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Olson has a lot on his plate, as usual

Perhaps by season’s end, Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson is going to play with a full deck. No, we’re not talking about Olson’s mental acuity, we’re talking about having access to the players he envisioned as starters before injuries mounted.
Olson still hasn’t had a game in which he has had the five offensive linemen projected as the starters. At least he’s getting close in that regard, with left tackle Jared Veldheer back at practice for the first time in more than three months and Tony Pashos slated to start at right tackle again this Sunday.
Veldheer is being realistic about things, knowing full well that it’s a long way from the training room and working off to the side with an athletic trainer to playing in an NFL game.
“It’s day-to-day,” Veldheer said of his timetable for a return to game action. “When it’s time, it’s time.”
The Raiders are two days in to a 21-day window in which they have to evaluate Veldheer. They can activate him to their 53-man roster at any time. If they opt against doing so after 21 days, their only other option is to place Veldheer on season-ending injured reserve.
Pashos said he isn’t surprised by the fact that the Raiders haven’t had a starting line for any games yet, given he has been around long enough to know that it happens.
Just the same, he said, he’s eager to see how good the Raiders can function at full strength.
“That’s the name of the game is being as healthy as you can for as long as you can,” Pashos said. “Now this tail end of the season, trying to get as many of our guys healthy will help us out in the long run. It’s good to have guys out of the training room and out on the practice field.”
Center Stefen Wisniewski said Veldheer’s impending return will have an immediate impact, based on how well Veldheer played the past three seasons.
“Jared’s a really good player, a really good pass blocker, and we’ve had some problems in pass protection this year,” Wisniewski said. “So, that’s what we need. We need some reinforcements. That will be great for us. He’ll definitely help us out a lot.”
Patching together the offensive line falls on coach Tony Sparano. Pashos said Sparano has done a remarkable job making do with so many injuries, mixing and matching and shifting around players.
Still, whatever goes on with the offense has a direct effect upon Olson’s game planning. And, just as things appear headed in the right direction in terms of the offensive line, now Olson is dealing with prepping two quarterbacks to start Sunday against the Houston Texans.
Terrelle Pryor practiced Thursday after sitting out the day before. Olson said Pryor is making progress, but it remains unclear whether his right knee will be healthy enough for Pryor to play Sunday.
To that end, Olson gave McGloin the bulk of the reps with the first-team offense Thursday because of his lack of experience — McGloin played during mop-up time against the Eagles for his only regular-season game action.
“We asked him yesterday to rest and today to show us a little bit of explosiveness and see what you can do,” Olson said of Pryor. “We never put him out there live, obviously, but we would like to see him run around and he ran around really well today.”
Without beating into the ground a well-discussed topic, Olson reiterated how he and the rest of the Raiders coaching staff were unaware of Pryor’s knee bothering him more than he let on against the Giants.
“We just have to be very careful with what he’s telling us and what we’re getting from the trainers,” Olson said, while making it clear that young players are more likely to try to downplay the severity of their injuries and play through pain.

– Olson got asked once again why fullback Marcel Reece isn’t touching the ball much in games, even though Olson, coach Allen, Pryor and others talk ad nauseum about the importance of making the most of Reece’s skillset.
Once again, Olson had a plausible reason. This time, the rationale for Reece touching the ball only three times against the Giants — all on passes — owed to Rashad Jennings’ success as the primary running back.
“I’m probably one of Marcel’s biggest fans,” Olson said. “We’re certainly always looking for ways. We had a plan last week to have him play some tailback, but we’ve felt like Rashad Jennings is running the ball very well.”
Olson said he has looked at all of Reece’s touches in recent seasons and when he excelled most. There’s a common theme, which leads Olson to believe that there’s a surefire way to get Reece more involved.
“A lot of things are to get him out in space and that’s where he was dangerous and has been dangerous and is still dangerous. To get him space, it’s obviously difficult to hand him the ball in space.
“With that being said, just more of him getting out into empty sets or one-back sets, those are things that we’ve done and Involving him more in maybe some of the heavy personnel groupings that you’ll continue to get those matchups with him.”
Reece has 28 touches in nine games, which equates to slightly more than three per game. He averaged seven touches a game last season.

