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

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, July 31st, 2008 at 1:29 pm in Oakland Raiders, Preseason (2005), Raiders features.

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.

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  • Thec

    gotta go grub, is the draft automatic?

  • Thec

    El Dirty is the draft automatic?

  • El Dirty

    Thec
    it is if ur not there but on draft day u log on and u can choose ur own players

  • VBR8RtheDonkeyKiller

    Fresh Copenhagen, a pinch between the cheek and gum…None of that p***y Skoal s**t. Fargas will beast this year and Selvin young will have exaztly 68 yards on Monday night…Kiffin needs to grab an OT QUICKLY!!! Remember Jamarcus’ last play last year…No protection from the blind side-what a nightmare!

  • VBR8RtheDonkeyKiller

    exaztly=exactly

  • fremont raider

    Brein,swim class starts at 7pm,jacka-s

  • CorpRaiderNYC

    Is there a pm practice today (and accompanying blog entry)? Apologies if this has already been discussed..

  • El Dirty

    I think this is the longest no one has posted a comment… its like a twilight zone… NYC I don’t know I looked and didn’t see anything.

  • EndZoner

    yeah, but that stuff was covered hours ago.

  • http://www.oakglenn-is-my-hero.com Nick Bell, no, wait, Greg Bell

    # Thec Says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 6:21 pm

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

    ……

    That’s obviously not true, because he’s here now.

  • http://www.oakglenn-is-my-hero.com Nick Bell, no, wait, Greg Bell

    # El Dirty Says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    I think this is the longest no one has posted a comment… its like a twilight zone… NYC I don’t know I looked and didn’t see anything

    ……

    People looked at their calendars and realized it’s still July, and went to the beach.

  • 909raiderlifer

    RaiderDell…..

    Finised w/ chow yet?????

  • 909raiderlifer

    corp NYC….

    Yes there is. Everyday. Tonight 7:00-9:00 p.m PDT.

    Jerry, has been pretty good about, giving us our FIX, within a hour, from the end of practice.

    Tune in @ 12:30 a.m EDT….

  • 909raiderlifer

    ***finisHed**….errrrrrr…..

  • Brien

    Al Davis=god!!!!

  • Brien

    Pat Bowlen=greedy cheating bastard who has been on the NFL financing committee………you wonder what teams have won the SB since the salary cap was introduced? Go look who has been on those committees the truth shall set you

  • Raider Dell

    909

    Are you out there.

  • Brien

    FREEEEEEEEEEEEE

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

    Hope the following hasn’t been re-hashed, but todays newspaper in Riverside ran some NFL notes. This one should be of interest to us as it should help our defense.

    RULE CHANGES AIDS DEFENSE:

    The elimination of the “force out rule” will be a big help to defensive backs. (Bill, “the cheater,” Bilicheck said.) He also said: “Now I think there is a little bit more opportunity for the defender to play the man as opposed to the ball and just try to knock the player out of bounds, rather than knock the ball loose.”

    In the past, if a receiver caught the ball and was shoved out of bounds before landing with both feet in play, the official could award a catch if he judged the receiver would have got both feet in if the defensive back hadn’t forced him out.

    Now a receiver must get both feet in bounds and have possession of the ball for it to be a catch. “It changes the way you’re going to play the sidelines,” Fernando Bryant, Patriots corner back, said: “Now you can be more aggressive.”

    I would think that this rule change should help us big time, with Hall, Aso, Wilson, Huff, etc.

  • Brien

    Riverside it outta help out. I mean it cant hurt the defense. Bt its a two edge sword because now we cant get the force out catch on offense

  • Florida Pete

    Brien Says:
    July 31st, 2008 at 8:22 pm
    Riverside it outta help out. I mean it cant hurt the defense. Bt its a two edge sword because now we cant get the force out catch on offense

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    and you think this hurts us….

    hahahahahahahahahahahaha…

    man, you had me going there…

  • http://www.oakglenn-is-my-hero.com Nick Bell, no, wait, Greg Bell

    Rule of thumb: Rules changes are never designed to help the Raiders. And usually when the league finds out that it does, they change it again.

