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NFL Injury Report: 49ers-Raiders Thursday Practice Participation Report

The 49ers and Raiders released their Thursday practice participation reports for this weekend's Battle of the Bay. Nothing major has changed, although Adam Snyder was limited in practice with a quadriceps injury of some sort. The one interesting update is that Raiders RB Darren McFadden indicated his chances of playing this weekend were 50-50. Although Michael Bush is no slouch, an absent McFadden would seem to benefit the 49ers

Coach Manusky spoke with the press after practice and addressed a variety of defensive issues including the team's struggles containing runs outside the box. He was pretty vague on that just saying the team needed to improve. Not exactly a shocking revelation. McFadden and Bush can both go inside and outside, but an absent McFadden would probably benefit the 49ers outside rush defense a bit more.

Over at SB Nation Bay Area we broke things down in the Raiders running game with a Raiders contributor. The Raiders would seem likely to work between the tackles with their running backs. Obviously that means Aubrayo Franklin needs to get his act together in short order. There's been plenty of talk about Patrick Willis' decreased tackle numbers, but he and Takeo Spikes remain efficient when running backs get through the defense line into the second level of the defense. Ideally Sopoaga-Franklin-Smith would do a better job of containment, but thankfully we've still got Willis keeping an eye on the next level.

Speaking of Patrick Willis, my favorite Manusky response today:

On if other offenses are game planning and targeting LB Patrick Willis:

"Wouldn't you? I think every team is going to game plan Patrick Willis. He's one of the playmakers on the team. When they come to the line of scrimmage, you know the offensive line says, ‘We've got to block that guy.' So, of course."

Did Not Participate In Practice
TE Delanie Walker (ankle)
S Curtis Taylor (quadricep)

Limited Participation In Practice
OT Joe Staley (shoulder)
QB Troy Smith (abdomen)
G Adam Snyder (quadricep)

Did Not Participate In Practice
RB Michael Bennett (hamstring)
LB Travis Goethel (back)
QB Bruce Gradkowski (right shoulder)
DT John Henderson (foot)
LB Thomas Howard (knee)
WR Chaz Schilens (knee)    

Limited Participation In Practice
G Robert Gallery (hamstring)
LB Quentin Groves (hamstring)
WR Johnnie Lee Higgins (knee)
G Daniel Loper (ankle)
RB Darren McFadden (hamstring)

Coach Manusky's transcript after the jump...

Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky
Press Conference - October 14, 2010
San Francisco 49ers 

Listen to Audio I Media Center

On if other offenses are game planning and targeting LB Patrick Willis:

"Wouldn't you? I think every team is going to game plan Patrick Willis. He's one of the playmakers on the team. When they come to the line of scrimmage, you know the offensive line says, ‘We've got to block that guy.' So, of course."

On whether game planning Willis has been done more this year than in the past:

"No, I don't think so. It depends on the team that you're playing. I don't think they're going to go out of the norm that they do. But I know during practice, they're teaching them to put a hat on the cap. Maybe it's a little bit less on the defensive linemen and really running up and trying to get Pat more because Pat does a good job of running to the ball and seeing the things he needs to see. We know that."

On whether Willis is having a hard time shedding the guards:

"Pat's playing good. I don't even know how many tackles he has to tell you the truth. (Matt Barrows: 41) 41? Is that good? (Barrows: 16th). 16th in the league? We want him at 15, in the top 15."

On people being used to Willis ranking first in tackles:

"He'll be there, it's a long season. Hopefully we'll get him to number one. But there are also other guys on the team playing as well with him."

On whether he likes the matchup with the Raiders rotating LTs:

"I think so with the guys that they have. Each week you go into a game plan and you're trying to attack whoever you got to attack. They're still good players. They're going through some stuff over there. For the most part, they're playing well. They're doing what they've got to do to win ball games and that's what they're doing."

On whether the two LTs are similar:

"They're a little bit different. I'm not going to go into their similarities or what's different about them, but there is a little bit of difference between both of them. You've got to play them a little bit different based upon what we've seen on film."

On CB William James playing the number three corner role:

"Well, right now we wanted to take a look at Will James. He had a good training camp. He got hurt during training camp, I think right after the first preseason game. He's been out for a decent amount of time, but he's been working hard during practice and it was good to have a veteran guy out there doing his thing. He did quite well, I don't think as well as he wanted to but he hasn't played football in a while and he did okay."

On whether James will remain in that role:


On the Raiders running between the tackles and RB Darren McFadden:

"I think McFadden has some great speed. He's playing a lot better than he did the previous year. I see him hitting the hole real hard. He's got lightning speed, he can take it to the outside, and he's got good vision. I think more and more young players get in the league, from a running back standpoint, the more reps they see constantly, over and over and over again, I think the better they perform. That's what I've seen so far from McFadden. [RB Michael] Bush, they are a tackle-to-tackle football team, but there's always the possibility of both of those guys getting on the edge. We've got to do a good job on the edge."

On the outside containment through the first 5 games:

"It could get better. I think you're always trying to get better across the board from that to run defense, to pass, to sacks, to everything. So, I think we've just got to keep on improving and keep on getting better and better across the board."

On LB Takeo Spikes' coverage skills:

"The old guy can cover pretty good for his many years. I think over the time that you play linebacker, and I always tell him this, ‘Don't overestimate your speed, don't underestimate the other guys speed.' It's just a crafty technique, knows what routes the guy's going to do and he's doing a pretty good job. Bow's [LB NaVorro Bowman] in there as well. Both of those guys are doing it."

On whether he and Spikes talk about defenses:

"Yeah, we talk about defenses, tendencies, all that kind of stuff prior to going into games. Just what their feeling is, trying to do it as a defensive coordinator what the offensive coordinator's thinking. I think that's very important as a linebacker because you want to just get that feel for the game of what they're trying to accomplish."

On whether he teaches Spikes to guess along and try to figure it out:

"No, I'm trying to give him just a head's up more than anything. I don't want him thinking. Shoot, you don't want to think out there, you just want to tackle the guy with the ball."

On what determines whether Spikes or Bowman is in the game:

"It's just number of snaps with TK. He's not 22 years-old. He's getting up there in age. We want to protect him a little bit and put the young buck in there every once in a while."

On Raiders TE Zach Miller:

"He's a good football player across the board, from blocking, to route running, to catching the ball, very good football player. Even when we scrimmaged them up there the last two years, he impressed me. He has some capabilities of blocking and catching the ball and running good routes. He's a good football player.'

On whether the best way to contain Miller is to pass rush and force him to block:

"We'll put two guys on him. That's what we're going to do. He's a good football player. We'll try to get the best guys on him and try and cover him up." 

On how different the Raiders operate with QB Bruce Gradkowski or QB Jason Campbell:

"I don't know from their standpoint because I'm not there, but from the film standpoint, I think they're similar. Campbell can scramble a little bit better maybe. I'm not saying there's a lot of difference, but there are similarities between both of them. They're two good football players. I've been in the league a number of years and they're doing okay."

On him being on the Chiefs-Raiders rivalry and why this doesn't have the same feel:

"I don't know, I wasn't here. All I know is when I was in Kansas City all of those years, it was Raider week. That's what [former Chiefs head coach] Marty [Schottenheimer] would always say, it's Raider week. I don't know what it was here, but we knew they were a tough football team and you were in a battle each and every week. We just went out there and tried to play to the best of our abilities."

On whether they're preparing for Campbell or both QBs:

"I talked to the coaches last night and today, probably Campbell. But if the other guy starts, he starts. You've got to try to pick one and we'll probably find out more today."