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Branch still out, Mitchell prepares for first start

Mike Mitchell inched closer to his first start as Raiders strong safety Friday when Tyvon Branch missed practice with a neck injury.

Also not practicing as warm-ups and drills gave way to team sessions were running backs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson (high ankle sprains), defensive tackle Richard Seymour (hamstring) and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring).

Coach Dennis Allen said regarding Branch on Thursday he’d have “some real concern’’ if he weren’t able to practice the following day.

Mitchell, in his fourth season out of Ohio, has been on the field seven times at the start of games when the Raiders opened in a nickel defense, but never as a starting strong safety in the base defense.

“Obviously, it’s a goal of mine to be a starter in this league and to play,’’ Mitchell said. “I welcome the opportunity. It’s unfortunate, what’s going on with Tyvon. You never want one of your brothers to get hurt, but I’m willing to play.’’

It’s a big challenge in that the New Orleans offense features tight Jimmy Graham, a 6-foot-7 former basketball player out of Miami who has 45 receptions for 533 yards and seven touchdowns and presents a nightmare matchup because he’s too big for defensive backs and too fast for linebackers.

“I haven’t seen anyone get very physical with him yet, as far as DBs,’’ Mitchell said. “Most guys are too small, and they shy away from him. She just bodies them. I’m curious to see how he’s going to handle more of a physical, skill-position guy checking him at the line.’’

Taken in the second round of the 2009 draft, Mitchell remains eager to validate the decision by Al Davis to select him, a choice that astonished some draft analysts who considered him a late-round pick or potential undrafted free agent.

Mitchell has battled injuries at times, played in different defensive packages and on special teams, and looks forward to his first crack at being a full-time player. The presence of Branch, drafted the previous year and a starter for the last 57 games, has kept Mitchell in a supporting role.

“I’m just so ready to be done with this, to show what I can do,’’ Mitchell said. “I’m tired — I feel like I’ve been held back, held back, held back. So if I get the opportunity I just want to go play good football and show the abilities God has blessed me with.’’

Mitchell plays with emotion and reckless abandon. He’s known as a “friendly fire’’ threat among teammates, and Allen is hoping to see Mitchell dial it back just a bit when necessary.

“He’s a very passionate player, he works extremely hard, he loves the game,’’ Allen said. “Sometimes you’ve just got to slow his heartbeat down a little bit and get him to calm down. It’s important to him, and that’s what I like about him.’’

– If Heyward-Bey can’t play, it means more snaps for Rod Streater, Derek Hagan and Juron Criner.

– Assuming Seymour is out, Desmond Howard will draw his second straight start at defensive tackle alongside Tommy Kelly.

– Marcel Reece will open at running back with McFadden and Goodson out, backed up by Jeremy Stewart, with Owen Schmitt playing fullback in formations that call for it.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    DMAC Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:16 pm
    This fk’n day is moving 2 slooooooooow
    Me wanna go home already


    I hear you. I’m pretty much getting paid to blog today.

  • J Hill

    Can you play or not???

    Not being able to follow your assignment is a HUGE problem for this entire team, man.

    Defensively, how many time are we going to out of position (or should we say not being able to follow the assignment) and allow BIG back breaking plays?

    Still, LMFAO at GIO letting Jackson get behind him early in the TB game. Branch letting guys get BEHIND him in a ZONE defense.

    I have NO problem getting rid of ALL guys who can’t effin follow their assignments = doing their damn jobs!

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    Ask Jerry on Twitter about it. It’s assignment not fumbling. Ask him how many times Dmac has fumbled in practice in his years here. Ask him how many times Goodson fumbled in practice this year.

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Mistic, can you please tell us again how African giants built Stonehenge?

  • Al_is_theraiders

    quack quit believing that guy…nothing he said has been right….nothing

  • papertiger418

    Bigelow,
    You don’t need to see Quantum before Skyfall; they don’t really have anything to do with one another and Quantum is too grim to really be any fun. Skyfall is the 50th anniversary Bond so it’s got all the goods. My friend saw it in IMAX and said it was amazing. They use stunt work instead of CGI, so the film’s got a real tangible quality to it.

  • DMAC

    I’d be cool if we blew up the entire D,
    and build off Burris,Wheeler, Bryant, and Houston.
    What worse can it be?
    Really?