  • http://raiders.com 408RAIDER

    yo Dakota you got any shakira 4 your boy? BTW catching a flight 2 denver on sunday my buddies are picking me up 7 takeing me back to SD 4 the rally!!!! :P

  • Florida Pete

    i’m reading that Rush Limbaugh wants to buy the Rams…

  • silverandblackchef

    Im far from a conspiracy theroist but can any one tell me if there has been a tuck rule ruling since that snow job.

  • http://raiders.com 408RAIDER

    S&Bchef

    did you get that new car? I tried brother

  • silverandblackchef

    I’m still waiting,
    But good lookin though

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

    Overall, especially with our man-to-man coverage, our bump and run, etc., I do believe that it will help us more than hinder us. We’re on top of those receivers and on a close pattern where we’re smothering the receiver, we can now bang or slam him out of bounds. In a zone defense, I don’t think it would matter as much? And, we don’t play any zone that I know of.

    I also would “like to believe” that rule changes have nothing to do with any specific team. But, then with our history, you never really know. I wonder what Kiffin thinks on the rule change?

  • Brien

    excuse me pete? i didnt quite get that. i use to live in florida so i know how the humidity affects the brain……come again

  • silverandblackchef

    If you ask and recieve the next J.Mac post I will be expecting at least a three digit number for tomorrow’s lottos number.

  • Brien

    nick bell interesting concept

  • Brien

    rush limbaugh to buy the rams? well no black people will be allowed in the facility

  • silverandblackchef

    F it i’m playin 408 for the rest of the week.

  • silverandblackchef

    Brien, At least Quarterbacks anyway

  • Brien

    lol well tony babks did suck

  • Brien

    banks

  • http://raiders.com 408RAIDER

    cant go wrong with that altho it hasent been working lately =(

  • Brien

    think rush limbaugh will find it un-american to adhere to the rooney rule?lol

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

    EndZoner, post #164:

    For years and years now I have heard excuse after excuse for Seabass, but the truth of the matter is that he can’t make the winning kick. When the game is on the line, or a situation that can turn the game to our favor, he’ll miss the kick. Usually has, usually will. But Seabass can walk around a night clubs parking lot at 1:30 am and kick off the “rear, side view, mirrors” on the cars parked there.
    The excuse there was that those were his volka drinking days but that that’s behind him now. His fat belly tells me he still drinks, and drinks heavy. HOPE I’M WRONG and that he WINS a few games this year.

  • TheSurgeon

    I have never wrote one of these but due to all of your interesting and funny statements I am inspired. I have been very skeptical of the raiders and I have been the biggest Raider fan i could be. but I have read all the other teams camp notes and i am trying to be as unbiased as possible, and I believe that the Oakland Raiders have the most interesting and possitive camp in the AFC west. has anyone else been reading all the afc west teams notes? and if so what do you think? I think we look the cleanest and strongest!

  • silverandblackchef

    Riverside, trust me your not the only one that thinks that when it comes to clutch time he’s unreliable, the team had to wait an extra day to splurge on dinner cause he shanked one

  • Brien

    sd=rivers and gates injury issues…..missing lofton at wr coach

    kc=trash at its lowest level. overrated draft

    den= in trouble the dline is trash and the offense lacks true weapons outside of mcdee’s wrapper marshall

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

    Was his dinner at the Chop House, that was awesome, $2,500 worth of food and fine wines? Or, was he in on the Mexican food that made some of them a little woozie?

  • fremont raider

    brein=moron/brian=tamad=walang silbi/dumb ass!!!

  • silverandblackchef

    Surgeon,
    I listen to alot of sports radio and unfortunetly stuck in the KITCHEN I’m stuck listening to bspn and heard John Clayton say the Raiders were one of his sleeper teams on Cowherd and an hour later on Turico and Van Pelt they gave the Dolphins a win against us at home. So dont buy into anything right now.

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

    Jerry, practice was over 52 seconds ago. Wheres your post for the pm practice.

    Honestly, thanks for all the info on our Raiders, much appreciated. Hopefully we’ll see your post by 10 bells.

  • silverandblackchef

    He probably spent most of his time at the BAR, lol
    But the Defense went to the Chop House. It wasant recorded where the spec team went

  • Brien

    Aw Fremont Hub are you upset?

  • Brien

    Dont fret child, your city has a chance to be known for once when the A’s leave Oakland. You will have a pro team there but will still be known ass soft………..cheer up

  • fremont raider

    oh,I see you missed swim class,would not have helped anyway!Right FR