Broncos last season, including a 59-14 shellacking in Denver.
Broncos first-year coach said he has studied the tape from both games.
“Definitely look at them,” Fox said in a conference call Wednesday. “I don’t think we ever got over 240 yards of offense and I don’t think we held them to less than 500 in either one of the two games, but you definitely look at those just to see the match-ups and that’s part of the preparation.”
Fox added that the way the Raiders manhandled the Broncos at home last season is something his players and fans can use as added motivation Monday night.
“Obviously, not being here myself, and a large part of the staff not being here, the people that were out there for that, it would fair that that would be a rallying point,” Fox said.
Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton is another one who sees some value in watching the tape of last year’s games against the Raiders, regardless of how painful it might be.
“We certainly watch it,” Orton said in a conference call. “We know what happened. We’re not sitting here crying over spilled milk. What happened, happened. You can always learn something and certainly we’re excited to get them back here at Mile High and see what they’ve got.”
*Fox coached for the Raiders in the mid-90s before he bolted for the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers. He said he still has a ton of respect for Raiders managing general partner Al Davis and that eight straight seasons of not making the playoffs hasn’t tarnished Davis’ legacy.
“That’s a tough question,” Fox said. “I don’t believe so. When you’re in the Hall of Fame, the organization over time has been a winning organization. In my personal opinion, I don’t believe so. They had a better record than we did last year.”
*Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly is the longest-tenured position player on the Raiders now that linebacker Sam Williams is gone.
Kelly arrived in 2004, four seasons after the Raiders selected kicker Sebastian Janikowski and punter Shane Lechler in the 2000 NFL draft.
“You go about 1, 2, 3 good years playing with a person, you think you’re going to play with them forever,” Kelly said, “and the next minute, they’re gone. So, you just got to roll with the punches. Me, man, I just appreciate it because I came in to this thing undrafted. To be still playing and starting and contributing, that’s what makes me feel good.”
*The fact running back Darren McFadden missed all four of Oakland’s exhibition games isn’t that big of a deal to McFadden, he said.
In fact, he views the Broncos game as if it’s the season-opener of the college season.
“It will just feel like college days,” McFadden said. “You didn’t get any preseason games in college days. I just feel like when you go out there, either you’re going to be able to do it or you’re not going to be able to do it.”
McFadden said he is confident that he will hit the ground running, so to speak, and pick up where he left off last season, when he rushed for a career-high 1,157 yards.
“I just want to carry over what I did last year, go out there and run the ball and put my team in the best position I can to win the game,” McFadden said.
*At this time last year, wide receiver Jacoby Ford was fresh from his first NFL training camp and eagerly awaiting his first regular-season game.
This year, he took great delight in watching rookie receiver Denarius Moore, who was selected in the fifth round and quickly developed into one of the Raiders top playmakers.
“It was great,” Ford said. “That was a dude out there just making plays day after day. Every time you saw him, he was out there making another tremendous catch. He was just doing everything right. It’s encouraging to see because he’s doing it so quick. I was definitely proud of him and still am.”
*Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl