Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

November 12, 2009
Raiders blacked out again, Russell reflects...kinda

Time to break out that trusty "blacked out" note again, what with Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs not selling out by today's 1:05 p.m. deadline.

It will be the fourth straight Raiders home game to be blacked out locally this season after Oakland needed an extension to sell out the Monday Night Football season opener against the Chargers and broadcast it here.

In 2006, when the Raiders took over their own ticket sales, 2007 and 2008, the Raiders sold out six of eight home games in each of those seasons.

But from 1995, when they returned from a 13-year sojourn to Los Angeles, through 2005, 63 of 88 home games were blacked out.

So, for those of you keeping score, this will be the 73rd blackout in 117 home games since the Raiders came home.

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So what did JaMarcus Russell do over the bye?

"Just sit back and think about the things we've been through, good and bad, learn from it, and make it go out this time and be better than what it was," he told reporters today.

But what about watching film?

"Actually, we watched film one day out of three, to be honest," he said. "Other than that, tried to get away from it for a second and think about it. Coming back, that it's going to have be - more grind than what it was the first half to become what we want."

Russell was also asked if it helped to get a mental break from the game.

"I think it does," he said. "I think it does, because the way things were going, not accordingly, so any time you get a chance to reflect on other things besides that, when you come back, it's fresh in your mind."

Got it? Good...

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Coach Tom Cable's tongue just had to be firmly in cheek when he answered the question on what he wanted out of Russell in the second half of the season.

"Throw 20 touchdowns and not turn it over anymore and be about 66-67 percent completion," Cable said. "I think that'd be pretty good."

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Cable also said he is optimistic that defensive end Greg Ellis, who's coming off bye-week surgeries to both a shoulder and a knee, could play Sunday.

"We'll see here tomorrow morning," Cable said.

And if Ellis cannot go, Cable is fine with rookie Matt Shaughnessy stepping in.

"The fact that Matt Shaughnessy has played like he has certainly makes that a true statement," Cable said. "You'd like to have (Ellis) at full speed, but if he's not able to go...we're OK in that manner. If he can go but if it's limited play, then we're OK because of our depth."

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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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