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OTA highlights

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, June 18th, 2008 at 3:57 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Highlights from Thursday’s organized team activity session, the last time the media will see the Raiders as a group until they convene at the Napa Marriott on July 25, with practice starting the following day:

– Cornerback Michael Waddell intercepted an Andrew Walter pass on the dead run and returned it for a touchdown on the final play of the session.

The first-team offense avoided a turnover, but didn’t manage to move into position for even a field goal attempt during their two-minute drill. A JaMarcus Russell pass bounced off the hands of running back Justin Fargas on fourth down.

– Midway through the two-minute drill, defensive tackle Terdell Sands was looking for shade and bent over at the waist near the hydraulic lift machine, gasping for air. Sands was back at practice after missing last week’s OTA due to a personal matter.

– Free safety Gibril Wilson missed practice for the second straight week with another personal matter, which arose Monday, Kiffin said.

Wilson’s absence gave rookie fourth-round draft pick Tyvon Branch work with the first team.

“ It’s been great for him and he’s really seized the opportunity,” Kiffin said. “That’s what happens and we don’t look at when somebody’s not here as that guy not being here. We look at it as more reps for someone else and more guys to seize the opportunity at different positions. Tyvon’s done a great job.”

Although there were no major gaffes Wednesday, this quote has the earmarks of Kiffin talking up a rookie’s confidence. Branch has struggled in coverage during most media sessions. Known as a big hitter and a sure tackler, Branch’s true worth will become more apparent during training camp.

– During one team session, Russell saw an opening and ran up the middle up for a 12-yard gain, prompting an exasperated Keith Millard to chastize his defensive linemen.

“C’mon, guys,” Milllard urged.

Kiffin agreed with the assessment that people don’t realize how mobile Russell truly is and noted, “I think they’ll forget how hard he is to bring down, too. There’s a lot of plays in college where guys are draped on him and they can’t bring him down because of his size and strength.”

– Rookie Trevor Scott was getting work with the first team at right end, although it should be noted the Raiders were substituting liberally.

– Fourth-round draft pick Arman Shields is not practicing with a hamstring pull _ he’s been out since the rookie minicamp _ and it has put him behind fellow rookie Chaz Schilens, a seventh-round pick of similar size who has had some solid moments.

“It puts him in a hard situation,” Kiffin said. “It puts him behind right away. It’s a lot of work. Those other guys have gotten a lot of work and a lot of work with these quarterbacks. But the first day of training camp isn’t the first thing he can do. He’ll be in there this offseason so he can throw, he can work with our coaching staff at certain times. It’s up to him how fast he catches up.”

– With both Kirk Morrison and Thomas Howard missing practice with previous engagements, it meant a lot of practice time for Ricky Brown and Jon Alston, both hoping to remain as reserve linebackers/special teams players.

Alston prompted a brief sideline scuffle with a hit on Drew Carter on the sideline which was clearly beyond the bounds of the “no contact” limitations.

– Chris McFoy beat Chris Johnson in a seven-on-seven drill and hauled in a perfectly thrown corner route from Walter, prompting a playful headslap by Johnson to McFoy after the play.

– Tight end Tony Stewart, who was active for 16 games but did not catch a pass last season, made several catches Wednesday, including one difficult, juggling grab.

– Free safety Hiram Eugene made a nice break on Walter pass intended for McFoy and broke up the play.

– Jarrod Cooper, apparently fully recovered from ACL surgery, was back on the field with no restrictions and was getting lots of defensive work. Always quick to apply the needle to a teammate, Cooper’s target Wednesday was Johnnie Lee Higgins.

“Hey Higgins, make a play,” Cooper said.

Later, Cooper urged Russell, “Throw it to Higgins. He hasn’t made a play in two weeks.”

– Center Jake Grove, who hasn’t practiced through minicamps and OTAs following offseason surgery, looks more bulky, but Kiffin believes the weight is well distributed.

“Jake’s doing extremely well with what he can do as far as the weight room and rehab,” Kiffin said. “We’ve got a lot of expectations for Jake to come in and battle for the starting spot at center.”

Chris Morris was back working with the first team at center after giving way to John Wade last week.

– Justin Griffith missed practice to run a youth sports camp, with Tony Jackson getting most of the work at fullback. Oren O’Neal remained sidelined with a hamstring pull, watching from the sidelines.

– Marques Tuiasosopo looks as if he could challenge Walter for the starting job, operating in an offense more suited to his skill set than the systems run by Norv Turner and then Art Shell/Tom Walsh.

“He’s done a real good job, especially in the move-the-ball situations, moving the ball around and getting it to the right people,” Kiffin said. “It feels like he’s been here a long time.”

That must of been the problem with Shell and Walsh. Not enough “move-the-ball” situations and too many instances of “drop back and look for a soft place to land.”

– Kiffin continues to laud Russell’s preparation and work ethic, and Russell said he is working as hard mentally as he is physically.

