Houshmandzadeh signing a high-risk, high-reward move


Houshmandzadeh signing a high-risk, high-reward move

HueJackson likes to play fast and loose.Since the death of Al Davis, the Raidersrookie head coach has swung a pair of eyebrow-raising trades, landing linebackerAaron Curry in a low-risk, high-reward deal and quarterback Carson Palmer in afranchise-altering swap that, if it works out to the Raiders advantage, will actually cost Oakland a pair of first-round draft picks.Tuesday's signing of free-agent receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, however, might bethe epitome of a high-risk, high-reward situation. And not becauseHoushmandzadeh is a diva, or a headcase wideout in the mold of Terrell Owens,Randy Moss or Chad Ochocinco. Because he's not. And not because Houshmandzadehinking a contract threatens the potential bounty of compensation picks theRaiders might receive in next year's draft. Even though it does.

Mostly, though, because his presence, and the manner in which Jackson pursuedHoushmandzadeh, could threaten the fragile balance and growing chemistrybetween the Raiders young receiving corps andtheir new quarterback. Especially if, as some have suggested, Palmer himselflobbied for a familiar target.The likes of Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy, Denarius Moore,Chaz Schilens and Derek Hagan could actually take the addition of a guy who hasnot played a down of football since January as a slight to their position groupand the work they have put in all offseason.When in fact, Murphy, Schilens or Hagan could actually face the chopping block,unless Jacksondecides to keep seven receivers.Truth is, Houshmandzadeh's resume is one the current group of pass catcherscould only dream of emulating.From 2004 through 2008, and with Palmer throwing him the ball, Houshmandzadehaveraged 89 catches, 1,012 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, including hismonster 2007 season, in which he caught an NFL-high 112 passes for 1,143 yardsand 12 TDs.Of course, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Houshmandzadeh has a history with Jackson, too, as he was his position coach in Cincinnati from 2004through 2006. In those three seasons, Houshmandzadeh caught a combined 241passes for 3,015 yards and 20 TDs.
Reached by text message early Tuesday evening, Houshmandzadeh said he was still at the Raiders' Alameda headquarters.
"In meetings tryn 2 learn offense," Houshmandzadeh texted.
Obviously, Jackson liked what he saw inTuesday's workout and feels he can bring some of that production out of the34-year-old Houshmandzadeh, who caught only 30 balls for Baltimorelast season, is still haunted by a costly drop in a playoff loss to Pittsburgh and toldScout.com he has already had four hernia surgeries.But at what cost?Financially, he's getting a prorated part of the 10-year veteran's minimum of 910,000,which should be about 482,000 for the final nine games. Not that bad a deal,really, if Houshmandzadeh, who will wear No. 84, provides Palmer with thatsecurity blanket-type comfort he could use and the offense benefits as aresult.Logistically, though, it could be counter-productive to the development of theyoung guys. And really, isn't the role of solid, possession receiver supposedto be filled by Schilens andor Hagan?Big risk, big reward. That's just the way Jacksonrolls these days.

Broncos RB Anderson undergoing knee surgery


Broncos RB Anderson undergoing knee surgery

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Broncos running back C.J. Anderson will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Thursday and that the extent of the damage will determine how long he's out.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team hasn't addressed specifics of Anderson's knee injury while awaiting medical reports.

Earlier Thursday, Anderson disputed a report that he had told people close to him that he was done for the season.

Anderson was injured on an 11-yard run Monday night against Houston but returned to the game and ran 14 more times for 84 yards and a TD, finishing with 107 yards in his best performance of the season.

Injury report: Taiwan Jones returns to Raiders practice

Injury report: Taiwan Jones returns to Raiders practice

SARASOTA, Fla. – Raiders special teams standout Taiwan Jones watched Wednesday’s practice from the bleachers. On Thursday, he got back on the field.

Jones was limited in a practice conducted at the IMG Academy, a sign that he’s close to full health after missing a game with a knee injury.

The Raiders were without their best cover men in Jacksonville, with Jones and Brynden Trawick sidelined with injury. It’s possible that both are back to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Trawick has been limited in practice this week. So were rehabbing offensive linemen Menelik Watson (calf) and Vadal Alexander (ankle). The Raiders hope to have one or both of them available in Tampa Bay. Austin Howard has started the last two games at right tackle.

The Raiders brought Mario Edwards Jr. out to Florida, though he hasn’t been formally cleared to practice.

Tampa Bay is still working without running back Doug Martin, who has been sidelined with a hamstring strain.

Raiders participation report
Did not practice:
DT Stacy McGee (knee)
Limited participation: RB Taiwan Jones (knee), Vadal Alexander (ankle), S Brynden Trawick (shoulder) OT Menelik Watson (calf), WR Andre Holmes (hip)

Buccaneers participation report
Did not practice:
RB Doug Martin (hamstring)
Limited participation: DE Robert Ayers (ankle), C Joe Hawley (ankle), DT Clinton McDonald (hamstring), DL Gerald McCoy (calf)