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Old 08-08-2008, 11:22 PM    (permalink
D4rk 0ne
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Default Preseason Game #1 vs. 49ers

I figured it would be nice to have a place to discuss the game; even though it's only the preseason there are still some things worth talking about. So I'll just put down a few comments (and hopefully edit with more later). I hope you guys do the same so we can establish where we stand and what we need to do to have a good season.


My thoughts:

- Russell looked okay. He didn't get much work unfortunately, but he threw a couple of nice passes (also a couple substandard ones though). There was one case when he forced a risky pass that went incomplete, but mostly he was composed and made good decisions.

- Our RB trio is going to be legit. Great performances so far from all three of them with very few (if any?) losses. Bush looks aggressive and determined, McFadden looks quick on the outside and between the tackles, and Fargas is making nice cuts.

- The Defense looks good. Guys are flying to the ball, forcing turnovers and pressure, and putting the Niners in third-and-long situations. Josh Morgan has had a killer game and there have been some lapses in the secondary, but overall -- and especially in the front seven -- we look good.

- I'd like to see some of the other WRs get some time with the first team squad in games. Carter did not look too solid out there and we have a couple other WRs who have had good camps and deserve a shot. I think our passing game will look much better with Curry out there. We have a lot of potential but it will take a lot of work to tap it.

- Johnnie Lee Higgins looks better than he ever has. A PR TD as well as one 30+ yard return that was called back for an insignificant penalty... He was shaky at times last year but if he can play like this when it counts, it will make a big difference.


What are your thoughts?
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:57 PM    (permalink
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all i have to say is BUSH is nuts he reminds me of a young Jerome Bettis you have a guy like that with a guy like DMAC who was solid the game as well then top it off Fargas wow ! Kinda scarey defenses really have to be able to handle that from us
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:01 AM    (permalink
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Yeah that back field is the nuts.

JR puts the ball in the air 15 times a game.

Vargas gets 20 carries a game

McFadden gets 20 carries and 4 receptions per game

Bush gets 15 carries a game and 4 receptions.

Conclusion? Do not draft any Raider Receivers in FF.
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:10 AM    (permalink
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Running game looked great! So nice to see Bush out there running hard.

I hope the passing game develops eventually, or else we'll be the same predictable offense.

and Johnny freaking Lee, wow he gots some burst
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:35 AM    (permalink
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If Russell can have a 15td 15 int season we will good this season. We have 3 solid rbs and our defence is looking better. Bush looks like hes a stud and same to McFadden. Also Rankin is running the ball nice. He should make the team if he keeps it up. Walker had a nice drive in the beginning of the 2nd half also.
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Old 08-09-2008, 02:33 AM    (permalink
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I've seen some nice plays by Edwards.
JLH with a TD.nice.
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Old 08-09-2008, 02:42 AM    (permalink
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The JLH flip in the endzone is soo jks ha. Also I think McFadden is starting to prove he can carry the load if needed as well as showing the ability to run between the tackles consistently. The 3-headed monster at RB is very very scary. May the rest of the NFL beware. :)
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Old 08-09-2008, 04:44 AM    (permalink
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Postgame notes

OAKLAND -- Michael Bush said he was halfway in tears prior to going on the field for the first time.

If Lane Kiffin had any tears, they would be of joy because he saw exactly what he wanted from Bush.

Kiffin said he was especially impressed with Bush's feet. He weighs almost 250 pounds, but moves extremely well.

Bush said he knows because he's a big guy and defenders like to go for his legs, he has to have quick feet.

Bush ran for 27 yards in eight carries and a five-yard touchdown, stepping through Niners safety D.J. Parker on the way.

*Darren McFadden said he was nervous until he got hit.

*It looks like if Kififn has more than one running back he likes, he will mix it up. Last year he rarely did that, but with Bush, McFadden and Justin Fargas he said he likes the idea of changing things up.

He said it's what USC did with Reggie Bush and LenDale White to keep defenses off balance.

