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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

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    trolls are race baiting

    why has no one called them out?

    football takes?

  • RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit

    DA. would be lucky to sniff 3 wins without a GM something HUE didnt have after Al passed.

    I will keep bringing up Hue because he is still fresh in Raider history. I will keep bringing up HUE till another coach comes along and proves he is worth a Darn.. and makes us forget about hue. At least last year we at this time were still in the Playoff hunt, and it was exciting football.

    Starting qb was down, DMAC done. Hue was tyring to win ball games, and u Raider fans rip on him? what has DA done?? other then say “HEY LISTEN” “NO LISTEN”

    Mark Davis is finding out hard that the grass isnt always greener on the other side. He should have let it playout but instead he let his ego get to him.

    Hue/Carson/ Power run game n Dmac would have been would of the most explosive offenses in the NFL.

    You want to know why Carson is always on his butt?? well cuz we pass 61 x a game and our 31st in RUSHING after averaging Top 5 the past 2 years.

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    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
    ——–
    None of my business. LOL
    That sounds like someone who has no scientific research or credible sources to back up their argument.

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

    “Hue/Carson/ Power run game n Dmac would have been would of the most explosive offenses in the NFL.”

    I agree with this 100% Hue was creative and fit the scheme to the players on offense.

  • RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit

    Quit saying Reggie wanted his guy too. Henry Woford of CSN already did a report saying REggie was under the impression that he already had a HC in (HUE) while arriving to his intro presser.

    It wasnt till he go there that Mark Told him he had to get rid of hue. Hue and Reggie our friends and share the same agent. MARK fugggged up

  • mcfadden20.

    6’7 , damn muthafukkka could be just tossed balls to all game long and he would come up with 9/10

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    I can’t wait to watch Jason Campbell get trounced by the 49ers again.

  • RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit

    I believe in Reggie. DA not so much.. especially if he keeps KNAPP around next year.

    Something will happen..

  • mcfadden20.

    Hue and DMac this and this , what you guys fail to mention is DMAC only plays 6 games a year, who would have carried the load? Reece?

  • mcfadden20.

    Albert Bigelow Paine Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    I can’t wait to watch Jason Campbell get trounced by the 49ers again.

    OH man,thats going to be ugly, i’ll LMAO if he some how end up with worse QB rating than last time against them

  • mcfadden20.

    I like ZBS, i don’t like knapp, i guess he was the only one there at the time DA was looking for ZBS teachers

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Knapp will take the fall. I think Tarver will stay, and they will get him some real players on defense.

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    Knapp is like this analogy…

    Inherits Tom Brady as QB, has a suspect OL, instals a scheme with a lot of QB rollouts because that’s his thing that year, what he wants.

    No matter how many times Brady looks bad rolling out, not athletic, not good throwing on the run, Knapp will continue to beat him with a wooden spoon, trying to fit Brady into what the system is.

    So, let’s trade Brady then, because he’s not a fit under my system.

    Knapp as OC leads GMs/HCs to think or feel obligated to gut the roster of the talent there is, for mediocre talent that follows the system. It’s not about great players, or talent. It’s about mediocrity that can “execute” things as designed. Because “the system” is lord, it’s not wrong, it works, it is always the players. He himself has said this often in interviews early. Belligerent and stubborn about it. No, my system is fine, it works, it’s the players.

    That’s where Reggie and DA are going to get crucified by RaiderNation. Letting this OC come here, create the impression players outright suck (not regressing), and thus cause a gutting of the roster, of the talent there is, that Al and his scouts (that Reggie all fired for his nepotistic hires) truly did well in finding. It was always up to the coaches to school them up.

    Hue/Saunders had them going in the right direction (reece, mcfadden, moore, ford, taiwan, ausberry…pryor not yet).

    The worst thing about Reggie/DA in this regard is that you give Knapp 2-3 years, ceding over offensive control to him, and he’ll regress your roster, gut your roster of talent. In 3 years he wont be here, but in 3 years you’ll have lost a lot of your talent in the process, replaced them with mediocre scrubs that fit his system. Youre left with the system in place, a whole lot of mediocre players, and now a task all over to rebuild, to find talent, and a new system.

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    Mistic, why would anyone want to talk football with you? Your football takes are almost as ridiculous as your ideas on evolution.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Albert Bigelow Paine Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    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
    ——–
    None of my business. LOL
    That sounds like someone who has no scientific research or credible sources to back up their argument.
    =========

    there is tons of credible information from many scholars on the subject feel free to seek them out.

