267

Down, set . . . oops

Some highlights from Friday’s second minicamp practice:

– The final tally from two practice sessions over four hours at the Raiders’ minicamp _ 10 center snap fumbles. Bruce Gradkowski led the way with five, Jeff Garcia and four, and JaMarcus Russell, not to be left out, had the grand finale in the second session.

John Wade and Chris Morris were both centers of attention, and not the kind they wanted.

They might want to address that in the next quarterback school.

– The passing game continued to be spotty. Russell, who Cable complimented after the first session, saying he “lit it up” on some routes, hit Chaz Schilens in a narrow window between Jon Alston and Tyvon Branch for a 20-plus yard gain _ his best pass of the second practice.

Other than that, the majority of his completions were on checkdowns to running backs, and numerous short throws over the middle to tight ends, Tony Stewart in particular.

Russell underthrew Darrius Heyward-Bey on a deep sideline pass, with the rookie pushing off of Jason Horton attempting to get open and then having the ball glance off both arms.

Russell overthrew Schilens on a deep sideline pass to his right, and threw behind Heyward-Bey on an out pattern which was nearly intercepted by Chris Johnson. He threw behind Brandon Myers on a reverse roll, a ball which bounced off Tyvon Branch.

One of his only hookups with a wide receiver other than the big play to Schilens was a 15-yard pass to an open Louis Murphy over the middle.

– Schilens was probably the Raiders most impressive receiver through both sessions, but did have a drop in the end zone after getting open between Michael Huff and Horton on a pass from Gradkowski.

– Stanford Routt broke up a pass from Gradkowski intended for Darrius Heyward-Bey along the sideline, spied two reporters and noted, “That’s 4.27, not 4.30,” referring to his 40-yard dash time at the NFL scouting combine and the one posted by Heyward-Bey this year.

– Garcia, who is still getting immersed into the offense and personnel, wasn’t particularly sharp but had two nice throws of note. On one, he made a reverse pivot under pressure, went back toward the pocket, then lofted a touch pass no more than a few yards downfield that caught Justin Fargas on a dead run for a big gain on a spontaneous play.

On a dropback pass, Garcia threw a low liner some 20-plus yard downfield with Todd Watkins catching it on a dive.

– The Raiders second-team defense in the second session lined up with Matt Shaughnessy at right end, Terdell Sands and William Joseph at tackles and Greyson Gunheim at right end. Ricky Brown was the middle linebacker, flanked by David Nixon on the weak side and Slade Norris on the strong sdie. Justin Miller and Routt were the corners, with Mike Mitchell at strong safety and Huff at free safety.

– Defensive end Derrick Burgess watched (stomach flu) watched the second practice with a towel draped over his head, with Zach Miller (sports hernia), Javon Walker (knee), Arman Shields (knee), Samson Satele (shoulder) and Oren O’Neal again missing practice. Also sitting it out were left guard Robert Gallery and backup guard Paul McQuistan for undisclosed reasons.

Murphy who didn’t complete the first practice because of cramps, finished the second session with no problems.

Mark Wilson lined up with the first team at left guard in place of Gallery.

– Working with the athletic training staff on the sideline, O’Neal was making hard cuts and running rope drills with no signs of a limp or pain.

– Heyward-Bey had another one of those “you’re not in college anymore” moments at the beginning of the second practice. Joining the return specialists as Shane Lechler got some work, Heyward-Bey settled under a booming kick by the Pro Bowler, and was startled to to see it fall about five yards from where he was standing.

Rookie free agent Nick Miller had similar issues, with the ball taking a sideways bounce and hitting Heyward-Bey.

– Running plays continued to be run with quickness and apparent precision, although it would take a coach to truly determine the success of the play in a non-contact format.

“We have instructed the defense, once they get in and through it, let them go,” Cable said. “What I want to see is, is there a seam in there? Are the helmets in the right place? Defensively, it’s the same thing, are our helmets in the right place?

While Neal was the big-name acquisition Friday, former Pittsburgh Steeler Gary Russell made some nice runs and has value because Cable believes he can play both halfback and fullback.

Russell, 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds, scored the first touchdown in Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl win over Arizona on a 1-yard run. He was released in a salary cap move and then later released by Cincinnati on April 27 after being claimed off waivers.

