Raiders Notebook: McClain sheds his walking boot

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Raiders Notebook: McClain sheds his walking boot

Dec. 9, 2010 RAIDERS NEWS RAIDERS VIDEO Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.com ALAMEDA - Rookie middle linebacker Rolando McClain sat out his second consecutive day of practice Thursday with a sore left foot, though the foot was out of the walking boot he wore the day before. "I'm good," McClain said, offering no other comment.
Still, McClain also had his left wrist heavily taped. GUTIERREZ: Raiders' east-coast void "We feel fine about it," said coach Tom Cable on the chances McClain will play Sunday at Jacksonville. "Just trying to be smart, take care of the athlete." Asked if McClain's foot was suffering from an injury that would get better with rest, Cable nodded. "It is improving," he said. "It's just a matter of resting it and not keeping it as a negative injury very long." At San Diego, McClain, the No. 8 overall draft pick out of Alabama, had a statement game with a team-high seven tackles, including a knockout blow of Chargers running back Darren Sproles. REWIND: Raiders run over Chargers The Raiders are referring to McClain's foot issue as tendinitis, after first calling it arthritis. The Raiders' secondary seems to be getting healthier as well, as cornerback Chris Johnson (groin) practiced for the second straight day. "I'm working through it," Johnson said. "I should be able to go, though, I've done everything (rehab-wise), so I don't see why not." Johnson was injured in the game at Pittsburgh on Nov. 21. If he's able to play, he should be part of the Raiders' nickel packages. "We're working on that now," Cable said. "He seems to be fine and, as long as we get through tomorrow, I think we can get back to where we were." Rookie offensive guard Bruce Campbell was inactive last week for the first time this season. "Only because of numbers, you know, just in terms of guys coming back healthy and all that," Cable said.
Then how is Campbell's progress going?
"Well," Cable said. "He needs a terrific offseason, but I think he's going to be a dynamite player in the NFL. I really like him, and the more I'm around him, and the more I get to work with him, he can learn, he gets it, and once he has it, it's in there and it's locked down, and I like it. "His future is very bright." Cable said Campbell, a left tackle in college at Maryland who blew scouts away with his measurables at the Combine, would stay on the interior at guard for the near future. "I mean, we know he can play tackle, but when you watch that kid run and how powerful he is inside, sometimes anchoring down, he would give you some real stability inside there," Cable said. "So, we'll see what the future holds, but I like where he's going." Cable was the Raiders' offensive line coach when Robert Gallery was flipped from a failed left tackle to a standout left guard. The thinking? "I always kind of look at it like, if you have a small parking place and you're going to try and put a big Cadillac in it and sometimes it doesn't quite fit, you know?" Cable said. "And when guys don't quite fit in there, for whatever reason, they're not comfortable in space outside or they don't handle the length of it, meaning they're long but they don't play long, there's no business putting them out there because they're going to get tore up. "So when you get big powerful guys like that at guard, I think it really stabilizes your line. You talk about knocking guys off the ball and keeping the pocket in front of your quarterback, it allows you to do that. I'm not saying he can't go out and play tackle; I think there's a chance (Campbell) could. But I think his transition from college to NFL, this was definitely the right thing to do because his progress every week, you kind of walk off the field on Friday saying, 'That guy's getting a little bit better each week.'" The Raiders injury report: Limited practice: WR Nick Miller (ankle), WR Chaz Schilens (knee), TE Zach Miller (leg), DT John Henderson (foot), CB Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle), SS Tyvon Branch (shoulder), CB Chris Johnson (groin). Did not practice: MLB Rolando McClain (foot), DE Jarvis Moss (hand), S Hiram Eugene (ribs). The recently-acquired Moss has fractured his right hand, though Cable thought he could play Sunday.

Notes: In-game adjustments help Raiders slow Bills run game late

Notes: In-game adjustments help Raiders slow Bills run game late

OAKLAND – It’s impossible to say the Raiders stopped LeSean McCoy. The Buffalo Bills running back had 130 yards on just 17 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per rush.

He was shifty as advertised, hard to bring down especially in open space. He killed the Raiders early on, suffocating them with a steady dose of his rushing style.

They couldn’t stop him at all. Until they made some changes that put more bodies around the ball, dared the Bills to throw deep and came at McCoy in waves.

“We saw how they were trying to attack us,” linebacker Malcolm Smith said. “We found a way to protect ourselves and be in better position to make plays.”

It took some time to figure out, but McCoy started slowing down late in the third quarter. He had 14 carries for 127 yards until he cramped up later in the third quarter, and didn’t do much on the ground after that.

“He’s one of the best in the business,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He made life difficult for us, but we settled in and got the stops we needed to get a nice victory.”

Stopping the run was key to it. Stopping, of course, remains a relative term. Buffalo ran for 212 yards and three touchdowns and, at times didn’t need to pass to move downfield and score.

The Bills offense got bottled up in the third quarter, with three straight three-and-outs that put Buffalo into passing situations where they struggle and the Raiders pass rush can make a profound effect.

