146

Practice snapshots

A few highlights and notes from Friday’s minicamp practice before Tom Cable addresses the press at 2 p.m.:

– Solid first practice from first-round draft pick Darrius Heyward-Bey, although he was taken to school on one route by cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. Asomugha said later Heyward-Bey had telegraphed the play with his eyes. Heyward-Bey said he looked forward to more chances to compete against the best.

Heyward-Bey looked smooth and natural catching the ball in drills against no defense (thankfully). His best play in a team session came on a deep sideline route in which he adjusted under an underthrown pass from Bruce Gradkowski and hauled it in some 40 yards downfield over Darrick Brown.

It was the kind of play a football player makes, but a sprinter doesn’t.

– The Day 1 starting offensive line for the Raiders: Mario Henderson at left tackle, Robert Gallery at left guard, John Wade at center, Cooper Carlisle at right guard, Cornell Green at right tackle and Tony Stewart at tight end.

The backfield and receivers on the first snaps were Chaz Schilens and Heyward-Bey at wide receiver, JaMarcus Russell at quarterback, Darren McFadden at running back and Luke Lawton at fullback.

– The second team offensive line was Khalif Barnes at left tackle, Mark Wilson at left guard, Chris Morris at center, Marcus Johnson at right guard and Erik Pears at right tackle.

– The offense, with passing game coordinator Ted Tollner, didn’t look much different than it did in the early days last year, although keep in mind the Raiders aren’t layering in everything on Day 1.

Lots of rolls and reverse rolls, lots of short passes over the middle to tight ends. Not much downfield. Receivers for the most part were sure-handed, although Stewart had an outright drop.

– Russell did little of consequence in team sessions in the passing game, mostly throwing short and playing it safe. His first medium-range throw went high and way outside toward rookie Louis Murphy, with Tollner crediting the rookie for his route and telling him the pass was offline.

On the seven-on-seven play in which Asomugha read Heyward-Bey and broke up a pass, Russell’s ensuing pass misfired to Johnnie Lee Higgins in the deep middle, with Stanford Routt defending.

Russell did have a nice touch on a sideline throw to Jonathan Holland some 20 yards downfield.

– Snapshot of backup quarterback Jeff Garcia _ can’t execute a deep range out pattern on one throw, then hits McFadden out of the backfield with a feathery touch on a swing pass on the next.

– Friday’s practice saw linebacker Ricky Brown, who had offseason sports hernia surgery, getting his snaps at middle linebacker rather than strong side linebacker.

– Jon Alston got reps with the starters at strong sidelinebacker, along with Kirk Morrison in the middle and Thomas Howard on the weak side. The starting cornerbacks were Nnamdi Asomugha and Chris Johnson, with Hiram Eugene and Tyvon Branch at safety.

With Derrick Burgess out, Trevor Scott was at left end, with Tommy Kelly and Gerard Warren inside and Jay Richardson on the right.

– Warren deflected a Gradkowski pass which was intercepted by Howard, with a defender chirping about the “small-ass quarterback.”

– Plenty of nice running plays by McFadden, Justin Fargas and Michael Bush, all getting relatively equal work, against defenders that aren’t allowed to hit or tackle.

– Draft pick Stryker Sulak of Missouri was playing with his hand down as a defensive end on both sides, but there could be plays in which he eventually plays as a linebacker, he said. Slade Norris worked as a strong sidelinebacker with non-starting units.

– Andrew Walter got little to no work in team sessions behind Russell, Garcia and Gradkowski.

– No sign of the “other” Chris Johnson, the rookie free agent wide receiver who was reported as signed by the Tennessean. Johnson, the cornerback whose signing was never announced, was of course on the field and playing.

More to come later after Tom Cable’s press briefing and lunch break . . .

  • Share/Bookmark

Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    You would think Jerry’s first observation would have been Russell’s weight. It’s all he talks about.

  • BUSH29willtranscendDMAC20

    you niggs do need to chill on Jruss we can tear into him and beg for garica after week 3 at least jeez…my quest?? is where jerry at i want full transcripts of the interviews wit all the rooks

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    he probably didnt say anything about it because russell wasnt fat

  • SnB Defense

    DMunoz26,

    Troy Aikman completed 56.6% of his passes threw 11 TDS 18 INTs in his SECOND SEASON as a starter

    John Elway completed 54% of his passes and threw 23 INTs in his THIRD SEASON….

    Let’s see Russell at least complete his second season as a starter before we go sign another retread veteran QB as a starter.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Jerry,

    How did Russell’s waistline look?

  • DarthPirate

    There’s a picture of Mike Mitchell running during drills today on yahoo sports so he was certainly participating.

