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Olson says Raiders intend to roll with ‘hot hand’

By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 at 4:02 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Darren McFadden made it through practice Tuesday without aggravating his hamstring injury. That makes two straight days without any setbacks. If he holds up in a light practice Wednesday, he’s likely going to play against the Dallas Cowboys.
How much McFadden plays, that’s anyone’s guess right now. One thing is for certain, the Raiders are not about to turn their back on Rashad Jennings after how well he performed the past four games.
“If Darren’s fully healthy, both of them will play and both of them will get their opportunities,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “But you can’t deny the fact that Rashad Jennings over the last month of the season has led the entire NFL in yards from scrimmage. So, he’s earned the right and deserves the right to continue to get his carries, continue to get his touches, and we’ll still do that.”
Jennings rushed for 413 yards the past four games. He also caught 15 passes for 140 yards during that stretch. McFadden missed all but a few plays in those four games. Now he’s ready to work his way back into the mix.
Only this time, the lead job isn’t McFadden’s by default as it has been for most of his six-year career whenever he returned from an injury.
Jennings is leading the league in yards after contact and his 5.1 yards per carry is way higher than McFadden’s 3.6. It’s obvious that Allen and offensive coordinator Greg Olson love Jennings’ toughness, decisiveness and willingness to do whatever it takes to help the Raiders succeed.
Olson said that he’ll figure out a way to get McFadden involved in the game plan against the Cowboys. But, make no mistake, the Raiders are sticking with what Olson calls “the hot hand” in Jennings as their primary back until further notice, if not the rest of the season.
“We’re obviously excited about Darren being back and we’re really excited about what Rashad Jennings has done here over the last month,” Olson said. “It will be nice to have a little bit of a two-headed horse back there with those guys running the football.”

– Rookie offensive tackle Menelik Watson also did not practice today, as it turned out. Allen said Watson has an illness, so the Raiders sent him home so that he could get some rest.

– The Raiders piped in noise during the latter part of practice today as a means of simulating what it’s going to be like Thursday. The Cowboys play in one of the largest, noisiest stadiums in the league.

– The Raiders are 0-7 against NFC teams during coach Dennis Allen’s two-year tenure. This is their final shot this season at beating an NFC team.
The Raiders lost to the Falcons, Saints, Buccaneers and Panthers in their four games against NFC teams last season. This season, the Raiders lost to the Giants, Redskins and Eagles from the NFC East.

– One of the perks of being the so-called America’s Team is that the Cowboys play one of their eight home games each season on Thanksgiving.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett downplayed the advantage it gives his team. However, consider that the Raiders will be on a plane and headed for Dallas at about the time they hit the practice field for the first time during a normal week.
“It’s obviously tough,” Allen said, “because normally you don’t even hit the practice field until Wednesday, that’s your first day of practice, and even on Wednesday guys are still trying to get back, so it’s tough, but that’s what the rules of the game are and we’ve got to get ready to go.”

– Allen confirmed that tight end Mychal Rivera cleared all the league-mandates tests for players that suffer a concussion. Cornerback Mike Jenkins isn’t quite there, but he is close.
“There’s one more little step where they’ve got to visit with him, but he should be cleared for the game,” Allen said of Jenkins.
Jenkins didn’t do much of note at practice during the media access window today. He was limited, according to the Raiders official injury report.
If there’s any way Jenkins can play, you can bet that he’s going to be on the field Thursday against the team that selected him in the first round of the 2008 NFL draft and employed him the past five seasons.
Garrett had nothing but nice things to say about Jenkins, even though the Cowboys phased out Jenkins last season after they drafted Morris Claiborne in the first round.
“We like Mike Jenkins a lot,” Garrett said. “He did a lot of really good things for us as a starter for a number of years here at the outside cornerback position and did a really good job the past couple years just playing through some different injuries he had.
“He showed his toughness and what kind of guy he is and we’ve certainly seen him on tape this year, playing for the Raiders and he’s continuing to play well.”

– Allen wasn’t about to get into specifics about what Jared Veldheer’s return to the Raiders does for the rest of his offensive line.
On the surface, it appears as if Khalif Barnes is going to move from left tackle and bump Lucas Nix to the bench once Veldheer steps in at left tackle.
Barnes has played left tackle during Veldheer’s absence the first 11 games. Now it appears as if Veldheer is going to make his 2013 debut Thursday.
“I really don’t want to get into specifics of what we’re going to do game plan-wise,” Allen said, “but I expect Jared to play some at left tackle, that’s for sure.”
Plenty of players stepped forward to speak about what it means to have Veldheer back on the field.
“It will be huge,” center Stefen Wisniewski said. “He’s one of our best linemen last year and having a guy like that back just raises the overall quality of the group.”
Jennings said he and others are amped about the prospect of having their offensive line at full strength for the first time this season.
“Oh, man, it’s huge,” Jennings said. “When you get your guys back at all positions, it helps the depth, it helps the morale and it helps mesh the offense line. It’s really going to help. When we get our unit back, everybody’s happy.”

