50

Minicamp practice recap

Highlights from Saturday morning’s minicamp session:

– The good news was only one fumbled center snap between Jeff Garcia and Chris Morris at 11:05 a.m.

As for the rest of the session, it continued to look like football in May for the Raiders passing game _ not very good, but given the time of year, still a few months shy of panic in the streets.

– Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey at one point dropped three consecutive passes, with Garcia lecturing him on “short-term memory and putting the mistakes out of his mind.

Heyward-Bey was being worked on by trainers, pointing to his right hamstring for a possible cramp, but later returned to the field.

– Passing game coordinator Ted Tollner continued to lecture the wide receivers as a group about their precision in route running. At one point, Johnnie Lee Higgins cut a route short but still managed to reach behind him for a juggling catch.

“No, no, no,” Tollner said. “Helluva catch, though Jon. Don’t cut them short.”

– The first scuffle of camp broke out between Morris and Isaiah Ekejiuba, and it was so uninspired it was almost not worth mentioning.

– JaMarcus Russell, continuing to get pretty much equal work along with Garcia and Bruce Gradkowski, spent most of the session throwing too high, too far and too shallow, although to be fair, it’s hard to determine if receivers are always in the right places.

It’s also possible Russell is simply trying to be too fine in terms of placement rather than just letting the ball go, much like a pitcher who continually falls behind in the count because he’s shooting for the corners.

Russell conceded many of his passes, particularly later in the session, needed some work and that he was happy with his progress.

– One ill-advised pass lofted toward tight end Chris O’Neill resulted in a collision with Darrick Brown in which Brown was led off the field. O’Neal wound up taking a knee once he got back to his position group to recuperate.

– Gradkowski continued to get a lot of work while Andrew Walter was a spectator. Seeing Gradkowski short-hop receivers on dig routes 15 to 18 yard downfield with a clear window, you wonder if he’s got he arm for some of the throws in the offense.

– On at least two occasions, linemen at the point of attack commited violations, then simply went back to their side of the line, the ball was snapped, and the play went on as if nothing happened. It happened on offense with Khalif Barnes at left tackle, and on defense when Tommy Kelly jumped early, made contact, then went back to his spot.

Normally, when such penalties occur, the teams are brought back to the huddle or start the play over, recognizing that an error had been made. Offenders even ran laps last year.

– Admittedly against an offensive line that can’t cut block or fully engage, Kelly appears to be getting consistent penetration at tackle. Terdell Sands also appears to be in better condition.

– Wide receiver Javon Walker discussed his decision to have surgery, said he played in pain all of last season and was at about 65 percent effieciency. He looks forward to competing pain-free and praised the current group of wide receivers. More to come on this topic later . . .

– Will also have more from Garcia regarding his impressions of Russell and his designated role as mentor. Garcia let fly a choice expletive on a few occasions when his passes misfired. He did most of his best work on the move, catching running backs in stride after scrambling then moving up in the pocket.

– With Walker and Arman Shields (knee) still out, former Raiders practice squad player Drisan James and Samie Parker were brought in on a tryout basis, team executive John Herrera said.

– Some interesting defensive looks _ John Bowie coming on a corner blitz with Hiram Eugene sliding over to take the receiver, Nnamdi Asomugha coming on a corner blitz, and Thomas Howard coming on a blitz.

A bold defensive strategy, or simply giving the offense work against a blitz?

The Raiders will never tell.

– Defensive end Derrick Burgess remained out of practice with towels draped over his head and around his shoulders.

– Left guard Robert Gallery, who missed the evening session Friday, started practice at left guard but did not finish. His left calf is wrapped in an elastic brace.

– Linebacker Ricky Brown, the strongside starter last year who played middle linebacker in both practices Friday, sat out Saturday’s first session. Brown had offseason surgery for a sports hernia.

–After O’Neill went to the ground on a pass pattern near the sideline following contact from second-round pick Mike Mitchell, defensive coordinator John Marshall said, “Mike, stay off him!”

