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Sunday, October 12, 2008
Pregame thoughts from New Orleans

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

NEW ORLEANS -- Random pre-game thoughts from Raiders' visit to the Saints:

Oakland pass-rush star Derrick Burgess is inactive and he will not play. He has a triceps injury. Oakland will miss him. He is one of the best pure pass rushers in the game.

Oakland running back Justin Fargas will play for the first time since injuring his groin in Week 3 at Buffalo. Rookie Darren McFadden appears to be healing well from a turf toe injury he suffered in Week 2 at Kansas City. So, this is the healthiest Oakland's running backs have been since the season opener.

The Saints will play without receiver Marques Colston and tight end Jeremy Shockey. Both players are inactive. Colston has been out since the season opener with a thumb injury and Shockey has been out since Week 3 with a sports hernia. Both players were listed as questionable for this game.

This is a hit for the Saints. They expected their two offensive sparkplugs to be back for this game.

Interim Oakland coach Tom Cable just led his team on the field for pregame stretching for the first time. Today's game in New Orleans is Cable's first game since Oakland fired Lane Kiffin and made Cable, the team's offensive line coach, the interim head coach.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees likes seeing the Silver and Black. He has a 6-2 record against the Raiders and he had some of his best games against Oakland while with San Diego.

Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell will have plenty of support. There are many of Russell's No. 2 Oakland jerseys in the stands. Russell is from nearby Mobile, Ala., and he played at LSU.