Just a few things to get you caught up before the Raiders' second straight divisional matchup of the year.
First off, it is all over the World Wide Web that Dwayne Bowe had an interesting conversation this week with "Bay Area reporters."
Bowe had some interesting words for Oakland's starting quarterback: "I told him he’s got to be more (of a leader), not screaming in guys’ faces, but going to the side, tell them what they did wrong or afterwards, stay an extra hour or focus to improve your game, and he said he’s going to start that up."
The two were good friends at LSU, hooking up for plenty of touchdowns. He and JaMarcus Russell hold the school record for touchdown passes from one player to another. Both players were first round picks in 2007 and have remained close since.
Bowe proceeded to say that JaMarcus had to get used to the publicity of a high-profile college before he "became a more vocal leader. He called extra meetings, watched extra film at his house, stuff like that."
Bowe zeroed in on the pressure on JaMarcus' shoulders in Oakland: "I know what he can do. It’s just, when can he do it? And I told him, his time is running out in the NFL. I want to see now, and I want to see a year from now, feeling up to it.
"You have to take into consideration to take the show yourself, and he just feels like he’s young and he’s got a lot of older guys in front of him that’s kind of mentoring him.
"I said, You’re the quarterback on that team; you’re going to be the franchise player. You need to be the franchise. I told him, you need to take over every drill, every meeting, and just see how it goes.
"If you do it and it don’t work out well, stop. But if you do it and you’re successful, keep going. So I’m just waiting (to see) the headlines taking over Oakland.”
And see them you will, Mr. Bowe. Firsthand, no less—no newspapers required. I know you and JaMarcus are friends and all that, but you might have picked the wrong week to light a fire under the gunslinger.
Johnnie Lee Higgins, AC strain in shoulder...Nick Miller, fractured bone in shin, just above the ankle, out four to six weeks...Justin Miller, cut after final preseason game...Tyvon Branch, starting strong safety, too valuable.
Out are these four players; in is Hiram Eugene? Eugene has not returned a punt in his NFL career. Coach Tom Cable was asked if all Eugene would have to do is fair catch the ball: "Hiram’s a terrific catcher and probably the best of the group in that regard." He also stated, "You’ve got to have your return game, and you’ve got to do your deal."
So, a guy who has never returned a punt in his career will be trying to do a deed formerly done by punt return specialist Higgins? It leaves me to wonder, what about Louis Rankin?
But alas, the reporters in California forgot to ask the most obvious question in the universe regarding this subject. Cable also offered up Javon "four knee surgeries" Walker as a backup to Eugene if JLH can't go in Kansas City.
Nothing but questions from my spectrum, but the reporters have more important things to cover, like the possible signing of Chris McAlister, the former Baltimore Ravens cornerback, who is expected to sign with Oakland and possibly play against the Chiefs at free safety.
McAlister is 32 years old and has been floating in free agency since February. Comcast SportsNet is reporting that the Raiders are signing McAlister. To this news, Cable said, "I don’t know anything about it."
Defensive coordinator John Marshall said, "Who’s Chris McAlister? Yeah, I know who he is. I haven’t heard anything. He’s a great player."
So, two of the main coaches have no idea about it, or are they just keeping one of those Raider secrets?
Time will tell. For now let's talk about Showtime's Inside the NFL for a minute. There is this guy who used to play for the Raiders on that show. You may have heard of him; his name is Warren Sapp. Big mouth, low production in Oakland.
While Cris Collinsworth, James Brown, and Phil Simms were spotlighting the confidence that the Raiders would gain with an effort like the one put forth Monday night, Sapp said this: "Oakland plays worse when they have confidence. Oakland plays worse when they feel good about themselves.”
Really, Warren Sapp, I don't think you know much about this year's team. How can you, you haven't...but...Nnamdi said what...wait...what. Hold on a minute...
This just in: Nnamdi Asomugha agrees with Warren Sapp. Yeah, I'm puzzled too, but it appears that Nnamdi had this to say in response: "Absolutely, sometimes you go out and play a great game, whether you win or lose, and then the next week it’s like, `What happened?,’ because you’re still resting on that win or that effort."
OK, now it makes a little bit of sense. Nnamdi is saying it like a team captain who doesn't want his team to overlook Kansas City.
Warren is saying it begrudgingly, because fatboy is jealous of the fire that Oakland showed on Monday. He claims that Oakland's season is already over, along with Detroit, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Cleveland.
He is jealous that he can't be a part of this defense because he is now worthless for everything except some lame Comedy Central roast halfwitted jokes.
Well, guess what, Warren? Rich Gannon and Marty Schottenheimer both picked the Raiders over the Chiefs, so eat it...wait, you probably already did.
OK, I put my two cents in—I feel better.
Cable won't commit to a No. 2 halfback for this weekend. Justin Fargas is done nursing his hamstring injury, and Michael Bush is still 100 percent healthy.
Fargas, I know you are anxious to get out there and show Raider Nation that you still have what it takes to be elite in the NFL. However, history shows us that when you, in particular, try to come back from an injury too soon, something else typically breaks down.
What we want are four halfbacks at 100 percent. What we have is three halfbacks at 100 percent and one who just doesn't want to lose his job. Take your time, Justin, and get healthy. We will need you in weeks five, six, seven, eight, and nine. That run is brutal. Weeks two, three, and four are just a test run.
All right Nation, I'm wrapping it up. I gave you my thoughts on things; it's time for you to give me yours. Just click in the box below, start typing, and hit submit comment. Talk to ya soon.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!