Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

November 25, 2007
Pep is the man

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Don’t ever mistake Daunte Culpepper for a fool.

He knows exactly what his job is this season. Play well enough to win games and prepare to step aside when it’s time for JaMarcus Russell.

But as he showed today, Culpepper isn’t playing his way to the bench.

Though his statistics weren’t prolific (170 passing yards, no touchdowns), Culpepper is playing well. And the Raiders won, today, which is what the Lane Kiffin cares about the most.

Kiffin said Culpepper would start the Raiders’ next game against the Denver Broncos, putting to rest speculation Russell would start every game in December.

Kiffin’s mindset is all about winning, so I believe him when he says he won’t start Russell until he gives the Raiders the best chance to win.

That doesn’t rule Russell out from playing in the last five games. But Culpepper is playing well so don’t look for him to go to the bench soon.

But he knows Russell will be off the bench soon.

“I’m going to be fully supportive of (Russell),” Culpepper said. “But at the same time when I’m out there on the field I’m trying to be successful for us to win, too.”

And as long as he does that, Russell won’t be starting.

****
Kiffin had more good tings to say about how Michael Huff has played this season.

Huff notched his first NFL interception against the Chiefs. And for the most part, he did a good job covering Tony Gonzalez.

The Raiders put Huff in some tough situations at strong safety. He's undersized against any tight end he covers, but the Raiders ask him to do so without help most of the time.

Kiffin pointed out it's always noticed when a tight end makes a catch, but not when Huff's defense forces a quarterback to go away from the tight end.

I've spoken to Huff about this a few times. He'd still like to blitz more and do different things to have a bigger impact.

But in Huff's case, not hearing his name called out doesn't always mean he's not doing a good job.

****

The field at Arrowhead held up pretty well considering Kansas and Missouri played the night before.

Justin Fargas said the field was actually better than it had been on the past.

Thanks to a good friend that's a Kansas grad, I attended the MU-KU game. The crowd was wild, I was cold, but kept warm by eating that good Kansas City barbeque this weekend.

--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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