Training camp, Day 3


Quick hits from the Raiders’ lone practice Saturday:

— It was probably to be expected after the aerial display featuring JaMarcus Russell the previous evening, but the Raiders came back to earth Saturday afternoon in a snappy practice that was wrapped up in under an hour and 40 minutes.

Things were much more difficult for the near-rookie, as Russell mixed in some nice balls with several that were broken up and nearly intercepted, as well as one badly thrown pass late over the middle that free safety Michael Huff read perfectly and snared on a dive.

Coach Lane Kiffin said he was more interested in watching Russell convert the routine plays than the sort of Star Wars show he put on Friday night.

“We’re not going to coach those special throws that he makes where he’s running over there and he throws back and makes those great throws. That’s who he is and very few people can do that,” Kiffin said. “But those happen one time a game, maybe two times. We’ve got to get him to do everything right, the little things, the little completions and the timing of everything.

“That’s all the stuff that wows the fans and people watching but that’s not what makes you a good quarterback. A good quarterback plays with great discipline, he takes care of the ball and he throws things on time. We’re going to have to get that going with him. He’s continuing to improve on it. We’re giving him a lot of reps. We’re wearing him out on purpose for conditioning, not just his arm but his body.”

Said Russell about what was important: “The small detail things. When you pay close attention to that, then things will be better for you instead of being Superman all the time.”

— During one seven-on-seven sequence, Russell was nearly intercepted by DeAngelo Hall while looking for Johnnie Lee Higgins along the sideline _ a pass that could have been a defensive touchdown. His next pass, intended for tight end Tony Stewart, was tipped in the air and nearly intercepted by Sam Williams.

— Two plays later, Marques Tuiasosopo, who also threw well Friday night, was intercepted by linebacker Robert Thomas on a pass intended for Jonathan Holland.

— In a team sequence, Russell fared better when on back-to-back throws. Drew Carter made a difficult, physical catch with Chris Johnson draped all over him on a 12-yard out, and Russell followed it up with a touch lob for 20-plus yards to tight end John Madsen in stride.

— Early in practice, with the running backs breaking out of one drill and heading toward another at the horn, Kiffin threw a high pass which nearly caught an unsuspecting Darren McFadden right in the face guard, with McFadden reaching up at the last second to knock down.

At the conclusion of practice, Kiffin was talking to an assistant coach only to be nearly struck by a Shane Lechler skyscraper. It was caught by Rashad Baker.

“Was that Shane or the JUGS machine?,” Kiffin asked as he went to the podium to speak to reporters. When told it was Lechler, Kiffin said, “Don’t think he didn’t do that on purpose.”

— Rookie receiver Arman Shields, who has had some impressive moments through the early sessions, incurred the wrath of offensive coordinator Greg Knapp for a half-speed route.

“C’mon rook. Break on it,” Knapp barked. “When you break on it, you might want to go toward the ball and not off the field. You’ve got to focus when you’re tired.”

— Running backs coach Tom Rathman was instructing running backs how to stop in their tracks in the middle of a zone then break outside to get open underneath. He used Justin Griffith to demonstrate how it was done before turning to second-year fullback Oren O’Neal and McFadden.

O’Neal ran the route well enough, but didn’t look up in time and Russell’s pass glanced off his hands.

“Gotta have it, `O,’ ” Rathman said.

Next was McFadden, who ran into the middle and then peeled off without stopping first.

“No, sit first. You’ve got to sit first,” Rathman said.

— Left tackle Kwame Harris missed practice with a sore lower back and is expected back Sunday morning. In his place, Paul McQuistan, who has been seeing time at left guard, moved outside to tackle. Also playing left tackle were Seth Wand and Mario Henderson, who is competing with Cornell Green on the right side.

Raiders tackles have had difficulty slowing the charge of Derrick Burgess (almost always on the left side, a few snaps on the right) and Kalimba Edwards from the outside. Kiffin conceded it is that area where Harris will need to get up to speed.

“He’s been a better run player for us so far,” Kiffin said. “We got some things in the pass protection going back to the left side — he hasn’t been there for a while — that we’ve got to work out, that (Tom) Cable’s working on with him. We got a lot of hopes for him, and we’re going to need him.”

— The Raiders appear to be running the ball well and crisply with Justin Fargas, McFadden and Michael Bush, although until they face a team in a different uniform, it will be tough to tell how good they really are.

— Linemen who false start have been told to take laps around the field, with McQuistan and Brandon Robb among those to make the circuit Saturday.

— Rookie end Trevor Scott has had some difficulty disengaging and making his presence felt a pass rusher. A converted tight end, Scott is listed at 6-foot-5, 255 pounds and actually looks smaller out of uniform.

One one play, with Louis Rankin breaking free, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan yelled, “C’mon Trevor, you’ve got to hold that edge!”

