Training camp, Day 8 (A.M. practice)


Quick hits from Thursday morning’s practice:

— He may not have had his best fastball, but JaMarcus Russell was felt good enough to rejoin practice and make due with off-speed stuff, choosing to simply flick his wrist rather than unleash the full power of his $60 million right arm.

In his first team session, Russell completed two of five passes, one a short pass to Johnnie Lee Higgins and a dump-off to fullback Oren O’Neal. Michael Huff broke up a sideline pass intended for tight end Darrell Strong, a screen to Louis Rankin fell incomplete and Derrick Burgess pressured him into an incomplete pass.

In Russell’s second team session, there were two more short completions.

During seven-on-seven drills, Russell was the victim of a perfectly-played pick by Nnamdi Asomugha, who stole a pass intended for Arman Shields in stride and ran the other for what would have been a touchdown.

“You can see a little bit of a velocity issue with him right now, different from normal,” Kiffin said. “I think that will go away here pretty soon.”

Kiffin said the staff watched Russell closely and that trainer Rod Martin gave the go-ahead to continue.

Russell acknowledged he wasn’t 100 percent but wasn’t comfortable watching from the sidelines.

“I just wanted to get out here today just so I could get back in practice,” Russell said. “I don’t really like sitting out and watching guys bust their behinds when I can be out there doing something. Just anything out there I can help.”

— Right guard Cooper Carlisle and right tackle Cornell Green were given the morning session off, with the Raiders reshuffling their line to accomodate the absence of two starters. Seth Wand got some work at right tackle, Chris Morris at right guard, and Mario Henderson has been working on both sides.

— Speaking of Henderson, it sounds as if Kiffin’s patience has about run out on the first of three third-round picks in the 2007 draft. During the offseason, Kiffin said the Raiders were working on Henderson’s lack of aggression and his passion for football.

It sounds like Kiffin and line coach Tom Cable haven’t made much headway. Rather than shift into coach-speak when asked if Henderson was challenging Green at right tackle, Kiffin was blunt and to the point.

“No, he’s not pushing him. We’ll continue to move Mario around to both sides,” Kiffin said. “Mario is not improving the way we’d like him to so we’ll just continue to push him. But it’s not close right now.”

When asked if Henderson needed to shore up a particular area, Kiffin said, “No, it’s everything right now. Unfortunately.”

— Sounds like Javon Walker, the free agent aquisition whose salary suggests he is the No. 1 receiver but whose practice play has been so-so, will begin getting some extra work starting Monday.

Kiffin said Walker and Fred Wakefield, rehabbing from a knee injury, would begin working twice per day Sunday when the 49ers visit Napa.

When asked if Walker was making progress, Kiffin said, “There’s progress being made. I wouldn’t say as much as I’d like at this point so we’re going to continue to push them. I think pushing him back into two-a-days will help him.”

— Defensive tackle Gerard Warren missed with a thigh injury sustained Wednesday night. Kiffin said he didn’t think the injury was as serious as one that hampered Warren last year and said he was day-to-day. Tommy Kelly sat out as scheduled and should practice tonight. Cornerback John Bowie (knee) did not practice.

Safety Greg Wesley (back spasms) was back at practice but did little of note.

— Defensive tackle Terdell Sands, who has avoided speaking with reporters for the first week of camp for reasons that ranged from a team meal to a team meeting to a doctor’s visit, stopped and chatted for a few minutes.

He conceded to being in better condition this year and was affected last season by the death of his mother.

“I lost my mother last year, so that was very big,” Sands said. “You lose anything like that, some things take tolls on you. You lose things that are aspects of life right there. That’s behind me. I’ve got to push on this year.”

Sands said he takes responsibility for the Raiders’ run defense in 2008.

“I take it all, because they look for me to be a big part of it,” Sands said. “And like I say, I wasn’t mentally in it, so I did some gap responsibility and all my true effort wasn’t out there. I thought I was. But when I watch film, it really wasn’t like I was the year before. So I take responsibility and put it on myself.”

Sands declined to specify how much he weighed last year and how much he weighs now.

— Kiffin has taken to visiting with members of the Raiders’ personnel department occasionally during practice sessions. Wednesday it was Bruce Kebric, Thursday it was Kent McCloughan.

— Defensive tackle William Joseph was worked over by Chris Morris and Jesse Boone on consecutive plays during a blocking drill. Kwame Harris buried Kalimba Edwards on another.

— McFadden was fielding kickoffs along with Hiram Eugene, Rankin, Adimchinobe Echemandu and Tyvon Branch, prompting Kiffin to be asked whether the Raiders’ biggest off-season investment might be utilized on that role.

“He’s such an explosive player that it’s something we have to look at,” Kiffin said. “Part of that will be determined by how the other returners do. Let’s say Branch in preseason is returning great. Then it’s not worth it. If you have a great return situation to put Darren out there that may not be worth it. If we’re struggling, then it becomes more valuable to us.”

Said McFadden, who has been in camp eight days and has had a sunny and agreeable disposition for every one of them: “I don’t know if they’re going to use me back there or not but I’m always prepared for it.”

— Practice joggers for pre-snap violations included Harris, Robert Gallery, tight end Chris Wagner and defensive end Greyson Gunheim.

Gunheim, an undrafted free agent from Washington, actually protested his lap, telling Kiffin that Henderson had first moved his leg, drawing him offsides. Gunheim was right, by the way.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • El Dirty

    My bad

  • Raider Dell


    Well said.

  • Brien

    international hoop players cant beat our best and that is a fact………USA will kill these olympics so badly

  • CopenhagenFan

    Brien…our Dream Team has gotten it’s A$$ handed to them by “inferior” talent then ha ha

    Now we play zone D in the NBA…..

  • CopenhagenFan

    Some of you guys have stated that Hartwell is done. What is that based on? The fact that his name has not come up at all, or facts?

  • CopenhagenFan

    LMN…who ??! ha ha

  • La Milicia Negra

    El Dirty…

    No worries.. its a common mistake by americans… to you we speak alike, though we don’t understand eachother, and our daily life, our beliefs and politics are very alike…

    As long as you don’t think Ikea s the capital of Denmark (or any country, for that matter)

  • CopenhagenFan

    All you Europeans look alike to me ha ha

  • La Milicia Negra

    oooh well, a round of poker before i will put on my Jamme-jammies… LOL (sorry Dakota)

  • El Dirty


    Ikea sucks… I have bought 4 beds from those guys they all broke… Yeah baby!

  • CopenhagenFan

    thank God that Ikea is Swedish ha ha

  • La Milicia Negra

    El Dirty…

    remember its made for slim, fit scandinavians… LOL

  • El Dirty


  • La Milicia Negra


  • CopenhagenFan

    we need Taco Bell here in Denmark

  • CopenhagenFan

    LMN I know you’re going out to Field’s tommorrow and engulfing a huge meal deal from KFC!

  • Thec

    NATION, what is up?

    I just read Mike Williams was released from tennessee today.

  • CopenhagenFan

    Thec..should we pick him up or what?

  • La Milicia Negra


    i thought KFC had closed all its stores besides that at city square… its only tourists who gets off the path and ends up such horrid places… LOL =) but i’m pretty sure i’m eating a pizza tomorrow

  • Nation, what it do, pimpin?

    56-0, Raiders over Denver. Anyone who doesn’t think so should be at the mall shopping with their wives that day. The two of you can try on knickers together.

  • CopenhagenFan

    NICK sorry it’s like 2:30 in the morning here. We have brain rot…sorry.

  • Let’s talk about the next Ken Stabler. That’s right. One JaMarcus Russell. No difference at all between the Snake and J Russ, except that J Russ has about a 6 inch longer sock size.

  • CopenhagenFan

    LMN I think my single days are numbered….bad timing!

  • CopenhagenFan

    NICK let’s hope that Jammy thows fewer picks. Probably not if he throws left handed.

