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


    Can Jamarcus complete 65% of his passes against air in the NO DEFENSE drills?


    What happened? there used to be a story above this…..

  • 408RAIDER

    Wheres the fix?


    408, There was a story there for about a minute before I made the first post, but then….poof it was gone, like a running back through Stuart Schwiegart.

  • Jerry fat fingered the publish button before all the notes were done?

  • 408RAIDER

    Hey i can post again. I will be good from now on! I guess you cant diss jerry on cinco de mayo. My bad mod dude


    David White (of the Chron) had a pretty good play by play on his twitter.


    Please Stand By………………We’re experiencing technical difficulties.

  • RaiderRockstar

    where’s Jerry?

  • Mistabrown


    ELWAYs TEETH Says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 12:28 pm
    Can Jamarcus complete 65% of his passes against air in the NO DEFENSE drills?

  • ottocrat

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

    AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHH!! Why? Why my team? From my home town? We’re never going to get our sh## together. We’re never going to win again. JaBustas Bustlle. To qoute Artie Lange: WWWWWWAAAAAAAA!! This sucks. Venting over…

  • 408RAIDER

    Yo teeth tell us about the fix please.


    Short term memory problems….I read it 15 minutes ago…..Uh I forgot…


    Check out David White’s twitter:



    Jerry, try hitting the “undo” button.

  • TEETH, you didn’t even read it huh? You were more interested in posting first? lol


    Got me RaiderMight, but at least give me credit for not just typing “First” I commented on what I knew was true, JaMarcus’ passing is not very good ….yet?

  • ottocrat

    Just go back to the main page to read it. http://www.ibabuzz.com/raidersblog

  • CJ Legend 34

    Was there practice so horrible that Jerry passed out before he could update the OTA Notes?

  • That is true. From David White’s twitter, he sounds terrible. Still throwing to players toes.

    I hear that AFC west D-Coords are telling their denfence that when you go against Jamarcuss, don’t bother looking up for the pass, just dive at the recievers feet. lol

  • There’s the post. Thanks man.

    ottocrat Says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 12:49 pm
    Just go back to the main page to read it. http://www.ibabuzz.com/raidersblog

  • 408RAIDER

    Well at least the mod isnt hating on me anymore.

  • CJ Legend 34

    CJ Legend 34 Says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 12:50 pm
    Was there practice so horrible that Jerry passed out before he could update the OTA Notes?


    I am not making fun of J Mc I did the same thing when we picked DHB over Crabtree on draft day.


    I really don’t want to buy into the Jabustas crap, but come on man! This sounds like a problem with the basic mechanics of throwing a football. Can’t someone help him fix this?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Per David White’s Twitter feed: (from newest to oldest)

    three horns, practice ends

    next pass, way over higgins head, routt with easy pick. not even close

    finally, jamarcus completes something other than screen. over the middle to stewart for 12

    dad sees son go to his knees for nice catch. clap clap clap

    sorry for the pause, got chatting with louis murphy sr. dad is here

    red zone drill; gunheim pressure forced jamarcus to throw it away

    mario henderson schooling matt shaughnessy as gradkowski throws td to murphy

    for what it’s worth, garcia’s next pass was a backward screen for a turnover. keep in mind, it’s lot like nnamdi and c johnson are here

    last: throws behind wr, justin miller drops pick that hits both his hands on deep post

    2nd: checkdown dumpoff to fb marcel reece at line of scrimmage.

    1st: deep route to chaz, morrison steps in front for dropped pick

    next team drills: jamarcus still struggling

    third play: russell completes same pass this time. team taking water break

    next play; jamarcus misses way wide right in flats screen. yells “s” word. wow. some emotion

    back to team drills: alston blitz sack up middle, beats lorenzo neal

    john bowie with a little contact. the randy moss pick lives, though these are noncontact otas

    this just in: gradkowski’ aim not good. not even close

    final pass: screen to fargas, small gain, but completed

    3rd: dumpoff to gary russell, off hands, alston interception.

    2nd: hiram eugene pass deflection in traffic

    first pass: hits fargas in shoelaces on 4 yd screen

    7 on 7, jamarcus throws against defense for first time

    garcia comes in and fumbles snap. minicamp is back

    jamarcus back in: two handoffs, then out

    undrafted rookie o’neill beats tyvon branch. nice followup to minicamp

    that means he’s ahead of rookie shaughnessy for now

    greyson gunheim playing first team, interesting move with burgess absent

    then three straight runs against softer second team d.

    garcia’s first play; screen to gary russell for big gain

    first team ran four run plays, none got anywhere

    jon alston at slb, branch and hiram at safety.

    finally, team drills.

    jamarcus: 9 of 12 against air so far.

    no mike mitchell, by the way. presumably a school thing. murphy and shaughnessy are here

    maybe it’s just a confidence thing, but chaz looks awful good ruuning routes

    passing game getting tons of reps, all against air, but still.