    I have no responsibility to educate you.

    Im not interested in discussing that with you.

    Football?

  • mcfadden20.

    I like DA, all defensive minded coaches fukk up on hiring the OC’s here and there, but i like him and i think he’s got dealt a bad hand, due to the salary cap , you guys are kidding if you think results would have been better had HUE Jackson been here, You guys forget DMac was only going to stay healthy for 6 games and our RUn game struggled after him, so who would have carried the rock?

  • JONTRAIN

    HC: DA > HueJax
    OC: HUeJax >>> Krapp
    RB: TJ > Practice Squad guy
    SS: Just about anybody >>>>> MM34

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    there is tons of credible information from many scholars on the subject feel free to seek them out.
    ——-
    I haven’t found any yet.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Albert Bigelow Paine Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Mistic, why would anyone want to talk football with you? Your football takes are almost as ridiculous as your ideas on evolution.
    =====

    you are free to ignore my post

  • RaiderDebo

    J Hill Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:25 pm
    Burris and Wheeler????

    Are you confusing activity for achievment?
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Thank you. A common mistake by a lot of dudes on this board. They see a guy running around with his hair flying all over the place and conjure up dreams of Polamalu or something without a shred of that kind of production. Phillp Wheeler is an undersized try-hard guy that wouldn’t start for another team in the NFL.

  • JONTRAIN

    @ 116 Did you forget that Krapp deconstructed everything that was good about our run game froma scheme and personnel standpoint? There’s no question our record would be better with HueJax. As far as the long term…who knows

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    JONTRAIN Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    HC: DA > HueJax
    OC: HUeJax >>> Krapp
    RB: TJ > Practice Squad guy
    SS: Just about anybody >>>>> MM34

    ——-

    That’s exactly what I want to say. Very succinctly put.

  • RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit

    Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:53 am
    If any of you are on the fence about current Raider REGIME you really owe it to yourself to check out a clip from the NFL website titled Sound FX: John Harbaugh’s Ravens Flying High.

    It’s just a small clip up of Harbaugh mic’ed up, whooping it up on the side lines while out coaching the Raider’s coaching staff.

    For those of you with weak stomachs I’ll paraphrase.

    After the fake FG, Harbaugh can be heard joking with a referee “You can’t line up in a total overload from the five yard line and expect us not to do something like that. It ain’t rubbing it in your face if you are going to give it us.”

    Another coach walks over to the Harbaugh and says “You said it would be there all week.”

    After a Raider’s blown coverage, Harbaugh asks what the original call before the audible. The Coach tells him “That was the call. He(Flacco) made a dummy call to make it seem like they checked into a run so they(Raiders)came down and blew the check.”

    It is a short clip but it illustrates just who far this REGIME is over it’s head.

    Just Win Baby.

  • dr_robert

    Albert Bigelow Paine Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:19 pm
    Mistic, can you please tell us again how African giants built Stonehenge?
    **********************

    LOL! that really did make me laugh out loud.

    i challenged mistic to not talk race for one week and see if anyone else brought it up. this was in reference to his claim that he was being attacked and simply defending himself. it seems he may be taking my challenge.

    so let’s all try to see how long he can hold it in. i sense him fighting the urge with every fiber of his being. although, after years of it, it’s gonna be hard for people to not throw out some stuff at first. he has become a target. the very sight of him makes people want to start ragging on him.

    but let’s see how long he can resist if we don’t bring it up. this will be fun.

  • mcfadden20.

    JONTRAIN Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    @ 116 Did you forget that Krapp deconstructed everything that was good about our run game froma scheme and personnel standpoint? There’s no question our record would be better with HueJax. As far as the long term…who knows

    Look we weren’t going to beat any team with top qb’s cuz of our D, i can’t imagine our D stopping qb’s like Manning, Flacco, Ryan, Freeman with that garbage D

  • mcfadden20.

    DMAC Would have been healthy for only 6 games, then we would have been back with Palmer throwing to inexperienced WR, I don’t think we would beat top QBs who have better receivers to throw too and going against our D

  • RAIDERMAN99

    I challenge anyone here to list examples of what Tits has done well or to give any legit reasons why he should continue on as HC of the Raids.

    Tits is a COMPLETE FAILURE.

    From assembling a competent staff, to getting the most out of the roster, to scheming, to game day coaching, to being anything but a boring, wimpy looking, androgynous lifeless douche, to WINNING -

    He’s a COMPLETE and UTTER FAILURE.

