Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 28, 2009
Friday notes, looking forward to the Saints

With Napa is in the rear-view mirror and Alameda the Raiders' home for the next four-plus months, some notes from Friday's walk-through practice as they prepare for Saturday's all-important third exhibition game, against the visiting New Orleans Saints and their high-powered passing attack...

Coach Tom Cable said JaMarcus Russell would play the entire first half and possibly into the third quarter before giving way to Jeff Garcia. That leaves little, if any, time for the guys competing for the No. 3 quarterback spot, Charlie Frye and Bruce Gradkowski.

"I want to see Jeff play," Cable said. "We need to see Jeff play."

Speaking of the No. 3 competition, Cable said Thursday that his vision for the position is not necessarily for a guy who best simulates opposing QBs for scout team duty. Rather, "It has to be the best chance for us to win," Cable said, should he be called into duty.


Cable said rookie receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy would again start, as they did against the 49ers. Plus, they could also conceivably start the opener on Sept. 14 against San Diego.

"I don't think that's an issue to us quite honestly other than the fact that they are rookies," Cable said. "Shoot, they're doing really, really well, both of them. They just keep getting better as they have progressed all the time. That's enabled us to do it."


Javon Walker (offseason right knee surgery) just started practicing this week but figures to see time against the Saints.

"He's ready to go, wants to go, and we want him to go," Cable said. "We'll just kind of take that as we go into the game."


Free safety Hiram Eugene (flu) and rookie outside linebacker Slade Norris (foot) will be gametime decisions.


Fifth-year middle linebacker Kirk Morrison suffered a dislocated left elbow against the Niners and is out for at least another week, possibly even the opener. A few "Tweets" from the San Diego State and Bishop O'Dowd High product on Friday.

"I can't believe tomorrow will be the first game in my entire life of football, that I will miss a game due to injury. Unbelievable" and "I've been playing football since I was 9 years old and I have never ever missed a game ever. 18 years of football and never missed a game."

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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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