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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

  • Rico Stifler

    No, you are shutting up cuz I made you look like the dumb fvck you are….

  • RTF916

    Then explain the shotgun and long routes in short yardage situations.

  • RediaR

    Hogan looked good last year and that is what I was talking about.

    Really not buying the SEC super defenses other than a couple at this point. Even those have gone downhill. It’s a lot more even than it was 7 years ago.

  • NewEra S&B

    Evans 1st, Murray 2nd.. I wouldn’t mind that. Could turn out to be a deadly tandem.

  • RediaR

    I’ve never defended that individual play call.

  • Rico Stifler

    Actually, you have never once countered anything I have said… You just keep saying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. You obviously have not seen a single game this year or you wouldn’t be saying the stupid sh it you’ve been spouting off…..

    FVCKTARD… HA!

  • RTF916

    Happened several times ,not only last week, but in every game we’ve lost.

  • HGDaddy

    Victor Cotto ‏@cottovic

    #Raiders v #Texans ref will be Ron Winter: Oakland is 4-6 since 2000 when he’s the ref: averaging 20.3 pts per & 7.8 penalties in those games.

  • NewEra S&B

    No one will lose sleep if you jump ship…. Good riddens.

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

    Please lets not be ignorant here peoples jobs are on the line. This is not the old Al Davis days where if Al didn’t like you he could sit you. He was owner and GM nobody was going to fire him so he could get away with those kinds of things.

    To say or even assume that DA or RM is sabotaging a players career is just stupid talk there is no way RM would risk his career to ruin a players career.

    The fact that Pryor could not use our base offense is due to his own liabilities not the coach or organization. There is an offense that we would like to run if we had an NFL caliber QB and then there is the offense we are currently running because of Pryor’s limitations.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Very good point NewEra. After the first couple of games I had high hopes for Pryor, but you can see that 1) he is “happy in the pocket” and 2) he does not go through is progressions. Instead of asking Olsen why Reese is not targeted more maybe someone should ask Pryor how often Reese is supposed to be an option and why he never looks that way!

  • RediaR

    So has Pryor not getting the ball out quickly to existing open receivers.

  • loyal

    Looking back at Hue…..8-8 is better than 4-12 and this yr.

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

    worthless. who keeps track of this crap? seriously!

  • Rico Stifler

    The shotgun makes it easier for the QB to see the field of play. However, pryor isn’t a QB…..

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

    its called limited playbook your boy can only utilize 1/2 the field and probably has a total of 25 plays he can run ….this equates to “not very many options when it comes to play calling”

  • RTF916

    I don’t blame him for being confused considering how often he’s sent running because he’s waiting for receivers to get open downfield, on plays where we need just 4 yards or less.

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

    Numbers don’t lie

  • Rico Stifler

    Know what else happens on 90% of the plays in every game? Pryor running to the right….

  • NewEra S&B

    Wins are wins I agree.

  • RediaR

    Looking back at Hue. Worst division in football instead of best. Al Davis selling this year for those years. And… why bother with this nonsense anymore. Hue is gone and isn’t doing anything special.

  • RTF916

    It’s not the number of plays, it’s the probabilities for success for these plays. Short yardage passes have a higher percentage of success than long passes. Receivers running short routes have a higher percentage of success than receivers running long routes, which is typically a gamble at this level.

  • RediaR

    Clearly reading comprehension isn’t your thing.

  • RTF916

    Not necessary in short yardage situations.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Man Rockstar the old “its the coordinator’s fault” had a lot of merit last year but it looks a lot more like execution problems this year. I mean Barnes is probably the worst pass blocking LT in the NFL right now and we have had a guy we picked up off waivers ad the RT and we have an UDFA as our left guard. On top of this we are using 6ht rounders and guys off waivers for TE and have no true #1 WR. To top all this off your QB is young and regressing. You can only draw up so many plays for that hot mess.

  • NewEra S&B

    Give it a few more drafts and FA pools, and we’ll be relevant again. Believe.

  • Rico Stifler

    The tools like RTF916 who cry foul cuz their boyfriends aren’t the studs like they were in HS anymore..

  • RTF916

    What did I miss?

  • RTF916

    That’s because he’s looking for receivers downfield, when there should be more underneath.

  • http://Raiders.com/ Dan78

    Raiders 24 Texans 23….. Raiders squeak out a win…. McGloin to Holmes for the win….

  • RTF916

    You know how easy it would be for a movie studio to stage something like that? Just saying.

  • HELLSBELLS

    Off topic but the Chiefs are going to get pasted this weekend.

  • The_Judge37

    To be fair, The Raiders have so far lost to 3 out 4 teams in this years worst division in Football, the NFC LEast

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

    We all miss winning.

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    You’re a big X-Files fan, aren’t you?

  • NewEra S&B

    I knew it.

  • Rico Stifler

    A team isn’t bound to specific formations in certain situations… they run whatever they think will work. Lining up in shotgun gives pryor space to work with.

    Noyt defending the shotgun play, Just saying that it was their right to call it if they want to. So you might as well STFU about it now cuz it ain’t gonna change anything. Also, it had nothing to do with sabotaging pryor. he does that enough all by himself….

  • Rico Stifler

    Everything….

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Okay, I got it. I’m mixingupPasser Rating with QBR.

  • RTF916

    Never watched it. I’m an HBO guy. Sopranos, Entourage and Eastbound and Down are the only shows I’ve been addicted to in the past decade. Probably past 2 decades.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    I do believe, we have seen progress and results on defense since week 13 last year. The ship is turning but we need a draft to shore up the interior of the Oline and hopefully get a TE and WR in FA. Not sure what to say about QB at this point. Still holding out hope for Pryor but does not look good lately.

  • RediaR

    Yup

  • Rico Stifler

    I did too at first…. lol

  • NewEra S&B

    Rico just give it up.. Never argue with a conspiracy theorist, their persistence is limitless.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Rico, I was mixing up passer rating and QBR.

  • RTF916

    They had blue screen technology then. All kinds of spaceships used in movies. You paint “U.S.A” on the side of one, you’ve got the Apollo landing my friend.

  • Rico Stifler

    Pryor has to run to the right in order to see his WRs?? That makes no sense…

    Also, whenever pryor scrambles, he forces his WR to cut off their routes and come back to him.

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    It’s because conspiracy theories can never be disproven. Anyone who says the theory in question is wrong is either an idiot, a Kool-Aid drinker, or in on it themselves.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    That number is misleading but not a lie. We know that AD built the 2010-11 teams to win now. He traded for veterans and used back-loaded contracts to make the cap work. The first step RM had to do is clean up the books and preserve draft picks so we could have cap room and draft picks to do things in the future. RM has not been perfect (aka Flynn vs. Palmer) but he has made some good moves especially on the defensive side of the ball.

  • RTF916

    Exactly. Olson thinks a shotgun in short yardage situations, even on the goal line, with receivers running long routes, will “work”. That’s what I’m complaining about. Either he’s the worst offensive coordinator in the history of the league, or he’s sabotaging Pryor. Allen’s comments in his press conference yesterday were very bothersome. They should be using a more high percentage playbook for Pryor.