PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : RAIDERS : Shell Sees Hope for Running Game
The Raiders’ running game was nothing special in their victory over the Rams as they gained only 92 yards in 28 carries, with their leading rusher being rookie Calvin Jones, who gained 22 yards in eight carries.
For most teams, averaging 3.3 yards per carry is not a strong point, but for Coach Art Shell it raises hope for a solid rushing game once the regular season begins Sept. 5 when the Raiders travel to San Francisco for their Monday night game against the 49ers.
“In reviewing the running game, I was pleasantly surprised,” Shell said Sunday. “We did some good things in the first half. We just have to finish some blocks. We’ll be OK there. I feel pretty good about that.”
Starters Tyrone Montgomery and Napoleon McCallum may not have the marquee names of their backups in Harvey Williams and Tom Rathman, but they showed that they are not about to relinquish their jobs without a fight. Montgomery continued to impress by gaining 21 yards in four carries. He also caught two passes for first downs. McCallum only carried once for four yards, but he did catch two passes and did a strong job blocking.
“The stats don’t show it,” Shell said. “But there are some good things happening up front.”
Williams played most of the second and third quarters and gained 17 yards in six carries while also catching two passes for 18 yards. Rathman gained eight yards in two carries and caught one pass for seven yards.
Offensive tackle Bruce Wilkerson started against the Rams after being limited the last three weeks because of a foot injury. . . . Offensive tackle Greg Skrepenak and rookie linebacker James Folston reinjured ankles, but are not expected to sit out much practice time and might play in the Raiders’ final exhibition game Saturday at Houston. Defensive tackle Chester McGlockton, cornerbacks Lionel Washington and Torin Dorn did not play against the Rams because of injuries, but are expected to be ready for the regular-season opener. . . . The Raiders have to cut their roster to 60 players by Tuesday and might begin making moves today.