Day 17: Real Sports

NFL writer Jerry McDonald

Posted by NFL Editor and ANG football writer Jerry McDonald
The statement issued by Randy Moss following Thursday night’s practice may be the last time anyone hears from him for awhile.

Moss’ unfortunate choice of words and bad timing is probably only a temporary public slip-up for a guy who’s had a lot of them, but will likely cause him to go further underground with regard to the media.

His agent, Dante DiTrapano, told ESPN Friday, “Other people are going to suffer for what Bryant Gumbel and HBO did.” He said Moss had decided on being more open with the media this year, citing his HBO interview, a national radio interview with Chris Myers and an interview with GQ Magazine.

Moss hasn’t been so giving with the local media, limiting them to one group interview in which he was agreeable and seemed to answer most questions thoughtfully and with a decent sense of humor.

Not that any of it matters. Unless Moss turns up dirty on a test – something that seems unlikely since it hasn’t happened yet – he’s playing with the one team that will let this controversy run off its back like water off a duck.

All that matters is how Moss plays. And if training camp means anything, the Raiders and their fans are in for something special. The guy has essentially caught everything in sight and made more amazing plays in one training camp than Jerry Rice and Tim Brown did combined in camps 2001-2004.

While it’s true Jeff George was also a fabulous practice player, Moss has a track record that says it’s no mirage.

Dom and Norv
ItÂ’s interesting to watch the styles of Dom Capers and Norv Turner as the Raiders and Texans practiced against each other Thursday.

Capers is a man in motion, heading from field to field with authority and taking in every aspect of his team.

Turner’s feet were essentially cast n concrete, as he stuck exclusively with the offense and rode his receivers and quarterbacks hard.

Don’t let the mild-mannered post-practice Turner fool you. He can get on his guys with the best of them. And while he’s not as gifted in terms of profanity as Jon Gruden, he’s not that bad, either.

In the more public Houston practices, however, Turner managed to keep the rant at PG.

Ring, Ring
This is your wakeup call. Its 79 degrees at 8 a.m. and the humidity is 99 percent with a chance of thunderstorms. The temperature should reach the mid 90s with a heat index of between 101 and 108. Have a great day.

That’s how the day began for at least one media member in town to cover the Oakland Raiders for a pair of practices against the Houston Texans.

It wasn’t much different for the Raiders, either. Which was perfectly fine with coach Norv Turner.

“If we open up in New England or get Philadelphia on a hot, humid day, I think this is a little bit of an eye-opener,” Turner said.

The Raiders dressed in the visiting locker room at Reliant Stadium, adjacent to the practice fields where the Texans train. They were driven over on motorized carts, with a few Raiders getting a laugh at the change in compression when Warren Sapp unloaded his 300-plus pounds.

On Wednesday, the Texans in the afternoon opted for their air-conditioned protective bubble. Not so Thursday morning, where the teams practiced outside beginning at 9 a.m.

Even the Texans players were feeling it.

“How do you think this compares to Tuesday?” linebacker Justin Babin said to a teammate while getting a drink of water.

Originally scheduled to run two hours, the horn blew at 10:20 a.m., a concession to the conditions.

Predictably, practices were more intense than the garden variety Napa workout. Wide receiver Doug Gabriel scuffled briefly with cornerback DeMarcus Faggins, and Tyler Brayton flattened Andre Johnson unnecessarily out of bounds. But there were no out-and-out fights.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer