Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

September 22, 2011
Sunday a sellout, Thursday injury update, etc.

By Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders announced today that Sunday's home opener against the Jets is a sellout, meaning it will be televised locally. It's just the second of the last 16 Raider home games -- last year's Nov. 7 game against the Kansas City Chiefs is the other one -- to sell out.

In practice news, receivers Jacoby Ford (hamstring) and Louis Murphy (groin) did not participate Thursday. Murphy already said he will not be able to go this weekend. Darrius Heyward-Bey (knee) did go through the full practice, head coach Hue Jackson said.

Safety Mike Mitchell (knee) also did not participate, Jackson said.

Running back Darren McFadden (shoulder), quarterback Jason Campbell (foot) and cornerbacks Chris Johnson (groin) and DeMarcus Van Dyke (knee) were limited.

Kicker Sebastian Janikowski (left foot), safety Jerome Boyd (knee) and tight end Kevin Boss (knee) practiced in full.

Boss, who participated in a full practice Wednesday for the first time since taking a helmet to the knee in the Aug. 20 preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers, said he's eyeing a return to the field Sunday.

Asked if he thinks Boss will play against the Jets, Jackson said:

"I think so. He's done some good things. He's out there, he's healthier, he's made some plays at practice. He's done some good things so we'll see where we are as we continue to move forward during the week."

-- Rookie running back Taiwan Jones was returning kickoffs during the short amount of practice that media were allowed to watch. Jones, out of Eastern Washington, has reportedly been clocked around 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Jackson wouldn't say who will return kicks -- or punts -- this weekend, and said the team would "get closer to that tomorrow."

-- Linebacker Rolando McClain has been credited with a sack during the Raiders' loss to Buffalo. Oakland originally was not credited with a sack for the game.

On 3rd-and-23 from the Buffalo 48-yard-line in the first quarter, Brad Smith took a pitch-back from Ryan Fitzpatrick and apparently dropped back to pass. McClain dragged Smith down for a six-yard loss, which was originally ruled a loss on a running play.

Instead, it's now the first full sack of McClain's NFL career -- he was credited for half a sack last season -- and the Raiders' sixth of the season, which ties them for the sixth-highest total in the league.

That also means the Bills rushed for 223 yards on Oakland's defense, not 217, as the six-yard loss on the play now comes out of Buffalo's net passing yardage instead of its rushing yardage.

-- About that Bills game, defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan explained the difference in the performance of the defense between the first and second halves like so:

"I look at it this way: Hue just talked about the consistency. I talk about the history of the Raiders, the commitment to excellence, the poise under pressure, pride and poise, and then our philosophy now of getting the job done. And we didn't do it for two halves, it was that simple. And that falls back on me. And I take full responsibility for it. We've got to come out in the second half and do what we did in the first half and finish the games. It's that simple. And there is no explanation for what it is. We've got to go out and put it for 60 minutes. The game of football is 60 minutes, not 30, and you can't rest on your laurels."

-- One popular item from yesterday: Several players and Jackson were asked about the incident during the Jets' 38-0 shellacking of the Raiders in Oakland on Oct. 25, 2009, when New York quarterback Mark Sanchez was spotted by TV cameras eating a hot dog on the sideline late in the game.

Sanchez later apologized, citing stomach issues in the days leading up to the game.

Jackson had some fun with the topic on Wednesday.

"The hot dog? I don't eat hot dogs during the game," Jackson said. "It sounds like somebody did. So, that was his prerogative back then. I wasn't here. I hope we can make it more interesting for him so he doesn't have to eat hot dogs. Hopefully, we can take the mustard and the relish and the onions and all that and put it away and play a little football."

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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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