“I have everything on DVD and I watch it at home myself,” Russell said. “Everything _ runs, steps or pass settings _ anything that I can become good at _ I go home and look it over myself.”

– Russell said he planned on getting some R&R time, but wouldn’t overdo it, joking that stories would surface that he is “back up to” 300 pounds.

– The Raiders opted to make Wednesday’s session open, keeping their final session out of the prying eyes of the media.

“Tomorrow we’ll go to more of a team format, kind of have fun with guys, divide them up, let them play a little bit,” Kiffin said.

A Raiders spokesman confirmed there would be no confirmation of Javon Walker getting into town Wednesday night and that Walker would not be available for interviews Thursday.

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  • lefty 12

    i hope i didn’t offend anyone but i thought that needed to be said.

  • http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll180/floresrd508/raidernation.jpg SouthTexasRaider

    RAIDER NATION!

  • lefty 12

    you let racist bs appear on here all week and you moderate a post trying to make peace.

  • RaiderLen

    Lefty 12..I aspire to post as Jmac 2 as homage to the next great Raider QB.

    Kenny S was My Raider QB as a Kid.

    Plunkett came a bit later.

  • http://i288.photobucket.com/albums/ll180/floresrd508/raidernation.jpg SouthTexasRaider

    whats up dogg, hope you been good.

    texas football is crazy down here. you start playing when your 6 or 7 and it grows on you. i played from 8 all up through high school and it was awesome. nothing feels better than making a td and hearing your school fight song cuz of it.

    but yeah, it is big over here

  • lefty 12

    Len-let’s hope JR turns out like the Snake and Plunkett-even better.then our team will be where we should be-in contention EVERY year.

  • RaiderLen

    South Tex Raider…You Fellas also hold Your Boys back in school too! Right…lol Gotta give the Young fellas a leg up on the scholorships and competition.

  • RaiderLen

    Lefty…I’m Not only hoping I’m expecting…I say this because He not only has the Physical gifts…but it appears as though He may have the intangible one’s as well. :)

  • The Dude

    My opinion- We will have an extremely good running game no2 behind Vikings.

    We will be affective in passing and have a good passing offensive.

    Kwame Harris will be effective and solid at LT.

    We will have a very good passing defence 1 of the best

    We will not stop the run as our 2 line has not improved and has probably gotten worse.

    Overall we will improve on last year and finish 2nd in our division but just miss the play-offs.

  • The Dude

    KoolKell u dont post anything of interest anymore i used to read and respect ur posts now i just skip on past them. Wats up?

  • snake

    banned for life

  • snake

    lol new hardware changes things i guess

  • http://www.car.org/ KoolKell

    Dude,

    Never heard of you, but keep skipping if you like.

    There’s all these people I’ve never heard of using my name all the time. Why is that? Ahh, I know, maybe I know you from a different moniker, no?

  • http://www.car.org/ KoolKell

    Why do you ask Dude, waitin to hijack my cred, by using my name?

    Want to see if I’m still here?

  • saintkaufman

    evening smellas.

    KK, what are you still doing here? Holy Toledo!
    What is that auto-skip function anyways??

  • RaiderLen

    Saint K…lol I like the greeting “smellas” Can I …ah “borrow” it from time to time?

  • saintkaufman

    Have at it RaiderLen.

    Picked it up from a golfer one day.

    Just read that Steven Jackson article on Yahoo sports, that was nasty.

  • Immodest in Modesto

    RLen: Stabler was not my first qb, but has always been my favorite. Dude: we need Harris to be competent. What makes you think he is? I’m worried for JMarc. StK: at least these guys are talking RAIDER FOOTBALL!!!

  • http://raiders.com 408RAIDER

    J russ = bigger stronger faster horse face….. Pluss hes working hard setting the example if we can believe coach

  • lefty 12

    RE post 1061:it’s not him,imo.keep bringing your opinion;keep up the football talk.

  • Dakota

    FUUUUUUUK THE BRONCOS!

  • Dakota

    AND THE CHIEFS TOOOOOOOO

  • Dakota

    AND MR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.thetooz.com The Tooz

    Rrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiidddddeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrssssssssssssssssss!!!!

  • http://www.thetooz.com The Tooz

    Wasssuuup Raider Nation?

  • http://www.thetooz.com The Tooz

    Each time I read the blog about ota`s and whatnot, Gibril Wilson always is absent,…personal reasons,…whats with this guy?

  • http://www.thetooz.com The Tooz

    Hey guys the first home game is less then two months!!! We are in section 124, anyone close to that area?

  • South Dakota Killa #99

    raiders

  • South Dakota Killa #99

    Maybe we will get some info from the inside dude,yeah right hahahah

  • http://www.yooo.com victor

    who will be outta the nfl sooner?

