Russell debut goes well

Upon further review, JaMarcus Russell had the type of day Lane Kiffin expected from his rookie quarterback.

A few good plays and a few bad plays. Whether it's enough to earn Russell a shot on the field this week in Green Bay remains to be seen, but one thing's for certain: The Raiders by and large liked what they saw from their prized first-round draft pick.

"He did some good things," Kiffin said Monday. "What's really good is we got a chance to get him to play, we got a chance for him to play well, experience some good things happening, and we won the game. Those things aren't always easy to do. You're playing a good team in Denver and you put in a guy who really hasn't played any football in a year, and you're still able to win. It worked out as good as it could have."

Russell made his long-anticipated debut on Oakland's first drive of the second quarter. He played just two series and completed four of seven passes for 56 yards but failed to get the Raiders into the end zone.

Still, Kiffin lauded the rookie quarterback for his work and praised Russell for not panicking when plays broke down. Twice he bobbled the ball, once on a botched handoff with LaMont Jordan and a second time when he fumbled a shotgun snap from Jeremy Newberry, a gaffe Kiffin said was the center's fault.

"He really protected the ball well and that‘s something that it‘s hard for guys to do right away because they‘re so worried about everything else," Kiffin said. "There's some other times on some throws where he could have forced some things and try to do too much and he didn't."

However, the Raiders aren't saying for sure whether Russell will remain the team's No. 2 quarterback or if he'll play in Sunday's game against the Packers.

"I'd like to but I don't know that yet for this week," Kiffin said. " There's a bunch of things to look at. I don't know the health of Daunte (Culpepper) right now. Josh (McCown) took a number of hits yesterday. We'll look at him and I'll have more for you on that yesterday."

In other news:

-- The Raiders aren't saying anything officially yet but it's looking more and more like Hiram Eugene has unseated Stuart Schweigert as the team's starting free safety. Asked about the two during his press conference with reporters Monday, Kiffin spoke glowingly about Eugene but didn't even mention Schweigert.

"Hiram's playing really well right now," Kiffin said. "He's tackling well and doing things. And kind of in the same thing we do with some of our other players, we actually used Chris Carr in a couple of situations for some different looks. Instead of putting everything on Hiram, we didn't make him have to prepare to be in certain packages and say you're going to be in for sure. So we took some plays off him that way and let him concentrate on what he needed to do really well. And he's playing well and we'll continue to give him a shot and we'll see how they do in practice this week."

-- While it appeared Sebastian Janikowski hurt his foot on the missed 58-yard field goal attempt in the first half, Kiffin said the Raiders' kicker is fine.

"I think it was a ‘I missed the field goal and blame it on my leg look' as you walk off," Kiffin said. "There was nothing to it medically. I just think he was kind of down and felt something but there wasn't very much to it."


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