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OTA highlights

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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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • http://raiders.com 408RAIDER

    Good morning NATION its going to be a long month with no new fix except 4 some news on Walkers face…….

    eyepatch thanx 4 info about the link….. I knew that was a bs story IMO he should have jyst said I was chasein ass and got set up by said ass…. oh well he is loosing respect

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    And oh-yeah; GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORAIDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    Our thoughts and prayers go out 2 the folks in Santa-Cruz county .Damn fires

  • ChargersChoke

    Anyone think Buffalo will trade for Lamont Jordan now that Marshawn Lynch will accepting a plea deal next week?

  • http://www.thetooz.com The Tooz

    Lamont who?….he hasnt been a Raider since the day after the Charger game….he wont be traded,..he will be released. Not soon enough. Im old, fat, usually stoned,…and I can beat him in a race.

  • Eyepatch

    Davis knows Lamont won’t work out in the offseason so he is waiting to release the bum on the day before his salary counts.

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    theres about 30 nfl and nba players in Vegas since yesterdasy 4 a charity, including LaMont Jordan. No embaressing stories so far.Jordan may have been labeled a lazy a$$ BUT at least he knows how 2 at least ACT like he has some scrupples in the public domain.Who knows; maybe his demotion demoralized him,maybe he still has something 2 prove.Maybe we can still get something 4 him.I dunno I havent seen him.GO RAIDERS!!!

  • Exlaraiderseasonticketholder
  • Eyepatch

    Oakland vs Baltimore 1977 on NFL network in 12 minutes. My last post is awaiting moderation, thats a first.

  • Eyepatch

    Mike Anderson suspended for the season, one more free agent back down, Jordan’s stock just went up.

  • Exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Eyepatch
    you’re not the only one awaiting moderation.
    Go to pft to see what happened Vernon Carey when he got home from a cruise. Comparison made to a Raider WR. lol

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    Hahahahahaha FoolKell can’t comprehend that people think he is an idiot. “Stop using a different moniker” he says. Kell, it’s possible that people think you are an idiot.

    Anyways, back to the team…Anyone see’s Javon’s pic spraying Don P in the paper? There goes his credibility. That guy is a chunker.

  • Exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    No one here today?

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    Going back a few comments that mentioned Tommy Kelly, I mentioned this before and I´ll say it again, to understand Tommy Kelly´s deal you have to look at the whole DT market.

    For instance…

    The Browns traded a 3rd round pick (#87 overall) and an above average CB in Leigh Bodden for 29 yr. old Shaun Rodgers and then gave him a 6 yr. deal with 20 million guaranteed and 23 million to be paid over the firts 3 seasons.

    - That´s more money than Kelly and they had to give up a good starter and a valuable draft pick for an older, equally injury-prone guy with stamina, desire and weight issues.

    The NYJ traded a 3rd (#67) and a 5th (#141) for 29 yr. old Kris Jenkins and then gave him a 30 million deal, they will pay him 9.5 million in 2008 which is the only guaranteed money he´ll get.

    - Again, they gave up 2 valuable draft picks and basically took a one year shot for 9.5 million because this guy also comes with weight issues, so they protected their money but if Jenkins flops they essentially gave up the 2 draft picks and 9.5 million for one year of Jenkins.

    Buffalo gave up a 3rd round pick (#71) and a 5th (#143) for Marcus Stroud, 30 yrs. old coming off two injury plagued seasons as well as a 4 game suspension for steroids. Stroud has 16.5 million in salaries over the next 3 seasons.

    - Same as the previous 2 deals, draft picks traded for an older guy with injury concerns and a steroids suspension last year, the money is reasonable if he gets back to his old form.

    All of those guys are older than Tommy Kelly who won´t turn 28 until the end of next season and they all come with similar or bigger concerns, including injuries, weigth and dedication issues. At least with Kelly we have a guy who plays hard and does not struggle to keep himself under 400 pounds as Rodgers and Jenkins usually do.

    And as far as the financual terms, we´ll pay Kelly 18 million over the next 3 seasons, that´s his guarantee and we didn´t have to give up any draft picks or starters.

    It seems like a good deal to me, even though he´s obviusly a bit overpaid….

    After looking at how much Cle, NYJ and Buffalo had to give up in terms of draft picks, players and money for those players, it´s hard to imagine other teams not interested in paying Kelly, specially when they didn´t need to give up anything in return.

  • Eyepatch

    As soon as the Charger release Parker the Raiders need to grab him.

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    By the way, the media never mentions this but the market for DT´s was set 1 year ago when Detroit gave Cory Redding a 7 yr. 49 million deal with 16 million guaranteed and 20 million over the first 3 seasons.

    The fact is you can´t get top DL in Free Agency, unless you get them before they break out like we did with Burgess or if they are in the latter stage of their career, which was the case with Sapp.

    You have to develop your own and then keep them, you will rarely, if ever, see guys like Seymour, Wilfork, Henderson, Haynesworth, Freeney, Strahan, Taylor or Harris hit the FA market or become available without big compensation.

