Lack of reps no surprise to DHB

November 10, 2011, 3:12 am
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SAN DIEGO -- So, was Darrius Heyward-Bey surprised at his relative lack of playing time against Denver on Sunday?"No," he said Wednesday afternoon in his first public comments since the game. "That's the way the gameplan went. I wish we would have won; that's the most important thing. But other than that, no."And there you have it, Heyward-Bey echoing coach Hue Jackson's reasoning of earlier in the week that the receiver was simply not in certain personnel packages as the game unfolded. Except, it is curious how rarely he was targeted by quarterback Carson Palmer, who was making his first career start with the Raiders.
Heyward-Bey was targeted exactly once, and did not come down with the catch in being shut out. This after being targeted 11, nine and 12 times in the Raiders' previous three games, and emerging with five, six and seven receptions, respectively.Obviously, he hopes to be utilized more against San Diego Thursday night."Hopefully, you know, each and every week I prepare to play and play good and make plays," he said. "So I do the same thing each and every week, go out there and prepare the best way I can."The Raiders' purported biggest weakness in its receiving corps is also its greatest strength -- that there is no true No. 1 receiver and thus, no diva in the group. Still, Heyward-Bey had ben playing as a No. 1 receiver in his third season after two underwhelming campaigns.With 27 catches for 434 yards, he has already set a single-season high marks for himself.Last weekend, though, Denarius Moore was targeted 12 times, finishing with four catches for 61 yards, and Jacoby Ford had five catches for 105 yards. Chaz Schilens, Louis Murphy and the recently-signed T.J. Houshmandzadeh round out the Raiders receivers."In our room, we love the fact that we're all good, we feel like we're all starters in this league and we can make plays," Heyward-Bey said. "That's the good thing about our group -- we want everybody to succeed and we know everybody brings something to the table."