Part of the Bay Area News Group

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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  • Eyepatch

    Well you know if you see my name with a bunch a racial garbage its MR doing his dirty deeds again.

  • Eyepatch

    I just get the impression its a matter of time before Walker gets disciplined for something by the NFL.

  • Mistabrown

    Eyepatch,
    AJ Smith is the GM and calling the shots in SD. Norvell barely gets to blow his own whistle. So, although Norv will never win a SB at least learn who is doing what and where. Do you really think Norv has the weight to blow Lofton out of town ?

    # Eyepatch Says:
    June 21st, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    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/

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    Eyepatch,

    I think he will be fine. Remember when you were growing up? What helped you learn from your mistakes? A good ol’ fashion a$$ beating from your parents.

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    Oakglenn

    Good point on Lofton and there were rumors even before Walker´s “issue” that we were looking to bring up another vet to camp, Koren Robinson was mentioned, Parker would be a better pickup.

  • Eyepatch

    Yes I do because he is now in Oakland and the Chargers had a strong receiving core last year. Turner has more say than you think.

  • lefty 12

    we know what Parker is.there is a chance either 1 or more of our younger guys will be better than him.but as Oak says the guy who would know is on our coaching staff now.

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    Mista is right about SD, Smith calls every shot there, that´s why he got rid of Marty.

  • lefty 12

    i thought one of the main reasons marty got canned was becuase he wouldn’t even talk to smith.they hated each other.smith wanted to work with his coach and marty wouldn’t-it was his way or nothing.

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    Yeah, Bob, AJ runs the show down there. Why do you think he hired a puppet like Norv? AJ is almost like Al. He snaps his fingers and people disappear.

  • http://none MR

    Eyepatch, Kelly was the highest paid DT in history at the time of his signing. That’s all I referred to and said nothing to contradict it. Has your tactic of debate gotten so weak as to where you’re not splitting hairs over something this small? Just give me the trophy and call it a day.

    If you have a shred of proof that I ever posted anything racist, Eyepatch, come with it. In the meantime, it’s just another baseless accusation. Pure conjecture… Hype. Nobody really knows what happened… (sound familiar?)

    Marley, what a write up explaining the Kelly signing. I’m not going to actually read it, but anyone who gives that much effort to explain one of the biggest off season blunders in Raiders history at least deserves the benefit of the doubt. Let’s put it this way, Marely. All that would explain Kelly’s money is him being a pro bowler for the next 5 seasons. First he might want to learn how to tackle a running back.

    Oakglenn, how’s the pimp life today, boss man cutty? We all know you’re out there pulling chicks. Check this out, I was at a bar last night, talking to a hottie. I was at a loss for words. Then I asked myself, what would Oakglenn say? At that moment, I started complaining about people saying negative things about the Raiders, and how I just couldn’t understand why they couldn’t see that the Raiders have all the pieces in place to win the next 5 Super Bowls. I then started yelling, to the point where everyone in the bar was looking at us. In tears, I yelled to her that Jerry has let the IBA blog get out of control, letting trolls take over the place. I told I her I was contacting every authority I could on the issue, and wasn’t going to give up till all of the trolls were gone. I then threw my bottle into the wall, breaking down crying. And guess what? IT WORKED! She took me home with her, Oakglenn. Thank you so much. You shouldn’t let us in on so much game. Remember, it’s to be sold and not told. Stay pimpin, Oakglenn. You are the coolest guy in the world.

  • Eyepatch

    You going to have to do better than that weak attempt MR lol.

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    We were having a nice conversation and then this happens. Come on guys.

  • Eyepatch

    Well MR speaks for himself as you can clearly read.

  • Mistabrown

    I think Kiffin even has more swag than Norv.

    lol

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    MR,

    What should we have done? I guarantee it that if we didn’t give Kelly that much, someone would have. Then where would we be? Given Kelly isn’t once in a lifetime talent, he is solid. He brings his lunch box and goes to work every game.

    Then we would have drafted Dorsey, an undersized solid college talent. I’ll change my judgement on him when I see him bang horns with the NFL’s big boys.

    Face it, withouth McFadden, all we would have is an untested Bush and an overachieving Fargas. Don’t get me wrong, I love Fargas but he played light years ahead of his talent last yeat.

  • Eyepatch

    And Kelly was the highest paid DT in history by 1 million MR, so get your facts straight.

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    Even look at the the 49ers gave Soapoaga! The guy wasn’t even an every down DT! If that much is being thrown around for bench players…

  • McCain’s Best Fundraiser

    MR: Who do YOU think is going to read YOUR whining novel?