  • Eyepatch

    Dorsey is damaged goods and the Chefs will find that out real soon. McFadden ran all over Dorsey and his team last year.

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    Eyepatch

    Since you brought Dorsey´s injuries up…

    Add the fact that in 2006, LSU went into the Arkansas game allowing only 74 rushing yards a game and McFadden torched them for 182.

    In 2007 LSU once again went into the Arkansas game allowing just 78 rushing yards a game, only to be torched by McFadden´s 206 yds.

    And finally, out of the 2006 and 2007 Arkansas OL starters, only 1 player was drafted, Tony Ugoh last year.

    On the other hand, LSU´s defense over the last 2 seasons was among the best, if not the the best, in the country.

    It has featured 2 top 10 picks in LaRon Landry and Dorsey, as well as 09 projected 1st round picks DE Tyson Jackson and DT-NT Al Woods who are top 10 candidates and LB Daryl Beckwith and S Chad Jones.

    Not to mention a bunch of capable guys who came also came out this year and will play in the NFL such as Craig Steltz, Chevis Jackson, Ali Highsmith, Luke Sanders and next year lesser prospects such as Marlon Favorite and Charles Alexander both DT´s and DE Ricky Jean-Francois.

    Point is, LSU´s defense has been loaded for the past 2 seaons and McFadden ran all over them, it obviously wasn´t a one on one matchup, but Dorsey wasn´t alone, he was surrounded by future pros, it didn´t matter.

    In fact, LSU´s DL from last year could end up with 3 top 10 picks in Dorsey, Jackson and Woods, they will be 1st rounders at the very least.

    Of course, that was college and this is the pros, it´s a whole new ballgame, but it´s worth mentioning.

  • RaiderFan

    This used to be a good blog about Raiders Football, but it has slipped into the dregs of mental midgets.

    Jerry, PLEASE hire someone to edit this blog so they can delete all the items that are NOT related to Raider Football, or the message that you post.

    Thanks
    GO RAIDERS!

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    POst;1114-1116-1118, it dont get no clearer than that.So actually ,once again,AD knows wtf hes doing!!Stick that in your whatever pipe your smokin and realize what time it is.Thank you Mr Marley!!!!

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    Marley,

    It’s a two way street. You can look at it as LSU had bad days against the Razorbacks or McFadden was just a man amongst boys. I choose to take the latter.

    It draws a similar portrait as to what AP did against the Chargers last season. The Chargers defense, as a whole, was dominant but for one game…AP ran WILD on an otherwise rock-solid defense. Things like this justify taking McFadden instead of concentrating on a need pick like Dorsey.

    Sure, we sure as hell could use Dorsey but McFadden is such a mismatch and a playmaker, it would be tough to pass him up. Darren will bring the ‘any given Sunday’ mindset every week. If he is a good as advertised, who says we wont run all over the Chargers or even New England (which the Giants proved is possible)? Then again, there is always the possiblity of McFadden being blown out of proportion by the media the way Reggie was…but I try not to think like that.

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    Youre welcome 4evaRaider.

    Tatum..

    I agree, McFadden ran wild against LSU´s strong defense but he also struggled vs Auburn last season and didn´t have great days vs a couple of other teams.

    I brought up the LSU games because of Dorsey but like I said, it´s interesting to note but it doesn´t mean McFadden will be a better player.

    To me, they´re both great talents but McFadden´s unique skills coupled with Dorsey´s injuries and less than ideal size offset the fact that we could have used another DT over a “RB”.

    In fact, we shouldn´t consider McFadden simply another RB, he appears to be an all-around weapon.

  • Eyepatch

    Pat Sims and Auburn held McFadden to 2.5 yards per carry last year in a win.

  • http://www.Raiders.com Oakglenn

    Good comments regarding DT’s from both Bob Marley and dbyt. One other thing Bob is this, please notice that 5 of the top 8 choices in this last years NFL draft were defensive linemen. Five of the top 8!! Factor in the next two choices were OLB’s that figure to play on the line in an Eagle or 50 shade, and now you have 7 of the top 10. That’s pretty substantive. Now there is one or two posters here that want to say the NY Giants blitzed NE to death. Most knowledgeable posters know better and I think the fact that the draft was top heavy in defensive linemen mirrors the Giants success. That’s fact of the new NFL.

    If Tommy Kelly was paid $80mm, and all other DL were in the $40mm range, then, yeah, you could say he was overpaid. Factor the draft comments above and when Kelly signs a deal that gets superseded a week later by another DL contract,it’s hard to say he was overpaid.

    With regards to Dmac vs. Dorsey, please note that Dmacs yardage total in both those games included two very very long runs. Remove those two plays and McFadden was basically contained. However, Dmac did break those two long runs so in fairness to him, he did get the yardage. Just something to consider. Personally, I don’t relish the prospect of seeing Glenn Dorsey in white and red twice a year. JMHO

  • Eyepatch

    The fact is nobody has been overpaid because Al jumped into the fire first by signing players before their salaries really ballon here in the next two years. Dorsey won’t be seen twice a year because he will be nursing a lingering leg injury.