    And so what, Russell missed on some throws, everybody does. Even Jeff Garcia, with his “feathery touch” :D

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    kell it must not have looked bad or jerry would have talked about it

  • DKnight007

    SnB Defense Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 3:44 pm
    DMunoz26,

    Troy Aikman completed 56.6% of his passes threw 11 TDS 18 INTs in his SECOND SEASON as a starter

    John Elway completed 54% of his passes and threw 23 INTs in his THIRD SEASON….

    Let’s see Russell at least complete his second season as a starter before we go sign another retread veteran QB as a starter.

    ^^^^^
    Thank You! Now I hope ignorant Russell haters can shut the hell up for at least one more year.

  • 4evaRaider

    but he always seems 2 miss those,just sayin

  • DarthPirate

    Agreed. Judge Russell at the end of each year, not at a friggin minicamp. C’mon guys, you all know more football than to do that.
    ——————–
    # SnB Defense Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    DMunoz26,

    Troy Aikman completed 56.6% of his passes threw 11 TDS 18 INTs in his SECOND SEASON as a starter

    John Elway completed 54% of his passes and threw 23 INTs in his THIRD SEASON….

    Let’s see Russell at least complete his second season as a starter before we go sign another retread veteran QB as a starter.

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    4eva in college he had over 70% cmp and at the end of the year it was over 60% so he cant miss that much throws

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    16

    You would think so. Still, with all his reporting, you’d think he’s mention it, even if he was wrong.

  • DMunoz26

    # SnB Defense Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    DMunoz26,

    Troy Aikman completed 56.6% of his passes threw 11 TDS 18 INTs in his SECOND SEASON as a starter

    John Elway completed 54% of his passes and threw 23 INTs in his THIRD SEASON….

    Let’s see Russell at least complete his second season as a starter before we go sign another retread veteran QB as a starter.
    _________________

    Nobody saying we need to sign another QB, just said the kid needs to put the time in and perfect his craft. His completion percentage was up at the end of the year but he was throwing mostly short passes and has shown a reluctance to get WR’s involved relying mostly on TE’s and RB’s for his completions. When his 2 incompletions both being medium to deep range to receivers that’s not what any of us want to see from him. The Raiders need him to make those throws to keep the defense honest and not crowding the line of scrimmage.

  • Chris in NY

    The Russell bashers are clueless.

    ‘What? He missed throws in a minicamp practice? Give his overpaid azz the hook!’

    Give me a break.

  • Pingback: Raider Thread:Looks like we have a new back-up QB - Page 132 - Sports Rumor Mill

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    I liked Vince Evans too. As long as he didn’t have to play. LOL

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    DMunoz26 his wr sucked for the beginning of the season so he had to rely on miller and dmac

  • DMunoz26

    I don’t think we will hear much about Mitchell during non contact drills, the kid is a monster hitter. Hopefully we will start hearing about him when the pads go on. If he and Branch were the starters it would definitely bring back some of the intimidation that we have lost over the years.

  • Nnamdi21

    Russell and Miller could use the reps

  • DMunoz26

    # 16yearsold16yearfan Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    DMunoz26 his wr sucked for the beginning of the season so he had to rely on miller and dmac
    _______________

    It’s easy to say the WR’s sucked but the 1 game he was actually throwing to Walker, Walker actually looked decent. I don’t think you can put it all on the WR’s, but again I hope I am wrong because I am ready for them to be a top tier team again and it starts with these high paid draft picks we’ve been taking stepping up and making a difference for us.

  • Nnamdi21

    Major question with Mitchell is the level of competition he faced.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    So far as Russell getting his WR’s involved, as I recall Chaz and JLH scored a bunch of TD’s late last year.

  • Nnamdi21

    DMunoz26 Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 3:55 pm
    # 16yearsold16yearfan Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    DMunoz26 his wr sucked for the beginning of the season so he had to rely on miller and dmac
    _______________

    It’s easy to say the WR’s sucked but the 1 game he was actually throwing to Walker, Walker actually looked decent. I don’t think you can put it all on the WR’s, but again I hope I am wrong because I am ready for them to be a top tier team again and it starts with these high paid draft picks we’ve been taking stepping up and making a difference for us.

    =====================================

    Oh you can’t put it all on the WR’s. His tackles were terrible!

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Russell was a Rookie QB in reality last year starting off the season without receivers, running backs with injuries and a coach who didn’t want him. Yet he showed great improvement. I expect the performance curve up will be great as long as he does not get injured.

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    oh yea that too

  • IndianaRaider

    More to come later after Tom Cable’s press briefing and lunch break . . .
    ===============================================

    It’s been awhile, did Cable go back for seconds or what?

