By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, November 7th, 2011 at 5:57 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Carson Palmer is so eager to get the taste of the Denver loss out of his mouth he said he wished the Raiders played tonight.
Yes, he was exaggerating to make a point. But it might not be a bad thing to have to move on so quickly to something else given face-plant performed by the Raiders on Sunday.
Now matter how bad they looked, the Raiders are tied for first place. Should they beat San Diego Thursday night, and Tebow an work his magic for another week in Kansas City on Sunday, the Raiders could end up all alone in first place with a 5-4 record.
That was the prevailing theme Monday as the Raiders got a head start on San Diego, even having a walkthrough as an introduction to the Chargers.
A few notes compiled while subbing for Steve Corkran:
– Coach Hue Jackson insists it’s nothing personal with regard to wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and tight end Kevin Boss. They simply weren’t included in some position groups which just happened to play a lot against Denver. So they hardly played at all.
Jackson conceded he possibly could have conveyed that news better heading into the game, but that both probably could have realized before hand it could happen just by the look of the game plan. He said neither player is being disciplined. Jackson is fine with some hurt feelings _ he’d rather have the upset about not playing than seeming not to care.
– I floated the idea to both Palmer and Jackson that they had tried to do a little too much against Denver in terms of position groups, a no-huddle offense, etc. It almost seemed as if they used the extra bye week time to trick up the game plan and dazzle Denver instead of simply knocking the Broncos over.
Why not be a little more basic and just run Michael Bush 25 times?
Of course, neither agreed.
Jackson said the reason Bush did as well as he did was that those position groups and extra-receiver sets brougth about the nickel defenses that Bush (19 carries, 96 yards) was running so well against. Palmer, even with his limited time, said he was fine with the game plan and the amount he needed to retain.
– Spotted safety Michael Huff wearing a boot on his left foot as he continues to struggle with an ankle injury. Probably precautionary. We’ll see as the week of practice progresses.
– What was the point of watching film of Tim Tebow read optioning his way to 112 yards rushing and setting up Willis McGahee for 163 yards when the Raiders won’t see that kind of offense the rest of the season?
The need to correct basic assignment football, according to Jackson as well as defensive tackle Richard Seymour and defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan.
Bresnahan said film work included eight or nine plays from the first half when the defense did most things right, juxtaposed with second half film which showed them doing just about everything wrong. Bresnahan called it “disturbing” and promised to get it fixed. He said he wants off the roller coaster.
Oakland had given up just 3.2 yards per carry and 274 yards rushing in their previous free games before Denver hung a 298 on the board.
– Didn’t seem to be a lot of chemistry issues in the locker room, although there was a Profootballtalk.co report which said players had begun wonder about Jackson in light of a Saturday night team meeting in which he said he was already lining up free agents for those who didn’t do their jobs.
Checked in privately with one player about it and got a blank, bewildered expression as if he had zero idea what I could be talking about. Not saying it didn’t happen, but I would suggest to be a little bit skeptical about unsourced stories done from a distance.
It’s midseason, a little early for even the Raiders to be coming apart at the seams.
We’ll know soon enough if the Raiders are tuning out Hue based based on their play. Both in the Denver post game and on Monday, Jackson has been calmer, more reasonable, a little more restrained. Most good coaches take that tact with their teams in times of trouble rather than going scorched earth.
When the guy at the top panics, the team will surely follow.
– The Raiders injury report as submitted to the league:
Did not practice
T Khalif Barnes (shoulder), QB Jason Campbell (collarbone), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), S Michael Huff (ankle), K Sebastian Janikowski (left hamstring), CB Chris Johnson (groin, hamstring), RB Darren McFadden (foot), C Samson Satele (knee), DT Richard Seymour (ankle), CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (hamstring)
RB Rock Cartwright (calf), LB Rolando McClain (ankle), S Michael Mitchell (ankle), QB Carson Palmer (quadricep), RB Marcel Reece (shoulder)
S Matt Giordano (shoulder)
– Didn’t get a chance to mention it Sunday because we didn’t have some of the pertinent information, but the halftime show during which Sgt. Michael Eaton was reunited with his family in the guise of a field goal kicking contest was top of the line.
It was a set up engineered by Lifetime television with the help of the Raiders for a series which reunites soldiers with their families. Eaton has been stationed in both Afganistan and Iraq. He served as the place kick holder wearing a Raiders uniform including a helmet with a shield so his kids couldn’t see his face.
Eaton and his wife Tonya have four children and live in Arkansas.