Part of the Bay Area News Group

OTA notebook

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009 at 1:12 pm in Oakland Raiders.

News and notes from Wednesday’s organized team actiivty session open to the media:

– Those who were panic-stricken over JaMarcus Russell’s uneven performances through the mandatory minicamp and first organized activity session open to the media can come in off the ledge.

Russell was better Wednesday. There were few, if any, of the real deep strikes coach Tom Cable said will be part of the offense this year in the limited amount of snaps where there was a lot of field to work with. However, the simple, fundamental throws Russell had struggled with earlier came much easier.

Russell continued to work the tight end position, hitting Tony Stewart with a slant on his opening 7-on-7 throw and then throwing short of rookie free agent Chris O’Neill.

He rallied with a throw to Stewart in the right flat and a dumpoff to Gary Russell, passes which Russell often missed in prevoius public practices.

During a red zone session, Russell threw a hot-read wobbler to Todd Watkins for a short completion, a dumpoff to Louis Rankin for a short gain (quickly diagnosed by linebacker Jon Alston), then was late on a pass to Stewart with Thomas Howard covering.

Justin Fargas gathered in a short pass with a one-handed grab to which Isaiah Ekejiuba reacted with astonishment, given Fargas’ below-average pass-catching skills.

– For what it’s worth, Cable said afterward Russell had upgraded his performance from 2-for-32 to 11-for-32 in the red zone from the last OTA to Wednesday’s session.

(I’ll be honest _ I’m not sure what that means. As poor as Russell was, he completed more than two passes last time. And he sure didn’t appear to have 11 touchdown passes Wednesday. Didn’t get a chance to ask Cable about it because I was involved in another interview at the beginning of the coach’s session. Eleven positive plays, perhaps? Or properly executed plays or reads? If I remember, I’ll try and clear that up next week).

“We’ve got tomorrow and then two more weeks so I hope we can make a good amount of progress as we get ready for camp,” Cable said.

– Among those players who did not attend the voluntary workout or were out because of injuries included backup quarterback Jeff Garcia, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, defensive tackle Gerard Warren (pectoral), defensive end Derrick Burgess, running back Darren McFadden, defensive end Jay Richardson, guard-tackle Mark Wilson, fullback Oren O’Neal (knee) and wide receivers Arman Shields (knee) and Javon Walker (knee).

Tight end Zach Miller, who had sports hernia surgery, was in uniform and on the field but did not participate in team sessions. He said he could be on the field next week.

Burgess does not attend voluntary sessions. Kelly and McFadden had other business to attend to, and Cable said he expects Kelly next week. Garcia practiced Tuesday, according to one team source.

Cable said he didn’t know when Asomugha would be here before camp.

“I don’t know that. I’m hoping he’ll be here the last two,” Cable said. “If not the last two, the last one.”

– Cornerback Chris Johnson, who did not attend the last OTA, was present and worked with the starters.

– Pass protection seemed to be an issue, with Russell spinning into a certain sack from rookie end Stryker Sulak and unloading another throw incomplete in the face of a Kirk Morrison blitz.

– With Garcia not around, Bruce Gradkowski got additional work and had a solid day after previously struggling with most passes which went beyond 15 yards.

Gradkowski had two of the day’s bigger gains on a deep out to Samie Parker and a perfect sideline pass to Marcel Reece. He also found Florida rookie Louis Murphy all alone behind Jason Horton _ except Murphy let the ball hit him in the stomach and drop to the ground.

“Yesterday I caught one the same way. Today, I guess I lost my focus on it,” Murphy said. “That’s what I’m here for.

– Gradkowski threw the day’s only interception, a deflection gathered in by rookie free agent Frantz Joseph.

– No depth chart changes evident from the previous minicamp, although there were some changes because of absences. The first team defensive line was Trevor Scott, Terdell Sands (for Warren), William Joseph (for Kelly) and Greyson Gunheim. Linebackers were Thomas Howard, Morrison and Alston.

Cornerbacks were Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson, with Hiram Eugene (free) and Tyvon Branch (strong).

– Mario Henderson continued to take first-team reps at left tackle, and often also worked with the second team as Khalif Barnes got less work.

– Satele, acquired from the Miami Dolphins in the offseason and expected to replace Jake Grove as the starting center, went through warmups and drills for the first time but did not particpate in team sessions.

“The training staff they have is unbelievable,” Satele said. “Like I said, they did everything and anything to get me out here early. So I’m out here. Which I’m not supposed to, but they got me ready, so I’m ready to practice.”

Satele is eager to prove he can be a zone blocking center after two years as a man blocker in Miami.

“It fits me. I can run and be athletic,” Satele said. “And the guys around me, like Robert (Gallery) and Cooper (Carlisle), they’re made for this system. They can run, and I’m just trying to catch up to them.”