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    Partyboy might have gotten the benefit of the dought;{being overweight}at OTAs.But no more.James Lofton was argubly the best reciever 2 ever play the game.A TRUE HOFer.There will NOT be ANY bs when it comes 2 his fine group of recievers.IMHO partyboy is behind the 8-ball,probobly that one too.Maybe Parker could help us,Im open 2 any and all suggestions.I hope Lofton takes JLH under his golden wings and shows him how 2 fly higher than anyone.Partyboy blew it before he even got 2 play against that “other team”.

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    Tatum,make good arguments,but on this point I disagree with you,I dont believe Huggy-Bear overachieved last year.In high-school hs rushed for 6300yrds and get this;82 TDS!!! Yes he was banged up at USC,and some in NFL.I think he can produce up 2 1200 or more yds this year,if given the reps.He finally is in his perfect element.In actuallity Bush and DMAC are the unknown.Also i have learned 2 ignore THE TROLL,you are correct;We ARE having exellent give and take here.I LOVE this site!!!

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    Post 1148; KUDOS 2 you EYEPATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    I will return in about an hour,have to take my 2yearold pit-bull baby 4 her mile walk.Since Im at it, IM 50,devorced,traveled in a rock-n-roll band in my teens,twentys and early thirties.I lived hard and through it all,since I was 4 years old,I bleed SILVER/BLACK.I dont have a basement,dont live with MOM [I would,ILOVE her so much],shes 2 busy!But what Im trying 2 say is through all these posts I feel like ALL YOU GUYS ARE MY BROTHERS and I would rather stay here and talk about OUR PROUD NATION.IM happy YOU are ALL here;even those who wear 49er jammies,just NOT the ones who spew racist VIEWS.BE back 1hr BROTHERS RAIDER-ON

  • La Milicia Negra

    Woaw…

    I just got home from a great concert…
    JERRY WHATS UP – I MEAN NO NEWS? WHATS UP WITH THAT???

  • La Milicia Negra

    Jerry Nice work!

    New thread!

  • http://www.fansinblack.com BenInNJ

    My condolences, Jerry.

    I lost my father some 10 years ago,so I know it’s tough when a man loses his father.

    Stay strong, my friend… that “time heals all wounds” thing is actually correct.

    BenInNJ
    Raiderfan
    Worldwide Fans In Black

  • http://google t. grissom

    i like disputing any football facts that anyone wants to dispute,but i swear if i have to read another “rascist comment”,or new words to call black people…grow up and keep it to sports are we men here or cowards hiding behind a computer because we are to scared to say it to someones face on the streets “in real life”.KEEP IT ABOUT SPORTS!!!!

  • http://none MR

    DEATHbyTATUM Says:
    June 21st, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    MR,

    What should we have done? I guarantee it that if we didn’t give Kelly that much, someone would have.

    ……

    Get into drug rehab, now.

  • http://none MR

    “Weak attempt” at what, Eyepatch?

  • http://none MR

    # McCain’s Best Fundraiser Says:
    June 21st, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    MR: Who do YOU think is going to read YOUR whining novel?

    …………

    Oakglenn, Dakota, Bob Marley, and MR Slapper (Ro34). They will read every last word of every single comment that I post. There’s nothing in life I’m more certain of.

  • http://none MR

    # Eyepatch Says:
    June 21st, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    And Kelly was the highest paid DT in history by 1 million MR, so get your facts straight.

    ……

    What fact didn’t I get straight? I said he was the highest paid DT at the time of his signing. Anything wrong there? No. The point I’m making, anyway, is that Kelly isn’t even worth a rookie contract. He’s dog s’t.

  • Dark Forces

    We should try and re-sign Barry Sims. Mark my words – Kwame Harris will be an unmitigated disaster.

  • Silver and Black Pride

    What is wrong with you MR??? Jerry just lost his father and all you can do is come in here and try to cause problems as usual. What is your major malfunction??? You should do the world a favor and jump off a bridge.

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    Dark Forces; i hope youre wrong,but 2 be on the safe,i think you might be right

  • http://none MR

    Silver and Black Snide, the topic of this blog entry has nothing to do with Jerry’s dad…that’s the next topic. See the bottom of the page, dimwit. And, in the spirit of showing respect for one who just lost a family member, it’s good to see you wishing death on another member here, hypocrite. Why don’t you kill yourself. Al’s got plenty of shills to replace you with.

  • http://none MR

    “In Oakland, the prescription for patience is bound to go unfilled. Lane Kiffin’s second season as the Raiders’ coach could end after four games, just like Mike Shanahan’s tenure 19 years ago. Or Kiffin could be gone by halftime of the season opener. Or three quarters into an exhibition.

    The volatility there is frightening. Al Davis surely thinks he has given his young coach the type of resources that Danny Ainge so generously provided for Rivers. But if the unselfish maturity of a Kevin Garnett or Ray Allen has been added to the Raiders’ roster, it’s well-hidden.”

