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Olson says Raiders intend to roll with ‘hot hand’

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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Steve Corkran

  • marks hair

    smh… you don’t have to constantly prove your a troll buddy… I know.. we ALL known.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Man what is with you and Charlie. He kept Madden for 10 years and there was at least one year where he did not make the playoffs. He kept Flores despite some bad years. He fired Shannahan before he really even got started because he wanted to install discipline. Had nothing to do with wins and losses.

    It was later in life where he really got impatient like that.

  • Rifflicks

    thank you for proving my point…..I pity you

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Rod Streator as well. Maybe even Jennings if he keeps this up.

  • 0ak R8rs

    Yea. W all the turnover and FA, maybe I’ll stick to HOF or at least retired Raider jerseys for a while. Till we get one that really sticks. Maybe Houston of he resigns. Otherwise, it’s gonna be Bo and Brown and Stabler and Branch type of stuff for a while I think.

  • Charlie

    Autumn Wind
    Thank you.
    Too many on the blog simply do not know the Raiders. They read an article and watch a you tube interview and presto- a Raider expert.
    Then to make matters worse they site a stat like sacks allowed and think THAT alone defines an offensive line’s effectiveness.
    Sad.
    Like you I have followed the Raiders through the good and the bad. Personally I have followed them since 63′.
    I tire of the few on the blog that want to throw the new regime under the bus for not building a super bowl winner in two seasons.
    Foolishness.

  • wildsach

    can only run scared so long, without eventually getting caught.

  • 0ak R8rs

    Yea. I wouldn’t give my McClown jersey to charity. Maybe the rest. I threw the McClown jersey away. Nobody should have to wear that.

  • Theghostronin79

    That probably won’t ever change…..Christenings and Head Rollings change on a weekly basis.

  • 0ak R8rs

    Yea. But this is his last year to do that IMO. I expect .500 or above next year. The time for experimentation will be over. I’d love to see him work it out. But he needs to hurry the hell up. The last month he was pretty bad, getting worse every game. And that Giant game was the worst. I was there. It was embarrassing. Running around like an idiot the whole game. Can’t happen.

  • wildsach

    seriously Dude, running QB’s just don’t last, an accepted fact. Look around.

  • 0ak R8rs

    I definitely agree w that statement. I wasn’t happy w either pick from that perspective. But Hayden isn’t really a project, more of a health risk that doesn’t seem to be a risk anymore. And Watson seems to be picking up the NFL just as quickly as he picked up college. Just can’t stay on the field. Reggie can’t predict that. Ironically of it was the other way around w those two, I’d be all over Reggie. But CBs take time to develop in the NFL, and Watson seems like he will be a good one. So while Reggie rolled the dice a little, and I again agree he shouldn’t have, they may have both worked out.

  • wildsach

    Pryor has worth, but not as a QB. The sooner he realizes it, the better.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    The problem I see is they have no perspective on exactly what RM is dealing with. The SI article that Mark Davis hated so much is illustrative. I believe it said they were still using film (analog) and the practice fields were in disrepair. It reminds me of the movie Trouble with the Curve. In that case the old timer did know something but he really would have benefited from getting his eyes fixed and using a computer!

    The cap situation RM inherited is possibly unprecedented. To have over 50 million in dead money has got to be some kind of record and that is after having a lot of dead money the year before.

    Look I do not agree with everything Reggie does but I totally respect and perceive what he is dealing with. If someone wants to use the Colts or an expansion team as an example and say I am just making up excuses then so be it.

  • 0ak R8rs

    Hayden did fine for a rookie corner w no OTAs and no TC. Disappointing that he’s IR’d. Seems like a common theme in the NFL today tho. Just gotta roll with it and hope for better next year.

  • SaintKaufman

    Makes me wonder just how effective Barnes will be pulling to his right or even identifying which LB/SS to get after in the run game. Wiz is gonna need to hold his hand thru this first game.

  • GotNext

    I’ve been outed! (Eye roll) Yes, I’m skeptical about McGloin. You should be too.

  • RaiderGuy50

    Agree- that was a great article. It also made me wonder about the rash of mid foot sprains- lis franc problems- potentially due to the crappy field. It also brought to light the whole AD over head projector- way behind the times !.
    Most experts that voice their opinion give the same assessment of RM- strapped with no talent and horrible money situation. It sounds trite but accurate- Rome was not built in a day- I like what RM did on defense so now let’s see what he can do on offense for next year.

  • marks hair

    look…. if we can find 2 cheap free agent right tackles that are better than Watson.. then we should not have drafted Watson….
    wilson…psssshh
    hayden was a risk too..
    nobody is saying everything reg does is wrong, but if this is how he is turning it around it will take forever.. we need more hits in the draft. and the bigger fa money needs to go to stud talent.. not brisel, Seymour, branch, or.flynn types..