    -pacman jones
    -javon walker
    -lane kiffin
    -tank johnson

    - i got money on walker, since he thinks he is a prettyboy thug and only cares about wasting cash and acting a fool. I also gotta feeling kiffin will be gone soon since he thinks he is the second coming of lombardi, lane kiffin barks like a pitbull but bites like lassie.

  • http://none MR

    Oakglenn Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    “Actually Death the Kelly signing definitely makes sense. He was arguably our best defensive lineman last year,”

    …………

    Hence, the best defensive linemen…on the Raiders. Which means when it comes to defensive linemen rushing the quarterback yet doing the olay when a running back flies right by them, he’s the best. No, wait…he’s “arguably” the best. What that basically means is that even you yourself are admitting he might not even be the best defensive linemen… on the worst defensive line in football. So, sure, Oakglenn, making him the highest paid defensive tackle in NFL history makes all the sense in the world.

    So anyway, Oak, you’re probably out pulling chicks in your Benzo, so go ahead and respond to this tomorrow. You’re IBA’s own Too $hort, Oakglenn. Again, it’s a shame you had to actually announce that to us us this morning. I mean, come on. We, your admirers, knew you had that certain something the ladies flock to, all along. It shows with your every stroke of the keyboard, Oakglenn. You’re every woman’s dream.

  • http://none MR

    # Dakota Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    FUUUUUUUK THE BRONCOS!
    # Dakota Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    AND THE CHIEFS TOOOOOOOO
    # Dakota Says:
    June 20th, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    AND MR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    …….

    And sobriety!!!!

    And common sense!!!

  • La Milicia Negra

    Pathetic…

  • La Milicia Negra

    Raider O…

    btw… we assumed wrong =) LOL

  • Eyepatch

    MR needs to read before he post, Kelly is not the highest paid DT anymore, Harris is until the next signing. At least you give Oakglenn respect because he drives a Benz. We all know you drive a Buick MR, a very old Buick because you can’t afford those male prostitutes in a Benz.

  • La Milicia Negra

    eyepatch….

    I think both you and MR needs to read , because I believe it was KoolKell driving a Benz… Not Oakglenn…
    Oakglenn might, but I haven’t seen him state anything like that…

    Not that I really care…

    you all can drive what ever you want to

  • Eyepatch

    MR said Oakglenn drives a Benz in the post above 1085, not sure what you are reading.

  • La Milicia Negra

    Eyepatch…

    Come on man, wakywaky!!

    Just because MR didn’t get that its was KoolKell who talked about his Benz NOT Oakglenn, doesn’t mean you can continue down the same stupid path… get a grip, learn to read, man…

    post 828, is where all this benz talk started…

  • Eyepatch

    Read post 1085, what does it say? “Oakglenn, you not out in your Benz tonight pulling chicks?” Since when did you start defending MR La Milicia?

  • Eyepatch

    In fact if you go up to post 815 Oakglenn says he drives a Benz. Milicia are you in Amsterdam smoking hash this morning?

  • Eyepatch

    Anyway, Walker is on video getting into a car under his own power.

  • La Milicia Negra

    Whoooooops!

    I didn’t know a MBZ was slang for a Mercedes… how the hell should I btw

    But Eyepatch sowwy :/

    and btw… I haven’t been to amsterdam this morning, no and I haven’t been smoking either, fyi you don’t need to go to Amsterdam to do so….

  • La Milicia Negra

    and where have I defended MR? please show me?

    I just find much of this talk so pathetic, it reminds me of 4 three year old fighting over the bucket in the sandbox…

    “My dad is stronger than your dad” kinda talk… its beneath grown men, IMO

  • Eyepatch

    Your in copenhagen right?

  • Eyepatch

    Its fun to rip MR though because he is so angry at having to live with himself he takes it out on others.

  • La Milicia Negra

    1090 +1100

    Yup =)

  • La Milicia Negra

    1099 that is =)

    btw, where have you seen the javon video??

  • Eyepatch

    Raidernews.com has a link to the video story. Or you can surf for Vegas newspapers.

  • Eyepatch

    The Raiders should go after this guy as insurance incase Walker gets suspended.
    http://www.govolsxtra.com/news/2008/jun/21/chargers-appear-ready-get-rid-parker/

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    Good-Morning,Greatest Nation!!!!!!!!!!! I firmly believe we have all the pieces 2 the puzzle.True some pieces will have 2 be pushed a little hard to make a nice fit.Jonnie Lee Higgins comes 2 mind.He has worked hard,causes no trouble on or off the field.Not an embaressment 2 THE NATION.I have tried 2 NOT comment on the Walker fiasco.But as other of my brothers have rightfully said;he aint done squat 4 the NATION yet.The jury is still out.I personally would make JLH #2 reciever behind Carter,Curry in the slot,no emberessment there,and let JLH grow into the best flanker in NFL.We have a great tight-end,and good pass-catching backs!COME-ON JOHNNIE-LEE THE NATION IS CALLING YOU.Open this high-octane offence UP!!!!!!!!!!!!