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  • 10centsworth

    History of Romo, the carpetbaggers delight. Glad to see it, actually, does them good. Then again, humility isn’t in their dictionary.

  • 10centsworth

    Royal “we”?

  • Rifflicks

    collapse

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    Never will understand Raider fans thinking being in last place is “OK” in the AFC West.
    We weren’t last year, so why is OK to be so this year?
    That makes no sense.

  • 10centsworth

    Acceptable? Maybe reasonable would work. I’m seeing a team trotting out on the field. Holes? Yes? Thrown together band aids? Yes. We started with that, this year. The injury list to key people is longer than my EX wife’s “to do” list. So? Reasonable. That suggests applying reason, but what they hell. Its a blog.

  • Rifflicks

    I would be tickled to death to be in last place every couple of years the Raiders didn’t win the Lombardi…who cares

  • The_Judge37

    Hope you don’t mind, but i’m going to use this for my thanksgiving prayer.

  • plunkhead

    Am I the only one who is actually embarrassed by the owner of the Raiders? The bowl cut is demeaning enough but he could at least dress properly, even wear a cool brim.

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    We aren’t the only team with injuries. They happen. Chargers big FA signing got hurt immediately, RB hurt, WR hurt, 2nd round pick hurt.
    Chiefs just lost two pro bowl pass rushers last week.

  • The_Judge37

    I thought there’s no way to go from last place to the Superbowl overnight?

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    Players who get to choose where they want to play, including our own players.
    You don’t think making a run the last few weeks will help Houston and Veldheer stay?
    As the saying goes, “if the money is even I am leaving.” I don’t want to HAVE TO overpay, just to have a chance at signing players.

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    So how does the anti-quick fix work that way?
    Contradiction

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    whichever works

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    Dammit, stole my thunder, lol

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I still think Al, bless his soul, raised him as if he were his own and forgave Carol her indiscretion.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    So that’s an anti-contradiction?

  • 10centsworth

    JFB, I’m a Raider and also, if I may, what you just said AND what I said are obvious. It is a blog. Have your say. Your very good input at times allows that, for sure. I’m more the esoteric, etherial, arcane type and appreciate being brought up to date. You all can ignore me. BUT…

  • jumpnjiminy

    It sounded pretty bad too the way Al treated him…I think this guy has some serious psychological problems and his appearance reflects that.

  • The_Judge37

    LOL, u spent too much time relishing in it. Got to come quick with the slap downs.

  • Rifflicks

    not when you have a solid foundation of players , which the Raiders don’t have….and the statement I made was a metaphor for not giving a damn about shallow bragging rights saying what place you finished in

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    besides the qbs, Cutler, Ryan, Vick, Rothleisberger who are the better position ufas from other teams.

  • The_Judge37

    Werd to the Gobble Bird!

  • 10centsworth

    I preach for no reason other than to piss some off on here. Actually, I try to wait my turn to spout nonsense, but you know, the urge defines. I’m becoming a junkie.

  • Rifflicks

    that explains all of the bruises on your ego

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    new post

  • plunkhead

    new post

  • The_Judge37

    His haircut is about as mavrick as Mark gets, so it’s kind all he inherited from his father.

  • jumpnjiminy

    You liked that yesterday didn’t you?
    How about humpty dumpty? He sorta resembles him, no?

  • Raiderfusion

    Charlie: great post, but way too much common sense for most of the guys on this blog. They are too young to see that the Raiders had mortgaged the future over the last 15 years. In the first few years of those 15 years we had enough talent to compensate, but as the years went on we drowned on the excessive spending for mediocre talent. Regie had to cut out all the rot so the new talent can flourish. Now we’ve got the money to stock the team properly from here going forward. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and Raiders win 28-21. It’s time for Romo and the Cowgirls to do their every year and end of year FACEPLANT!!!

  • Rico Stifler

    Al would heavily backload contracts and give out big signing bonuses. Only probably with big signing bonuses is when you cut a player then all that money that was split over the life of the deal gets lumped together in that year or the following year depending on when the player was cut. Example, Meangelo Hall. His extension was a 7 year, 70M deal with 24.5 guaranteed. After Hall was cut, the remainder of that 24.5M bonus counted against the cap for the following year.

  • Rico Stifler

    Only problem with that theory is the fact that RM is required to spend 89% of the cap space or face some pretty harsh penalties. I think he’d bring in at least two of the bigger FAs.

  • http://freezetag168.blogspot.com/ freezetag168

    If they finish 4-12 this year, should I be surprised if M Davis gives Reggie the “either YOU go or DA goes” scenario where Reggie throws DA under the bus?