– The Raiders continue to play it safe with Heyward-Bey and his “sore” right hamstring. He hasn’t been on the field in a team setting since the second day of the mandatory minicamp. However he was running patterns following practice at what he said was “95 percent.”

It has robbed the rookie of the chance to lay the groundwork of a pass-catch relationship with Russell, although Heyward-Bey believes he can make up for lost time.

“You want to be out there with the quarterback all the time,” Heyward-Bey said. “But you’ve got to understand, we’ve got two more weeks of OTAs, we got training camp, we got preseason, it’s a lot of time but you don’t want to be too relaxed. You would like to be out there with your quarterback.”

– Heyward-Bey said he is not aware of any negotiations going on for a contract, which isn’t unusual since the starting point for rookies is usually around July 4. Last year was the exception, as McFadden signed June 6.

– A strong day for strong side linebacker Jon Alston, who said he finished last season at 214 pounds and has bulked up as high as 235 and is now 232. Judging from the way Alston is defending the pass and moving on the field, he hasn’t lost any quickness.

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  • HayesDaze37

    Finally. Thanks, Jerry!

  • http://justwinbaby! 909RaiderLifer

    Thanks, Jerry. About effin time.

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    have you guys checked out the Raiders-twitter page yet? they got some nice quotes from the players and coaches out of the OTAs….

    http://twitter.com/oakraiders

    Darren McFadden: Just give me the ball and get out da way. Forget Russell, I’m our only hope.”

    Jamarcus Russell: “Can I eat yet? Hey Javon, we cool for Vegas on Friday? I’ll bring the Kristal, you bring the kevlar”

    Post-Practice, Coach Tom Cable: “We’re good, I mean all we have to do is push through that door. I think this is a great group of guys and I can’t wait for us to be called geniuses when Crabtree, I mean Devin Howard-May wins rookie of the year. Welcome to McDonalds, can I take your order?”

    Post-Practice, Managing General Parter, Al Davis: Ken Stabler ain’t walkin through that door…and I know for a fact Jim Otto ain’t either.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Great read Jerry, thank you sir.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    REPOST

    Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    June 3rd, 2009 at 1:17 pm
    Lorenzo Neal: The Raiders are back. Commitment to dedication and excellence. Everybody follow the Raiders, we’re coming this year.”

    Michael Bush: “We’re out here working hard, trying to get ready for the season and getting in shape. We’re looking forward to the season.”

    Post-Practice, TE Zach Miller: “I started working my way back in, I feel good. Next week I’ll start doing everything.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Post-Practice, XL Bo Schembechler Jackson: “It was a really good workout today at Jerry’s blog. No injuries, inspired commentary, and man the team speed is just amazing! Our unit is really starting to gel now that we got rid of a few underperformers.”

  • OAKlifer

    THANK YOU SIR!!!!

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    “The training staff they have is unbelievable,” Satele said. “Like I said, they did everything and anything to get me out here early. So I’m out here. Which I’m not supposed to, but they got me ready, so I’m ready to practice.”
    ________________________

    Translation: “Why the fuk is this dumb ass training staff forcing me to play before I’m ready?

  • 4evaRaider

    Frantz Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://justwinbaby! 909RaiderLifer

    UH-OH!

    Fargas made a ONE HANDED catch.

    All hopes of McFadden/Bush starting at RB, are now gone.

    effin, Fargas.

  • OAKlifer

    ******Let me go, I don’t want go to Cuba!!! What do you mean I have family there!!!

    LMAO at this your too funny bro!!!

  • OAKlifer

    repost:

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    June 3rd, 2009 at 1:10 pm
    OAKlifer: did Bobby just call you an internet wankster?

    LOL @ post #1120 btw

    ********************************
    I think he did but his incoherrant rambling is getting worse and harder to under stand(is this spanish post of the day) now I think he’s lying about knowin Duder man this guy needs help!!! but very entertaining tho!!!

  • OAKlifer

    Post-Practice, XL Bo Schembechler Jackson: “It was a really good workout today at Jerry’s blog. No injuries, inspired commentary, and man the team speed is just amazing! Our unit is really starting to gel now that we got rid of a few underperformers.”

    *************************

    LOL this sheet is funny today every one great work I was busted laughing out loud three times at work today!! the loudest was this one

    “incoherrant rambloing somethin”
    and Dakota says “was that Spanish??” LOL good work today fellas!!!

  • bobertsIV

    WOW sflifer really need some reinforcement today huh?? three in a row you are a loser!!! I’ll pay attention to you little man!!lol at you and your buddy wannabecocker!! Well Dude and I are headin out to paint the town I checked in with my source3 andI was right Burgess was there its just media cover up!! you sheep will belive anything!!!P!lls are kickin in gotsa run!!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Pass protection seemed to be an issue

    ***

    and thats without Burgess, Kelly, Warren, Richardson, Mitchell & Asomugha (aka the STARTERS) in the line up ???

    yikes!

