By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, May 9th, 2009 at 6:56 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Notes from Saturday’s second minicamp practice:
After a rough morning practice that included dropped passes and counsel from Jeff Garcia, wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey mostly watched during the second session.
The No. 1 draft pick, who at one point Saturday morning was being worked on by the training staff for an apparent cramp, went through some drills but did not participate in any seven-on-seven or team drills.
Raiders coach Tom Cable, who addresses the media once in the afternoon, declined to update Heyward-Bey’s status.
“He said he’ll get into it tomorrow,” senior executive John Herrera said.
– Al Davis made his first minicamp appearance a little before 5 p.m., watching on a cart and departing before the session was finished.
– Guard Cooper Carlisle found himself on the ground during the no-contact drills courtesy of Tommy Kelly two times in a span of three plays.
– Tight end Chris O’Neill, an undrafted free agent from Boise State, made the best catch of minicamp so far, reaching up and cradling a one-handed catch from Jeff Garcia more than 20 yards downfield behind Michael Huff and Jerome Boyd, the Oregon linebacker who is being played at safety.
– During a seven-on-seven drill, Garcia spied McFadden with one-on-one coverage by rookie free-agent linebacker David Nixon of BYU. Garcia pump faked and found McFadden for a 45-yard gain down the sideline not far from where Davis was watching practice in his cart.
– Russell’s passing continued to be hit and miss, with a lot short throws to running backs and tight ends with the occasional attempt downfield. He found Louis Murphy on a deep cross on one attempt, and later threw a high wobbler down the left sideline toward Murphy that missed badly out of bounds with Justin Miller in coverage.
Practice ended with Russell completing a sideline route to Murphy.
– The second session, particularly in the early stages, was much more spirited and energetic.
– Early in the session, a hawk emerging from the field beyond the fence at the Oakland Airport flew through the air with a snake and landed on a nearby communications tower, where it came under the scrutiny of a few other birds who were diving at his prey.
Some support staff and a few players were watching, until returning their gaze to the field when play resumed _ all except Shane Lechler, who never punted in the session and could afford to watch the show.
– Tommy Kelly jumped offsides during a team session, with five yards marked off for the offense since the first down markers were in use. The Raiders bypassed recognition of similar fouls in the first session.
– A good sign offensively _ two well-executed screen passes, one from Russell to Michael Bush and another from Bruce Gradkowski to Louis Rankin.
– Aside from Heyward-Bey, those who did not participate included left guard Robert Gallery, defensvie tackle Gerard Warren, defensive end Derrick Burgess, tight end Zach Miller, center Samson Satele and fullback Oren O’Neal. Linebacker Ricky Brown returned after sitting out the first session, and deflected and nearly intercepted a Garcia pass.
The Raiders wrap up their minicamp with a single practice Sunday at 11:45 a.m.