“We want to make sure we have enough legs, enough freshness in that group, but you want to bring in good players,” Cable said. “You look at a guy like Russell who scored the first touchdown in the Super Bowl and the nice thing about Gary is that he could probably do both. He’s a bigger guy. He could probably play some fullback or some tailback.”

– The Raiders will practice Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 4:10 p.m.

– Without addressing his predecessor directly, Cable refuted the notion by Lane Kiffin that fullback Lorenzo Neal was not a match for a zone blocking scheme.

“I think he definitely fits the scheme. The experience he brings can help mold those young fullbacks in there. That guy has proven over time, he probably can run any run scheme in the NFL. Cause he’s been in them all, and been very good. I’m not sure there’s been as good a lead blocker in football maybe in the last 15, 20 years as that guy. And it’s been documented by a lot of people. So I’m glad he’s on our team, I’m glad we got him, and he definitely fits.”

– Mario Henderson and Cornell Green opened as the starting tackles because that’s where they ended the season last year, Cable said during his afternoon press briefing. It’s merely a starting point.

– ESPN is reporting the Raiders have reached agreement with wide receiver Samie Parker on a contract. Javon Walker is out rehabbing from a minor knee surgery the team only recently found out about, and Arman Shields is still not healthy after spending all of last season on I.R. because of a knee injury.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • http://atm Raider O

    LMAO

    It started!!!

    That’s was really fast!!!!

  • http://atm Raider O

    That was.

  • inonewordraider

    Mario looking good huh? Any mention of Joseph so far? twitter website blocked at work

  • hellsbells

    No mention that I have seen. Hope he gets a shot at MLB or strong side. Not sure he has the speed to play outside.

  • Random Drug Tester

    are we losing against Air?

  • raiderrej

    204 ^
    nope.

  • hellsbells

    Is Green still in at RT. We need to get rid of this guy. Maybe keep him as a back-up. Get Barnes out there. Hope Sheilds is near ready to play.

  • inonewordraider

    Nessy becoming a solid base end, F Joseph becoming our MLB, Sands improving, and DHB becoming sure handed are the things I’m really hopin for

  • http://www.LightEmUp.com LightEmUp

    What’s up Men?

  • http://www.LightEmUp.com LightEmUp

    You guys need to relax about DHB. it is the second day he has ever caught passes from JRuss. He’ll be fine.

  • Guy

    Raider beat says Schilens will improve and so far is the best WR

  • 4evaRaider

    Murphy’s got cramps

  • Random Drug Tester

    I guess our expectations of people being payed a gazillion dollars to throw and catch could to at least be able to throw and catch are too high.

  • http://Raiders.com RaiderTW

    Murphy’s got cramps
    —————-
    So does my girlfriend but I still make her run routes!!!

  • DarthPirate

    chris morris and ekejiuba are fighting FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT :D

    Get the teacher.

  • http://www.LightEmUp.com LightEmUp

    believe it or not….I am sure Larry Fitzgerald, Chad Johnson, Randy Moss, Steve Smith, etc. all drop some balls in practice. We are just spoiled by having a journalist on Twitter giving us minute by minute updates.

  • 4evaRaider

    Chris morris and Ike Ekujuiba mix it up,1st tiff of camp!!!

  • http://Raiders.com RaiderTW

    I’m worried, Zach Miller had surgery for sports hernia? Didn’t that keep J Porter out for almost a season & McNabb several weeks?

  • 4evaRaider

    oooooooooops

  • IndianaRaider

    yay, 2 back up players are fighting, geeeesh

  • Random Drug Tester

    you know…if I was being Nationally ridiculed for being picked #7 overall and not having good hands, I would make very sure I caught every pass intended for me in my first exposure to scrutiny, and even some not intended for me just for good measure.

    But that’s just me.

  • DarthPirate

    There’s plenty of time for him to heal. He will be ready easily for training camp.
    —————–
    # RaiderTW Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    I’m worried, Zach Miller had surgery for sports hernia? Didn’t that keep J Porter out for almost a season & McNabb several weeks?

  • DarthPirate

    Running zone coverage now, chris johnson with the pass defense.

  • 4evaRaider

    Chaz

  • Random Drug Tester

    is Jerry’s blog closed for the Twitter Season?

  • DarthPirate

    chris johnson on another pass breakup. This time a jump ball with Chaz. oh and McFadden dropped a ball, he obviously sucks now too, right?

