|WR Johnnie Lee Higgins (15) looks to make a grab during a 2007 preseason game against the St. Louis Rams in Oakland.||
|*AP Photo |
Disappointed by their showing last week, Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson wants to prove to the home crowd that the team is ready. "It's not a one-game season. That was the first of 16. Here comes the second of the . We need to prove that we've earned [the Raiders fans'] trust and their right to go represent them. That's what we want to do," said Jackson.
Practicing with their own running back, Michael Bush, has helped the Raiders get ready for Rams RB Steven Jackson. "We are fortunate because playing against Steve is a lot like playing against Michael Bush, you have a big banger who is strong and can finish," explained Coach Cable. "Steve gets going, he's kind of like that 18-wheeler, he gets moving and once he's in motion he's a load – and that's Michael. I think we're probably prepared in many ways for a guy like that."
In addition to preparing for the St. Louis offense, the Raiders have looked closely at the Rams defense. "What they do is present a real pressure issue for you," said Coach Cable. "This is Jim Johnson's defense from Philadelphia, so you have to be prepared to handle the overload pressure, zone pressures with two plus the safety, with a lot of people up near the line of scrimmage."
QB Jason Campbell has seen improvement in the Rams since last year. "The way they played against the Cardinals last week, you know it's a totally different football team than the team they had in 2009," said Campbell. "They added some guys to their defense. Their defense is playing great. They'll try to cause a lot of problems for our offense and we have to be very detailed in what we do and how we approach the game. We've got to be on top of our assignments because they can do things to cause problems. If we can do what we have to do in practice this week, to answer those things they do defensively, then we should be okay."
The Raiders are ready for the Rams and they are equally ready for the opportunity to play at home in front of the Black Hole and the Raider Nation. "I've been looking forward to it ever since I've been here to get to the regular season and play in front of the Raider Nation," said LB Kamerion Wimbley. "I'm sure there is nothing like it. I'm excited. I know everybody's jacked up and excited."
"Being back home in the Black Hole, that's always a great thing, being in front of the hometown crowd," said WR Louis Murphy. DE Trevor Scott agrees with Murphy. "[Being at home], it's huge. Last week is behind us and we want to show the fans what we're all about this year," said Scott.
The Raiders take on the St. Louis Rams at 1:05 P.M. this Sunday at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The players look forward to playing in Oakland and feeling the excitement from the fans. Coach Cable voiced the feelings of the team — "Playing at home Sunday will be exciting because it's our place and our fans."