PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : RAIDERS : Running Game Starts to Come Around
Throughout training camp, Coach Art Shell has stuck with Tyrone Montgomery and Napoleon McCallum as his starting backfield and told reporters that they can do the job.
Shell’s stance appeared shaky for the first four exhibition games as Montgomery and McCallum struggled with a limited amount of carries. That changed Saturday, however, when the two combined for 71 yards in 16 carries in the Raiders’ 24-23 victory over Houston.
Montgomery led the way with his most impressive effort as a running back after moving from wide receiver, gaining 53 yards in 10 carries. McCallum, who made several key blocks, gained 18 yards in six carries.
Harvey Williams also had a strong game with 27 yards in four carries as the Raiders dominated the line of scrimmage in the first half.
“I thought our running game was excellent in the first half,” Shell said. “In the second half, we had the same problem that has plagued us throughout the preseason in that we didn’t finish some plays or else we would have had backs jumping into the secondary like we had in the first half.”
After Charles Jordan caught the touchdown pass from Billy Joe Hobert with 38 seconds remaining to cut the Oilers’ lead to 23-22, Shell quickly decided to go for the two-point conversion.
“We wanted to win the game,” Shell said. “We could have kicked the extra-point to go into overtime but I wasn’t about to do that.”
So, did Shell think about being compared to Denver Coach Wade Phillips when he decided to tie the game after the Broncos scored a last-second touchdown against the Raiders in their game last month?
“No, I didn’t say that,” Shell laughed.
Defensive backs Derrick Hoskins and James Trapp suffered minor knee injuries against Houston but are expected to practice this week. Cornerback Lionel Washington (hamstring), defensive tackle Chester McGlockton (leg) and offensive tackle Bruce Wilkerson (foot) are expected to play in the opener Monday night against the 49ers. . . . The Raiders have won the last two regular-season meetings against San Francisco, but did not score a touchdown in either game. The Raiders won, 9-3, in 1988 and, 12-6, in 1991.