  • SnBG

    The only thing I can say about you Charlie is that you steal my thunder. I don’t have to post a thing with you around. If I was a QB I’d want you as my LT. I can just sit here and read the blog and you will knock all of the nay sayers down to the ground.

  • Davy Jones

    Agreed. Hoping for a sold B grade, but hard to imagine an A grade to a story that sucks this much so far.

  • SnBG

    Really? What makes you think they would be better than Watson. The chances of getting a cheap FA tackle that will be our future is not likely. We are building for the future. Injuries will happen to the best of them. In the long run we will be a solid team that wins.

  • marks hair

    it will help just to get him away from tackle.. he costs games..

  • marks hair

    pashos & mccants..

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Those kind of situations make the game interesting to me. My son played guard so it is fun to try to see what is going on. I am sure Soprano would not try this if he thought Barnes was not up for it.

    I am also very interested to see how McGloin handles a cover 2 and what things Kiffin has found and will try to exploit with McGloin. This will be a very interesting test.

    Also the Giants were running well on the Cowboys. I wonder with Veldy back if the Raiders literally pound them into the stone age.

    I do not think the 10 point underdog tag is fair in this case but we will see.

  • SnBG

    The question that should be the driving force when evaluating draft picks and how they pan out is…….how long does it take a draft pick to get good enough for you to say they are a good pick. 2-3 YRS. It takes time. It’s always fun to speculate about picks but I laugh when people say a guy is a bust in his first yr. Talk to me about Reggies picks in 2 yrs.

  • marks hair

    but they will pass pass pass on us…

  • marks hair

    I just hope McNugget keeps beating the odds.. he could save this wreck..

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Yea I am not looking forward to that after what I saw the last couple of weeks.

  • SnBG

    We are building for the future. These 2 will not be as good as Watson. They are the immediate fix and really are backups. Pashos has missed 4 games so far due to injuries. He is 33 and not our future

  • marks hair

    if Watson can’t beat out two very late cheap free agent editions.. he was picked too early.. and I see no signs of him being the future so far..

  • 1960AutumnWind

    It appears that Reggie has taken on a very strong BPA approach. We had signed Jenkins and Porter and Adams was ok last year so I thought we were set but RM had Hayden at the top of his board probably right after the LTs and he chose him even though there were DTs that dropped all the way to 12 spot that many thought would be gone. DT was a strong position of need.

    In the 2nd there were some pass rushing DE’s available some that had dropped so I thought he would go that way because this was a big need area but he went tackle even though we had Velhdeer and there were still good FA RTs available at that point.

    In the 3rd he went LB when we had just spent most our FA money on LBs. There were a couple of nice TEs on the board and DEs were dropping as well.

    In the 4th he went QB even though we had Palmer and Pyror at the time. There were a couple of DEs that had fallen and I thought that was a natural place to pick one up.

    All this shows me he tilts hard towards BPA especially in the early rounds.

  • SaintKaufman

    We need Romo to go full Romo for us to have a chance tomorrow. I’ve been watching them all year and they certainly know how to blow their feet off from time to time. Such a talented offense that at times can’t perform a basic play.

  • SaintKaufman

    Come on Mark, the dude has hardly played or practiced this year. He will be out RT next year.

  • marks hair

    riight.. im sure he’ll toughen up..

  • SaintKaufman

    Toughen up? You think he’s Euro soft? You think he was just hurt and not injured?

  • marks hair

    soft/fragile.. yeah..

  • SaintKaufman

    You may very well have hit on it. Interesting.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Raiders need to score 30 points against Dallas to win, Thatwould be a first, 28 is our high.

  • SaintKaufman

    So I guess Wiz and Veldheer are fragile as well. Time to blow the whole thing up, huh?

  • marks hair

    picking the BPA is great, if your board is good… of course if you have Wilson ranked as a 4th or better, and McNugget as a fa.. then not so much..

  • marks hair

    those two are good enough to start when they are healthy though aren’t they?

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I’d like to see that all from the O as well. A turnover or two is fine, but the O scoring the TD instead of the D.
    Obviously I’d welcome the D TD’s but you know what I mean.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Obviously McGloin was on no ones board. I also heard that he tried out for two teams before signing with Raiders. That is two teams would not even sign him up as a camp arm. One reason for this is there is predidice against shorter QBs. While there is something extra they need to overcome it is not debilitating as Drew Brees, Wilson in Seattle and others have shown.

  • SaintKaufman

    Geez, I would hope so, givin all of their experience.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    I wonder how Reggie’s big board involves positions being weighted one w above another.

  • marks hair

    rookie starters.. that’s my point. hewas a high pick. thats not where you draft a project.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    McGloin & the Raiders offense scored 4 tds for 28 points ten days ago against Houston.

  • SaintKaufman

    You’re convinced that even if he hadn’t got hurt, had a full camp and played all preseason that he still wouldn’t be playing??

  • RaidingTexas

    Could have had 25 points on Sunday if not for the missed FGs.