OTA notes


Observed during Wednesday’s organized team activity session:

— Let’s get it out of the way first. JaMarcus Russell’s passing was, well, it was awful.

There’s no other way to put it.

Coach Tom Cable conceded there were accuracy issues and attributed them to the newness of the passing game, which will feature deeper routes. He also said Russell was better today than he was Tuesday and he expects him to be better still on Thursday.

Would have hated to see Tuesday if he was worse.

Since it’s only May 20, it’s not worth making a major issue out of it, but that didn’t make it any easier to watch.

Of Russell’s two interceptions, one _ a swing pass which bounced out of the hands of Louis Rankin and to strong side linebacker Jon Alston _ was not his fault. The other sailed well over the head of Johnnie Lee Higgins and was stolen by Stanford Routt.

There was also a near pick in a red zone drill by Kirk Morrison, who dropped the ball. Linebacker Thomas Howard was closer to the play than any intended receiver.

Darrick Brown also dropped a potential interception which was thrown directly to him.

— During one 7-on-7 drill, Russell threw four passes, completing one for about two yards to Justin Fargas. The other three passes? One at the feet of Fargas, a slant behind Todd Watkins that was broken up by Hiram Eugene and the Alston interception which bounced off Rankin’s hands.

— Garcia avoided interceptions and had one nice lob in a middle seam to Marcel Reece against middle linebacker Ricky Brown for big yardage, but wasn’t particularly sharp, either. He also fumbled a snap.

It might have been the only passing play of the entire session that was something beyond routine.

— Encourging sight in the running game _ Darren McFadden quickly turning the corner to his left with tight end Darrell Strong sealing rookie defensie end Matt Shaughnessy.

— It had to be the strangest scuffle ever. Two of the most mild-mannered Raiders, Brown and guard Cooper Carlisle, had to be separated following a running play.

— Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and safety Mike Mitchell were not in attendance because their college classes are still in school, making it against NFL rules for them to attend.

(I know, the rule makes no sense to me, either). Heyward-Bey is scheduled to arrive tonight and practice Thursday. Mitchell will miss the session.

— Wide receiver Louis Murphy had no conflicts with his school class and made a leaping catch in the end zone off a pass from Bruce Gradkowski.

— Cable said he expects Derrick Burgess, the subject of trade rumors with New England, to be with the Raiders when the season started but acknowledged they get inquiries on players all the time. Burgess was not at the OTA.

Others who did not attend included quarterback Andrew Walter, cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Chris Johnson and kickers Shane Lechler and Sebastian Janikowski.

Among those who were injured but in attendance included WR Javon Walker (knee), G Robert Gallery (calf), G Paul McQuistan, DE Jay Richardson (knee strain), FB Oren O’Neal, DT Gerard Warren (pectoral strain), C Samson Satele (shoulder) and TE Zach Miller (sports hernia surgery).

— Brown continued to play middle linebacker, with Jon Alston working as the strong side starter. With Asomugha and Johnson out, the starting corners were Routt and Justin Miller, with John Bowie operating as the third cornerback.

The starting offensive line with Gallery and Satele out was Mario Henderson at left tackle, Chris Morris at left guard, John Wade at center, Carlisle at right guard and Cornell Green at right tackle.

The second team defense found Brown in the middle flanked by two rrokies _ strong side rookie Slade Norris and undrafted free agent David Nixon of BYU.

The first team defensive line was Trevor Scott at right end, Terdell Sands and Tommy Kelly at tackle and Greyson Gunheim at left end.

I’ll have more later . . .


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • cofhandz

    My guess is Russell isn’t worried too much about Garcia, especially since he isn’t throwing much better then Russell. I also don’t see Vick coming in the picture. He won’t push Russell in any meaningful way that Garcia isn’t doing already and they don’t need him. the players they have together on offense do everything Vick would do for them without the baggage.

  • edward teach

    BSJ… lol

  • RaiderRockstar

    If Russell doesn’t step it up I bet Al will take a chance on Vick.


    why wouldn’t he?

    Russell is overweight and inaccurate

    Garcia is over the hill and can’t throw the long ball Al Davis loves

    Gradkowski and Walter are garbage

    where is Danny Southwick? is he getting any reps in the OTA’s? He might be able to unseat 2 or 3 of these clowns!

  • RaiderRockstar

    LOL @ BSJ #50

  • RaiderRockstar


    Vick doesn’t carry any baggage. He hasn’t thrown a football in 2 years, but he might still be more accurate and turn the ball over less than the QB’s we got on the roster

    it’s not about having a roster full of dudley do rights. it’s about winning football games

  • cofhandz

    I don’t have a problem with bringing in guys for competition, but is the plan for Vick to unseat Russell or to be his backup? If Garcia was brought in to be to veteran number 2 and the coaches think Vick will be the number 3, then bring him in. Otherwise, I am not sure what you are getting from a guy who has been out of the league who was not a true QB to begin with to come in and to be more accurate then what we have already. That’s all I am saying. His criminal past is his problem to deal with.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    What happened? Did the Mods get to Jerry? Now he knows how it feels. LOL

  • RaiderRockstar

    new post

  • blackdeath29

    espn just announced tom brady will not attend ota`s.so there you have it .let these guys practice and get better the third pre-season game is the time too worry.not may 20th.

  • NoMoreFargas

    Not to jump on the jruss bagging but man new passes or not no tackling you should be on the money, give Vince Evans a call at the old folks home!!!!

  • Senile King

    Chubbustus’ continuing accuracy problems , for the monent anyway, take a back seat to his cheery, dismissive ,” whistling past the graveyard ” endorsement of Michael Vick….

    Aside from his Federal RICO conviction, don’t forget this sicko executed dogs…

    I’ve said it before, just the fact that this truly disturbed person, Michael Vick, has been not just suspended, but expelled, speaks volumes for the grim callousness of both the N.F.L and our society…

    It raises an open question… just how low do we lower the bar to give these athlete’s a second chance ?

    What’s next ?…homo-pedio-necro-beastial-whavever…

    “…Yo Michael Vick, What’s up with the dead male puppies in the fridge ? ” (…As Chubbustus suddenly shows up at the scene with BBQ sauce…)…

    …At least kudos to humanitarian Amy Trask and even perhaps Coach Tom Cable, for having proper perspective on this issue…

  • Senile King

    Perhaps Chubbustus would gleen potential insight regarding public outrage to Vick’s actions by volunteering his own services to personally shield Vick from any of the tomatoes that are likely to be lauched in Vick’s direction from the ASPCA…..

  • smellylittleDirtyRaccoon

    Calm down take your meds or something there is no need to overreact to everything I post. I know you have a man crush on me and look up to me but there is no need to use profanity and CNN to prove your point.

    Here is a picture of the smellyDirtyRaccoons wedding:


    He even looks like a Raccoon!!