Posted by NFL Editor and ANG football writer Jerry McDonald
There was Randy Moss, breaking the rules on a whim simply because he felt like it. His segment on HBOs Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel is still about four hours from air time on the West Coast.
Moss was on display in the middle of the Oakland Raiders practice field, ignoring club security in full view of fellow players, coaches and management.
Running drills with wide receivers, Moss spied Airman First Class Chad Peterkin of Travis Air Force base making his way across the end zone.
Hey, come over here, Moss shouted.
Peterkin did a double take, looking around him as if wondering, Who? Me?
Approximately 45 airmen from Travis were invited guests of the Raiders Tuesday, the 29th of 30 practices held during the 2005 training camp at the Napa Marriott.
During their briefing from club security, the soldiers were given their instructions. Only walk in designated areas. Photos only allowed during drills, none during scrimmages. Stand at all times near the field. Sitting only allowed in the stands. No cheering or
calling out to players.
And certainly, taking the field to meet the star player is strictly forbidden.
So Peterkin, his head on a swivel, looked back at Moss.
Cmon over here, Moss said.
Nah, were not supposed to go over there, Peterkin said.
Moss beckoned again.
Finally, Peterkin figured Moss had the proper rank and authority to make the meeting happen.
I told him, OK, but if they say anything, youre the man, Peterkin said.
Moss introduced Peterkin to Ronald Curry, Carlos Francis and Jerry Porter and made small talk for a few moments.
He seemed real down to earth to me, Peterkin said.
Then Peterkin was on his way. He later discovered a Raiders photographer had photographed the meeting, and arranged to get an e-mail of the picture.
Moss rejected an interview from ESPN, which had a crew on hand the day his HBO segment was scheduled to air. His agent, Dante DiTrapano, is on record as saying Moss may be zipping his lip for a good long while.
First reporter to wear fatigues gets the story.
Safety Marques Anderson, released by the Raiders Monday, signed with Denver on Tuesday.
By Tuesday night, odds are Mike Shanahan had extracted as much information as possible on a certain hated division rival. Anderson had two of his better games last season against Denver.
Anderson, a good hitter, but suspect as a form tackler and in coverage, gives the Broncos another hammer to go along with John Lynch and Kennoy Kennedy.
Hits and Misses
The Raiders practiced for more than two hours Tuesday evening, and as usual, Turner paid very close attention to inside running drills.
Were going to run the ball damn it, so were going to run it in practice, said Turner as LaMont Jordan carried several times into the line.
During one drill, Raiders receivers each attempted to make one-handed catches with
their left hand in the left corner of the end zone, catching lobs from conditioning coach Mike Fish and then attempting to get both feet in bounds.
It doesnt count unless you stick it, Moss said.
Randy Moss, Jerry Porter, Alvis Whitted and Ronald Curry all successfully made the play before Carlos Francis, Johnnie Morant and Maurice Washington had drops.
Left tackle Rod Green, a free agent from Arkansas Pine-Bluff, drew Turners ire for allowing Nnamdi Asomugha to come free on a corner blitz.
Asomugha, has a habit of getting his hands on a number of balls although rarely coming up with the interception, made a nice strip of Cedric Bonner on a pass over the middle from David Rivers.
Fisticuffs? Not quite, but almost. Right tackle Robert Gallery and defensive
tackle Lorn Mayers, the 20-year-old defensive tackle from London, had to be
separated after tempers grew short during a routine drill.
Assistant coach Keith Millard, drilling the defensive linemen on pass rush moves, kept rookie Ryan Riddle after for a few extra reps.
Your technique is terrible, and youve got to explode out of that stance, Millard said.
Get some ice for that quarterback. With Marques Tuiasosopo, Andrew Walter and Brett Engemann either injured or ill, Kerry Collins is probably making far more throws during practice than would be considered ideal.
During one drill, Ronald Curry, the former high school All-America and quarterback at North Carolina, stepped for a handful of slant routes to wide receivers.
Curry, by the way, can still throw.