ALAMEDA - Michael Bush is your backup fullback and he's not happy about it.
It was a topic he reluctantly discussed today.
"I kind of don't really want to talk about it or say nothing wrong," Bush waid.. But we did some (fullback) today. There's nothing I can do. I told (Tom Cable) no the first time, you know? I guess it's either I do something or I don't. I don't know. It is what it is. Do I like it? Do I want to play there? Do I think I'm a fullback? No."
Bush has been asked to play fullback more than once. It was first mentioned when Oren O'Neal was hurt in August. The talk picked up more when Justin Griffith went down for the season Oct. 26.
Bush said he's "Never had the kind of mentality to go run into a wall."
Nevertheless, he's going along with the plan.
"I just want people to know what position I play," Bush said. "I'm not a fullback. I think it's a waste of my talent. I'm not trying to be any negative person that don't want to help the team. I'm doing it so they can't say I'm not helping this team. What can you say?"
The Raiders cut Jason Davis, the backup fullback, on Tuesday. So if something happens to Luke Lawton, Bush would be the fullback.
Cable thinks Bush would be a good fullback in the zone-blocking scheme because the fullback has to be a good athlete and operates like a running back when trying to find a running lane.
But one can understand why Bush would be apprehensive. After all, the Raiders tend to change coaches regularly. And no player wants to be pegged at a position he doesn't want to play with a new staff likely on its way.
*Mike Shanahan really likes Nnamdi Asomugha.
"He is the most underrated football player, to me, that I have ever been around. For people not to talk about him as the top corner in the NFL, along with Champ Bailey, to me, is a crime."
But wait, there's more.
"The people that throw at him usually get beat," he said. "He's not going to be challenged but he plays 100 percent on every play. He plays the run, he plays the pass, the guy is a competitor. He's the most underrated top player in the game -- I can't say the history of the game because I haven't been around here that long -- but I can say in my 25 years, he is by far the most underrated player. I've never met him but I'm going to shake his hand after the game because I keep on looking for him but I never get a chance to talk to him. He's one of my favorite players, even though he is with the Raiders. That shows you how much I like him."
Let's hope Shanahan doesn't drool when the Raiders are in town this weekend.
By the way, Asomugha figures this is just a ploy by Shanahan.
"He's coming after me," Asomugha said.
*Cable said the team did try to find another tackle to backup Cornell Green as it's apparent the team doesn't believe James Marten is ready to play.
But after not finding anyone of "quality" the team settled on guard Junious Coston, who was at practice today wearing No. 62.
"We looked, and did a nice job, I thought, the personnel people, getting a list together," Cable said. "But there wasn't a quality, quality guy out there to do that with. He was the best player available at offensive line."
Though Coston has played tackle, Cable said he would be guard for the Raiders and won't be available to play this weekend.
*QB JaMarcus Russell was wearing a walking boot on his right foot and was limited in practice. Cable expects Russell and receiver Chaz Schilens (ankle) to play Sunday in Denver after being limited, too.
Cable said Russell would not miss any practice this week to attend funeral services for his godmother, Teresa Roberts, who passed on Sunday.
*DE Derrick Burgess practiced without limitations. He will make his return to the field this weekend after missing six games with a triceps injury if he holds up fine this week.
*C Jake Grove (calf) and LB Ricky Brown (groin) were the only Raiders not practicing today.
Grove thought he'd hurt his Achilles when he went down against Carolina. But it's just a calf strain. He's hoping to return this week but next week could be a more realistic goal.
Grove said he hurt himself trying to get by Tyler Brayton Nov. 9 against Carolina.
And some of you cynics thought Brayton's impact on the Raiders was done.
*With many of college's rivalry games this week, I have a little wager with Kwame Harris, who attended the evil school known as Stanfurd where I'm from. I'm assuming Jon Alston will jump in on this, too.
So I'm begging Cal to win this weekend and spare me the humiliation of wearing a Furd football jersey next week.