    Again – I challenge smiling titty boy’s advocates to enumerate what he’s done well and to give any legitimate reasons why you want to see Tits continue as HC.

    C’mon TITSTERS, let’s hear it.

  • RaiderDebo

    Mistic1 Tha Supavillain Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:18 pm
    Im really looking forward ti missle mike getting the crack at the ss position.

    I never thought branch was very good and wanted to see mike lay the wood to wrs in tyhe middle and near the line. i also think mm34 is good on blitzes and he will now give me a reason to watch on sunday. There are very few players on this team that i enjoy watching. DHB DMO Dmac, reece and tp6.

    Obviously only DMo seems to be getting a steady diet of action on sundays, so mm34 playing will at least breath life into an otherwise dead and dreadfully dull season.

    Branch stinks out loud, and we havnt had a good physical saftey since eddie anderson, or perhaps our brief run with eric turner.

    I hope MM34 plays well and unseats branch all together, and we can trade branch for something
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Agree 100%. I’ve never understood the facination with Branch’s game. Was going to skip the game vs. watching Brees and company shred our D at home. But now, I’ll be interested to see how MM fares.

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    Oh and this was also spot on…

    “Mark fugged up”

  • mcfadden20.

    We were 6 outta 9 against terrible qb’s and went 2-7 against good good one’s last year , that wasn’t going to change, even if we were putting up more points on board, not with this D, that’s allowing 40+ points like a experienced Madden PLayer playing against some one who have never played game of Madden before

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    If any of you are on the fence about current Raider REGIME you really owe it to yourself to check out a clip from the NFL website titled Sound FX: John Harbaugh’s Ravens Flying High.

    It’s just a small clip up of Harbaugh mic’ed up, whooping it up on the side lines while out coaching the Raider’s coaching staff.

    For those of you with weak stomachs I’ll paraphrase.

    After the fake FG, Harbaugh can be heard joking with a referee “You can’t line up in a total overload from the five yard line and expect us not to do something like that. It ain’t rubbing it in your face if you are going to give it us.”

    Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Another coach walks over to the Harbaugh and says “You said it would be there all week.”

    After a Raider’s blown coverage, Harbaugh asks what the original call before the audible. The Coach tells him “That was the call. He(Flacco) made a dummy call to make it seem like they checked into a run so they(Raiders)came down and blew the check.”

    It is a short clip but it illustrates just who far this REGIME is over it’s head.

    —-

    Another good post, illustrating how bad things are.

  • RaiderDebo

    Mistic1 Tha Supavillain Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:18 pm
    Im really looking forward ti missle mike getting the crack at the ss position.

    I never thought branch was very good and wanted to see mike lay the wood to wrs in tyhe middle and near the line. i also think mm34 is good on blitzes and he will now give me a reason to watch on sunday. There are very few players on this team that i enjoy watching. DHB DMO Dmac, reece and tp6.

    Obviously only DMo seems to be getting a steady diet of action on sundays, so mm34 playing will at least breath life into an otherwise dead and dreadfully dull season.

    Branch stinks out loud, and we havnt had a good physical saftey since eddie anderson, or perhaps our brief run with eric turner.

    I hope MM34 plays well and unseats branch all together, and we can trade branch for something
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    I’ll give him the rest of the season, but the gloves are off in 2013.

  • mcfadden20.

    RAIDERMAN99 Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I challenge anyone here to list examples of what Tits has done well or to give any legit reasons why he should continue on as HC of the Raids.

    Tits is a COMPLETE FAILURE.

    From assembling a competent staff, to getting the most out of the roster, to scheming, to game day coaching, to being anything but a boring, wimpy looking, androgynous lifeless douche, to WINNING -

    He’s a COMPLETE and UTTER FAILURE.

    Again – I challenge smiling titty boy’s advocates to enumerate what he’s done well and to give any legitimate reasons why you want to see Tits continue as HC.

    C’mon TITSTERS, let’s hear it.

    Penalties and Run D, what else did you wanted him to do better? Pass rush doesn’t happen with DT’s turned DE’s

  • MiamiRaider78

    I had this odd theory about evolution when I was younger but I don’t think I should share it because it came under the influence of the green smoke. lol

  • dr_robert

    RaiderDebo Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:59 pm
    J Hill Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:25 pm
    Burris and Wheeler????

    Are you confusing activity for achievment?
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Thank you. A common mistake by a lot of dudes on this board. They see a guy running around with his hair flying all over the place and conjure up dreams of Polamalu or something without a shred of that kind of production. Phillp Wheeler is an undersized try-hard guy that wouldn’t start for another team in the NFL.

