ALAMEDA Ė Following the way the Raiders played in Green Bay, Lane Kiffin coming out and saying today JaMarcus Russell would play (but not start) against the Indianapolis Colts was the right move.
The Raiders hadnít been beaten like that this season. And in Russell, they have a player that will energize the offense when he comes into the game.
Kiffin loves Russellís leadership qualities and among them is his ability to remain calm when all is going wrong.
Kiffin has been very careful not to put Russell in situations where he might fail early on, but this weekend is a good chance to expose Russell to more.
With a week of preparation and increased practice snaps, Russell should play more than the two series he saw against Denver.
I believe Russell should start at least one of the last two games this season. If he plays a lot (say a whole half), that would be the next logical step.
Folks back in Green Bay are raising a fuss that Derrick Burgess had a couple of cheap shots on Brett Favre.
There were two hits at Favreís knees and shins that coach Coach Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Joe Philbin were upset with.
Burgess wasnít penalized in either case.
Kiffin said Burgess didnít do anything intentionally and McCarthy conceded on one hit, Burgess was blocked into Favre.
But letís leave it up to Favre to sum it up best as he did with local reporters:
"I got hit a fair amount. Some seemed kind of low, but I don't think any of them were on purpose. To me, it's kind of a vague call from a referee's standpoint. Sometimes I think he's either blocked into a guy or is stumbling or falling. It just happens that way, and to me that's what happened on that play and the other ones."
Another reason to like Favre. He knows how football is played and wonít complain about something like that.
The coaches should take a cue from the future Hall of Famer.
Among injured players, Josh McCown (finger) and Justin Fargas (ribs) both expect to play against the Colts.
Daunte Culpepper (quadriceps) will be assessed later in the week if heís able to practice.