“It’s definitely something that takes getting used to,” Scott said. “Coming from college to the NFL, there’s really no comparison. Guys are just phenomenal, and the O-linemen have great feet, and that’s where coach (Keith) Millard is really telling me to hone in on my techniques and trust my technique and have my technique beat theirs. Use agility and quickness and try to get around them.”

— Huff, sometimes invisible while lost in among the bigger players at strong safety, has been conspicuous not only with his playmaking, but his enthusiasm for playing free safety.

“I’m out there running around, having fun, make Gibril (Wilson) take on all the tackles and guards and fullbacks and all that,” Huff said. “I can stay back there and make plays.”

Huff is doing a good job reading the offense, but is having a hard time figuring out his weight pattern. He said he tried to bulk up to last year and finished the season at a skeletal 193 pounds. Now that he’s a free safety, he is up to 205.

“I know it’s strange, but I feel quick out there, real fast,” Huff said.

— If Tommy Kelly is as good as the Raiders seem to think he is, that $18.125 million guaranteed won’t seem so bad after the $22 million guaranteed Glenn Dorsey got from the Kansas City Chiefs.

It was just a day or two ago that Chiefs exec Carl Peterson was spouting his usual nonsense about Dorsey’s contract demands, only to cave in and pay what the market demanded he pay.

— Kelly has been putting in overtime on the cardio machines after practice, working on getting his weight down. He has been one of the last players to leave the field house.

— Safety Greg Wesley (back spasms) and linebacker Grant Irons (hamstring) missed practice and are day-to-day. Defensive end Fred Wakefield (flu-like symptoms) was back at practice and even played a few snaps inside at defensive tackle.

— If Al Davis is the kind of guy who worries about these things, he hates the idea of LaMont Jordan joining New England, where he could join Randy Moss and show up the Raiders by putting up big numbers, and even warned his agent to make sure he went somewhere else.

More logically, Davis is pleased to see Jordan wind up in a place where he is buried behind Lawrence Maroney and Kevin Faulk, putting him only one rung above the Fargas-McFadden-Bush mountain he faced in Oakland.

— The Raiders have a double session today with the first practice at 9 a.m. and the second at 7 p.m.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • La Milicia Negra

    that wasn’t my best sentence…. hmm

  • Johnny Rebel

    McQuistan is not working on the right side of the line and started at LT Saturday… said Kiffin.

  • FF? isnt that kinda cheating on the Raiders?

  • Thanks for the link there Johnny (#144). I must say that this is finally starting to look more and more like an organized TEAM.

  • Mistabrown

    No, Im a sore winner.

  • Dakota

    LMN, don’t worry about your sentence structure; sadly, it is better than most poster in here.

  • La Milicia Negra

    Jerry Rebel..

    true, I just think you put way tooo much in that…

    our main dish this year is bread and butter, so we will run all day… Harris is our best run-game lineman so to me its pretty obvious that he’ll be the starter, plus that Cable said that is was his guy, personal pride and stuff, Cable will make Harris a starter…

    McQuistan is an okay backup, and in 2 years time he might be a okay starter… but not yet.. – thats is just how i see it.. and I think that most reports we will see from camp will be negative when it comes to Harris, because most want us to fail, making gold of rocks.

  • good grief!
    just getting!! LOL
    Harris is Cables boy
    end o story

  • Johnny Rebel

    LOL he started last year for Cornell, you not making much sense LMN.

  • La Milicia Negra

    tried Fantasy leaque once, a few years ago, and I gotta admit, didn’t get it then, perhaps the internet versions wasn’t as good as they are now…

    when you never tried it, its not that easy…

    which fantasy league does you guys use?

  • La Milicia Negra


    yeah and he was still the 2nd choice.. thats my point, he isn’t good enough to be a starter, he started because Green got injured… and Green wasn’t that good, so when Mcquistan needs an injury to get PT (thanks K-rock) its a good sign you’re not ready to be a 16game starter…

    thats my point…. I like the guy, as a backup, and I think a year or two would do him good, then he might be starter material…

  • Florida Pete

    La Milicia Negra Says:
    July 27th, 2008 at 8:06 am
    tried Fantasy leaque once, a few years ago, and I gotta admit, didn’t get it then, perhaps the internet versions wasn’t as good as they are now…


    it’s the tubes… those skinny damned tubes…

  • Mistabrown

    Two spots left.


    League Name Jerrys Kids
    League Type Private
    Description Ibabuzz Raider blog
    Draft Date August 08/03/08, 1:00 PM ET
    Draft Style Live Draft
    Password – 4blitzs

  • Dakota

    Did everyone go to church or something?

  • Only competitive players please, no midseason quitters.

  • Mista

    You forgot to say that.

  • Curtis Chalupa

    I haven’t heard anyone mention Zach Miller and how he is doing at training camp. Is he injured?