– Russell did have one jaw-dropping throw _ a laser to Tony Stewart some 30 yards downfield on a line between two defenders.

– General impression of the energy, particularly early _ not very impressive. No real sense of urgency or excitement.

– More to come later after Tom Cable’s 2 p.m. press briefing . . .

  • Share/Bookmark

Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • doriangray

    weve got sum talent

  • Nnamdi21

    Nnamdi21 Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 1:55 pm
    doriangray Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 1:52 pm
    i would love to see a race betwwen d.h.b. , stanford routt , j.l.h. , and d-mac . my moneys on routt

    —————————-

    Big fan of Stan but he got called out last year for slackin on special teams and not being up to speed as it were.

    He should’ve taken his rightful place as the new number 2 after Hall was booted week 8 but contiuned to play down and not challenge.

    I hope he and Huff go to Prime U like Chris Johnson did last season…

    Not a fan of Neon but man, Johnson came out of no where after several years of less than mediocrity.

  • Nnamdi21

    1. Theres some serious fire power in Raider town

  • doriangray

    why nothing about the running backs ?

  • doriangray

    the turd in better condition ? wut hes lookin more like jabba da hut ?

  • http://www.actionext.com/playlist_57486.html La Milicia Negra

    —”It’s also possible Russell is simply trying to be too fine in terms of placement rather than just letting the ball go, much like a pitcher who continually falls behind in the count because he’s shooting for the corners”—

    Say what now??…

    hmm, seems to me, Tony Steward is our best receiver two days in row…

  • Nnamdi21

    Awesome Jerry thanks!

    Time still for Gallery to heal up. Need his azz in there for sure this year.

  • SnB Defense

    doriangray Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 1:52 pm
    i would love to see a race betwwen d.h.b. , stanford routt , j.l.h. , and d-mac . my moneys on routt
    =======================================================
    Don’t they run gassers before or after practice?

  • Nnamdi21

    doriangray Says:
    May 9th, 2009 at 2:00 pm
    the turd in better condition ? wut hes lookin more like jabba da hut ?

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

    Kelly has had the requisite year it takes for his knee to heal. Lets hope he lives up to it and the offense gives him the chance to rush the passer.

  • Nnamdi21

    Enjoy the night Raider bretheren!

  • SnB Defense

    Jeff Garcia is a vet and all…but does he ever just complete a pass without scrambling and running around?

  • raider christian

    how is oneal doing in his rehab

  • RaiderKen

    I hope they do something soon about Walters. I think he needs a chance to go some place else to get a shot. Gradkowski? are you fricken serious?

  • SnB Defense

    Walter is really showing his attitude. The guy is still getting somewhere close to a $1million…maybe less but still…do your job, put in your time and compete.

    Just cut the guy. Walter better be careful though, others are taking note of his attitude I am sure. Played himself out of a backup job and had he pushed Russell real hard…maybe a chance to start

  • Dude

    Walter is a mental midget and will be coaching high school ball in 2 years. Never liked him. He always seemed to be whining or blaming other people for his piss poor play. He wont be here long. I would take Gradkowski any day.

  • doriangray

    WHOS SEEN DA STAR TREK MOVIE , ABSOLUTE BLOCKBUSTER

  • doriangray

    I LIKE ANDRE WALTER , ON MADDEN 09. I THINK HE`S GONNA END UP LIKE RICH GANNON

  • Dude

    Like Gannon? You mean out of football? I agree.

  • Dude

    And Jamarcus is one of the best QBs on Madden 09. How da hell you taking him out for Walter?

  • inonewordraider

    no energy is not something I wanna hear, I’d take dropped balls over that…. Is it low energy compared to last year, is that usually how it is…. was it low energy the Gruden years….

  • doriangray

    SHOULD THEY ACT EXCITED NOW ? GUESS ROOKIES SHOULD :(

  • RaiderKen

    Walter needs the right situation. I feel sorry that his chance came in the bread and breakfast year. He took a fricken beating and never said a word. He should’ve kicked Gallery in his nutz.

