Camp Report (89): Raiders want to hit others

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Camp Report (89): Raiders want to hit others

Aug. 9, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comPractice No. 11Summary: It's obvious the Raiders are weary of hitting each other and gearing up for, well, fresh meat in the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday in each teams' exhibition opener. And as an added bonus, Oakland put out its first "unofficial" depth chart of the season. No real surprises on the defensive side of the ball, other than perhaps Quentin Groves over Travis Goethel at weak-side linebacker. Offensively, though, Darrius Heyward-Bey, who just started practicing in team drills Monday, and Jacoby Ford, who is out with a broken left hand, were the top two receivers, over a healthy Chaz Schilens. Not much in terms of hits, though Kevin Brock extending for Trent Edwards' bullet of a pass in the back of the end zone to beat Michael Huff was a highlight.Injury report: Receiverpunt returner Nick Miller, who was rocking a "Los Angeles" Raiders cap, joined the list of walking wounded on Tuesday as 16 players sat out practice with various "nicks," including receivers Jacoby Ford (broken left hand), Louis Murphy and Eddie McGee, fullback James McCluskey, tailbacks Taiwan Jones(hamstring) and Darren McFadden(fractured eye socket), offensive linemen Cody Habben, Bruce Campbell(knee), Lou Eliades and Alan Pelc, linebacker Bruce Davis, defensive backs Chimdi Chekwa (shoulder), Mike Mitchell and Joe Porter and defensive lineman Trevor Scott (knee).Offensive play of the day: Now he's down to just one highlight play per day. At least he's spreading them out, though, right? Rookie receiver Denarius Moore, running a fade to the left corner of the end zone from 10 yards out, pulled in an over-the-shoulder lob from Jason Campbell, beating undrafted rookie cornerback Sterling Moore for the touchdown. Some might call that Moore-on-Moore crime.Defensive play of the day: The short-yardage defense was on the field in a short-yardage situation. So when massive defensive tackle John Henderson stuffed Louis Rankin for no gain, he got loud. Real loud. "What you say, two?" Henderson yelled, obviously to the No. 2 offense. "What you say?" And for good measure, Henderson flexed.Personnel report: When the Raiders went into an obvious run defense, they loaded up the line of scrimmage with a heavier hitter, so to speak. Strong safety Tyvon Branch moved to cornerback, replacing Chris Johnson, and Stevie Brown came in for Branch at strong safety. So for those keeping score, the corners were Branch and Stanford Routt and the safeties were Brown and Michael Huff.Coaching moment: With the defensive backs working on a spinning, twisting and turning drill that ended with a ball flying at their facemasks, in hopes of them catching said ball, second-year cornerback Walter McFadden got discombobulated. "I got dizzy; I gotta do it again," he said. "Yes," answered safeties coach Kevin Ross, "yes you do."Notable: The Raiders placed undrafted rookie free agent receiver Derrick Jones on the waivedinjured list Tuesday. The California (PA) product blew out an Achilles' tendon last week and is one of 10 such injuries plaguing NFL camps this summer. Also, the Raiders officially put guard Justin Smiley on the ReserveRetired list.Quotable: "If I tell you, I got to kill you." - Raiders defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan, when asked why he was simply referred to as a "defensive coach" and not the "defensive coordinator" when he was first hired this time around by Oakland. He was joking. We think.Next practice: Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.

Inactives: Raiders LG Kelechi Osemele a late scratch due to illness

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Inactives: Raiders LG Kelechi Osemele a late scratch due to illness

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Raiders left guard Kelechi Osemele was questionable to play Thursday night’s game at Kansas City with a knee sprain.

His knee is doing just fine, thank you.

Even still, Osemele wasn’t ready to play. He was a late scratch due to an illness, which sapped him to the point he couldn’t go.

Osemele was listed about the Raiders inactives, announced shortly before kickoff.

That creates a huge void in the offensive line – the Raiders run best between Osemele and left tackle Donald Penn – that will be filled by rookie Vadal Alexander.

Alexander is an aggressive player and a good run blocker, but he isn’t on Osemele’s level. Not having the high-priced player could hinder the Raiders offensive line, which must remain strong for the attack to operate well. The Raiders have allowed a league-low 13 sacks this season. 

Defensive tackle Darius Latham was questionable with an ankle injury, but wasn’t quite ready to play this game. This marks his second contest missed with injury.

Strong safety Karl Joseph was ruled out earlier in the week with a toe injury. Cornerback Antonio Hamilton, Shilique Calhoun, Connor Cook and Stacy McGee are also inactive.

Raiders 'don't mind tough things,' ready for adverse conditions vs Chiefs

Raiders 'don't mind tough things,' ready for adverse conditions vs Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Arrowhead Stadium has literally become a frozen tundra. Heaters under the playing surface malfunctioned on Wednesday night, allowing a layer of ice to form under the tarp in below freezing temperatures.

That information comes courtesy of an NFL Network reporter on site Thursday morning in advance of an evening showdown between the rival Raiders and Chiefs.

The field is expected to thaw by kickoff, but any remaining ice patch would add to the adversity facing the Silver and Black in a pivotal AFC West showdown.

They are the only NFL team to travel more than one time zone to play on “Thursday Night Football,” adding another wrinkle to a game that deserves to be played on regular rest. Instead teams will square off in a made-for-TV event without much time to prepare

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio could’ve griped about an adverse lot, but he refused to line up reasons why his team might not play well.

“We’re going to be excited to play,” Del Rio said. “It’s a tough set of circumstances. We don’t mind tough things. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Beating the Chiefs is a daunting task. The Raiders weren’t up to it earlier this year, when Kansas City came to Oakland and made it their home. The Raiders must even the score or find themselves in a bind. Kansas City would own the divisional tiebreaker with three games remaining, and would be in great position to win the AFC West.

The Chiefs have been Raiders kryptonite in recent seasons. They have won six of seven matchups, a trend the Raiders hope to buck on Thursday night.

“Everyone mentions, ‘They’ve beaten you this many times,’ and these things and all of that,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “When I’m preparing for these guys, it never goes through my head. That stuff never has a determining factor on anything I write down, anything that goes on in my brain or anything like that. I just prepare for them just like I do any other game. I prepare for them the same way that I do for everybody. I’m going to go out there, and I’m looking forward to competing against them though this time.”

Carr won’t compete from under center. The Raiders will stay in shotgun and pistol formations for a second straight week to protect a right pinky finger dislocated in two places against the Carolina Panthers. That shouldn’t limit them much, though it makes life harder on the run game.

The Raiders performed pretty well on the ground against Buffalo, totaling 139 yards on 32 carries. Latavius Murray led that effort, with 82 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.

Murray missed the last game against Kansas City with turf toe, but will be ready to take a heavy load this time around. He has been taking more carries over the last month, with a previously equal running back rotation now shading his way. Murray should be a play a big role in this contest, which should come down to the fourth quarter.

“The Chiefs are a rival that we’ve struggled with,” Murray said. “We know what’s at stake for this season. They stand in the way of our goal of winning the division. We need to take care of them.”

The Raiders must take care of Kansas City on a short week, in loud, hostile environment. Oh, and in the bitter cold. It’s expected to be 20 degrees at kickoff, with wind coursing through Arrowhead Stadium.

The Raiders don’t mind that either. They’re 6-0 in games away from Oakland Coliseum, and are confident they can overcome adversity this particular game presents.

“You just have to get your mind right and go play,” Del Rio said. “We’ll be ready to go. We have a good group of guys. Feel like we’re weather proof. We’ll go play.”