Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 19, 2009
Raiders serve a "buffet" of INTs to Niners

While the 49ers defensive backs were calling it the best practice they've ever had - Wednesday's five-interception performance in the joint morning session here in Napa - the Raiders were licking their wounds and attempting to move on.

Or, at least, move on as quickly as you can from being humiliated in a red-zone drill with four interceptions (the Niners also picked off a pass in a 7-on-7 drill)

JaMarcus Russell and Bruce Gradkowski were each intercepted twice and the Niners' secondary got mouthier with each pick.

"What we just talked about is how you respond to it, really, said coach Tom Cable. "Those kinds of things happen to you (in a) game, so you've got to be able to handle those adversity moments and just get back on the horse and go again and I didn't think we did a very good job of that. But I may have put them in a negative situation, too."

Meaning?

"Pressing your quarterback to cut it loose," Cable said. "Take some chances, if you will."

No doubt Russell is still a work in progress in this, his critical third season, though only his second with a full training camp thanks to his rookie holdout. He agreed he was trying to "cut it loose" in the red zone.

"And it kinda backfired a little bit," Russell said. "But other than that, go in and learn from that, come out the next practice, try to set a fire."

Russell said he was not worried about throwing behind his receivers, making the interceptions easier to come by.

"Hell, you play football, things happen," Russell said. "It ain't like it's the end of the world. If it is, you show me, but other than that, just go from it and go to the next play."

While the Niners were hootin' and hollerin' after their big plays, and Niners cornerback Dre Bly added some spice later by saying the Raiders QBs "were feeding us; that buffet was good," Russell took it in stride.

"Well, yesterday they weren't doing too much of that and hopefully we can get it back to the same thing this afternoon," Russell said. "Guys are gonna make plays. Those guys make big money to play their position as well. It's not a one-sided sport."

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- Seems a rookie got the 49ers veteran secondary in a lather with his mouth. Louis Murphy, never one to back down from a game of trash talk, engaged in some with Shawntae Spencer just before the pick-fest began.

"That's just me, man," Murphy said. "It's all football. I just talk to the guys, man. It's just football...and if it's anything personal, man, it's just football.

"That's how I get motivated."

Apparently, it also motivates the opposition.

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- You could hear the beep, beep, beeping of the bus backing up over former coach Lane Kiffin. The driver? Cable.

Well, Cable discussing Russell's stunted growth his first two seasons could be referred to as Cable throwing Kiffin under the bus and rolling over him a few times, to and fro.

"Since (Russell) got here, he's really been held back, if you will," Cable said. "So I think it's my responsibility to see if we can open that up a little bit."

***************************************************

- An interesting scene was Javon Walker in full pads, AFTER practice, getting in some on-field world by catching passes from athletic trainer Scott Touchet. Recovering from off-season knee surgery, Walker has been the hardest worker in camp, even if his workouts have been by himself. He aims to practice for the first time on Monday.

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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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