  • Mista

    You should invite Oakglenn, that oughta be fun when you two play…

  • Dakota

    That is not funny Bob!

  • What?

  • Dakota

    Oakglenn and Mista playing is never a fun sight!

  • Dakota

    “They” are making a new Robocop sequal…due out in 2010.

    “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.”

  • Maybe you´re right..

  • Dakota

    Your move, creep.

  • Dakota
  • I wouldn´t get too worried about Kwame Harris just yet, it´s been 2 practices under a new system and at a position he hasn´t played in a few years. No one should have been expecting glowing reviews from day one, it´ll take some time.

  • Dakota

    I still think we should make an offer to the Bills for disgruntled LT Jason Peters. Whatever it takes…1st and a 3rd, 1st and a 3rd and a 3rd in 2010…I would trade quite a bit for a franchise LT.

  • Dakota

    I would love that too, 26 yr. old All-Pro Left Tackles are extremely rare, which is why I don´t see him going anywhere.

  • If you listen to Kiffins PC he seems very confident that they’ll get Harris there.

  • Dakota

    One can dream…

  • And on that same subject, I was looking at some of the prospects for the 09 Draft, there seems to be nice quality and depth at the OT position, if Kwame can´t cut it and assuming we pick somewhere between 10 and 20 we could get one next year.

  • Dakota

    Jason Peters was an undrafted rookie free agent…now he is a 26 year old all-pro LT…

    sounds like a movie script

  • There seems to be plenty of quality at DL too. What you are not gonna find, so far, is a McFadden type of weapon.

  • Dakota

    Al Woods DT LSU

  • I know I just said I wouldn´t worry about Kwame´s first 2 practices, so it´s the same deal here…but what the hell….it´s better than read that he was a monster…

    “Rookie defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey wasn’t a standout at his first practice. At times, he wasn’t even standing. Brian Waters tossed Dorsey to the ground in a one-on-one pass rush drill. Waters later shoved Dorsey aside to create a hole for Larry Johnson in a running drill.”

  • Raider Dell

    Marley, Dakota,

    Have joined the league, are you ready to get your behinds kicked.

    Remember older and wiser.

    Here’s looking at you kid!

    I think you can figure out my moniker.

    Live draft, I got work to do.

    This will keep the interest up, off all that signed.

  • La Milicia Negra

    sorry to ask, but I signed up for jerrys kids, but how does the draft go, just us 12 guys or how – please explain me the campaign, if its not to much to ask?

  • Raider Dell


    They have the rules and how the draft works on the same page were you signed up.

    Lokk up Fantasy Rules, this will give you the info you need.

    I printed it out and will plan my attack on August 3.

  • Dakota

    Yeah, I´d love either of Dorsey´s former teammates, Woods and DE Tyson Jackson who´s a big guy able to play the run and the pass. They may go Top 10 though, I´m hoping they´ll be out of reach for us.

  • Dell, Milicia

    Good to see you join Mista´s league, should be fun…what is it that you don´t get Milicia?.

  • La Milicia Negra

    Is it too risky to only take 1 QB or is that normal in a live draft?

  • It´s amazing that LSU´s Front 7 from last year is likely to end up with 4 first Round picks, maybe 3 top 10. In addition to Dorsey being a top 5 pick, DT Woods and DE Jackson have top 10 potential and LB Daryl Beckwith is considered a 1st rounder too, DT Marlon Favorite, DE Ricky Jean-Francois and DE Kirston Pittman figure to be drafted in the middle-late rounds as well.

    Of course, McFadden ran all over, past and around that bunch of NFL caliber players.

  • La Milicia Negra

    and what about DST, 1 or 2? whats the general thing to do?

  • Milicia

    You should read the “draft kit” on nfl.com, you´ll find many on espn and other places but some leagues have different rules, stick with the one your playing on.

  • They even have a fantasy 101 on nfl.com

  • The questions you ask depend on each player strategy, there are no right or wrong answers, so read up.

  • Another note from yesterday:

    “It’s beginning to sound like a broken record but rookie running back Darren McFadden made yet another head-turning play. This time the first-round draft pick took a handoff from Russell and headed left when the defense started making a push in that direction and appeared to have the young runner pinned against the sideline.

    But McFadden turned on the speed and turned the corner, barely making it through before racing up the field untouched the rest of the way.”

  • Dakota

    Is Johnny Rebel from Tennessee?

    And does he go to church???

  • “Wide receiver Javon Walker showed his toughness by receiving a shoulder pad sandwich from two converging defenders and was able to hold on to the pass. Walker would immediately get up and finish by running forty yards.”

    Encouraging news from imo camp´s biggest question mark (health wise). Seems healthy for now.

  • Dakota

    Time for the gym…later Nation.