Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

September 26, 2007
Question and answer time

ALAMEDA – There’s no word on the starting quarterback for Sunday’s game in Miami and I don’t expect any from Lane Kiffin today.

Josh McCown could be on crutches today, but playing against the Dolphins. You never know with Kiffin.

So I’ll answer some questions the best I can.

Question: Hey Jason, in regards to "Kiffin finally gets one," you mentioned that McAfee cheered when McCown went down with an injury. In defense, I would say that they were cheering because they knew that Culpepper was going to play. Culpepper is a smart veteran that wins. Also, if McCown suffered a season ending injury that means JaMarcus Russell is one step closer and everyone wants to see this man-child in action (since we didn’t during the pre-season).

P.S. Sadly, I can’t remember a time when the Raider Nation didn’t cheer when a player went down with an injury.

Ralph, Carmichael

Answer: I think you’re partly right, Ralph. I know fans want to see Culpepper play. But the moment Josh started limping I heard cheers as he walked to the huddle before Daunte had started warming up.

It’s just not right to cheer an injury, regardless of how a guy is playing.

McCown’s injury might be serious. That’s my assumption because Andrew Walter is still a Raider.

As for Russell, I’d love to see him in a game, too. But without having ever run the offense in a game situation after missing training camp, the Raiders don’t want to see him out there too soon.

I still believe Russell will play at some point this season. I just hope Culpepper isn’t being cheered for coming up lame for that to happen.

Question: Mike Williams is a good number two player. He needs time to adjust to Coach Kiffin’s system with a better QUARTERBACK
LIKE CULPEPPER OR JAMARCUS, NOT JOSH. Everybody has a bad day or two. What are they going to do if they let him go? They have no receiver with that kind of speed at 23, 6-5 230, or would they rather have Randy Moss back with his problems?

Jonathan, Philadelphia

Answer: Jonathan, I would disagree that Williams needs time to adjust to the system. This is the same system he was one of the most dominant receivers in college history in.

It’s also not the quarterback’s fault he didn’t catch that touchdown against Cleveland. He said on Monday he could have tried to bring the ball into his body, but that’s not his style.

It’s also not the quarterback’s fault Williams fumbled, a turnover that led to a Cleveland score. Williams also dropped a pass from Culpepper.

The team can’t let Williams go because they only have four receivers on the roster (as of now). So the Raiders need Williams to play well.

And the way Randy Moss is playing, the Raiders wouldn’t mind having the New England Moss.

But the reality is Moss wouldn’t have played like that in Oakland. As he said back in Minnesota, he plays when he wants to play.

And he didn’t want to play in Oakland. Moss is all about trying to get a Super Bowl ring, not helping a team develop. That’s all fine (for him). Moss would have been a distraction as a Raider.

Question: Why do the Raiders keep using that prevent defense? Honestly, the prevent defense has been killing this team for a decade or more. Did you see the Browns ripping off 10 and 15-yard chunks on their last scoring drive? That drive was the poster child for a decade’s worth of prevent defenses.

Rob Ryan must recognize the prevent defense is useless. They need to always apply a four-man rush.

Luther, Montreal

Answer: Your last sentence points to the bigger problem. A lot of time, the Raiders were rushing four men.

It’s hard to notice that when there’s no pressure and Derek Anderson can stand, wave to Ken Dorsey’s family in the stands, and still find open receivers.

The key to the Raiders defense is getting a rush up front. The secondary will look a lot better if the opposition doesn’t have forever to pass the ball.

A healthy Derrick Burgess would be a good start. But when he does return, the Raiders will still need a better effort or the Pro Bowl defensive end will face constant double teams.

The Raiders want linebackers Thomas Howard and Kirk Morrison free to roam and make plays (they have five interceptions between them), but mixing in a few more blitzes wouldn’t hurt.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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