Minicamp notebook, quotebook


More from Friday’s training camp session following interview sessions with selected players and coach Tom Cable:

That the media was unaware of all surgical procedures concerning Raiders players is nothing new. Zach Miller’s procedure, for a sports hernia, came as a surprise to reporters.

Javon Walker’s knee procedure came as a surprise to the Raiders.

Walker missed practice because of a knee surgery to “clean up” existing problems, with coach Tom Cable telling reporters he hadn’t heard anything about it until recently.

“We found out a couple days ago,” Cable said. “Yeah it is a little bit uncommon, but we’re aware of it now and it was probably the right thing to do and get it cleaned up.”

After having Nnamdi Asomugha break up a potential reception on an in route from quarterback JaMarcus Russell, Darrius Heyward-Bey said he thought to himself, “All right, I’m not in college anymore.”

Said Asomugha: “Well, I haven’t met the kid yet. I didn’t even know what his number was. I knew that he came off, and you know, he’s young. There’s some easy giveaways right now. I’ll talk to him about that stuff. I just jumped it, me and Kirk (Morrison) went after it.

“I saw his eyes. He can’t give it away with his eyes but this was his first practice. I wasn’t watching him so I don’t know how well he did. But he has speed and speed is always a threat.”

— Miller said he started to feel pain last November and when he didn’t improve, opted for sports hernia surgery. He’ll likely be out another month at least.

— Cable said the reason Heyward-Bey was instantly put in with the first team was to push him, and part of that was giving him the opportunity to play against Asomugha.

“You’re going to get a guy who’s going to mess with you a little bit,” Cable said. “He’s gonna play off and play up, and he’s play up and bail out of there or play off and jam you as you come off. He’s gonna get the full gamut. I think that’s really good for a young kid.”

–Heyward-Bey got a thumbs up from Russell for his first day’s work.

“He had good, sure hands today. I saw him catch a lot of balls with his hands . . . some new guys, young guys use their chest. But all of their guys used their hands pretty good today.”

— Russell said he has missed a week of offseason activities following the death of his uncle but otherwise has been at the facility. He politely responded to a question regarding his commitment.

“When you have pride that you see you work each and every day and give it your all,” Russell said. “People can have their opinion on what’s going on but those guys are not with you daily so they don’t really know.”

Cable has stayed solidly in the middle where Russell is concerned, praising his progress while at the same time stressing he has a long way to go.

“He has to learn how to accept that and embrace that responsibility. Where is he at with that? I think he’s somewhere in the middle. Do I think he’s there yet? No, not quite,” Cable said. “He has some more things to do some more things to prove but we keep pushing it for him to be there.”

— Cable’s assessment of Russell’s practice performance: “He threw some deeper balls, some digs and things like that. Some deep hooks, He was throwing them on time. He really lit it up that way. I like where he is at. He has some things going on right now, he is just going to be getting better and better and better.”

I’ll have to watch today’s evening practice a little closer, because I missed any of the Raiders quarterbacks lighting it up. It looked like a lot of training camp practices I’ve seen over the years (minus the contact), with the good thing being that it’s only a minicamp practice in May.

— In Russell’s favor was that he wasn’t the quarterback when there were mishandled snaps _ and there were six of them, by Cable’s count. Those were split between Jeff Garcia and Bruce Gradkowski.

— Derrick Burgess missed the morning practice with the stomach flu, while center Samson Satele is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Wide receiver Arman Shields is having problems with the same knee which was surgically repaired as a college senior _ before the Raiders picked him in the fourth round.

Cable said Shields was “day-to-day.”

As for Andrew Walter, a no-show in optional activities this offseason, Cable said, “He hasn’t been part of the offseason program, and those other guys have. And that’s why you didn’t see him really get any reps today, ’cause they’re all prepared and ready to do this. And there’s been some change in what we’re doing offensively and so forth, so he’s got some catching up to do.”

— Safety Mike Mitchell received a pre-practice lecture from Cable about his lust for contact and will likely get another before the pads go on at training camp.

“This is your football team, these are your teammates, your brothers and you’ve got to take care of them,” Cable said. “Me and him have kind of had that discussion a little bit, ‘It’s time to go now. Take care of these guys, take care of these others and they’ll take care of you.”