    Nancy Gay, SF Chronicle, 6/22

  • http://none MR

    “One wonders how happy Lane Kiffin is with Walker. Kiffin scolded Walker twice about his weight and conditioning; then came the Vegas thing. Not to widen any rift between boss and coach, but how could Kiffin not see this as another case of being saddled with one of Al’s beloved overpaid bad boys?”

    Scott Ostler, SF Chron 6/22

  • http://none MR

    Monte Poole, Oak Tribune, 6/20:

    “Thirty or so years ago, when they were at their best, the Raiders cultivated an image of raging outlaws, downing shots and tossing bar stools six days a week, saving the seventh for kicking opposing butts.

    But the image overplayed one facet at the expense of another. Though they partied hard and broke more than their share of laws and rules, they also had a reservoir of strength in two significant areas: Talent and leadership.

    The current Raiders might be desperate to recapture the glory of old, but they don’t seem to be as clear on the concept.

    Oh, they’re gathering talent. Al Davis has spent recent months on an unprecedented binge, collecting expensive players from Pro Bowls (DeAngelo Hall, Javon Walker), Super Bowls (Gibril Wilson), Cotton Bowls (Darren McFadden at Arkansas) and Seattle Bowls (Kwame Harris at Stanford).

    The new members join a quarterback taken first overall in 2007, an offensive lineman taken No. 2 overall in ’04, a Pro Bowl defensive end and, knock me over, the second-highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL.

    The development and unification of the roster, though, requires Part 2 of the equation. The complicated part.

    Which is where Walker was supposed to help.

    Despite coming off knee surgery and being dumped by his last team, the new wide receiver represented leadership on a unit starving for it. The massive contract he signed implied as much, and his veteran status put him among the few who could even pretend to qualify.

    Though Walker’s curious past beat the drums of skepticism, this was his opportunity to silence the Broncos, Packers and other doubters. New team, new town, chance to set a new example.

    So much for that. While partying in Las Vegas last weekend, Walker reportedly spent $15,000 on champagne, was photographed spraying much of it on strangers, then wound up beaten and hospitalized. He was a victim and, thankfully, he’s expected to make a complete recovery. But the Raiders are victims, too. They need leaders and thought they had one, only to watch him flunk his first semester.

    This is not to pile on Javon, for he doesn’t need that. There’s no point in telling him how fortunate he is to be alive; that message was delivered 18 months ago, in Denver, by the bullets that missed Walker and killed his former teammate, Darrent Williams.

    This is to say poor “leadership” can threaten the entire operation.

    Among the leaders of recent quality Raiders teams were Rich Gannon, Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, Lincoln Kennedy, Greg Biekert, Rod Woodson, Eric Allen and Steve Wisniewski. They tried to reach high-risk teammates such as Charles Woodson, Charlie Garner, Andre Rison and, of course, Barret Robbins.

    When John Madden or Tom Flores were walking the sideline, there was a tradition of leadership. It’s no coincidence that Gene Upshaw is one of the most influential men in sports. Or that Art Shell became a head coach and executive in the NFL office. Or that Mike Haynes became an league vice president.

    Or that all three are in the Hall of Fame “” along with eight others who played under Madden or Flores.

    Ted Hendricks and Dave Casper were bright guys from other planets who become beasts on game day. Ken Stabler and Fred Biletnikoff played as hard as they worked. All four, undeniably talented, were leaders because they found ways to live the high life and still perform at an All-Pro level.”

  • Silver and Black Pride

    Jump, MR, jump!!!!! Do the universe a favor

  • http://none MR

    You jump, loser. I’ve never thought of suicide in my life. But it’s obvious you do. In fact, in order to be a huge supporter of Al Davis these days I think being manically depressed is a requirement. 19-61 will make you jump, jump! I’m having too much fun making fun of the elderly fool. And will continue to until he retires.

  • http://none MR

    If Al Davis would jump, jump, the Raiders would have another Lombardi trophy in 3 years’ time.

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    How about Culpooper turning down 1mil 4 1year in cheeseland? From september 2 end of november its awesome in BEER COUNTRY,a great place 2 end or begin a career!If his heart was in it and not his brain,i think he wouldve jumped at it

  • Stallion

    Wow, what has happened to this blog. I actually used to enjoy reading it, but there are a bunch of ignorant, racist a$$holes on here. And seriously, who cares about what job you hold down, as long as you’re working. And if you’re bragging about being a real estate agent give me a break. Anyone can get their real estate license, it’s not impressive in any way. It’s basically the field you fall back on when you can’t get any other job.

  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    death 2 the troll

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