Raiders preparing to take on Tebow, Broncos

December 17, 2010, 10:21 pm
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Dec. 17, 2010

Paul Gutierrez

ALAMEDA With Denver quarterback Kyle Orton nursing sore ribs this week and Tim Tebow taking a majority of first-team reps over fellow backup Brady Quinn, the Raiders are anticipating a healthy dose of Tebow Time Sunday at the Coliseum.The Broncos are holding out hope for Orton; the Raiders are not sure if Tebow will get his first career start against them.You practice against the things that youre aware of, in terms of what hes been doing or what hes put on film in the preseason, early in the season, Raiders coach Tom Cable said of Tebow. We expect him to play and so we feel like weve prepared for it.In preparation, the Raiders had a running back mimic the hard-running Tebow on the scout team offense this week.I think its his style of play with the quote-Wildcat type offense, Cable said. But at the same time, if hes going to play as much as I think he is, hes going to have to play like a regular quarterback in a regular offense as well.Tebow has appeared in four games, completing his lone pass attempt for three yards while running the ball 12 times for 28 yards and three touchdowns.Broncos interim coach Eric Studesville told Denver-area media Friday morning he had yet to make a decision on his starting QB but would have no issue throwing the rookie out there.Tims continued to develop, Studesville said. Hes got the gameplan, hes been out there. Hes been getting a lot of reps with the situation of Kyle not being able to practice and as a backup quarterback, you dont always get those reps so hes been able to get that this week. Its been good for him to get those. Hes looked good getting those reps and were confident that if thats the situation that came to pass that hed be ready to go.Studesville was also asked if playing in the muck, mire and rain expected Sunday would play to the left-handed Tebows run-first strength.VIDEO: LB THOMAS HOWARD ON THE CHALLENGE AHEADThats in his skill set, Studesville said. Thats something that would come up and you think about that but were playing Tim to run our offense, our entire offense, that we have for the gameplan for the Oakland Raiders.A Freudian slip, perhaps, that whole were playing Tim comment?In any event, Tebow has a fan on the Raiders side, except for about three-plus hours on Sunday receiver and former college teammate at Florida Louis Murphy.I know hes a fighter, Murphy said. I know that he has a passion for the game. I havent seen him practice or anything. I know that hes going to come out and fight till the last minute.Critics have long charged that Tebows physical style of play which helped him become the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy would not translate to the NFL. Murphy was not among them.Especially with his work ethic, how hard he works at his craft, Murphy said. Hard work goes over talent any day. I dont know what the situation has been at Denver, but it takes a while for rookie quarterbacks to groom into the NFL.Aaron Rodgers sat behind Brett Favre for how many years? Thats probably whats going on with (Tebows) situation. I know hes going to fight.Rookie middle linebacker Rolando McClain sat out practice again Friday with his sore left foot and is officially listed as questionable for Sunday.He is better, Cable said, so well take him out and run him around Sunday morning and see if he can go.McClain, though, was on the field at the beginning of practice Friday, going through some walk-through drills.Were trying to get him back involved that way, Cable said. Hes very much a studier and all those things. But getting him back involved on the field in some capacity (is key).While hobbled with what was first called arthritis, then called tendinitis and now a deep tissue issue, McClain started at San Diego but was inactive last week at Jacksonville. Cable said McClains veteran-like acumen enables him to play without having to practice during the week.None of these guys are rookies any more, Cable said, and certainly (McClains) work ethic off the field allows him to be prepared probably better than a lot of people. Still, you can never substitute getting out there and seeing it and doing it.The Raiders Friday injury report:
Full practice, probable OL Khalif Barnes (back), TE Zach Miller (foot), QB Kyle Boller (quad), LB Travis Goethel (knee), DT Richard Seymour (knee), SS Tyvon Branch (shoulder), CB Chris Johnson (groin)Limited practice, questionable WRPRs Johnnie Lee Higgins (ankle), Nick Miller (ankle); CB Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle), FS Hiram Eugene (ribs)Did not practice, questionable LB Rolando McClain (foot)