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Papertiger418 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:21 pm
    Bigelow,
    You don’t need to see Quantum before Skyfall; they don’t really have anything to do with one another and Quantum is too grim to really be any fun. Skyfall is the 50th anniversary Bond so it’s got all the goods. My friend saw it in IMAX and said it was amazing. They use stunt work instead of CGI, so the film’s got a real tangible quality to it.
    ——
    Thanks for the heads up.

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    DMAC Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:22 pm
    I’d be cool if we blew up the entire D,
    and build off Burris,Wheeler, Bryant, and Houston.
    What worse can it be?
    Really?
    —-
    I second that.

  • boss01

    Funny how Gio plays dead every time he gets beat.

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    Al_is_theraiders Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:20 pm
    quack quit believing that guy…nothing he said has been right….nothing

    ====================================

    So you believe he’s outright lying???

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Albert Bigelow Paine Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Mistic, can you please tell us again how African giants built Stonehenge?
    ==========

    I didnt say that

    Out of respect for preistt, i will ignore this blatant race baiting.

    Do you have a football take?

  • DMAC

    boss01 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Funny how Gio plays dead every time he gets beat.
    ==========

    LMAO
    I remember in elementary school kids would always do that.

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Mistic1 Tha Supavillain Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:23 pm
    Albert Bigelow Paine Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Mistic, can you please tell us again how African giants built Stonehenge?
    ==========

    I didnt say that

    Out of respect for preistt, i will ignore this blatant race baiting.

    Do you have a football take?
    ——
    You said that the Nubian Grimaldi built Stonehenge. Weren’t they said to be giants? That’s what I read on the internet.

  • boss01

    Gio suffers a concussion or tweaks something every time he misses an assignment. Just falls to the ground and plays dead hoping no one notices the complete eff up.

  • J Hill

    Burris and Wheeler????

    Are you confusing activity for achievment?

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Also, Mistic is this your blog:

    ghettomystic.blogspot.com

  • Al_is_theraiders

    of course you would klas…

  • J Hill

    Gio suffers a concussion or tweaks something every time he misses an assignment. Just falls to the ground and plays dead hoping no one notices the complete eff up.

    ————————————————————

    LOL

  • DMAC

    J Hill Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Burris and Wheeler????

    Are you confusing activity for achievment?
    =======

    Come again sir???

  • Al_is_theraiders

    i think krappy will say whatever gives him another chance to prove his was is the best way…

  • http://www.insidebayarea.com/raiders Silverandblack666

    “Mistic, can you please tell us again how African giants built Stonehenge?”

    No no no it wasn’t the African Giants it was the Asian lesbian Amazon bush women of the rubbaclit tribe!

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    So let Marcus Allen continue his running assignment in that Super Bowl, and not try to make something happen. That play turned the game around. I agree too much east-west a la Reggie Bush is not good.

    Taiwan’s thing is he’ll do the patient thing, follow the zbs, look for a lane and cut. But sometimes/oftentimes the line gets blown up, and he naturally goes sideways a bit to get outside it, or tries to bounce it another way. He’s that type of player. If the lane is there, he’ll take it, and batter forward for the boring 3 yards.

    But as we all saw with McFadden thru 7 weeks…the system under knapp is unforgiving. Just put away your abilities and follow the assigned running lane, just keep banging your head into a brick wall for those 1 yard losses and 2 yard gains.

    Remember those few games McFadden got frustrated, where the line got blown apart and he’d try to dance around sideways looking to make something happen. That’s what McFadden and Taiwan are like. Knapp will beat it out of them with a wooden spoon. Would prefer boring backs who just barge forward. Like Fargas, Stewart.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Albert Bigelow Paine Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Also, Mistic is this your blog:

    Albert Bigelow Paine Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Mistic1 Tha Supavillain Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:23 pm
    Albert Bigelow Paine Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Mistic, can you please tell us again how African giants built Stonehenge?
    ==========

    I didnt say that

    Out of respect for preistt, i will ignore this blatant race baiting.

    Do you have a football take?
    ——
    You said that the Nubian Grimaldi built Stonehenge. Weren’t they said to be giants? That’s what I read on the internet.
    ==================

    I have never seen the site you posted and i refuse to even open it.

    Football?

  • J Hill

    Burris and Wheeler were right in the middle of 2 of the ALL TIME WORST Raider defensive performances the last 2 weeks.