*Kiffin was happy the Raiders didn't have any turnovers and came away with four.

*Tommy Kelly looked strong in the middle. That's good news for the run defense. He'll get better as he gets into better shape. Kelly was left in for a few extra snaps along with Gerard Warren to get some extra work for conditioning purposes.

*The passing game still needs work and thankfully for the Raiders they have a little time. I have to wonder if the long pass Javon Walker didn't go up and catch from JaMarcus Russell might have been different if he were in better shape. Expect Kiffin to really push Walker now that he has game film of him not getting up high to make a catch.

*Johnnie Lee Higgins returning a punt for a touchdown and another punt for good yardage that was negated by a penalty was another positive. Kiffin attributed Higgins play (which included a snag of a quick slant from Russell for a first down) to improved confidence and work in the weight room.

Maybe new strength coach Brad Roll will end up being the team MVP.

*Kiffin said Sebastian Janikowski hurt his left leg in practice on Wednesday. He doesn't expect it to be a major issue and hopes Jano will be able to kick in the next preseason game.

*Tyvon Branch will have surgery on his injured right thumb. It's another injury Kiffin doesn't think is serious, even though Branch will have surgery. Branch came back into the game wearing a cast.

"I ran down on punt and caught a helmet in the pile," Branch said.

*Kiffin liked what he saw from the first-team in run defense.

*Didn't talk to Russell after the game. By time reporters got into the locker room, Russell was gone.

*Kiffin also noted the play of Greg Spires at defensive as a plus with the second unit.

*The Raiders ran for 248 yards and averaged six yards a run. The 49ers netted 70 yards on the ground.

*In an attempt to rest Shane Lechler, expect the Raiders to go for it on fourth down in the preseason more often than they would during the regular season.

--Jason Jones
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Old 08-09-2008, 04:45 AM    (permalink
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Postgame wrap

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, August 8th, 2008 at 11:27 pm in Oakland Raiders


News and notes from the Raiders’ 18-6 win over the 49ers Friday night at McAfee Coliseum:

– The Raiders rushed for 248 yards, averaging 6.0 yards per carry, and won the turnover battle 4-0.

It’s a formula coach Lane Kiffin hopes will continue.

“It’s what we preach every day about not giving it up and protecting the ball, ball security,” Kiffin said. “Anytime you go into a preseason game you’re playing a bunch of different centers, different quarterbacks and all the different guys that touch the ball.

“We didn’t put a ball on the ground the whole day so to come out of there with four turnovers to nothing is more pleasing than anything else.”

– Kiffin played it safe with quarterback JaMarcus Russell, limiting his play to a quarter and opting not to put him out on the rollouts and bootlegs he called for Andrew Walter when the second team came on.

Russell completed 2 of 5 passes for 13 yards with a long of nine.

“I wish we would have hit a few passes there early that we didn’t so we were a little slow there moving the ball,” Kiffin said.

Russell had left the building by the time reporters were allowed in the locker room.

The Raiders finished with the 4-0 lead in turnover ratio, outrushed the 49ers 248-70 and had a 34:32 to 25:28 lead in time of possession. Those figures, plus a 41-20 run-to-pass ratio, make for the perfect scenario in developing a young quarterback.

– Running back Darren McFadden narrowly missed the chance to take one to the house, but it hardly mattered. What McFadden showed instead, that he is adept at picking his way through holes between the tackles and securing the ball, is more important.

“For me, running inside between the tackles is something I don’t mind at all,” McFadden said after gaining 48 yards on 12 carries, all in the first half. “I feel I did a pretty good job doing that tonight.”

– In his first game in two years Michael Bush had a fourth-and-goal line smash for a 5-yard touchdown, converted a third-and-1 with a 1-yard run, a third-and-2 with a 6-yard run and ran 23 yards with a screen pass to almost personally escort the Raiders to their lone offensive touchdown on the first possession in the third quarter.