  • El Dirty


    We play againts each other Week 1. PREPARE YOURSELF lol

  • Unbelievable vs a year ago ..Gallery’s FIRST called penalty during the entire TC? (or at least he hasn’t been mentioned in quite a while – 100s of plays run – no calls on Gallery) Who would thought that was even remotely possible?

    Consider Henderson a blow. It really is a blow to the future, but none that can’t be overcome. Its not like he’s a busted 1st round pick QB. They would set the franchise back too many years. We can potentially get another RT in FA or draft.

    On the other hand, its starting to look (at least I’m hoping it looks) like we have gained at a more valuable position – OLT. Harris is showing good improvement.

    So on the margins: Gain at OLT, Gain at RG (not as many penalties), Neutral a C, Neutral at LG, Neutral now/future Loss at ORT …..I’ll say the line has improved.

  • Raider Dell



  • Al Campanis can rot, too. Blacks don’t have the necessities? Too bad he didn’t stick around to see who we elected President in 2000.

  • La Milicia Negra


    with me its seems to be the opposite… I got my GF a job in London, we are going to try to work out the long distance thing… with my working hours it looks like it could work out great, being single 2 weeks, being a couple 1 week and then being single for 2 again… I have a great relation with my boss, and I know her boss, thats how she got it =) so we’ll give it a try… then I can see all the sport I want to, without any feeling of guilt =)

  • CopenhagenFan

    Terrapin…yeah you’re right….the left side of the line will be an improvement from last year, while the right side and center will be the same as last year. In reality I believe that Jake Grove will prove to be better than Newberry was last year, if the reports of his bulking up are true. No more head bob at the time of snap this year.

  • “Hells Bells” should be our theme song this year. Either that, or this:


  • Thec

    Dell, my bad on mike williams. Yeah we should pick him up copenhagen he woud fit nicely in kiffins scheme lol

  • CopenhagenFan

    LMN..that sounds like a good gig.

    I’ve been running around for 3 years like a madman shagging chicks, now I found one I like, but she’s moving to NYC in the near future to act so I’ll try to enjoy it while it lasts. Commitment is scary.

    But I’m IN with the Raiders, win or lose. Of course I reserve the right to be critical when it applies.

  • CopenhagenFan

    Thec…Are you sure Mike Williams can take the “whole wheat” gig?

  • Well, we’re not talking football. I’ll find a Raider blog where people are talking football. Don’t want to break up your guys’ chat about England, Taco Bell, Ikea, the Village People, Erasure, and bathhouse parties. Goodbye. I’m leaving. I’ll check in later to see if things livened up a bit in here. Goodbye.

  • Raider Dell


    Dinner time will catch you later. And your never bad.

  • CopenhagenFan

    Speaking of the “whole wheat” approach, I think it’s great that Kiffin is involved in the diet of the players and has added a more aggressive strength and conditioning coach.

    It could fix our fold in the 4th quarter with a lead D.

  • La Milicia Negra

    looks like the Jimmy the greek fan went away after some history/economics lesson… LOL

  • El Dirty

    Geez Nick it’s ok to get a break sometimes a lot of us are on here all day (it’s sad)

  • Interesting conversation.

    “How do you give one equal rights, without surrendering ones priviledges “

  • Here’s a nice easy tune for your guys’ conversation in here.


    See you guys later tonight, and I say “guys” hastily.

  • CopenhagenFan

    NICK on that note, I think I’ll head to the Amigo Sauna

  • Don’t bend down to pick up the salsa.

  • Has anything happened today in camp? I heard Kiffin is running the show. Setting the tempo. Taking complete control. Heard the team is really starting to buy into his system. Of course, this all means he’ll be in Tampa next year.

  • Dakota

    hells bells

  • RaiderMight

    With the Donkeys officially releasing Lynch on Friday, who thinks Al will bring him in?

  • Thec

    Not sure on lynch…. I would not want to waste a roster spot on him. We have wilson, he is a man hitter.
    lynch would be a good mentor. heard sd, and detroit were looking.

  • Thec

    Kiff will be with the NATION as long as he wants to.

  • Thec

    gotta go grub, is the draft automatic?

  • Thec

    El Dirty is the draft automatic?