    Why the hell would you want to rebuild around them?

  • http://www.insidebayarea.com/raiders Silverandblack666

    “You said that the Nubian Grimaldi built Stonehenge. Weren’t they said to be giants? That’s what I read on the internet.”

    No no no I heard that Tyrannosaurus Rex fed on the Nubian Grimaldi and actually shat Stonehenge…

  • boss01

    No doubt Burris has hit the proverbial rookie wall.

  • DMAC

    Later peoples!
    Go A’s!
    Go Dubs!
    Go Cal Bears! (fire Tedford!)
    Go Raiders!
    Peace out Green Team!
    See yall at the game Sunday!

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Mistic, I’m not race baiting. You were posting complete nonsense in here yesterday without backing it up with any kind of scientific evidence. You sound like the crazy conspiracy theorists who think that Bush and Cheny blew up the World Trade Center.

  • DMAC

    J Hill Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Burris and Wheeler were right in the middle of 2 of the ALL TIME WORST Raider defensive performances the last 2 weeks.

    Why the hell would you want to rebuild around them?
    ==========

    J Heezy
    Burris is a rookie.
    Wheeler is new.
    The rest of these fake ass wannabe football players have been here before and haven’t done schit!

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    In other words…

    Taiwan is ‘ready’. But he’s not ready under Knapp, in Knapp’s system.

    Just like how we saw McFadden can be an elite RB. But he’s not under Knapp, in Knapp’s system.

    That’s how players appear to be regressing and gives the excuse/appearance that Reggie “should” cut/trade them because they must suck therefore.

    But the real problem is the system.

    Remember, Reece wasn’t even utilized thru 7-8 weeks!! Up until then, if anyone wondered, they’d possibly have thought…Reece must suck. But clearly as we saw after, when you get them on the field, and utilize them often, they will do things, look explosive.

    Pryor, Ausberry, Taiwan, next cabs on that rank.

  • DMAC

    J Hill Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Burris and Wheeler were right in the middle of 2 of the ALL TIME WORST Raider defensive performances the last 2 weeks.
    =========

    Nickel package damn near all game.
    PLays just about every snap, beacause everyone else sucks.

  • MiamiRaider78

    I never pick the Raiders to lose, so I hope they prove me wrong.

    Raiders 2
    Saints 61

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    From raceandhistory.com:

    “The construction of Stonehenge has been attributed to giants who sailed from Africa bringing their skills with them. The presence of giants may not necessarily be a figment of the imagination. Giants have been mentioned in the Bible. There was a Black Canaanite race called Anakim. When the Black Hebrews first saw them they realized how small they were themselves: “And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:33).”

    http://www.raceandhistory.com/cgi-bin/forum/webbbs_config.pl/noframes/read/2225

  • DMAC

    I gotta run though.
    Peace peoples!

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    My football take is that the Raiders are no good, and next year is going to an even bigger rebuilding project than this year. Also, Pryor will never be a NFL QB.

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    btw

    Saints 45
    Raiders 17

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Albert Bigelow Paine Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    From raceandhistory.com:

    “The construction of Stonehenge has been attributed to giants who sailed from Africa bringing their skills with them. The presence of giants may not necessarily be a figment of the imagination. Giants have been mentioned in the Bible. There was a Black Canaanite race called Anakim. When the Black Hebrews first saw them they realized how small they were themselves: “And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” (Numbers 13:33).”

    http://www.raceandhistory.com/cgi-bin/forum/webbbs_config.pl/noframes/read/2225
    =============

    this is not where i get my information. feel free to study the subject on your own and engage in discussion amongst friends.

    Football?

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Mistic, where do you get your information?

  • J Hill

    McFadden and Adams have nothing to do with Taiwan Jones.

    They both have their own issues and need to be replaced as well, imo.

    McFadden is not the player he used to be prior to the foot injuries. At least a half a step slower.

    Adams is more like a no one else can do it type of guy. Shame on the staff and front office for this.

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    boss01 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    If Al was still around…He would rip the coaching staff a new one for not coaching up TJ and making him great.

    Under this current coaching staff, I have not seen any improvement from any players that were here last year. Quite the contrary, everyone except for maybe D Moore have regressed. That speaks to coaching ineptness.