“I did a lot of the things I did in college and the line and fullback did a great job,” Bush said. “When they do that, if you read the schemes and do what you’re taught, you should be OK.”

Bush admitted he was tense when he took the field with the punt team, but couldn’t afford to feel that way on offense.

“That kind of calmed me down a little bit,” Bush said. “When you get in at running back, they’re right on you. If you’re nervous when you get in there someone is going ot knock your block off so you better straighten up.”

– Walter will probably never be picked to be the quarterback of a team which operates the kind of bootlegs and rollouts which are commonplace for the Raiders.

But Walter, who completed 10 of 12 passes for 82 yards, showed he isn’t a statue, either. He may not have looked smooth, but he was accurate and efficient.

“I think I’ve always been able to do that, but since all I’ve done is drop back, why assume different, I suppose,” Walter said. “I like doing stuff like that. It keeps you in the flow of the game.”

When the day comes that Walter moves on and attempts to lead a team of his own, what he did Friday night counts for something.

“At the very least, I put some tape out there,” Walter said. “It shows I can run a West Coast style. It means more job opportunities.”

Said Kiffin: “He has adapted to the offense because the offense isn’t perfect for him in that way.”

– Rookie safety Tyvon Branch suffered a broken right thumb which Kiffin said will need surgery but will not necessarily keep him out of action for a great length of time. Chances are it could impact his goal to be the Raiders kickoff return specialist.

– Johnnie Lee Higgins had a 37-yard punt returned called back but later broke one for 53 yards and a touchdown. Higgins had a big preseason last year returning, only to have problems holding the ball once the regular season began.

As he was on his return, Higgins was gone by the time reporters entered the locker room Kiffin believes Higgins’ success should carry on this time around.

“He looks really confident and it’s good to see because it’s something we talked about this offseason and during camp, the confidence level that he’s playing with and he’s bigger and stronger,” Kiffin said. “It showed up today. Unfortunately we had a penalty on the first one. Then he looked dynamic on the next one.”

– Two encouraging signs _ Tommy Kelly collapsing the pocket on a pass play and looking stout against the run; Terdell Sands running a good 15 to 20 yards to pounce on a fumble by Stanford Routt following an interception.

– Late in the game, defensive end Trevor Scott and defensive tackle William Joseph were giving Shaun Hill relentless pressure, but it’s worth noting the 49ers second-string line, particularly tackle Joe Toledo, had the look of turnstiles.

– Mike Nolan must secretly love all the criticism about being too conservative. While Kiffin was treating the exhibition as what it was _ an exhibition _ Nolan was acting as if it was third-and-1 against the Rams and Frank Gore was out with an injury.

How else to explain Nolan bringing in Joe Nedney to kick a 22-yard field goal, a play the 49ers should execute successfully about 99 percent of the time, rather than have the Mike Martz offense simulate a fourth-and-goal play in a game situation.

– Camp standout Todd Watkins carried his practice performance out on to the field, catching three passes for a team-high 39 receiving yards.

– Wide receiver Ronald Curry didn’t suit up when a hamstring tightened during warmups. Sebastian Janikowski’s injury is to his kicking leg but Kiffin said he didn’t believe it to be serious. Wide receiver Drew Carter and cornerback DeAngelo Hall left with what Kiffin said were minor injuries and did not return.

– Greyson Gunheim, unchained. The Sebastopol product out of Washington finished off the game with a sack, had a good special teams lick and had a pressure or two as well at defensive. He’s still a longshot, but his odds just got better for the practice squad.
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Old 08-09-2008, 02:31 PM    (permalink
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Another thing I noticed last night was no fumbled snaps between Russell and Grove.
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Old 08-09-2008, 04:41 PM    (permalink
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Run game looks great, should be even more beastly than last year. One thing I noticed right away from our three main RB's is they didn't do any hesitating in the backfeild like Jordan used to. They just saw the whole and hit it and were always getting positive yardage.

Last edited by Stash : 08-09-2008 at 04:50 PM.
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