— Asomugha’s reaction to the Raiders’ first two draft picks: “Surprised isn’t the word. Those guys weren’t really on the radar for me as far as guys that I was looking at. Because I thought that they were gonna go with some of the bigger names. But knowing Al, you can’t get surprised with that stuff. He always wants to find the gem, or that guy that no one’s really looking at, and he wants to develop them and see how they work out. So I wasn’t surprised at all. I just . . . I was a little confused a little bit at first.”

— Fullback Lorenzo Neal gives the Raiders the opportunity to take their time with Oren O’Neal, who at best will be ready for training camp but could conceivably be put on the physically unable to perform list and be brought back later.

Neal said he had talked to other teams, but got a call from Al Davis about joining Oakland. To put it mildly, he’s excited to be here.

“You bring that confidence that says, ‘Look, man, believe in me. Just get on my hip and don’t dip. Let’s go.’ Before you know it, you just start feeding it, it becomes an attitude, it becomes, hey, even if you’re not as good, you start making these guys believe that you’re better than you are,” Neal said after being asked about what he’ll bring to the Raiders.

“That’s what it is. You get off to a hot start, you start fast, you finish strong, and you get guys believing. The talent’s here. It’s about the opportunity. It’s about guys rising up and saying, ‘You know what, I’m going to make the change.’ Coaches coach, players make plays. Players got to make plays. When you’re lined up in your position, you got to do what you need to do. I’m brought here to help the offense get going, for the veteran leadership. You got a good group of backs in Fargas and McFadden. So, you just go in here and you say, ‘Look, come on, boys, we can do this.’ Get them to believe. These guys are eager, they’re hungry, they just want to be led. I feel like I’m the man for the job.”

Neal will prevail upon younger players to watch a little more film, be a little more prepared.

“It’s not just what you bring on the field but what you bring off the field, the intangibles and say, ‘Hey, look, guys, I’m going to be here on Tuesday watching film on my off day.’ It’s getting in the weight room working out, showing the guys, this is what has allowed me to play 17 years,” Neal said. “Saying, ‘Hey, guys, let’s go to meetings, let’s watch a little extra film, let’s not watch extra film, let’s lift some weights.’ Let’s do the extra things instead of saying, ‘Hey, you know what? On Tuesday I’m not going to come in.’ You win the game on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday. That’s when the game’s won.

“The game is simple if you know what to do, if you know your assignment. That’s the easy part. The game is simple. It’s about the practice, it’s about the attention to detail. It’s very imperative that you get leadership and you lead by example. So, I’m excited about it.”

— If there’s anything you want to know about Danny Southwick, the quarterback in camp on a tryout basis, you can check out his Web site.

I’ll have a report following the second practice later this evening . . .


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Mad Road Dog

    Oso pegged Al’s draft philosophy, it’s all about Al’s ego and pretending tp be the genious. Two of the smartest moves that more likely would have been instant help; the moves that everyone expected was Monroe and Brace. Now that would have made AL look like a genious in the real world.


    Raiders agreed to terms with WR Samie Parker.
    This follows news that Javon Walker recently underwent another knee surgery, but Parker isn’t going to have fantasy value regardless. Between 2004-07 with the Chiefs, he was one of the worst starting wide receivers in the league. He didn’t play in 2008.
    Source: ESPN.com

  • edward teach

    The Raiders sign somebody and ESPN puts a negative spin on it.



    mike mitchell playing free safety, has been interchangeable all day

  • DMunoz26

    Uh oh a Mike Mitchell sighting by David White, sadly only that he has been interchangeable.

  • DMunoz26

    So wtf is up with all the dropped snaps, and rusty QB’s. What are they doing in this QB school that Hackett is giving? Hope its just first day rust and not a common thing this year.

  • 24

    Man its awesome to hear some Raider news.

    Gotta love Lorenzo Neal. Hey Javon Walker…WTF? He obviously didn’t want to go into camp by deciding to get his knee cleaned without telling anybody. I’m pulling for him but that was a prick move.

  • 24

    DMunoz26 – Its common to have QB’s do that but Wade played with the Bucs a couple years ago and so did Garcia/Gradkowski. They’ll get it figured out.

  • 24

    Javorris Jackson is the brother of Lions defensive tackle Grady Jackson.

    Javorris Jackson, at age 28, was invited to the Lions’ rookie minicamp last weekend on a tryout basis.

    Javorris Jackson now faces murder charges after allegedly killing his girlfriend on Sunday.