    tollner very involved today, cable off to the side watching

    ted tollner coaching wrs in this drill, very loud about it. trying to get these guys to cut perfectly on route

    very slow pace, emphasis seems to be on instruction

    none of this is vs defense

    jamarcus all alone with hackett, throwing end zone fades to wrs.

    still no 11 on 11s, back to individual drills

    khalif barnes still running second team left tackle, all mario henderson with starters

    mcfadden lines right, runs down sideline lob fro russell

    the 1 was a 40 yd corner pass to jonathan holland. coaching staff cheered

    jamarcus 1 for 3 in first passing drill, no defense on field

    just noticed jay richardson is not practicing, don’t know what his injury is yet.

    everything right now is individual drills

    new wr will franklin sporting no 17, javon’s old number

    darrius heyward-bey also not here. not allowed to practice until school is out, nfl rules

    with no punters here, jl higgins taking long snap. what is he, bugs bunny catching his own ball?

    cbs nnamdi asomuugha and chris johnson also not here. remember, this is voluntary

    roster check: no andrew walter, no derrick burgess

    they just let media in, here we go

  • 408RAIDER

    I still cant get 2 the fix

  • raiderkoolaid

    I agree it sounds like a problem with mechanics. Russel has not yet proven to be a great NFL quarterback, but up until the mini-camp he didn’t seem to have a problem about throwing the ball at the receivers feet all of the time. He was more likely to overthrow on occasion.

  • CJ Legend 34

    Oh boy! Looks like Murphy and Chaz will be sarting mid way through the season.

  • Jerry Mac…

    Best post ever! Keep up the good work.


    What happened to that QB coaching guru from San Mateo City College that also coached up Tom Brady? Didn’t he spend some time with Russell before the draft? I think he’s pretty old and retired now, but why wouldn’t the Al throw some money at this guy and have him come in for a week and work with JaMarcus?

  • #30,


  • scallywag

    If Al suddenly died who takes over the Raiders? Would it be the other investors? How would the jostling for power unfold etc…?

  • I think Tollner/Hackett have Jamarcus throwing to spots at a precise time, leaving little room to concentrate on the pinpoint accuracy of his throw.

    Once the route geometries and timing become routine, Russell should be able to think only of accuracy. And by then, the newbie receivers should be at the right spot at the right time to get the pass.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I found a few things interesting …

    Since Gallery has been injured they’ve tried Chris Morris and Mark Wilson (last week) at LG with the first team. Maybe one of these guys will be Gallery’s backup?

    Also, with Burgess out Trevor Scott is starting. Now Burgess is still on the trade block and we’re receiving offers from at least 1 team.

    With Richardson out, Gunheim is starting. Not Grey, Shaughnessy or Sulak

    If anybody on the defense could catch the football our QB’s would have thrown a combined 12 interceptions, sounds like

    Khalif Barnes is not getting reps as starting LT or RT

  • # The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Oakglenn, I don’t know if I understand a word of that. So I’ll keep it simple and just ask you one question: Is an NFL player hitting a woman worthy of the same scorn from Goodell as an NFL player being in a dog fighting ring? Are you saying that Goodell SHOULD be easier on players in his league hitting women than those those involved in animal abuse?

    Mistabrown Says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    #436 misses the point entirely as usual.

    Numnuts, nobody is exusing M Vick gambling or dog fighting. The point is hitting a woman should warrant discipline and Goodell seems 2 not give a $hit.

    I mean I thought both you guys were really stupid and/or out in left field but even I am surprised when you both don’t understand very simple things. So, let’s summarize: if someone, say Cornbread Green our left tackle, is arrested in Florida for hitting a 118 lb woman that has no bearing on what Michael Vick did. Why?? Because, Cornbread Green has not been convicted of anything. Vick was convicted of federal crimes with gambling ties. You imbeciles show me a recent example of an NFL player CONVICTED on a felony battery charge where the league did nothing.

  • inonewordraider

    Is Russell looking over his shoulder?

  • RaiderRockstar

    OTA: first thoughts

    A few quick hits from Organized Team Activities, with a deeper look to come after going to lunch and driving home.

    No. 1 — Rookies Darrius Heyward-Bey and Mike Mitchell did not practice because of NFL rule requiring college players to sit out all but one minicamp until school is out.

    All the other rookies were on hand.

    No. 2 — Jon Alston seems to have the upper hand at strongside linebacker, with former starter Ricky Brown bounced inside behind Kirk Morrison. He had a blitz up the middle, beating Lorenzo Neal for a “sack” of JaMarcus Russell (no tackling allowed).

    No. 3 — Tom Cable danced around the subject of Derrick Burgess being on the shop block, one day after East Coast media reported the Patriots were interested in a trade.

    Cable’s non-answer went like this: “I do expect to go (to camp) with him here. But we get inquiries all the time about players and this football team. That one was kind of a surprise. There was some talk during the draft obviously but we get, people inquire about players on this team all the time. So we listen to everything.”