  • doriangray

    I DIDNT TAKE JRUSSS OUT . BUT I SCRAMBLE WIT HIM AND HE GETS HURT SOMETIME . AND CHAZ SCHILLENS CATCHES ERRTHING

  • doriangray

    WALTERS GONNA END UP ON SUM TEAM LIKE SEATTLE AND GO TO A PRO BOWL . THEN PEOPLE WILL SAY BAD THINGS ABOUT THE RAIDERS 4 NOT KEEPIN HIM

  • SnB Defense

    Walter is not a competitor. Period. Any job in the NFL is hard to come by…ask that Utah kid or Jeff Otis or Graham Harrel..To have a job pretty much guaranteed to you for the life of your contract and throw it away is bad judgement.

    Play out the contract and try to beat out your competition.

    He’s not guaranteed a job when he leaves the Raiders. Look at the track record of players that get released by the Raiders…not good…

  • doriangray
  • doriangray

    LETS SEE, GIBRIL WILSON , DEANGELO HALL , LAMONT JORDAN , JERRY PORTER , HMMM. ALL GOT JOBS

  • doriangray

    HAHA , MIKE MITCHELL IS LIKE A PIT BULL. YA GOTTA TELL HIM TO STAND DOWN . YEP , MIKE “PIT BULL” MITCHELL

  • inonewordraider

    JaMarcus Russell just does not look good out there, and it doesn’t matter how many times Cable said he lit it up.

    His deep ball is almost never on target, he throws into traffic too much and flat-out misfires time and time again.

    Russell’s most accurate passes are checkdown screens to the running backs, and even that has gotten predictable enough that Jay Richardson batted one down in anticipation.

    David White

  • doriangray

    MIKE THE MISSLE ? MIKE THE MASHER ? MIKE ” FLIGHT 87 ” MITCHELL ….. MAYBE I JUST CROSSED THE LINE .

  • 4evaRaider

    Please dont kill em Mike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pingback: New receiver shines too much. Can’t see the ball. | Phootball Rants

  • 16yearsold16yearfan

    Did you guys know tim brown was on pros vs joes

  • http://snotmerch.com/ Lynn from Snot

    Good to see MARSHALL mix in some blitz packages and use some of that speed on defense.

  • RAJ ALL DAY

    Sounds like Russell hasn’t improved since last season so far. I think Garcia will start after the bye.

  • edward teach

    On this day in 1961, FCC chairman Newton H. Minow declared the majority of television programming as “a vast wasteland” in a speech to the National Association of Broadcasters.

    Nice to know there’s some sort of continuity in this crazy world.

  • 4evaRaider

    =)

  • SharkCatcher

    I wonder why jerry doesnt twitter…david white is taking his soldiers

  • Pingback: The RaiderCast | Minicamp practice recap

  • 4evaRaider

    we will still chew the fat here tho

  • ambulance

    Tim Teebow here we come.

    I have to remember it’s just minicamp. I’m sure jamarcus will make some big strides when he’s out there with our qbs coach.

  • IndianaRaider

    –After O’Neill went to the ground on a pass pattern near the sideline following contact from second-round pick Mike Mitchell, defensive coordinator John Marshall said, “Mike, stay off him! It’s Kipper you want!”

  • E Turner29

    i just watched the mike Mitchell interview on raiders.com, i re;;y like the guy and can’t wait to see what he can do once the pads come on

  • 4evaRaider

    Mike Mitchell>Lady Tomlinson

    Oh Please Oh Please Oh Please

  • Vinous

    Mitchell is reminding me of the old Raider days, where guys were looking for someone to hit even in practice.

  • Crow

    – General impression of the energy, particularly early _ not very impressive. No real sense of urgency or excitement.
    _______________________________________________________

    They play the way they practice.

  • Pingback: ESPN » Blog Archive » Kansas City and Oakland headlines

  • Pingback: The RaiderCast | Kansas City and Oakland headlines

  • Pingback: Goal-Line Stand - The Score

  • Pingback: Darrius Heyward-Bey’s Career Off to a Dropping Start | Larry Brown Sports