Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 20, 2008
The lingering problem

ALAMEDA - "Back in the huddle! Discipline!"

Those were Lane Kiffin's words after Tommy Kelly jumped offsides in practice.

"That was disappointing because it was third down and it wasn't even a hard count," Kiffin said.

Discipline is a yearly issue with the Raiders, who usually rank near the top in penalties committed.

Kiffin noted in spite of all the good-feelings about the running game the Raiders' offensive line ranked first in penalties last year.

"We're not skipping over that," he said. "That has been talked about this offseason a lot with them and it's somewhere that we have to improve, and through two games in the preseason we have improved in that. We need to continue to improve in that."

Kiffin (thankfully) doesn't buy into the conspiracies that the NFL is out to get the Raiders.

He believes the Raiders need to develop a mental toughness to prevent penalties.

"If you look at the breakdown of our offensive line penalties; where were they? Third down, fourth quarter and, especially, on the road," Kiffin said. "Well, what is that? Well, that's crowd noise and that's being tired. So, we try to put them in those situations as much as we can."

****
One of the next steps in JaMarcus Russell's development is having the savvy to know when to get rid of the ball.

He showed a knack for when to move in the pocket last week in Tennessee. Kiffin said having the so-called internal clock only comes from game experience.

"You can't do it in practice," Kiffin said. "You can say as much as you want: 'Ball gone, ball gone' when it's got to be gone but it's not the same as getting hit in the back of the head when you hold onto it too long. That's why we're playing him a lot in the preseason."

To help aid that, Russell will only play with the starting offensive line.

Because if you saw the hit Andrew Walter took last week with Mario Henderson at left tackle, it's easy to understand Kiffin doesn't want Russell's clock skewed.

If Russell weren't going to be in the game, Kiffin would sit the starters up front earlier.

"I (normally) wouldn't play that offensive line that long because I'm so worried about those guys with injuries," Kififn said. "(But) they need to play with JaMarcus because you can't put JaMarcus in there with the seconds."

So when you do get in, keep your head on a swivel Mr. Walter.

****

Practice tidbits

*Another down day for Raiders receivers. It's been a while since Kiffin has praised the unit.

So apparently Kiffin coming out and saying the passing game would be fine if the receivers did their part hasn't fired the group up.

" I don't how many today, probably seven drops today, and a number of them with our frontline guys," Kiffin said. "So we'll see. We'll come out here tomorrow and the plan is for these guys to play a lot in the game and get some shots to produce."

*When Kelly ran his lap for his penalty, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan joined him for a few yards to get him to pick up the pace.

*Russell has a pass intercepted by undrafted rookie defensive lineman Derrick Gray who leapt to snag a pass after dropping into coverage.

Oddly enough, Gray admitted after practice he doesn't have good hands. Well, they looked good for a play.

*Owner Al Davis watched practice from a golf cart on the sidelines.

*K Sebastian Janikowski (hamstring), P Shane Lechler (quadriceps), CB John Bowie (knee), LB Grant Irons (lower back) and S Hiram Eugene (hip) all missed practice.

Eugene is the only injured player that could see time this weekend.

--Jason Jones

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



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.

Raiders stories on sacbee.com

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31