Napa, Calif. The Oakland Raiders ran through a light Tuesday morning practice, setting aside the pads and heavy hitting so they could mend a few injuries before facing the San Francisco 49ers Thursday.
Local bragging rights are at stake, but for Raiders such as defensive tackle and former 49er Dana Stubblefield, the game has another element.
"It's going to be strange. It's going to be different. It's kind of funny when they're throwing some clips on of the Niners and ... they're watching me," said Stubblefield, a Kansas University product. "Like Jerry (Rice) told me 'You've got to move on.'"
The 49ers dropped Stubblefield last year, saying his conditioning wasn't up to snuff. The 6-foot-2, 290-pound tackle is looking to prove his former team wrong -- and it's no secret he's still miffed at the way the 49ers handled his ouster.
"If it was a problem, especially during the season when we were making that playoff run, you should have came to me and said something," Stubblefield said. "Whatever's in-house, you leave it in-house."
Raiders running back Charlie Garner, troubled by a sore knee, is doubtful for the 49ers game. Head coach Bill Callahan said Garner could see some action but promised to be cautious.
Like Stubblefield and Rice, Garner is a former 49er.
Center Barret Robbins is questionable, also hindered by a sore knee.
Houston -- Tony Banks still has a score to settle with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Banks, now a backup quarterback with the Houston Texans, blames Jones for cutting him during the Cowboys' training camp two years ago. The Texans visit the Cowboys in a preseason game Friday night, and even though Dallas has a new coaching staff, Jones is still around.
"That's the only one who matters out there. That owner," Banks said.
Aug. 2, the Texans scrimmaged the Cowboys and Banks said he had "a little pep in my step.
"I want to play well against them and kind of rub it in their faces a little bit," he said. "Not all of their faces. There's only one guy out there I have any ill feelings for."
Jones, whose team has struggled at quarterback since Banks' departure, declined to shoot back.
"I wish Tony Banks well, I'd like to respond that way," the usually talkative owner said.
Before he was cut two summers ago, former Dallas coach Dave Campo had been steadfast that Banks was his starter. Then, Aug. 13, 2001, he suddenly changed his tune to match Jones' assertion that the job was open. Banks was gone the next day and signed with the Redskins, where he started 14 games.
He became a free agent and signed with the Texans last summer, but never took a regular-season snap.
Banks, in his seventh NFL season, backs up David Carr.
Pittsford, N.Y. -- Even on the sidelines, running back Travis Henry has been carrying a football to remind him of his 11 fumbles last season.
He has held on to the ball through most of the camp, but lost it twice in short order Tuesday morning.
First, he ran into and through the end zone on a running play, and cornerback Ahmad Brooks pursued him almost to the fence and punched the ball loose from behind. Then, a pitchout from quarterback Drew Bledsoe to Henry fell on the ground.
Green Bay, Wis. -- Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila isn't one of those athletes who signs a big contract and swears the money won't change him.
"Yes, I'm going to change," said the Green Bay Packers' sack leader, who has a new seven-year, $37 million deal that included an $11 million signing bonus.
He doesn't have much room for improvement as a pass-rusher. Gbaja-Biamila has 251/2 sacks the last two seasons and hopes to do something not even Reggie White could in Green Bay: register double digit sacks three straight seasons.
At the team's annual stockholders meeting last month, coach Mike Sherman said "KGB" had become "an unblockable player.