Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

September 20, 2010
Victory Monday notes, quotes and nuggets

Michael Bush has had the stitches removed from his left thumb and maintains hopes that he can make his season debut Sunday at Arizona.

But with his training camp roommate, Darren McFadden, enjoying such early success - his 240 yards rushing rank second in the NFL to Arian Foster's 300 yards - Bush is enjoying the view. Even as he wants to give McFadden a breather.

"I don't think he even gets a break," Bush said. "I'm his biggest fan on the sideline if you watch it, I'm over there cheering and happy. As a player, I feel like I'm missing a part by not being out there."

And Bush's gameplan for this week?

"This whole week, I'm going to go through the whole practice as if I'm playing," he said, "and make a decision by the end of the week."

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Johnnie Lee Higgins returned three punts for touchdowns in 2008 but then slumped badly last season. Sunday against the Rams, he was re-inserted as the Raiders punt returner -after the since-released Yamon Figurs handled those duties at Tennessee - and returned his first punt 53 yards.

"I got my swag back and it's on," Higgins said. "Once I got past the first wave, everything opened up. I felt good...I was so amped. It was the (home) opener, planes flying over. Everything just got me amped.

"When I go up out there, I feel like every one is the one. No matter if I get positive one hundred yards or negative one hundred yards. I always feel like it's the one. I just go out there, and I just catch and run. I let the other 10 guys and I just try to read their blocks and I just try to run."

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Quote of the Day: "We have two capable guys and we haven't had that in the past." - Tight end Zach Miller, on quarterbacks Jason Campbell and Bruce Gradkowski.

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Rams gunslinger Sam Bradford completed nine of his first 10 passes and looked on his way to being the latest rookie quarterback to light up the Raiders, following in the footsteps of Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez.

Then the Raiders defense stepped up, confusing Bradford and sacking him three times.

"If you have a really good secondary, with the guys that we have, and they're out there making plays, like Stanford Routt did in the second half, I think it allows you to be able to rush with four," said linebacker Kamerion Wimbley. "And if you can do that, rushing with four men, and still get pressure than it just helps us out.

"It's a long game, so I think we were definitely getting back there and putting some pressure on him, it kind of probably affected him a little bit later in the second half, but we new coming into this game that we would have to pressure him. He is an inexperienced quarterback, so maybe that played a factor, but I think he'll be a real good quarterback here in the future.

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With Richard Seymour out with a strained hamstring, nine-year veteran John Henderson got the start at defensive tackle.

He was shuffling about the locker room Monday morning with a protective boot on his right foot.

"This ain't no big deal," Henderson said. "Just a foot. No pain, no gain."

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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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