– Allen said he called rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden into his office today as a means of checking into Hayden’s well being.
Hayden is out with a groin injury that he suffered in practice last week. He also is dealing with the fact he allowed three receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns the last time he played. Now comes the realization that he likely won’t play Sunday when the Raiders travel to the place Hayden played his collegiate ball.
“I wanted to check on him,” Allen said. “I wanted to make sure that he was doing OK, get his spirits up and get ready to go. … D.J.’s going to be fine.”
Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said Hayden is where he needs to be, from meetings to workouts.
“D.J. loves football,” Tarver said. “He’s been great. He’s been in every meeting paying attention, working on his body trying to get back. He’s a good young man, and we’re glad he’s here. I like how he pays attention. He doesn’t leave the side of the DBs that are in our room.”
Hayden was unavailable for comment during the media access period.

– Allen said Jennings’ role on special teams has been decreased in response to Jennings’ heightened role in the offense. That figures to remain the case this Sunday, if not for the rest of the season.

– Allen said the Raiders studied quarterback Case Keenum before the 2012 NFL draft, when every team passed on Keenum in the seven-round process even though Keenum had a record-setting career in college.
“We looked at him, and I thought he was a good player,” Allen said. “He set all kinds of records in NCAA, and I thought he was a good player and had a lot of the intangibles. He’s probably not the biggest, strongest, fastest, prototypical quarterback that you might look at, but he’s effective. He’s effective in college and he’s been effective in the NFL.”
The Texans signed Keenum, though they felt as if they were set at that position with Matt Schaub as the starter and T.J. Yates the backup. Keenum now is getting a chance to show what he can do, and he is making the most of his opportunity.
He has seven touchdowns and no interceptions in his 102 pass attempts, with a passer rating of 105.1.

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Steve Corkran

  • RTF916

    See? You’re trying to say that short throws are harder than long throws. That’s why I can’t have a conversation with you. Please run along.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    Duck: speaking of Hue Jackson (you brought him up!) what do you think our team would look like if he had accepted Al’s GM offer? I don’t think there’s any possible way he could have done a worse job than Reggie..

  • RediaR

    Don’t really have one. I liked many other first year college starters more than him last year. I’ll take a closer look when the boredom of the off season takes over.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Early maybe. Not the last 4 games.

  • RTF916

    We are running the plays that Pryor struggles with, now. That’s why I want to use higher percentage plays, with easier passes.

  • HELLSBELLS

    Needs to realize we are a power running, defensive team. Pound the ball in short yardage.

  • Rico Stifler

    Aw, too bad you couldn’t counter my last comment with anything tangible to disprove what I said….

    HA! Fvcktard…..

  • RTF916

    If I was Dennis Allen would have be giving his press conference with a shiner today.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    how many 2nd year rookie mistakes has Reggie made?

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    We’d be 1-7 or 0-8 with a bleak future. Look at the two trades Hue made as de facto GM: four draft picks for Carson Palmer and Aaron Curry.

  • RediaR

    I do. Reggie has not been bad. Hue made one of the worst trades in NFL history.

  • NewEra S&B

    Both. Your argument has diminished but you’ve seemingly made a single good point just now. Yes. I agree we should have given Jennings the ball on the goal line stand, however, That is one play which is a flaw of the coaching staff. Anyways, you need to understand that this playbook was designed to compensate for Pryor’s inability to understand a complicated offensive passing attack. So the X’s and O’s were literally dumbed down to a point of his understanding.. If he’s not succeeding in that, he won’t succeed in the orginal plan that is ten fold more complex. No one is sabotaging anyone, Pryor is not as good as you make him out to be and we have a foolish coaching staff. Double whammy.

  • RTF916

    The best way to counter idiots like you is to stand there and let you talk. That’s pretty much what I’m doing now.

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    The only bad trade Reggie made was Flynn. The others have been good-to-great.

  • HELLSBELLS

    Who?

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Go to the light.You’re trapped under the tarp.

  • RTF916

    It’s not just one play. Several short yardage situations they had Pryor in the gun and our receivers downfield. Just stupid play calling, or sabotaging Pryor. Take your pick.

  • Rico Stifler

    “Blame pryor cuz we can only run the same few plays that he can actually do.” That is stupid? Man, you are a sad little man. You know you have not once countered anything I have said….

  • _Mista_

    Tr0ll free blog…

    SeyGlenn/Silver666/Rifflick is in a straight jacket somewhere?

    #happy friday

  • RediaR

    I still agree with the trade based on the information at the time. It clearly didn’t work out, but there wasn’t anything else out there.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Self defeating comment.

  • RTF916

    Hey, you are a sad little girl! Now run along because you’ve brought nothing intelligent to this discussion.

  • RediaR

    If you’re here, the blog can’t be troll free.