  • http://atm Raider O

    OAK,

    Dude, some of the things that happened to me after 9/11 ARE FUNNY!!

    A few people ask me if I was named after Bin L..!!!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    porko and dude are going to go paint in their panties?

    thats what it sounds like to me … sick!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Raider O: don’t worry bro. any other nation can do as it pleases, especially Cuba. Obama shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. All those terrorists and criminals are free

    if the troops captured Osama bin Laden and brought him to Obama, he’d probably shake his hand and say “let’s let bygones be bygones” promise not to do it again?

    that spineless coward.

  • http://atm Raider O

    RR,

    They are free!!! Gotta call my uncle! :)

  • SnB Defense

    Rockstar,

    I wonder why in the world Tommy Kelly wasn’t there? Now that guy needs all the “reps” he can get.

    So basically not one “starting” D-Lineman is at this OTA (Richardson, Burgess, Kelly, Warren (injury))…for the 31st ranked run defense….they need to be there..if for nothing else just to watch.

    31st ranked run defense and not one starter from that D-Line at practice.

    That should be a freekn headline of the day!

  • http://atm Raider O

    Where is KK?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Raider O:

    If you think anything about 9/11 or shutting down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp is funny you have one sick sense of humor.

    seriously.

  • http://Raiders.com RaiderTW

    Well Dude and I are headin out to paint the town
    ————-
    So THAT’S his job, house painting!

  • http://atm Raider O

    SnB,

    2 things to worry about are:
    1- O Line
    2- Run D

    And so far….nothing, but it’s too early.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    June 3rd, 2009 at 1:38 pm
    Raider O: don’t worry bro. any other nation can do as it pleases, especially Cuba. Obama shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. All those terrorists and criminals are free

    if the troops captured Osama bin Laden and brought him to Obama, he’d probably shake his hand and say “let’s let bygones be bygones” promise not to do it again?

    that spineless coward.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Huh? You call him spineless for ending that disgrace? Who said they’d go free? They’re going to our SuperMax system, as they should.

    Spineless is the Bush family sucking ass to the Saudis, where those hijackers and Osama are from. The Bush family works for OPEC, thus two useless wars to protect their oil.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I wonder why in the world Tommy Kelly wasn’t there? Now that guy needs all the “reps” he can get.

    ***

    don’t just hold one guy accountable. McFadden, Asomugha & Garcia all missed today too and none of them are injured …

    Warren & Richardson are present, just injured.

  • http://atm Raider O

    RR,

    Yes, I’m sick!!!!

    Are you serious?? It’s unhumane, and Sick!!
    Wake up bro!!

  • OAKlifer

    Well homies it has come time once again when I have to sign off!!! Man good work today fellas OTA’s man I’m feelin it pass the Kool-aid!!!! Double R, O, SnB, Dakota, Duder, and last but surley least Bobby. See ya guys tomarrow!!!!! RAIDER ON!!!!!!

  • http://Raiders.com RaiderTW

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    Raider O: don’t worry bro. any other nation can do as it pleases, especially Cuba. Obama shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. All those terrorists and criminals are free

    ————-
    Come on RR, you are smarter than a Republican!! No one is going to be set free, besides the right don’t them here because then we’d have to prosecute & expose the whole admin for the scum they are. The truth shall rule out.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Spineless cowards = chickenhawks Bush and Cheney

  • http://Raiders.com RaiderTW

    Draft dodgers.

  • http://atm Raider O

    That huge Oil pipe in Afgh.., and other interests in Raq!!!

    Prison in a country that we don’t trade with!!!!!!

    Wake up!!! Please!!!

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    Execute all the prisoners at Guantanamo…problem solved.

  • http://sportmag.us/images/Lester_Hayes_November_1981.jpg RaiderDogg

    “Those who were panic-stricken over JaMarcus Russell’s uneven performances through the mandatory minicamp and first organized activity session open to the media can come in off the ledge.”

    translation: Jerry thinks Victor Vicodin is suicidal over being banned again.

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    …or send the prisoners to Edgemont, South Dakota…that’s where a lot of the German POWs were held during WWII…and we could use the jobs around here!

  • OAKlifer

    translation: Jerry thinks Victor Vicodin is suicidal over being banned again.
    _______________________________
    LOL-again
    Wonder if he is really getting hate email from Bobbies doctor…hmmhmm I mean insider!

    out fo reals!!!

  • SnB Defense

    Rockstar,

    “DT Gerard Warren still out with a pec injury, DEs Jay Richardson and Derrick Burgess also MIA”

    Gerard Warren gets a free pass. He has been injured and a pec injury is tough to heal. But Richardson was MIA and so was Kelly and Burgess.

