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News » Oakland Raiders Notes, Quotes 2008-12-26

Oakland Raiders Notes, Quotes 2008-12-26

Oakland Raiders Notes, Quotes 2008-12-26
--Kickers Sebastian Janikowski and Shane Lechler will be the only Raiders who played in Super Bowl XXXVII who will see action in Tampa Bay Sunday, while the only Bucs who will play are linebacker Derrick Brooks and cornerback Ronde Barber.

Quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo was a backup to Gannon and did not play, while Ronald Curry, currently out with turf toe, was inactive for that Super Bowl.

Still, with former Raiders coach Jon Gruden as well as general manager Bruce Allen with the Bucs, where Lane Kiffin's father, Monte, is the defensive coordinator, there are a few storylines.

"We've got some stuff going on, so it's going to be a big challenge," Morrison said.

It's the last regular-season game with the Bucs for Monte Kiffin, who will join Lane at the University of Tennessee. Lane originally wanted to bring Monte with him to Oakland, with Al Davis holding defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to the last year of his contract.

That helped start the downfall in the relationship between Davis and Kiffin. Kiffin was fired Sept. 30 for "cause," meaning Davis does not plan to pay him. Kiffin has filed a grievance with the league.

"Anything to help the Raiders get back at the Kiffin family, I'm all for it," left tackle Mario Henderson said.

--The most elementary difference between the Raiders that were blown out against San Diego and New England and the one that handled the Texans was they controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

The Patriots rushed for 277 yards against the Raiders, who then held the Texans to 90. After giving Matt Cassel and plenty of time to throw, Matt Schaub was sacked three times and pressured all day.

"I've said this my whole career based on what I coach," Cable, an offensive line coach, said. "If you're good on the line of scrimmage, you'll win a lot of football games. I think that's really what you have to be and have to become to be good.

"It makes JaMarcus look better, helps him do his job. It helps coverage, it helps your backs fit the run game. You have to play well on the line of scrimmage to have any chance.

With an 11-point lead, the Raiders were able to take the clock from 8:08 to 4:23, get the ball back on a Chris Johnson interception, then grind the clock to 1:11 before the Texans got it back.

"We didn't want to put the defense back on the field," center Jake Grove said. "You take that much time off, they need a miracle to happen. You go as your line goes."

--With the Raiders having fallen to 31st in rushing defense and giving up 167.1 yards per game after surrendering 277 yards to New England, Cable didn't feel as if he needed to challenge the front seven.

He assumed they would challenge themselves.

The result? Houston's Steve Slaton, who had 350 yards and averaged 4.9 yards per carry in his previous three games -- including an even 100 yards against run-stingy Tennessee -- was held to 66 yards on 18 carries and a 3.7 average.

Erase a 19-yard burst, and Slaton averaged 2.7 yards on his other 17 carries.

"He had a couple of runs here and there but nothing that changed the course of the game," defensive end Jay Richardson said. "We did a good job of playing consistent gap defense. No one felt like they had to make up for the next guy. Everybody focused on their gap this time around and people were where they were supposed to be. When that happens, we can play good defense all day long."

Morrison, the Raiders' leading tackler the past three seasons, had only two stops because other defenders were beating him to the ball.

"The guys up front were making it hard for them to get up to the second level," Morrison said. "They were stopping the ball right there. Once we stopped the run, we were able to get Matt Schaub out of the pocket, and once you do that, our rush is going to get there or it's going to be an errant throw."

--When the Raiders wide receivers got together at their position group to exchange Christmas gifts, it was a full house -- once they all got together.

"We've been having five guys in a meeting room," wide receivers coach James Lofton said. "So we went and got the other guys in the training room and there were 10 guys in the room. It's kind of different."

Oakland's healthy receivers are Johnnie Lee Higgins, Chaz Schilens, Jonathan Holland, Todd Watkins and practice squad player D.J. Hall. On injured reserve are Javon Walker, Ashley Lelie, Drew Carter and Arman Shields, with Ronald Curry missing the last two games with turf toe.

--Bucs quarterback Jeff Garcia, rejected by the Raiders in favor of Andre Ware in 1999 and then turning down the Raiders in favor of the Bucs in 2006, has been at his best in two games against Oakland for the 49ers.

In a 34-28 overtime loss in San Francisco in 2000, Garcia was 28 of 41 for 336 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions, with the Raiders winning on a deep pass from Rich Gannon to Tim Brown.

In a 23-20 overtime win in Oakland two years later, Garcia was 25 of 36 for 282 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions, plus 46 yards rushing on 10 carries.

All told, Garcia is 53 of 77 for 618 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions -- a 118.9 passer rating.

He was at his improvisational best, something Cable hopes to avoid against the Bucs.

"The thing we have to do is keep him in the pocket," Cable said. "When he gets outside is when he can really hurt you."

BY THE NUMBERS: 99 -- Rushing touchdowns allowed by the Raiders in 79 games under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan since the start of the 2004 season -- the most in the NFL.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're a different team than when he was here. It's our 12th game since he's been gone and we've changed the play-calling on offense and some of the things we do on defense." -- LB Kirk Morrison, on whether Lane Kiffin can do any damage by revealing any information to his father, Monte Kiffin.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 26, 2008

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