“They showed what type of team they are,” McCoy said. “They got stops when they needed stops and scored when they needed to. …I just felt like this is a game we had in our hands that we let slip away.

Carr’s pinky is fine, thank you: Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was taken off the injury report after this practice week. He wasn’t questionable or doubtful after dislocating his pinky in two spots last week versus Carolina. He was going to play.

He didn’t wear a glove on his ailing digit, though he sported a splint of some sort during the game. He had his throwing hand’s pinky and ring fingers taped together in a postgame press conference – it’s that way much of the time – but insisted it caused zero issues during Sunday’s game. The Raiders played all but one snap from the shotgun and pistol, but Carr bristled at questions whether his finger limited the offense in any way.

Proof is in a 97.3 passer rating, 260 yards passing, two touchdown and no picks. He was rarely inaccurate, and played well throughout the game.

Carr had his left hand examined after a planned run, but never missed a snap and came out of the game just fine.

“It really didn’t (impact me),” Carr said. “If I missed a throw it was just because of me to be honest. They took me off the injury report for a reason. It was not affecting me at all. Just leaving it taped for precautionary, just to be safe.”

Marquette gets flagged: Raiders punt Marquette King feels so good after a punt goes well that he just has to dance. That’s why he busted out the Pee Wee Herman “Tequila” dance after pinning Buffalo at their 4-yard line.

A rusher hit him in the leg and was called for roughing the kicker, and King went a smidge too far. He picked up the flag – you can’t do that – did a jig as he waved it in the air, and then spiked it to the ground.

It was entertaining, sure. But it also drew another flag for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“It’s definitely a teachable moment,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He’s not mean spirit in what he’s doing. He’s having fun. He enjoys himself. He had the Pee Wee Herman out there today. I saw that. I got a giggle.

“He’s enjoying himself. Now, right there, he just didn’t realize you can’t do that. He was like, ‘Really? I couldn’t do that? Oh man. I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Mr. Ref.’ It really was innocent and obviously, we’ll make sure we don’t leave any stone unturned when it comes to teaching to make sure we understand what we need to do there. That should never happen again.”

Cowser’s first sack: Undrafted free agent James Cowser is popular among his teammates. The edge rusher was well liked during his time in the preseason, and was welcomed back when signed to the practice squad near midseason.

He was added to the active roster last week, made his professional debut on special teams against Carolina and made a big impact on defense Sunday afternoon.

He sacked Tyrod Taylor for a 10-yard loss in the second quarter to help force the Bills’ first punt. It was his first as a pro, though the action is old hat for the all-time FCS leader in sacks.

It was a big moment for Cowser and those around him.

“Cowser stepped up and got a big sack at an important time,” fellow edge rusher Khalil Mack said. “We knew he could step in and play well and do some things. It’s key for us that the young guys step up.”

This ‘n that: RB Latavius Murray scored his 10th and 11th rushing touchdowns of the season on Sunday night, the largest total since Marcus Allen had 12 in 1990. That’s the fifth-highest total in franchise history. … S Karl Joseph suffered a foot/toe injury and did not return. … The Raiders have won six straight games, and haven't allowed a 100 passer rating in that stretch. …Khalil Mack has had a sack in seven straight games. Bruce Irvin has had a sack in three straight.

Raiders 'continue to fight,' score 29 unanswered points in latest comeback

Raiders 'continue to fight,' score 29 unanswered points in latest comeback

ALAMEDA – The Buffalo Bills were in firm control of the Raiders on Sunday afternoon. That was the case well into the third quarter.

Then this game turned upside down.

The Raiders scored 29 unanswered points in just over 15 minutes. They erased a two-score Buffalo lead in the second half by doing everything they couldn’t do at the start.

The 34-28 victory was the Raiders’ sixth fourth-quarter comeback of the season, but this one was special. They went from 0 to 60 in a snap.

The Raiders were down 24-9 before that big surge, but the mood was hardly somber.

“We don’t dwell too much on the score,” receiver Michael Crabtree said. “We don’t say, ‘We’re down 15 and we need this.’ We don’t panic. We don’t sweat. We just go out and play ball.”

The Raiders played some of their best ball this season during that stretch.

They consistently halted drives on defense, including three straight three-and-outs to start the surge. They created turnovers in key moments. Special teams tightened up. And, of course, the offense got rolling after playing with pace.

“It felt like everything was smooth and working out,” left guard Kelechi Osemele said. “The confidence keeps building on this team.”

During that blitzkrieg, the Raiders out-gained Buffalo 212-8. It was all out dominance, the Raiders have been looking to play for four full quarters. That’s been largely elusive, but they’ve learned to clamp down and execute when it matters most.

Several Raiders were asked what was more impressive: The 29, or the 0.

Picking wasn’t a common response. Most focused on why this team is able to rally, and why they did so against Buffalo.

“We just continue to fight, continue to believe,” edge rusher Bruce Irvin said. “29 unanswered is hard to do in this league. Buffalo has an explosive offense. Hats off to us and to Derek Carr for continuing to believe in us, continuing to battle and put points on the board.”