    Burgess was not at OTAs, and hasn’t come to the voluntary workouts in years.

    No. 4 — Trevor Scott makes Burgess look more tradeable with each passing practice. He’s beefed up enough to be considered as an everydown player, though there remains work to do against the run. Then again, Burgess hasn’t been much of a run stopper for years and he played every down.

    No. 5 — JaMarcus Russell is still struggling with accuracy, especially when the defense is on the field. He had one interception and two others dropped by cornerbacks. He completed two passes of more than 10 yards, and both were in the final team drills of the day.

    Complete unofficial stats later. For those wondering, Jeff Garcia was just as erratic — and all this came with starting cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Chris Johnson staying home for the day.

    “He, like Jeff, has been very streaky,” Cable said. “They’ve both been hitting 2-3-4 completions in a row, then they don’t complete 2-3 in a row. So trying to change that but some of that’s newness. Maybe it’s a receiver or a tight end running a route or a quarterback not getting something new read right.”

    -David White (SF Chronicle)

  • vegas raider

    inonewordraider Says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 1:17 pm
    Is Russell looking over his shoulder?


    At what, an Applebee’s?

  • DT42 Says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 12:18 pm
    Just to keep the Vick crime in perspective, my son (15 at the time) was hit in the face with a crow bar by a gang member who snuck up behind him. EMS had to stop and do CPR on the way to the hospital. After a stay in crash,stiches, a bunch of MRI’s and a stay in the hospital. He went back to school. And what about the The kid that hit him? He got PROBATION (a couple of months) and a fine. He was back in school in my son’s math class the next semester. If Vick can help the Raiders then let him play. If not let him go about his way and have a wonderful career in construction. Either way just another overblown ESPN story.

    You are comparing what a child did to Michael Vick, an adult who was involved in organized criminal activities and then tried to cover it up. The Feds nailed him with RICO (although he entered guilty please to other charges as part of the deal).

    Obviously the pain and suffering your child went through was awful, but the fact remains that juvenile offenders get a break and adults don’t. Vick should have gotten the time he did, and children should get a second chance.

  • Twocents


    I think Hackett is changing Russell’s mechanics, footwork etc. Sounds like he’s thinking too much. This may take awhile.

  • vegas raider

    “JaMarcus Russell is still struggling with accuracy, especially when the defense is on the field”


    Well, at least he will be fine at those crucial times when the defense is not on the field. Man, this is not getting any better.

  • —“2008 sixth-round pick Trevor Scott worked as the Raiders’ starting right defensive end at Wednesday’s OTA. He’s passed Jay Richardson on the depth chart. Rookie Stryker Sulak will have something to say about it, but Scott flashed serious pass-rush skill with five sacks despite limited snaps as a rookie. He’s a deep IDP sleeper.”—

    —“According to beat writer Jerry McDonald, JaMarcus Russell’s passing performance at Wednesday’s OTA was “awful.” Coach Tom Cable blamed Russell’s woeful accuracy on the “newness of the passing game,” which will incorporate more vertical plays. One would expect Russell to flourish in that system because of his big arm, but he threw multiple interceptions and nearly had one picked in the red zone. And this is non-contact work. It’s not been a promising offseason for Russell so far”—

    —“According to beat writer David White’s Twitter, Derrick Burgess is sitting out Raiders OTAs this week. This is nothing new for Burgess, who’s wanted a pay raise three offseasons running. Burgess is also the subject of trade talk involving the Patriots. Greyson Gunheim, a sudden Al Davis favorite who went undrafted last year, is picking up Burgess’ first-team reps at left defensive end”—

  • edward teach

    It’s a new passing game, and it’s OTA’s in May. Will you girls please stop peeing your pants and relax?

  • Twocents Says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I think Hackett is changing Russell’s mechanics, footwork etc. Sounds like he’s thinking too much. This may take awhile.


    Thinking about everything BUT accuracy, probably. Mechanics, routes, timing. Everything they were drilling into him at the QB school.

  • # Twocents Says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 1:22 pm


    I think Hackett is changing Russell’s mechanics, footwork etc. Sounds like he’s thinking too much. This may take awhile.

    That’s exactly right. If you have watched Russell in games, he’s at his best when all of a sudden he is just playing the game, not thinking and executing. It happens to most players in the league. Once they get comfortable they’re fine.

  • Looks like Jamarcus put in a lot of offseason work on his game, lol.

    Is the pressure of noodle armed Jeff Garcia really getting to Russell?

  • Voldemort

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

  • LMN,

    I see you are getting a new tenant – Fredericia Shipyard – at Lindø. Sounds good for your regional economy…

  • edward teach Says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 1:28 pm
    Will you girls please stop peeing your pants and relax?


    Trying! But once I start peeing I can’t stop til I’m all done. I gotta work on my timing and accuracy…