Prior to the start of the second half of the Oakland Raiders loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Kyle Boller was seen on the sidelines, wearing his helmet, and warming up with Nick Miller while Jason Campbell stood nearby with his helmet in his hand. Some in the press box were wondering if the Raiders were going to yank Jason Campbell during a game he started for the second time this season, but when play began, Campbell was under center.
Apparently, the coaching staff told Boller to get ready on Sunday, and now they’re telling him to make sure he’s ready the entire week. Boller was asked if anyone had made him aware that he could get some playing time.
“Yeah, you know, they had mentioned to me, ‘Hey, make sure you’re ready,‘” said the season-starting third-string quarterback about Sunday. “He’s obviously a little dinged up, so that’s why I picked a ball up and grabbed Nick Miller and just started throwing around a little bit. Just because you never know.“
Boller fielded questions before Tom Cable took the podium Monday to talk about the possibility of the former first round pick out of Cal being the Raiders’ starter in Denver. Had he fielded those questions after Cable, then there might have been more of a current answer to that question.
Backing up a bit, Jason Campbell told Comcast Sportsnet reporter Kate Longworth Sunday after the game that his knee was banged up and he would be getting an MRI on Monday. Last Monday, Campbell was surprisingly in the locker room when Gradkowski’s status was in doubt — this week it was Boller while Campbell and Gradkowski are currently injured. Coincidence? Maybe, but through all of the chaos that seems to be the Raiders, their control of the media is very well orchestrated, and usually presents some meaning that you look back on later doing the ‘I shoulda’ had a V-8′ forehead slap.
Monday, head coach Tom Cable was asked, which you’ll see in the video above, if there was a scenario in which Kyle Boller would get the start on Sunday and Cable responded, “Oh, absolutely, absolutely.” He also told reporters that he would have a better idea Wednesday if Gradkowski or Campbell would be healthy enough to work with the first team.
If Boller gets the call, he should be ready to take the job. “I’ve seen it happen too many times where it’s one play away and the next thing you know you’re a back-up,” said Boller about preparing as if he’s the starter. “So I’ve always taken the approach that ‘It’s your job; doesn’t matter what position you play or where you are on the depth chart.’ You have to be prepared because you never know when your time’s coming.”
Cable has already expressed confidence in his third stringer. Last week Cable expressed admiration when talking about Boller. “Kyle’s kind of a rare bird,” said the coach of a quarterback that wouldn’t get on the field if it weren’t for injuries of three other players (Charlie Frye, Campbell, Gradkowski) on the squad.
“He studies everything and prepares like he is the starter all the time. I know you hear that, but when you watch him work and you listen to him talk, he’s talking like a coach, he’s talking to Jason or to Bruce like he’s doing it all the time. So I think his mentality is he kind of puts himself in that spot of I’m the guy doing it and I’ve got to be prepared. I have no issues or worries whether he’s ready to go or not.”
That’s good, because he might be the starter whether Cable wants him to or not.
Monday Notes and Quotes
- Brandon Myers suffered a concussion and Samson Satele had problems with dehydration during Sunday’s contest with the Niners. Cable said that Satele just missed one series before halftime and would be fine and that Myers will be questionable for the week. With the focus in the NFL on concussions, there’s a good chance that Myers will sit out the visit to Denver, but Cable isn’t ready to state that yet.
- When it comes to the style in which they run the offense, Gradkowski and Campbell couldn’t be more dissimilar. Boller was asked which quarterback he is more like. “I’ll have to let you guys figure that out. I guess I can say I’m in between. I’m probably more a little bit toward Bruce’s side. I’m not a very laid-back guy. I’m pretty full of energy. You guys can answer that later on.“
- Darren McFadden had hoped he would get on the field on Sunday, but things just didn’t work out as expected. “We just came to the conclusion that we weren’t going to be able to do it, so there wasn’t a point in going out there and trying it.“
- Hamstring injuries are tricky. If they’re healthy enough, you can fight through the injury to get your job done on Sunday. If the injury hasn’t healed yet, you can re-injure it bad enough to miss extensive time. That being said, McFadden is hopeful he’ll be ready to give it a go on Wednesday. “That’s my goal for Wednesday is to go out there and try to see what I can do, see if I can burst.“
- McFadden says hamstring injuries aren’t just physically debilitating, they can also get to you mentally. “Hamstrings, when you hurt it, it plays on your head. At the same time, it’s football. You got to just go out there and keep pushing forward, working hard every day and trying to get better.“
- Trevor Scott isn’t happy about losing to the 49ers. “I don’t feel good, that’s for sure. That’s what we talked about all week, you know, back to back wins and trying to own the Bay, Battle of the Bay. That was the big thing for us this week. I thought we did a good job defensively the whole first half. The second half it kind of broke open. They did some things here and there. Overall, it was a pretty disappointing day.“
- Scott doesn’t know where he’ll play on Sunday, just as long as he plays. Right now he’s at weak side linebacker, but he’ll move back to defensive end when Quentin Groves can get back on the field. It doesn’t matter to Scott where he plays. “I like them both. I just like to play and be on the field, making plays. I can’t ask for anything more than that.“
- Louis Murphy hadn’t watched the film when reporters cornered him at his locker on Monday, but the morning after the loss to San Francisco, he was frank about it not sitting well with him. “It’s frustrating, very frustrating. We have to get over that jinx of not winning two games in a row. We haven’t done that since I’ve been here. I don’t know how long it’s been before that. It’s frustrating. It’s happened after every win we’ve had. We haven’t put two and two together. Just trying to get back the confidence. We’re second in the division and we need to come out with a win this week.“
- Murphy also admitted that coming away with field goals on the Raiders’ first two drives was ‘deflating.’ “That was very deflating. When we drive down and get inside the 10 we want to put touchdowns on the board, not field goals. We have to work on that, work on our red zone offense. It’s new. It’s new with Jason.It’s still a new offense for him. It is his first year here. We have to work on the red zone offense.“
- The Raiders go to Denver this week. While it may seem like a big burden for any team, the Raiders have had more success as of late against the Broncos on their own turf. The last two seasons, the home team has lost when the Raiders have faced the Broncos. Last season the Raiders defeated the Broncos 20-19 in Denver.