Part of the Bay Area News Group

Training camp, Day 4 (P.M. practice)

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, July 27th, 2008 at 9:37 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Quick hits from Sunday night’s Raiders practice:

– Tackle Mark Wilson, a practice squad player signed to the active roster following the season, sustained a left leg injury, was taken off the field on a cart, and was sent to the hospital for X-rays.

– Left tackle Kwame Harris (lower back) returned to practice after missing the previous two sessions. He moved well and at one point fared well in a pass blocking opportunity against Kalimba Edwards.

– For the first time, no offensive or defensive lineman had to run laps for committing a false start or jumping offsides.

– Wide receiver Ronald Curry and center Jake Grove took the workout off, as scheduled. John Wade got the majority of the snaps with the first team offense in Grove’s absence. Defensive end Fred Wakefield, battling a stomach ailment, did not practice after practicing in the morning session. Safety Greg Wesley (back spasms), who returned to practice in the morning, missed the evening session. Grant Irons is still out with a hamstring pull.

– Al Davis made his first appearance at practice, watching from a golf cart between the two fields.

– During kickoff drills early in practice, running back Darren McFadden was deep and running kickoffs hard up the middle. Kiffin mentioned McFadden as a possibility for return duty on occasion.

Interesting McFadden would get his most work in that area in a practice Davis attended. Whether or not McFadden returns kickoffs will almost certainly be a decision made at the top. Davis resisted the idea of having Charles Woodson play offense or return punts, although part of that probably had to do with Woodson’s history of nagging injuries.

– Expect McFadden to be utilized only in crucial situations, in games where the Raiders need a strike at the end of a half or game, or when they are struggling on offense and need a momentum switch. To use him at all in that role in the preseason would be a questionable use of a major investment.

– McFadden had a much better practice catching the ball out of backfield than he did in the earlier session, when Kiffin expressed concern over his “hand placement.” Guess he figured out they had to be somewhere near the ball.

– Other players returning kickoffs were cornerback Chris Johnson, wide receiver Jonathan Holland and safety Tyvon Branch, who Kiffin said earlier in the day is the current leader for that role.

– Rookie wide receiver Chaz Schilens was taken to task by receivers coach James Lofton for not coming back hard enough to catch a pass.

– The offense spent one session running plays apart from the defense, meaning the opposing “defense” consisted of second- and third-line offensive players. McFadden, fortunately, looked to be a rock when it came to pass blocking against blitzing Ivy League quarterback Jeff Otis.

If the 49ers play their second-line offense as a defense against Oakland, the Raiders look to be in business.

– Johnnie Lee Higgins would seem to have a roster edge since he is the leader to be the punt return specialist, but in terms of catching the ball and making plays as a receiver, Holland appears to be staying right with him or even outplaying him.

– Nnamdi Asomugha perfectly diagnosed a JaMarcus Russell slant pass in a 7-on-7 drill, jumped the route and ran for a would-be touchdown.

– Linebackers Kirk Morrison and Thomas Howard are so adept at pass coverage that the defense they refer to as the “dime” _ which in most cases utilizes one linebacker and six defensive backs _ has both men on the field. It is distinguished from the nickel by the positioning of the backs.

– Wide receiver Todd Watkins had one drop of a Russell pass over the middle and later a juggle which he managed to retrieve, but ended practice on a strong note, catching a deep out from Marques Tuiasosopo with an impressive leap and grab as three horns sounded to end the session.

– Following Watkins’ grab, the team met in the center of the field, but Kiffin dispatched Janikowski to attempt a 57-yard field goal. Usually in those instances, something is on the line _ extended curfew, reduced meeting time, etc.

Janikowski, who had nailed a pair of 43-yard kicks in an end-of-game drill earlier in practice, this time missed wide right.

– The Raiders practice once Monday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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  • Dakota

    S&B,

    LMFAO! I wish I had found that one!

  • http://raiders.com 408RAIDER

    good 1 dakota!!!

  • 909raiderlifer

    666…..#150…

    Always can use a good laugh, on a MONDAY.

    Will have a smile, for the rest of the day. Thanx..{:

  • Raider Dell

    909raiderlifer

    How did the brisket taste? after 4 hours I sure hope is was good.

