Kelly: D-line still needs time to gel

Tommy Kelly doesn't think much of his performance against the Texans. Tom Cable isn't announcing who the Raiders starting running back will be. Find out more in S&BI's latest update.

-- Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly had one of his best games last week when he made a team-high 13 tackles and was part of a defensive line that, despite the statistics, actually played pretty well against Houston, especially in the second half.

But Kelly shrugged off his performance as no big deal during a rare chat with reporters and instead talked about the Raiders' entire defensive line unit, which he says is coming together after an adjustment period following the trade for Richard Seymour days before the season-opener against San Diego.

"The more we play together, the better we'll get to know a player's tendency, how he rushes, how he plays the run," Kelly said. "We just have to get games together. You can't just throw four players out there and just think everything's going to be A-1 from the go. By midseason, everybody should be hitting their stride real good."

-- Cable didn't announce which running back would start against the Giants but plans on using both Michael Bush and Justin Fargas.

"They both have to get involved, you've got to do it with two runners," Cable said. "Justin being healthy right now, and the attitude and the intensity that he brings to running the football is a big help."

With McFadden off to a slow start this season there have been some calls for Bush to take on a more prominent role in the Raiders offense. Now that McFadden is out, Bush should get more opportunities.

"When his opportunities have come, he has really took it and stood up and done something with it," Cable said. "That will continue to happen. Here we are, we're fortunate to have three like that, and one goes down, and we still got two, and added a third today that we think was pretty productive, too."

-- Safety Tyvon Branch was limited in practice due to a sore hip.

-- Wide receivers Chaz Schilens and Nick Miller did not practice at all. Of the two, Schilens seems closest to returning though he continues to have pain in his ankle when cutting and planting while running routes. Schilens could be back on the practice field next week, while Miller is still 2-3 weeks away from returning.

-- Fullback Oren O'Neal got his ankle rolled on during the loss to Houston and was unable to practice. He is listed as day to day.

-- The Raiders released kick returner Justin Miller and signed running back Gary Russell, who was with the team in training camp. Russell won't return kickoffs – that job now belongs to Jonathan Holland – but he adds depth to the backfield after Darren McFadden underwent knee surgery on Tuesday.

-- Tight end Zach Miller was held out of practice as a planned precaution after suffering a concussion against the Titans.

"The plan was for him not to practice today, and then we'll recheck him tomorrow and see where he's at," Cable said, noting that Miller's condition had improved. "Right now (we're) being safe, but he'll have to test out and do all those things."

-- Gary Russell had been out of football since being released by Oakland and worked out for the Bills and Rams before signing with the Raiders. He will play on special teams and will fill in on offense should something happen to Bush or Fargas.

"If they call on me to do it, I'll be more than glad to do it," Russell said. "I know that Justin Fargas and Michael Bush are more than good for the job. I'm just here to help the team out."

SB Report Top Stories