Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 16, 2012
A few projected starters down; Allen hands-off on offensive play-calling, etc.

by Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

NAPA -- It looks like the Raiders will be without five projected starters when they play their second preseason game at Arizona tomorrow. Punter Shane Lechler (knee), receiver Denarius Moore (hamstring), tight end Brandon Myers (shoulder) and center Stefen Wisniewski (calf) are all expected to be held out due to injury, and the Raiders just announced safety Michael Huff will not play in order to attend the birth of his first child.

Also ruled out by head coach Dennis Allen were Aaron Curry (knee), Zach Hurd (head), Rashawn Jackson (hip), Taiwan Jones (hamstring) and Ed Wang (shoulder). Defensive linemen Jack Crawford and Jamie Cumbie (foot injuries) will be game-time decisions.

Notable names not on that list are Richard Seymour, who didn't play against Dallas, and running back Mike Goodson, who appears back to normal after his neck scare and figures to get plenty of work tomorrow after Darren McFadden has gotten his carries.

Allen did not rule out the possibility of Curry, who hasn't practiced in camp and is still in Los Angeles getting treatment on his ailing knees, returning for the season opener Sept. 10. But he added that "every day we get closer that becomes less of a possibility."

Management style -- With less than eight minutes left in the fourth quarter against Dallas, the Raiders had a 3rd and 5 on the Cowboys' 19-yard line. Running back Rashawn Jackson rushed up the middle for a one-yard gain, and the Raiders elected to kick a 36-yard field goal, which Eddy Carmona hooked wide right.

Since it was a preseason game, Allen said Thursday, that would have been four-down territory had the third-down play gained more yardage. Allen wants his team to develop a "winning attitude" by trying to win in the preseason, but said he'll also use these games to test his team in such situations when they come up.

"(Sometimes) you just want to see how your team's going to respond in a certain situation," Allen said. "You kind of do look at some different things and play the game a little bit differently. Obviously nobody wants to go into overtime on a preseason game, so we play it a little bit differently. But for the most part we play the game the way the game's supposed to be played."

Allen was also asked about how involved he is in play-calling on offense, and said he defers entirely to offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. "He calls the plays," Allen said. "I might situationally have a suggestion for him, but he calls the plays and I give him full authority to call it how he sees fit. ... I try to stay involved with them as far as what they're doing and kind of what the game plan is, but as far as calling the plays on Sunday, I'm not going to get involved in that."

* The Raiders held an abbreviated practice this morning in shorts and shells, and then left for the airport a little after noon. The Cardinals will see the same quarterback rotation the Raiders used in the opener, Allen said, with Carson Palmer playing more snaps.

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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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