  • 4evaRaider

    KA-POW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    What is the treatment of a sports hernia?
    There are no treatments that have been shown to be effective for sports hernia other than surgery. That said, the initial treatment of a sports hernia is always conservative in hopes that the symptoms will resolve. Resting from activity, anti-inflammatory medications, ice treatments, and physical therapy can all be tried in an effort to alleviate the patient’s symptoms.

    If these measures do not relieve the symptoms of a sports hernia, surgery may be recommended to repair the weakened area of the abdominal wall. In number of studies have shown between 65% and 90% of athletes are able to return to their activity after surgery for a sports hernia. Rehabilitation from surgery for a sports hernia usually takes about eight weeks.

  • Nnamdi21

    114. Amen

  • DMunoz26

    # KoolKell Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    So far as Russell getting his WR’s involved, as I recall Chaz and JLH scored a bunch of TD’s late last year.
    ___________

    They didn’t score a bunch they scored a few, 5 TD’s in the last 3 games w/ only 19 catches for JLH and Schilens.

  • 4evaRaider

    Mitchell-Branch= KA-POW!!!!!!! Man intimidation is back

  • SnB Defense

    I also believe that a couple of those misfires were medium and deep routes. Those are not necessarily high percentage passes…..would you all like him to throw 100 screen passes (ala Matt Cassel or Chad Pennington) and have a 100% completion percentage?

    Also, I doubt Russell has a heck of a lot chemistry developed with guys like DHB and Murphy. I believe that this is what mini-camps are for.

    Again, wake me during the pre-season games

  • 4evaRaider

    Just give Mitchell #32

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    DMunoz26 Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 4:00 pm
    # KoolKell Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    So far as Russell getting his WR’s involved, as I recall Chaz and JLH scored a bunch of TD’s late last year.
    ___________

    They didn’t score a bunch they scored a few, 5 TD’s in the last 3 games w/ only 19 catches for JLH and Schilens.
    ————————–
    Alrighty then. There was improvement.

  • Coach on Wheels

    CABLE SAID WALKER DIDN’T NOTIFY THE TEAM. That’s why it is an issue. Cam Iman and Dave White both reported it.

    The RAIDERS did NOT suggest the surgery – per the team. “He did it on his own.”

  • DKnight007

    909RaiderLifer Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 3:01 pm
    Jerry Mac…

    The ONLY excuse you have for anything longer than a 60min. lunch break, is IF your at the local dive knocking back a couple of cold ones. After all it is a Friday.

    90mins. Max. then back to work, Jerry.

    Why didn’t Yvonne inform the TEAM, of her knee surgery until a coulpe of days ago?

    ^^^^^^
    LOL

  • DMunoz26

    # KoolKell Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    DMunoz26 Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 4:00 pm
    # KoolKell Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    So far as Russell getting his WR’s involved, as I recall Chaz and JLH scored a bunch of TD’s late last year.
    ___________

    They didn’t score a bunch they scored a few, 5 TD’s in the last 3 games w/ only 19 catches for JLH and Schilens.
    ————————–
    Alrighty then. There was improvement.
    ______________

    Improvement yes but you stated they caught a bunch of TD’s, that was completely false. Again for all you getting all stirred up I am completely for JRussell doing well and bringing us back to the top of the league.

  • DKnight007

    4evaRaider Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 4:01 pm
    Mitchell-Branch= KA-POW!!!!!!! Man intimidation is back

    ^^^^^
    Agreed!

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    19 catches in 3 games seems pretty good thats like 6 catches a games

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    “The first time he lined up against Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, quarterback JaMarcus Russell went right to him.

    Asomugha read the No. 7 overall pick’s eyes, jumped the in route and dropped a sure interception in front of Heyward-Bey.

    Lined up later against Darrick Brown, DHB found it much easier to run a deep go route and pull in a sideline pass from Bruce Gradkowski.

    DHB dropped one pass, a high Russell missile that bounced off both his hands. He caught a similiar pass later, and made one outstanding catch where he jumped in full stride, caught the ball going away and got both feet in as he fell out of bounds.”

    David White

  • DMunoz26

    # 16yearsold16yearfan Says:
    May 8th, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    19 catches in 3 games seems pretty good thats like 6 catches a games
    _____________

    6 catches a game for 2 receivers, so really only 3 a game, that’s not good enough to win in this league unless you are up on teams and can run the clock down and stop the other team.

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    but on was a rookie the other was a 2nd year player so yes its pretty good

  • xMxReaperxMx

    So does anyone know where cable’s press briefing is? it’s been awhile since practice was over.

    hmm… looking forward to that.

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    new post

  • Crow

    Preciate it, Jerry. Keep it coming.

  • Pingback: Chemistry Hub