    According to the Savannah Morning News, Jackson allegedly shot 26-year-old Courtney Solomon at an extended-stay hotel in Dearborn, Michigan. As of Thursday, Jackson was hospitalized with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.

  • armond

    people need to chill out. its the first practice and it takes time for the offense to come together. its just like pitching in spring training. it comes around last after hitting. the passing will get better the more they practice. thats why they practice, goodness.

  • 24

    Posted by Mike Florio on May 8, 2009, 6:22 p.m.
    Earlier in the offseason, word surfaced that Raiders running back Darren McFadden underwent shoulder surgery on his own, without using the team’s doctors.

    And he’s not the only player on the team who had surgery without the team’s involvement.

    On Friday, coach Tom Cable disclosed that receiver Javon Walker had knee surgery last month, and that Walker first told the team about it just a few days ago.

    Walker didn’t participate in practice on Friday. The team currently is conducting a mandatory minicamp.

    Cable also said that Walker’s ankle, which hampered him in 2008, has healed.

    Walker was expected to be cut by the team in February, but he accepted a dramatically reduced financial package in order to stick around.

  • 24

    This guy could be a decent pickup.

    Posted by Mike Florio on May 8, 2009, 2:59 p.m.
    In a somewhat surprising move, the St. Louis Rams have released veteran linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa.

    The team announced the move on Friday.

    “This was a difficult decision based on a lot of factors,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said in a team-issued statement. “I have a great deal of respect for Pisa and wish him all the best.”

    Per Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the move creates $2.25 million in 2009 cap room. Signed through 2011, Tinoisamoa was due to earn a base salary of $3.25 million of this year.

    Thomas, who cites Tinoisamoa’s lack of size as a factor of the move, also points out that the transaction will result in middle linebacker Chris Draft sliding to an outside position, and second-round rookie James Laurinaitis starting in the middle.

    Tinoisamoa was a second-round pick in 2003; he’s now an unrestricted free agent and he likely will find opportunities elsewhere. But probably not at the $3.25 million base salary he was due to earn this year.

  • 24


    Tinoisamoa had 104 tackles last year.

  • Cut Walker.


    You were right!! We need to cut Yavone.

  • 24

    Birth Date July 15, 1981
    Birth Place San Diego, CA
    Height 6-1
    Weight 240 lbs.
    Age 27
    Pronounced PEES-oh tee-noy-SAW-mo-ah
    Position LB
    Experience 7 years
    College Hawaii

    2008 Scouting Report – Scouts Inc.
    Grade: 66 | Key
    Alert: None

    Comment: He plays with very good lateral quickness and can change directions quickly. He has speed to the sideline with burst to close. He lacks overall strength to play stout, but can be aggressive on entry into blocks. He will stay stuck too long at times and lose ground working to escape. He still enters into some lead block contact with his shoulder first. He has good balance, but will get bounced. He is quick enough to sidestep or elude contact on his path to the ball. He has range and can close quickly from the backside to make plays.

    He usually provides good wrap on tackles and has some pop to him when he squares up. In coverage, he has good awareness. He’ll stay on the field when the Rams go to nickel personnel. He is aggressive with his reads and will bite occasionally on play-action. He moves well in space, changes direction quickly and can recover from false steps. His overall reactions are adequate. He can close quickly after making reads. He is a productive player with good speed and range, when healthy.

  • DMunoz26

    He is another Morrison only worse cause he is injury prone, missed a lot of time before last season. Also doesn’t make as many tackles as Morrison

  • Did we really sign S Parker? If so, why??

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    yea look at baseball c.c. sabathia sucks right now and this is in th baseball season but later he will get better same as jruss

  • DMunoz26

    He is probably really fast Raider O

  • IndianaRaider

    DHB, JLH, Schillens, Murphy
    Walker and Shields on IR
    I don’t trust Holland, Watkins, or any of the other guys we snagged after the draft, but, I’d assume its to compete for the 1-2 slots once they announce Shields and Walker will sit this season out much like they both did last year, just a guess

  • 24

    Gary Russell
    Birth Date September 8, 1986
    Birth Place Columbus, OH
    Height 5-11
    Weight 215 lbs.
    Age 22
    Position RB
    Experience 2 years
    College Minnesota

    2008 Scouting Report – Scouts Inc.
    Grade: 53 | Key
    Alert: None

    Comment: Russell is a hard-nosed runner with power and an aggressive edge when he has the ball in his hands. He shows some short-area quickness and good feet in tight quarters, but isn’t a speed back by any means and will not produce big plays. He can get his pads low and push the pile. Russell is a far better runner than blocker. He has improved slightly in this department, but certainly needs more work picking up the blitz.

