Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

September 5, 2008
Tomorrow's practice is pivotal

ALAMEDA -- Raiders coach Lane Kiffin said his three injured players, WR Javon Walker (hamstring), DE Kalimba Edwards (groin) and S Rashad Baker (ankle) would need to practice on Saturday to be able to play on Monday night.

Walker and Edwards looked closer to returning to practice, Kiffin said.

The loss of Baker wouldn't hurt like losing Walker or Edwards. Without Walker, Kiffin said the team would turn to Johnnie Lee Higgins and Ashley Lelie.

Edwards is the team's pass-rushing defensive end. Rookie Trevor Scott could fill that role or the team could just leave Jay Richardson in the game on third down.

*You know that infield dirt that Randy Moss reportedly despised at McAfee Coliseum, so much that he changed routes whenever he had to run on the dirt?

It has a fan in Kiffin.

"I actually asked if we could keep it on, and the league doesn't let you," Kiffin said.

Kiffin's rationale was anything you have that the opponent isn't used to is an advantage.

Nevermind that a lot of his players hate playing on the dirt, too.

The Raider captains this season are:

QB JaMarcus Russell
WR Ronald Curry
DE Derrick Burgess
LB Kirk Morrison
CB Nnamdi Asomugha
P Shane Lechler

Former 49ers LB Brandon Moore was in for a workout. It's clear the Raiders aren't happy with the group they have. They also worked out LB Abdul Hodge on Thursday.

If the Raiders make a move to add a linebacker, it would be after the first game when contracts aren't guaranteed.

Kiffin said he's reminded Russell he needs to slide when running.

Kiffin added he's not sure if Russell would use a technique offensive coordinator Greg Knapp used to teach.

"Greg used to teach his guys to go head first," Kiffin said. "But he's so big I can't see that happening. There was a study a long time ago, more injuries come from going feet first, actually because you've seen collisions, when you go head first, guys are able to control their direction and the contact isn't as much. But I don't see him going head first."

Morrison will wear the headset that allows Rob Ryan signal in plays to him. Ricky Brown is the other player that can wear that kind of helmet, but only if Morrison isn't on the field with him wearing his helmet with the headset.

--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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