ALAMEDA Ė I donít have to answer the get rid of Mike Williams questions since heís already gone.
I didnít get around to answering any questions in Nashville because I was too busy eating barbecue and checking out the Country Music Hall of Fame (and know I canít get George Jonesí ďHe Stopped Loving Her TodayĒ out of my head).
The Ray Charles exhibit was nice. And I saw that country music artists were into bling and pimping out their rides long before Xzibit on MTV.
So I have my Ipod set to music that isnít country to answer some questions, even though Iím sure Iíll download that George Jones song pretty soon.
Question: Are there any plans for the Raiders to bring in JaMarcus Russell anytime soon?
Answer: No. Unless thereís a rash of quarterback injuries, Russell wonít play soon.
With the offense as bad as itís been lately, thereís no need to put Russell on the field now.
Raul, Los Angeles
Question: Late in Sundayís game, after Barry Simís had committed his third false start (he also had a critical holding call that wiped out a first down), the play-by-play announcer asked Rich Gannon: "When is enough, enough ...at what point does the head coach face reality"?
I donít recall Gannonís response, because he ducked the answer, not wanting to annoy his old buddy I suppose, but Iíll ask you...When is enough, enough? Weíve watched Sims do this for years ...and his response is "lack of focus, I guess. YOU GUESS????
Answer: Enough is enough when thereís a left tackle on the roster better than Barry Sims.
Thereís no one on the team better than Sims right now. Robert Gallery canít play in his spot. Paul McQuistan canít and rookie Mario Henderson isnít ready to help as heís been inactive every game this season.
Help wonít come until the offseason, when the Raiders might be able to find some help on the offensive line.
Until then, barring injury, Barry Sims is the Raidersí left tackle, lack of focus or not.
Question: Can the Raiders ever become a good offense this year without having an "all-star" type running back or receiver?
Jason, Bloomfield, Iowa
Answer: I donít think so because the Raidersí issues on offense go beyond just running back and receiver.
The Raiders problems start with the offensive line in the passing game.
It doesnít matter whoís at receiver if the quarterback isnít protected. But the Raiders do lack a receiver that consistently stretches the field to help open things up for the running game.
The Raiders still need another receiver. But itís Week 9 and players like Chad Johnson arenít sitting at home so that canít be fixed until next season.
The Raiders donít need a superstar running back. The backs they have will work. If the Raiders could pass with consistency and not hurt themselves with penalties, the running game would open up again.
Question: Can we bring in Bill Parcells - and start winning with some good players?
Aaron, San Diego
Answer: No. Thereís no way Bill Parcells leaves his cushy job at ESPN for the Raiders. Well I shouldnít so no way, but Iím 99 percent sure that wonít happen.
I doubt Parcells could win with this group, anyway.
Iíve had a few readers ask if itís time to get rid of Lane Kiffin Ė after seven games?
Know this much, Kiffin didnít inherit a good team. The Raiders havenít been good since 2002.
The key you mentioned is ďgood players.Ē The Raiders still need an influx of talent on offense.
No one in the NFL wins with bad players. It all begins with the draft, where the Raiders havenít been good, particularly in picking offensive players, in recent years.
Owner Al Davis admitted as much when he hired Kiffin by stating Kiffinís role as lead recruiter at USC would help the Raiders evaluate talent better.
Give Kiffin some time. If the Raiders are 2-5 to start 2009 (yes, it might take that long), then itís time to question the direction Kiffin is leading the team in.
Question: With no pass rush and the fact that we canít stop the run, I canít understand why we wonít blitz more. Seems everyone else does it to us. Also, any news on us picking up Grady Jackson since Atlanta let him go? That would REALLY be a plus on the D-line!
Answer: I have no idea why the Raiders donít blitz more. Iíve asked players that donít know why either.
If you noticed in Sundayís game, Derrick Burgessí sack was aided by a Thomas Howard blitz.
The Raiders like the way their linebackers patrol the field in passing situations and donít want to blitz them too much. The Raiders have blitzed a little more lately (They even brought Nnamdi Asomugha on a corner blitz), but they just donít do it a lot as to no deviate from their base defense.
Blitzing to stop the run wouldnít hurt, but the linebackers actually do a good job diagnosing and stopping the run when the defensive line doesnít get pushed into them.
And as you have probably seen, Grady Jackson signed with Jacksonville. So your run defense is left up to Warren Sapp, Terdell Sands, Tyler Brayton and Gerard Warren (whenever he returns).
And for an interesting take on Sapp against the run, check out footballoutiders.com.
Itís definitely worth the read.