At some point in Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Raiders special teams player Walter McFadden expects to see a familiar sight lined up across from him on the line of scrimmage: older brother Bryant McFadden.

Steelers sixth-year cornerback Bryant McFadden, who turns 29 on Sunday, has started all nine games for Pittsburgh this season and is fourth on the team in tackles (65). He also does spot duty on special teams.

"I already told coach (John Fassel) that if 20 is on (the left) side, I don't care, I'm sorry, if I'm on the right, I'm switching with whomever (on the left)," Walter McFadden said.

That way, Walter McFadden said, he can get a chance to show his brother just how far he has come from the times he got worked over on the field as an undersized youngster in Pompano Beach, Fla.

The younger McFadden, 23, said he expects 20 family members to attend the game at Heinz Field. Most will be sporting Steelers jerseys, he said.

"They're going to disguise themselves a little bit, but a lot of that will change by halftime, I hope," Walter McFadden said.

The brothers exchange text messages every day. Friendly words are about to turn a bit edgy, Walter McFadden said.

"It hasn't begun yet," he said. "It might begin (today) or Saturday. It basically starts with the parents and cousins at the table. That's when a lot of the trash is going to be going on."

  • Raiders coach Tom Cable assembled 12 players after practice and impressed upon them to spread the word about the meaning of Sunday's game.


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    "He just wanted us to echo around how important this game is, gather the guys up and fire up everybody," strong safety Tyvon Branch said.

    The group of experienced, key players included quarterback Jason Campbell, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, running back Darren McFadden, punter Shane Lechler, tight end Zach Miller and defensive tackle Richard Seymour.

    "It's a group I communicate with, and they communicate with me," Cable said. "It is a team council, and that's their purpose. They've been chosen (by me) and given that responsibility."

  • Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring) returned to practice after being sidelined the past week. Cable said Heyward-Bey is making progress, but his status for the Steelers game remains uncertain.

    Asomugha (ankle), Miller (foot) and defensive tackle John Henderson (foot) practiced in a limited capacity. Cable said he is "very encouraged right now" about the prospect of them playing Sunday.

  • The Raiders are in the midst of a three-game winning streak for the first time since 2002. A victory Sunday would give them four consecutive victories for the first time since they accomplished the feat three times in 2002, the third streak extending into the postseason.