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com SilverNblack666

    I need more news!

  • HayesDaze#37

    Dakota — You got me with Bo. His career would’ve been compared to Jim Brown’s, had he stayed healthy just a few more years. It was sad to see the way that clip ended. I can happily say that I saw many of those pro plays in-person, including two of his longest runs. Two of those longest runs were against Cincy — in one, he leapt over the guy who eventually ran him down from behind — Bo said it was the first time he remembered that happening after he had reached full-speed. He was just tired after the hurdle and 80-yards of dust.

    Bo Jackson was the greatest athlete of his generation, and should be remembered for the great running back he was more often. I’ve had the pleasure of telling him that personally. Career-ending injuries should not keep a player from the Hall Of Fame, if in a relatively short period of time that player has proven to be as special as Bo was. They’re so rare, and it’s sure nice to have been witness to what he did while he was healthy.

  • http://none Howie’s Neck Roll

    Traning Camp Baby!!!! So much good news…it’s been a long off season!

  • HayesDaze#37

    Dakota — You got me with Bo. His career would’ve been compared to Jim Brown’s, had he stayed healthy just a few more years. It was sad to see the way that clip ended. I saw many of those pro plays in-person, including some of his longest runs. Two of those long runs were against Cincy — in one, he leapt over the guy who eventually ran him down from behind — Bo said it was the first time he could remember that happening after he had reached full-speed. He was just tired after the hurdle and 80-yards of dust.

    Bo Jackson was the greatest athlete of his generation, and should be remembered for the great running back he was more often. I’ve had the pleasure of telling him that personally. Career-ending injuries should not keep a player from the Hall Of Fame — if in a relatively short period of time that player has proven to be as special as Bo was. They’re so rare, and it’s sure nice to have been witness to what he did while he was healthy.

  • HayesDaze#37

    You got me with Bo. His career would’ve been compared to Jim Brown’s, had he stayed healthy just a few more years. It was sad to see the way that clip ended. I saw many of those pro plays in-person, including some of his longest runs. Two of those long runs were against Cincy — in one, he leapt over the guy who eventually ran him down from behind — Bo said it was the first time he could remember that happening after he had reached full-speed. He was just tired after the hurdle and 80-yards of dust.

    Bo Jackson was the greatest athlete of his generation, and should be remembered for the great running back he was more often. I’ve had the pleasure of telling him that personally. Career-ending injuries should not keep a player from the Hall Of Fame — if in a relatively short period of time that player has proven to be as special as Bo was. They’re so rare, and it’s sure nice to have been witness to what he did while he was healthy.

  • HayesDaze#37

    Wow — sorry about that triple post — somehow it got lost in the ether for awhile. Thought I was banned for a minute!

  • http://erikapodaca@yahoo.com Riverside Raiders Fan

    Al’s Bedpan…post 87:

    Many of us feel as you do. Great post on your part. I’ve been claiming 11-5 with a possibility of 13-3 depending on our first three games. We should go 3 and 1, but maybe 4 wins for us into the bye week. We play the dischargers in game 4 at home, and if we’re coming off three wins, we’ll be hard to beat at home. LT has lost a step and crys over an little injury. The dischargers have Turner for a coach, and that’s an automatic step downwards for them, year after year, until he’s gone.

    Yes, don’t be surprised if we go 4 wins, right out of the gate, and then these same “sport media jerks” will start jumping on the Raiders band wagon, the same team they all hate and they always rag on.

    Go Raiders…4 and 0 to start and then relax and regroup during the bye week…for what: For a run at our division and onward.

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    Read an article on Jay Richardosn from sfgate.com..

    For some reason we seem to think that the Richardson we saw last year is the same guy we´ll get this season, as if young players don’t usually get better with experience.

    Here´s a guy with ideal size at 6’6 280 to play both End spots and maybe even move inside on certain (passing) situations. He could bring a lot to the DL if he keeps improving, as he should.

    “Last year at this time, (Richardson) was just trying to get lined up,” coach Lane Kiffin said, “Now he’s recognizing things and seeing different things around him…”

    On the flip side, I´m pretty certain Tyler Brayton made all-rookie team and that didn´t turn out so well. Of course, Richardson is not being asked to play OLB.

