Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

September 24, 2008
They're still laughing

ALAMEDA - Media access in the locker room was worth quite a few laughs.

Several players had seen or heard about John Herrera vs. Tim Kawakami.

Many couldn't stop laughing.

Others wanted to know if Herrera was really working against their coach.

As the video began circulating Monday, players said they were either called or emailed the video of the pressroom confrontation.

As one player put it: "Wow. The things you see happen here."

Players say all the talk and quirks of the Raiders don't affect them. Some simply want to know why Al Davis would want to fire Kiffin.

As one Raider rep put it, Davis' opinion on the situation is well known.

I still say it's time for Davis to speak for himself.

Lane Kiffin told San Diego reporters in a conference call he's received supportive messages from coaches and general managers throughout the league as he's dealt with the Raiders situation while his pregnant wife encounters realtors who want to know if the Kiffin home will be on the market.

That can't make Davis happy because there's no doubt some of those calls came after the Herrera incident followed by laughter, just like many of his players did.

But we'll continue to wait until Davis speaks for himself.

****

Here's the Raiders' official injury report for Sunday's game against the Chargers:

CB Nnamdi Asomugha (elbow),
DE Derrick Burgess (tricep)
RG Cooper Carlisle (ankle)
RB Justin Fargas (groin)
RB Darren McFadden (toe),
CB Stanford Routt (ankle)
LT Seth Wand (knee)
DT Gerard Warren (pectoral)

Burgess will once again show how tough he is.

His MRI on Monday showed a slightly torn triceps muscle in his arm.

"We still think he's going to be able to play," Kiffin said. "He's tough. I don't think some guys would but I think he'll play."

Didn't get a chance to ask Burgess about the injury during media availability. Chances are he wouldn't say much anyways.

After dealing with injuries in Philadelphia, Burgess has never enjoyed discussing injuries.

Of the injured players, Warren, Fargas and Carlisle aren't expected to practice tomorrow.

Kiffin said Chris Morris would fill in for Carlisle. Carlisle has a nasty bruise on his left ankle from the injury and is still in a walking boot, as is McFadden.

Fargas is likely to return after the bye week.

Warren's injury doesn't appear to be a long-term injury, Kiffin said. But missing him for just a game would hurt the defense immensely.

Kiffin said Warren is day-to-day with his slightly torn pectoral.

The Raiders would have only three defensive tackles and would lose they're best pass rusher from the interior in Warren.

Fred Wakefield would backup Tommy Kelly and Terdell Sands. The team has had concerns about the conditioning of both, which is why Warren has been so valuable.

The team isn't likely to sign another player this week because Warren isn't expected to miss a lot of time.

Instead, Wakefield and possibly Jay Richardson would move in from defensive end to help out because Kalimba Edwards has played well to start the season.

One person not on the injury list is LT Kwame Harris, who will start after missing two games with a knee injury.

"I think that makes us all feel better," Kiffin said of Harris' return in place of Mario Henderson.

****
San Diego could be a nice model for the Raiders to look at in building a winner.

They've drafted well in recent years and haven't had to rely on luring free agents with big contracts to fill voids.

Their depth is such that there usually isn't a big drop off when a player is injured or leaves.

They replaced a Pro Bowl quarterback (Drew Brees) with a Pro Bowl quarterback (Philip Rivers).

Darren Sproles has been solid filling in for LaDainian Tomlinson.

And Jyles Tucker has two sacks filling in for All Pro linebacker Shawne Merriman.

"Whenever they get an injury you think they're going to get weak in there somewhere and they really don't," Kiffin said. "They just plug the next guy in there. They've done a great job through the draft and building their team through a little bit of free agency but mostly through the draft. And you see it"

****
The newest Raider, TE Ben Troupe, could be on the field helping out as soon as Sunday.

After being released by Tampa Bay last week, he visited Atlanta before coming out to Oakland on Friday for a workout that morning and signing that afternoon and heading to Buffalo.

He said the Raider offense isn't complicated (which is seen as a problem as to why the passing game hasn't worked by some) but after an offseason with Jon Gruden's multiple sets, Troupe isn't complaining.

"It feels good to actually get into a regular kind of offense again," Troupe said. "Jon Gruden, his mind was always working."

--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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