Stubblefield eager to face former team

 

            As expected, Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield got peppered with questions regarding facing his former team, the San Francisco 49ers, for Thursday's exhibition game.

            Crossing the bay from San Francisco to Oakland has always happened to a certain degree but increasingly so in recent years. Since 2001, running back Charlie Garner, wide receiver Jerry Rice and quarterback Rick Mirer are the most prominent ones to do so. Safety Rod Woodson and linebacker Bill Romanowski are also two Oakland players who played for the 49ers.

            San Francisco released Stubblefield in February and the Raiders signed him shortly thereafter.

            "It's going to be strange but it is funny when they throw clips of the Niners and I'm over here," Stubblefield said. "Like Jerry told me, you've got to move on."

            Stubblefield added that he and a few of his former teammates have ribbed each other in a good-natured fashion.

"(Fred) Beasley, Garrison (Hearst) and (Jeremy) Newberry. I just know they're going to talk a lot," Stubblefield said. "I know those guys. Plus, I've been trying to call them and nobody is returning my calls."

            Both teams opened their exhibition season with victories. Oakland defeated St. Louis 7-6 while the 49ers downed Kansas City 24-6.

            "It's going to be intense for us," Stubblefield said. "We started something last week. We had a good showing and we want to build on that. I'm sure that's true for them on offense. They went out, got some scores and Tim (Rattay) looked good."

            Stubblefield is likely to start at tackle along with John Parrella. Signing Stubblefield became necessary when the Raiders released Sam Adams, who is now a Buffalo Bill.

            "He's going to be an important aspect to what we're doing up front he's a physical player," Raiders head coach Bill Callahan said. "He brings a leadership and experience quality to our defense. I feel real good about the completeness of his game and everything he brings off the field as well."

            Stubblefield spent two tours of duty in San Francisco (1993-1997, 2001-2002) with a stint in Washington sandwiched in between.

            "I think all of these guys that are former 49ers want to do well against their former team," Callahan said. "I think anyone playing against their former team wants to do well in the eyes of management and their former players."

 Vince D'Adamo can be reached via e-mail at vdad7@yahoo.com


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