  • http://Raiders.com RaiderTW

    DarthPirate is giving us second hand tweets…lol

  • IndianaRaider

    Bring on Walter, lmao

  • Random Drug Tester

    no he doesn’t suck yet….but I am willing to bet that Lorenzo Neal will probably tell him that bad habits in practice lead to bad performances at game time.

    Our team needs successful veteran leadership to tell them how a winner behaves and practices to become a winner.

    Javon probably thinks it’s OK to drop a few in practice.

  • Guy

    Does anyone know the beginning of the practices for this weekend?

  • http://www.LightEmUp.com LightEmUp

    RDT,

    Agreed on Neal’s leadership…

    Javon needs to be put on inactive injury list….get his Cancerous butt out of site.

    I’m not saying they should be happy about dropped balls….it’s just not the end of the world. There was a time when we would have no clue what was going on at practices. There is so much coverage, that the media has to make up sh!t just to fill space.

  • raiderrej

    you know what.. its saturday… why am i sitting in front of my computer waiting for updates and reading response??? WTF

  • raiderrej

    i guess its cause i cant find anyone in earshot of me to talkshop on Raiders ball!

  • DarthPirate

    I hate twitter too, but I have to admit this use of it is pretty cool.
    —————–
    # RaiderTW Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    DarthPirate is giving us second hand tweets…lol

  • Random Drug Tester

    Raiderrej

    All I can do…One son is playing GTA IV on the XBox and the other is playing CSI on his laptop…I get the computer and the blog…cause it is thunder and lightning outside or else we would be outside playing catch with the frisbee or football. And laps for anybody who dropped one LOL

  • DarthPirate

    Gradkowski is apparently looking terrible.

  • Random Drug Tester

    he’s in mid-season form then

  • DarthPirate

    Morning practice is over. Hurrah!

  • DarthPirate

    :D
    —————
    Random Drug Tester Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    he’s in mid-season form then

  • 4evaRaider

    Random Drug Tester Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 12:48 pm
    he’s in mid-season form then

    LOLOLOLLOLOOLOLLO

  • Random Drug Tester

    we are all-in with Russell…no injuries please

  • DarthPirate

    I agree RDT, the last thing we need is a blown knee. This team doesn’t have the depth at a lot of positions to handle that.

  • Random Drug Tester

    Yup…draft some more 1st stringers next year…then backups the year after that.

  • Nnamdi21

    231. May be right about Javon.

    He’s more of a distraction than a benefit by far in his short tenure with the Raiders and this latest surgery, combined with his ankle injury, almost guarantee he’ll be out of shape come the start of the season.

    Oakland cut ties and bit the bullet with Wilson and Hall maybe its time on the other side of the ball.

    I still hold out hope he can make meaningful contributions in 09′ but there comes a point where you’ve got to cut bait.

  • RaiderLove

    Hoss….

    Man I remember seeing this for the first time when i was a kid. Still gives me chills! My lifes never be the same agian.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmiVYFueNvQ&feature=related

  • Nnamdi21

    People blamed Russell’s fabled weight gain for his inability to scramble last year but the truth was he had a bad ankle and orders not to risk himself unduly.

    With his ankle apparently healed, hopefully he’ll break off some big gainers at opportune moments in 09′.

    His pocket presence was lacking last year, but with better recievers and hopefully better protection, it won’t matter as much and his timing / reads / choices will improve.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Cut Yavone, we don’t need him.

    Chaz
    DHB
    JLH
    Murphy
    ?- Holland, Arman, Watkins, or one if the URFA.

    5 WRs
    3 TEs
    2 FBs/ 3RBs
    1 FB/ 4 RBs

  • http://atm Raider O

    Like I said, we dont need Yavone.

    We should have 5 WRs, 3 TEs, 2 FBs, 3 RBs, or 1 FB and 4 RBs. IMO

  • Nnamdi21

    Javon’s got potential but man, thats alot of work on his knees / ankle.

    It’d be pretty great for him to return to pro bowl form, but all indications are that may have been a one off despite Al’s babysitting.

  • doriangray

    stop bein so mean to javon walkre . hes ben thru a lot , his friend died in his arms , he got beat up and robbed , he injured his leg , naahhhh , kut da wimp .