  • Raggety practice.

  • 24

    C.C. Sabathia only sucks because hes playing with the Yankees. Pitchers don’t do as well with the Yankees because theres too much pressure on those guys.

  • He is fast, I’ll give you that. lol

  • Indiana,

    I hope you are wrong. lol

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    he sucked at this time last year too thats why he got traded

  • Random Drug Tester

    New Yankee stadium is really a pitcher’s ballpark either

  • Random Drug Tester


  • 24

    Samie Parker
    Birth Date March 25, 1981
    Birth Place Long Beach, CA
    Height 5-11
    Weight 185 lbs.
    Age 28
    Position WR
    Experience 5 years
    College Oregon

    2004 KAN 4 9 137 15.2 48 1 7 0 0
    2005 KAN 12 36 533 14.8 49 3 28 2 2
    2006 KAN 16 41 561 13.7 43 1 33 0 0
    2007 KAN 15 24 298 12.4 24 2 15 1 0
    Career 47 110 1529 13.9 49 7 83 3 2

    2008 Scouting Report – Scouts Inc.
    Grade: 51 | Key
    Alert: None

    Comment: Parker has legitimate downfield speed and is a threat with the ball is in his hands. But in five years as a pro, he never has learned the subtleties of route running. He can be sloppy and tends to round things off, losing the advantage he could create coming out of his breaks. He has yet to realize that he can’t win only with speed, and needs to learn how to run his routes under control. He is a better receiver running under the ball than turning back toward it. He tries to body-catch too many passes.

    His lack of size and strength also are limitations. He can be easily jammed at the line of scrimmage and often gets rerouted after his release. He isn’t very eager going across the middle or catching in traffic. Given his stalled progress and diminished production last season, Parker could have to fight for a roster spot in the offseason.

  • Random Drug Tester

    hope he’s paying Al to let him play

  • IndianaRaider

    Raider O Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 6:33 pm


    I hope you are wrong. lol

    I pray I am as well, but you remember last year and all the WR we went through right? Walker would start, get his manditory 1-2 catches and sit the sidelines. Curry would drop 3-6 passes a game, Lelie had 1 decent game, the rest were drops and small 1-2 catch performances, and then there was Watkins making the team after getting called up. He seen action but how many catches did he get? At least Chaz and JLH got a chance to start near the end, I’d still feel safe with at least 1 more vet WR with all these young guys.

  • armond

    javon is just 2 fraglie. i was backin him up last year but damn, he makin all of his supporters look bad.it would be good to bring amani toomer back here.

  • jhill

    So after one day, what do you guys think?

    A lot of McFadden sounds great.

    Russell won’t be 100% on the “big play” shots.

    Kinda concerned that we hear about Fargas with the ones before we do Bush,, but not too much.

    LOVE to hear about Ricky Brown at MLB gettin a lot of reps.

    LOVE hearing about Scott starting at LDE. Loved his start there against the Jets last year.

    DHB is going to be just fine. Going against Nnamdi is going to be invaluable.

    Tommy Kelly sightings are outstanding to hear about.

    Huff better beat out Eugene!

  • BUSH29willtranscendDMAC20


  • BUSH29willtranscendDMAC20
  • 24

    Fargas would get back up because…He has heart!!!

  • DarthPirate

    Lotta fumbled snaps today. Every QB had one and according to David White the coaches finally started cursing out loud lol. He said all of the QB’s looked off today.

    Practice is over.

    This is from David White’s twitter.

  • Nnamdi21

    Man, Raiders ,com needs to be upgraded big time. That site sucks. The infos ok, but man, its just dated and ugh.

  • Nnamdi21

    81. Sammie Parker

    Your kidding right? Yuck. This guy has worse composure than Reche Caldwell

  • Raider Dell


    Why don’t you and I volunteer to maintain that website.

    I think the “HELLS BELLS’ introduction should be blasting and then have some of the great player past plays to intro music and then you get have up to date infor from this blog and others and some great comments from the fans.Of course the other stuff will be updated.

  • Raider Dell

    I’m on my laptop, this is not easy, wow my english is bad. Time for another beer.