By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, November 25th, 2011 at 3:48 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Subbing for Steve Corkran today . . .
Although Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore were both listed as questionable to face Chicago, visual evidence suggests Heyward-Bey is the more likely of the two players to get on the field Sunday.
Heyward-Bey (neck) was limited in practice and was seen running and catching passes. Moore (foot) was on the field with his teammates, but didn’t practice his movements were restricted.
There is no mystery regarding Jacoby Ford. He’s already listed as “out” with his foot injury.
That means plenty of snaps for Chaz Schilens and Louis Murphy, the latter the Raiders leading wide receiver over the past two seasons with just one catch for 23 yards in 2011. David Ausberry, a former wide receiver at USC, said he knows about (75 to 80 percent) of the plays for wide receivers and would be ready of called upon to play outside.
More likely, the Raiders would simply use more sets involving both tight ends, Brandon Myers and Kevin Boss, as well as putting fullback Marcel Reece in positions to be a downfield receiver.
More Raiders news and notes:
– Doesn’t sound as if defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan is inclined to throw the house at Bears starting quarterback Caleb Hanie in terms of blitzes.
Hanie has thrown 14 regular season NFL passes, although he was 13-for-20 and impressive off the bench in last year’s NFC championship game against Green Bay.
“I worry more about what we do than what the opponent does, so when you get in a situation like this, you have back off and do a few things well rather than do too much,” Bresnahan said. “Let’s do our stuff well and make this young guy beat us.”
– Bresnahan said last week’s game plan for Christian Ponder included ways to keep the rookie quarterback in the pocket and that they simply weren’t executed.
“We had two missed assignments in pressure packages where we should have had an extra guy there,” Bresnahan said.
Hanie, effective on rollouts, will be an issue for the Raiders defense in terms of breaking outside.
– Coach Hue Jackson conceded that since Darren McFadden, out of the Chicago game with a mid-foot sprain, will miss his fourth straight game, it’s going to take awhile to get him up and running once he returns to the practice field.
“It’s hard to come back when you’ve been gone that long to just hit the ground running and expect him to be exactly what he was before he left,” Jackson said. “We’ll have a plan to take care of that. We just want him back, that’s the most important thing. I want to get the player back out here at practice at some point in time.”
Keeping in mind how McFadden played when less than 100 percent his first two seasons, it would be better to have him for three or four games full strength at the regular season than have him at less than his explosive best for five or six.
– Brian McCann, who looks to be the kickoff and punt return specialist against Chicago, alarmed Jackson with his ball security fundamentals against Minnesota. McCann had fumbling issues as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
“When he was returning a kick and I saw the ball being (held) loose, I said, `Hey, buddy, do me a favor. Make sure you take care of that ball for me,’ ” Jackson said. “He was switching the ball in the game.”
– It would take a four-game suspension from commissioner Roger Goodell for Ndamukong Suh to miss the Raiders game on Dec. 18, fewer if there’s an appeal or a delay to the suspension.
NOTE: As one e-mailer pointed out and doubtless many more have realized, it’s a three-game suspension because Suh has already played this week.
Suh is almost certainly facing a big penalty for stomping on an opposing lineman and then giving an incomprehensible explanation in rationalizing it afterward.
“Yeah, I know he’s on the schedule,” Jackson said. “Are you kidding me? Can we make sure he doesn’t play against us?”
Jackson made it clear Suh wasn’t his player and it wasn’t his business, but did say, “As I’ve said before with our personal fouls, I just don’t think there’s a place in the league for things where people can potentially be hurt.”
He doesn’t expect to see a similar foul by anyone on his team.
“I don’t have that issue on this team, I don’t,” Jackson said. “We’ve come close, but we don’t have that issue. We’re not going to do that. There’s some lines we’re not going to cross here at the Raiders.”
– Bears returns specialist Devin Hester (shin) didn’t practice for the second straight day but is listed as probable.
– Richard Seymour (knee) practiced for the first time since the San Diego game, was limited, but should play in some role. The same cannot be said for defensive end Jarvis Moss, listed as out with a hamstring injury. Defensive end Lamarr Houston (knee) practiced for the second straight day and will likely face Chicago.
– Bears running back Matt Forte has 1,960 yards receiving since 2008, trailing only Ray Rice (2,044) among NFL backs during that span. He’ll be a big challenge for linebackers Aaron Curry, Rolando McClain and Kamerion Wimbley (on first down), as well as safeties Tyvon Branch, Michael Huff and Mike Mitchell, when called upon.
Hanie, as a young quarterback, will look to Forte often when in trouble.
“They tie the screen game into it, they tie checkdowns into it,” Bresnahan said. “He is a true weapon and they want to get the ball into his hands as many times as possible.”