    —–

    truth

  • RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit

    DJ Johnny Says:
    November 15th, 2012 at 10:18 pm
    RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit Says:
    November 15th, 2012 at 10:10 pm
    lol at couldnt keep his mouth shut? you mean a coach cant keep quiet in a press conference? OH NO .. fire any coach that speaks up about his teams lack of effort!!!

    I’m with ya on that. Hue never called out anybody by name. He referred to the defense not getting the job done and he was right…they didn’t.

    Hue was frustrated, and the thing is when he said it “was a joke”…he was right. It WAS a joke.

    Everybody points to that last presser as if he stood up and urinated on the team photo and went ballistic and punched reporters or something.

    I’ve seen pressers waaay worse than that one…and way more fiery as far as calling guys out.

    About time a HC is honest.

    I guess he didn’t give the obligatory “it’s all on me” b.s and that was his downfall.
    ——————-

    Hue kept it real, and folks just couldnt handle it. Hue got us CP3 in here and would have gotten us a decent DC in here if he would have been allowed to. A real DC would be able to squeeze more production out of this unit which is not totally void of talent, like I,ve said before its a chess game and we dont have very good chess players in our coaches, I saw someone spoke on PITs D earlier their D is good but their secondary is horible with the exception of #43 but Lebeau is a dam good chess player and he’s been able to make it work for years without a shutdown corner on the roster, THATS COACHING.

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    Al_is_theraiders Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    i think krappy will say whatever gives him another chance to prove his was is the best way…

    ——-

    truth

  • http://www.insidebayarea.com/raiders Silverandblack666

    “You said that the Nubian Grimaldi built Stonehenge. Weren’t they said to be giants? That’s what I read on the internet.”

    No no no I heard that Tyrannosaurus Rex fed on the Nubian Grimaldi and actually shat Stonehenge…

    Its a known fact that Carson Palmer was born in a Nubian Grimaldi village as an outcast to a virgin maiden who was eternally cloaked in Silver and Black and little baby Palmer grew up throwing stones at Stonehenge and it was there Al Davis found him and gave him some scissors then told him….if you cut my sons hair you can be my QB……and that’s the legend of Marks Hair, Carson Palmer and the Nubian Grimaldi.

  • MiamiRaider78

    Taiwan doesn’t know how to properly take a hand off. He’ll never get touches with that problem.

  • RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit

    Ya under hue the defense sucked?? hmm under Reggie and DA who is a defensive specialist the DEFENSE still f’n sucks.

    The moment HUE came over in 2010 the Offense was 10x better then it ever was. Running game with DMAC was better.

    DA has shown zero effect on this defense.

    DA, Lane Kiffin, Josh McDaniels, all the same visor wearing chumps. DA tied his coaching gig to NAPP just like that poser Kiffin did. How did that workout for him??

    Mike Nolan wasnt even could and that guy is a tremendous DC.. u think DA will ever be better then singletary or NOLAN? probaly not

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Albert Bigelow Paine Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Mistic, where do you get your information?
    ============

    none of your business, but there are some very well known and common methods for gathering information and numerous brilliant scholars that have written on the topic

    feel free to read and study on your own

    football?

  • http://www.insidebayarea.com/raiders Silverandblack666

    “Black Hebrews first saw them they realized how small they were themselves: ”

    So you are saying that early black man was j3wish and could not play basketball?

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Silverandblack666 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    “You said that the Nubian Grimaldi built Stonehenge. Weren’t they said to be giants? That’s what I read on the internet.”

    No no no I heard that Tyrannosaurus Rex fed on the Nubian Grimaldi and actually shat Stonehenge…

    Its a known fact that Carson Palmer was born in a Nubian Grimaldi village as an outcast to a virgin maiden who was eternally cloaked in Silver and Black and little baby Palmer grew up throwing stones at Stonehenge and it was there Al Davis found him and gave him some scissors then told him….if you cut my sons hair you can be my QB……and that’s the legend of Marks Hair, Carson Palmer and the Nubian Grimaldi.
    =========

    more race baitng?

    carson isnt black

    football?

  • http://www.insidebayarea.com/raiders Silverandblack666

    ““Black Hebrews first saw them they realized how small they were themselves: ”

    So you are saying that early black man was j3wish and could not play basketball?”

    SOUTH PARK episode like season 4 or 5 I think so funny!

    You do realize that dont’ you albert