    These guys are not good enough to miss OTAs. Like Russell, anyone that has been struggling needs to make the most of this time to get additional reps.

    31st run defense. Everyone is accountable. Morrison and Howard are there. And Richardson???? He can’t be a secure spot.

    As for Asomugha, he’s a proven veteran. and when you are arguably the best player in the NFL playing a position that’s about dominating your man….he can do whatever the hell he wants.

    Tommy Kelly IS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING THE ASOMUGHA OF HIS POSITION. Richardson is a marginal guy at best.

    Too bad the backup DTs are useless. Hopefully Stryker, Shaughnessy and Scott take advantage of the opportunity

  • HayesDaze37

    Thoughts from the Hayes:

    DHB’s hamstring is sore…as long as it’s not torn, he’ll catch 35+ balls his rookie season. He would have more, but he will be on a team with a lot of receiver options.

    Murphy dropped a sure TD? Murphy’s the guy everybody KNEW could catch — unlike DHB, who is wrongly labeled as having bad hands.

    DHB and Murphy will both be good pros. With Schilens and JLH ready to make names for themselves, our WR corps can become really special. Really.

    Arman Shields? Arman might find himself out of a job soon — another year of IR might be his only chance to stay on the team. Probably not worth the risky investment anymore.

    Frantz is going to win-over his teammates and the staff. Scholarships be damned, Frantz has a good shot at making the team.

    A LB who actually LIKES to hit? What a concept.

  • http://atm Raider O

    Later OAK, and have a great day!

  • http://sportmag.us/images/Lester_Hayes_November_1981.jpg RaiderDogg

    “A strong day for strong side linebacker Jon Alston, who said he finished last season at 214 pounds and has bulked up as high as 235 and is now 232. Judging from the way Alston is defending the pass and moving on the field, he hasn’t lost any quickness.”

    that’s what I’m talking about!

  • RaiderRockstar

    later OAKlifer!

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    Dogg, did you supply Jon Alston with some HGH or something?

  • http://atm Raider O

    Alston has been around Merriman all off season!!

  • http://Raiders.com RaiderTW

    Dakota Says:
    Execute all the prisoners at Guantanamo…problem solved.

    ——–
    You mean abort tham in their 240th trimester?

  • SnB Defense

    Seriously….how can Arman Shields still be out with a knee injury. He participated in training camp and has been on the shelf since September.

    He had nothing else to do but rehab and get stronger. I am sorry….time to move on

  • http://atm Raider O

    TW,

    LMFAO

  • SnB Defense

    31st run defense! And Al Davis and Tom Cable do Kelly, Burgess and Richardson favors by not drafting a 1st day talent at their positions.

    At least Michael Huff was at camp. Because in my eyes, the performances of that D-Line have been equally as disappointing.

    Huff must not be good at politicking

  • http://sportmag.us/images/Lester_Hayes_November_1981.jpg RaiderDogg

    Dakota Says:
    June 3rd, 2009 at 1:58 pm
    Dogg, did you supply Jon Alston with some HGH or something?”

    I have on an amino round right now, building muscle mass while retaining speed. Nothing that’s on the list of banned substances. You know I am on the up and up.

    You’ve seen the work I’ve done with Odom leading up to game 5. He was eating egg white omelettes and chicken for breakfast. I put him on the Starburst Jelly Bean breakfast regimen. I am very pleased with the results.

  • http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/63/60563-004-52A399D4.jpg Dakota

    RaiderTW Says:
    June 3rd, 2009 at 2:02 pm
    Dakota Says:
    Execute all the prisoners at Guantanamo…problem solved.

    ——–
    You mean abort tham in their 240th trimester?
    ________

    You bet!

    http://blogs.sundaymercury.net/lorne-jackson/guillotine19.jpg

  • RaiderRockstar

    As for Asomugha, he’s a proven veteran. and when you are arguably the best player in the NFL playing a position that’s about dominating your man….he can do whatever he wants.

    ***

    S&B: False. Asomugha is the leader of this defense. What kind of example is he setting? How is he going to tell guys like Burgess & Kelly to show up and learn John Marshall’s defense, when he doesn’t do it himself? When Mike Mitchell graduates and shows up for training camp he’ll be about as familiar with the new Defensive Coordinator and DB coach as Nnamdi …

    How much do we have to pay Nnamdi to show up for voluntary workouts? He’s already making $15 million per season (highest paid defensive player in the league!)

    You know it would also benefit the young WR’s to go up against top level competition. To see Schilens beat a guy like Routt has you saying “ok, good” to see him beat a guy like Asomugha would have you saying “wow. thats a huge improvement from last year!”

  • SnB Defense

    Tommy Kelly and Jay Richardson not attending camp carries the arrogance that everyone would be screaming if Russell didn’t attend this OTA.

    As for DMAC, he needs to put that time in as well. Come on guys….don’t just hand Fargas the job.