  • BIG AL’s GOON

    Dakota,

    Like Aaron Brooks and Kerry Collins. How witty, but no. How about Randall Cunningham, Gus Ferrotte, Bubby Brister, and D. Culpepper. Moss posted numbers with all of these QB’s while in Minny. Also while Aaron Brooks turned out to be a wash out Kerry Collins has been the best post-Gannon QB to date.

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    Also, some encouraging comments from Kiffin yesterady about Sands:

    “Q: You talked at the mandatory camp about Terdell [Sands]. What do you see now? He looks fairly enthusiastic out there, and he’s bouncing around a little bit more. Does he look like he has kind of turned the corner in that way?.

    Coach Kiffin: Terdell [Sands], two years ago before I was here, had a good year and did some really good things. His weight was down, and he was going the right direction.

    (Now) His weight is down. It is as low as it has been since I have been here, but not as low as it was two years ago. He has a good bounce to his step and he is practicing harder. He is focused on football.

    We need him to play and we need him to help because he is a dominant run player at times and if we could get him to do that at a consistent level then it would be an exciting thing.”

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    new post

  • Blackholepriest

    Jediraider you are a dumbell……………period

  • Blackholepriest

    Jediraider you are a dumbell……………period

  • Thec

    New post NATION

  • BIG AL’s GOON

    Dakota,

    Big AL has always given “Virtual Nobodies” a chance that he feels has the talent and ability to do the job. The list of people that Big AL has given opportunities to is vast. But if your a Raider fan of more than 5 years you should know this.

    As for that bed thing, Big AL is one of the winningest owners in the NFL historically and currently. That’s a pretty nice bed to lay in.

  • BIG AL’s GOON

    I wouldn’t call Big AL trading Moss after the HC expresses that Moss won’t fit into his plans as manipulation or Big AL being manipulated; for me it’s more of Big AL giving his coaches what they want/need to succeed.

    After the season was over and Moss broke records and lead the league Big AL was rightly upset that he let an elite player/talent go for basically nothing.

  • Raider Joseph

    The Super Bowl. The reason we lost to Tampa was simple. Gannon did not throw the ball over three yards. We ran the West Coast offense and Tampa is a Cover 2 D: in other words they were made for it. We beat the Bucs two or three years prior to the Bowl
    (45-0) and two years later.How? We ran Wheatly down their throats! The Bucs could never stop the run! We should have played smash-mouth Raider football and we would have destroyed them. Instead we played right into their hands. Not true? When Norv was the coach we beat the stuffing out of them in Oakland, because we ran the ball. Gruden is not that good, we just handed it to him.

  • Andrews mom

    #166

    I hope you are the troll because that is a very ignorant statement. I can count on one hand the number of posters whom seem to have exceptional Raider football wisdom and jedi is at the top of the list.

  • DEATHbyTATUM

    Madden ratings…

    Oakland is looking absolutely FILTHY!

  • JediRaider

    BHP – Why am I a dumbell in your book? Constructive criticism and discussion is a good thing – go after the post, not the poster – just win baby!

  • Mildog

    Jery, please get rid of all of this idiots submitting comments about their response time than cogent statements. I read your column because of its depth and knowledge not because you publish first.

  • JediRaider

    My dad actually worked on the preliminary naming rights deal with the potential stadium at Hollywood Park in L.A. in the 90′s (could have been Home Depot Stadium, or simply “The Depot”) and a couple other advertising deals. Al doesn’t care about money above and beyond what it takes to win – he can afford to pay his players because the of the salary cap and revenue sharing deals, but he can’t really afford top flight personnel guys and some of the other perks that players like. A dedicated football stadium is absolutely necessary as a recruiting tool and revenue stream. If Al can get a new stadium to keep the team competitive, he’ll move it to Mars, pure a simple. The money isn’t for him, it’s for the team, pure and simple. The same guys that were working on the stadium deal back then, are the same guys that are trying to lure a team back to L.A. The Raiders, Rams, Panthers, Saints, and Vikings are all close to the end of their leases, and all are good candidates to relocate. The situation in Oakland is really good to keep the Raiders here. The A’s are moving which means the stadium can be converted into a dedicated football facility, and with a relatively cheap remodeling job (compared to building a new stadium), I think a deal can get done.

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