    *************

    ridiculous. they make plays. have u been watching? wheeler is on pace for 120 tackles. not paying attention to measurable stats allows for people to see whatever they want to see without any proof or accountability.

    wanna say palmer sucks regardless of his yardage totals? feel free. who can argue with u? wanna say mcclain is a stud, regardless of his lack of tackles? why not? no proof otherwise.

    watch the games. wheeler and burris get after it. if we had more like them, we would be good. good thing ur not involved with making any personnel decisions.

  • bgwody

    I am very concerned we have signed Demond Howard for the defensive line….he must have put on serious weight since his days as a returner.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    What ? None of the Titsters are going to attempt to defend the turd with ‘continuity’ or ‘penalties are down’ lameness ?

  • mcfadden20.

    How the heck did Harbaugh outcoach us ? we aren’t on the same level as them talent wise, he took advantage of our all time worst pass rush , nobody touched flacco all game long, keep thinking about HUE, just check the records of last year , only 2 teams we beat had good QB’s

  • MiamiRaider78

    Shalom Raiderman99!

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Hard to defend the TittyTurd isn’t it ?

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    dr_robert Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Albert Bigelow Paine Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:19 pm
    Mistic, can you please tell us again how African giants built Stonehenge?
    **********************

    LOL! that really did make me laugh out loud.

    i challenged mistic to not talk race for one week and see if anyone else brought it up.
    =============

    well you and your counterparts have already satisfied your curiosity by bringing up race

    i realize that if i answer any one of you three then there will be 5-6 other posters all accusing me of being racist.

    Clearly I am not the one race bating but you 3 are obsessed with it….as usual

    Football?

  • mcfadden20.

    we’re averaging like 2 points less than last year and you guys crying about HUE, nobody is focused on the real problem, that’s pass rush , the cap situation

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Salaam Miami. Nice to see you.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Debo,

    agreed guys making effort is always good, but that doesnt make them good players.

    Give them credit for maximizing their limited talent, and playing with heart.

    That is all though lbs must be upgraded across the board

  • mcfadden20.

    GO back to week 17 , our O is scoring points , but Rivers is back there , making a sandwich and eating it before every throw, that’s what we might have gotten with HUE again, who knows if the O would have clicked again or not , all i know is we would have lost games against good qb’s

  • RaiderDebo

    dr_robert Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 1:07 pm
    RaiderDebo Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:59 pm
    J Hill Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 12:25 pm
    Burris and Wheeler????

    Are you confusing activity for achievment?
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Thank you. A common mistake by a lot of dudes on this board. They see a guy running around with his hair flying all over the place and conjure up dreams of Polamalu or something without a shred of that kind of production. Phillp Wheeler is an undersized try-hard guy that wouldn’t start for another team in the NFL.

    *************

    ridiculous. they make plays. have u been watching? wheeler is on pace for 120 tackles. not paying attention to measurable stats allows for people to see whatever they want to see without any proof or accountability.

    wanna say palmer sucks regardless of his yardage totals? feel free. who can argue with u? wanna say mcclain is a stud, regardless of his lack of tackles? why not? no proof otherwise.

    watch the games. wheeler and burris get after it. if we had more like them, we would be good. good thing ur not involved with making any personnel decisions
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    This is the problem. 120 tackles??? Are you serious?? Please tell me why this matters at all with this defense. The definition of a meaningless stat. Phillip Wheeler is Kirk Morrison 2.0.

  • http://raiders.com Albert Bigelow Paine

    I think the Raiders will draft a QB this year. Probably not in the first round, though. Palmer will stick around for 2 more years while the young guy learns. They will experiment with Pryor until that fails and they cut him.

  • dr_robert

    he’s on the verge. won’t last long. get ready for the explosion….

  • dr_robert

    RaiderDebo Says:
    November 16th, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    This is the problem. 120 tackles??? Are you serious?? Please tell me why this matters at all with this defense. The definition of a meaningless stat. Phillip Wheeler is Kirk Morrison 2.0.

    *********************

    why do tackles matter? did u watch the bucs game? sure woulda been nice if someone was tackling the rb who was sprinting to the endzone. u see, in football, the defense needs to tackle the opposing ball carrier? lol. for crying out loud. why do tackles matter for a linebacker? did u just ask me that? what do u want a linebacker to do? NOT tackle people?

  • mcfadden20.

    I see some idiots are in here , later