  • R8erEduc8er

    Exactly! So what if they know that we’re about to run, run it anyway! It demoralizes the defense even more when they know what’s coming and still can’t stop it. Every Raider wanted to run more except our OC. Watching last week’s offense was very frustrating, sans Jennings.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Hey, this is my seat.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    Duck: as terrible as Hue Jackson was at HC and de facto GM, he still tried to win. He made a few awful decisions, but at least you knew he made the effort. Reggie gives me none of that. He’s more the move at a snails pace, sit on your hands, try to save a few bucks type. I don’t see us winning with him, but I don’t expect many arrests under his watch or penalties under DA’s

  • The_Judge37

    Many, but his mistakes increase every week D.A.Cup is still employed.

  • RTF916

    I’m giving a team that I’ve been a fan of since a kid every last chance I can, but they’re running out of chances. Reggie and Allen need to go. Mark made the wrong move confiding in Ron Wolf. He should go for a big name GM like Parcells or something, get an actual winning mentality in here, instead of a bunch of little wannabes in over their heads and trying to play stupid little games to get their players in the lineup.

  • R8erEduc8er

    Amen!

  • Rico Stifler

    You obviously don’t know football, at all…..

    With deep passes, you don’t have to be as accurate cuz typically you just have to give your WR a chance to get the ball. Whereas with short passes, they require more precision cuz of the less distance traveled as your WR can’t move to the ball like he can on a deep pass. Also, there is a lot more traffic on short passes cuz of the Ol, DL and possibly LBers and DBs as well. Whereas on deep passes it’d just likely be your WR and the player covering him unless they also have a safety playing deep zone.

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    It is hilarious watching this derelict act like he is not the troll that we all despise. I guess ignorance really is bliss!

  • RediaR

    Many was maybe excessive. Mariota, Hundley, Hogan and someone I forget and is obviously incorrect at this point.

  • HELLSBELLS

    Anyone think MJD has anything left? Hometown discount? Could revive his career back at home.

  • Rico Stifler

    Yes, four games ago he had the 25 QBR game. 3 games ago he had the 11 QBR game…..

  • RediaR

    It’s warm

  • Raideraholic

    MJD can hang out with McFadden-at home.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnnie_Lee_Higgins RaiderRockstar

    nope. LisFranc wrecked him (like McFadden & Ford) Santonio Holmes too

  • NewEra S&B

    Stupid play calling AND bad play by Pryor. Seriously, you’re either stubborn or really stupid.. When the play is right, he can’t succeed. Even if those “questionable” plays are called, they either turn into sacks, scrambles out of bounds, or picks because of Pryor’s inability to succeed as a passer.

  • RediaR

    Two words Lis Franc.

    I’d sign him for cheap to compliment a rookie and/or Murray if he has anything.

  • R8erEduc8er

    I think the best NFL QB coming into next year’s draft will be Aaron Murray. If I was GM, I’d ignore the hype of all the other mobile/athletic QBs and land Murray somewhere from mid 1st to mid 2nd round. If we have a top 10 pick, trade down and still get our (my) guy. Value.

  • RTF916

    Oldest game in the book. How do you get rid of an employee you can’t fire? You set them up to fail, let them get themselves fired by the higher ups. Allen and Olson draw up plays for Pryor directly out of the 1950 NY Titans playbook, having him scramble all over the backfield like he has a leather helmet. Anyone questions the play calling? “Hey, these are the best plays for his skill set”. Sure. Because there’s been no offense invented since the 1950s for QBs with mobility and strong arms, yet with control issues. Have to go old school. Only choice. Sure….

  • RediaR

    Couple butt fumbles and you’ll remember it.

  • _Mista_

    Fk him.

  • RediaR

    My typos are fierce this morning.

  • HELLSBELLS

    Hogan please. The other two are legit arguments but play in the PAC 12 which lacks a lot of defense.

  • Rico Stifler

    The plays we run now fit his skill set. However, Pryor tries to turn every play into a QB run. Pryor doesn’t have the precision or the timing to be able to throw the high percentage passes cuz he is a terrible passer. I guess maybe you look away every time pryor throws the ball into the dirt or at his Wr’s feet…. Ofr when he throws passes behind his WR and the ball deflects off his shoulder and gets picked off…. You must close your eyes real tight whenever that happens….

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Heat of battle.

  • RediaR

    I see a lot of plays where he runs around with his leather helmet in spite of play calling that would have him get rid of the ball quickly.

  • NewEra S&B

    You must believe the Apollo landing was fake too..

  • R8erEduc8er

    The difference is brains vs balls to me. Hue shouldn’t be shopping for goods imo. He should coach and let a GM do the shopping. Hue is ballsy and that’s good as a coach but I think he’d get burned repeatedly as a GM.