  • Eyepatch

    I’d rather see Dorsey twice a year than McFadden.

  • Eyepatch

    I hope Simms goes to the Fortyniners and false starts against the Raiders in the preseason.

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    Oakglenn

    About your comment on McFadden´s 2 long runs vs LSU, take those 2 runs out and look at the numbers, in the 06 game McFadden still ran 20 times for 102 yards(a nice 5 ypc.) and in 07 he still had 31 carries for 133 yards (looks like he gained the tough yards and took the pounding here).

  • Eyepatch

    Arkansas had a terrible offense too, no passing game threat. SEC defenses keyed on McFadden and Jones and still could not stop them.

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    But hey that´s ancient history, we all root for McFadden now.

  • Eyepatch

    Auburn is one of the few teams that did not give up the big play to them.

  • Eyepatch

    Parker has been one of Rivers most reliable receivers for the past couple of years and the Chargers are phasing him out. That would be a great pickup by Al and Kiffin.

  • lefty 12

    Eyepatch,what do you mean.before the draft the DM crowd was bragging about what a great passer DM was.but as Bob says it’s ancient history-DM wears a Raider uniform so we will root for him.

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    The thing is, McFadden will not be a feature back. That’s what people are failing to realize. We are going to have a stable of backs. Let teams key on McFadden, thats when we run a 2 WR set, split DMac wide and bring in Bush. And given Bush’s great hands, a split formation with both Bush and Dmac. The possibilities are endless with a weapon like McFadden. He makes the entire offense better.

  • lefty 12

    the reason the dischargers are phasing him out is their recievers have sucked.kind of like us saying good riddence to porter.

  • Eyepatch

    Oh God not MR as Lefty with the negative waves and nobody said McFadden was a great passer.

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    Eyepatch

    I guess this is what you mean…I hadn´t heard about it.

    “Kevin Acee, of the San Diego Union-Tribune, reports the San Diego Chargers have fielded calls from several teams regarding the services of WR Eric Parker, according to sources. Parker is expected to be either traded or released by the start of training camp.

    The Cleveland Browns are among the teams that have shown interest in Parker. The Chargers are believed to be asking for a draft pick somewhere in the final three rounds.”

  • Eyepatch

    The reason the are releasing Parker is because of Chambers, Parker has been one of their best receivers.

  • Exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    How do marginal football players get lucky and have 3 teams interested. PFT reports 9ers, Rams, Ravens want Sims.

  • Eyepatch

    It is Turner screwing things up in San Diego just like he has done everywhere else. First it was letting Lofton go because he wanted to move in a new direction, now Parker.
    http://www.govolsxtra.com/news/2008/jun/21/chargers-appear-ready-get-rid-parker/

  • http://www.Raiders.com Oakglenn

    You guys are all exactly right. Eyepatch that Auburn defense was outstanding. I’m just offering a tiny bit contrary opinion here, but as Bob says, I’ve now become the single biggest Dmac fan on the planet. I don’t know if you guys saw my comment a day or two ago where I was saying we really need guys here who love the game, not just the $$$ and the lifestyle. Dmac is one of those guys that loves the game. So is Mike Bush, and so is Jamarcus. That is something that has been SORELY lacking here in recent years!!

    Also with regards to Parker, don’t forget the person who made him what he is in the league, James Lofton is sitting right here in Alameda.

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    ExLA,

    Marginal players get lucky because they are usually the type of underrated talent that can help a franchise get over the hump.

    Minus last year, passed Patriots championship teams were fueled by marginal football players with a great work ethic: Troy Brown,Kevin Faulk, etc.

  • lefty 12

    eyepatch-either you are new to this blog,or you don’t read very well.DM fans before the draft were talking about what a great threat DM was because of among other things his passing ability.btw,there is no negative crap in my post.the man is now a Raider,and we fans will root for him.as i’ve said many times-you root for the uniform because the people filling them constantly change.also,i’ll admit,before the draft i was for drafting a DL,but we didn’t so i accept that and i accept who we picked.

  • Eyepatch

    I never ead where he was a great passer only that he could pass on toss sweeps, he almost always ran when snapped the ball in a shotgun formation.

  • Eyepatch

    What was the quarterbacks name for Arkansas last year? I forget

  • lefty 12

    and Eyepatch-don’t resort to name calling.that’s about as low as you can go calling someone MR.lol

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    I don’t think he was regarded as a “good passer” rather he has the ability to throw the ball when asked.

    It’s like LT. The guy isn’t know for his passing eventhough it seems like every year that guy is a throwing a few TD passes. Team don’t key on LT’s arm.I read that he had the passing aspect but I never really heard that it was a real threat.

  • Eyepatch

    lol ok my bad :)

  • lefty 12

    i wasn’t necessarily refering to you.there were many others saying it.

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    Parker is a decent player and would be great insurance in case any of our top 3 guys (Party boy, Curry and Carter) goes down….but we´d probably have to give up on 2 of the younger, cheaper guys like Shields, Schilens or Watkins, as well as trading a pick, I dont see it happenning but it wouldn´t be a bad move, specially if he ends up released.