Wednesday OTA notes


Notes and quotes from Wednesday’s OTA and interview sessions:

— Quarterback JaMarcus Russell had his best day of practice, or at least his best day in the presence of reporters.

In another day heavy with red zone drills, Russell at one point threw four consecutive touchdown passes, including one on a play in the back of the end zone when he broke to his right and found a leaping Marcel Reece against Tyvon Branch in the back of the end zone.

He also had a strike for a touchdown in what the Raiders expect to be a familiar sight, finding Zach Miller in a seam before the defense could react.

“I think earlier coach kind of emphasized giving the guys a chance,” Russell said. “If they give you a chance to put it in the end zone as far as pass rush, you’ve got to put somewhere in that location where they can catch it. Just give them a chance. We can run the ball all day. Once you get inside the 20, we’re going to take shots at the end zone and that’s what we were lacking.

“We’d get down there sometimes and try to run the ball all three downs and had to kick a field goal. If you don’t take a chance at the end zone, how are you going to get there?”

— A cynic would suggest not to read too much into it _ Michael Huff was playing free safety while Hiram Eugene sat out with a back injury. Eugene joined the team on the field late, then after being stretched extensively by the training staff, did not return for team sessions.

— Flashbacks from 2008 training camp _ wide receiver Todd Watkins making some impressive catches, including one touchdown from Russell in a red zone drill.

— Once again the Raiders did very little in terms of throwing the ball downfield, something coach Tom Cable promises will be a big part of the offense. To be fair, the media days seem to be heavy in the red zone, where there are few deep opportunities.

— Overheard from defensive coordinator John Marshall . . . ‘

“Get the hell out of our drill,” Marshall to offensive linemen who had finished their drill session and straggled through a defensive session en route to the other side of the field.

“Run to the ball black shirts, that’s what you do . . . you run,” Marshall exhorting a faster pace during a team session.

“You guys have got to stiffen it up inside too soft, too soft,” Marshall after Michael Bush ran unimpeded through the middle.

— Overheard from passing game coordintator Ted Tollner . . .

“You’ve got to sell that `go’ better,’ ” Tollner to rookie wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey after he telegraphed a red zone route which was broken up by two defenders.

— Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who missed the last OTA, isn’t counting on the defensive philosophy being much different under Marshall.

“We know the game plan, pretty much know how to play,” Asomugha said. “On defense, it’s going to be the same stuff.”

— Asomugha may get his wish and shadow the opposition’s best receiver on occasion, although he reiterated change isn’t going to be a big in terms of scheme with the Oakland defense.

“Yeah, we talked about that, me and Lionel (Washington) whether it’s shadowing or doing what we’ve done, where we’ll double another guy if he goes to a different side, we’ll be open to mixing it up pretty much,” Asomugha said. “It should be a different feel a little bit but it’s kind of going to be what we had last year and the years before.”

— Players aside from Eugene who were limited included wide reciever Chaz Schilens (hamstring) and lineman Paul McQuistan (knee). Those who did not attend because of what Cable termed “personal” business were defensive tackle Terdell Sands, running back Justin Fargas, defensive end Derrick Burgess, quarterback Jeff Garcia, quarterback Andrew Walter, defensive end Jay Richardson and wide receiver Will Franklin.

— Cable seemed to soften his optimism somewhat on the chance that fullback Oren O’Neal would be ready to go by the start of training camp.

“The injury he has needs a lot of work and a lot of time,” Cable said. “He’ll just continue to do what he’s doing, and he’s progressing. The hope is that he’s ready to go when camp comes.”

— Fullback Lorenzo Neal continued to get plenty of work and even caught two passes out of the backfield in which he turned the corner and rumbled up field. While things could change during training camp, the Raiders don’t appear to be employing a lot of lead man-blocking plays within their zone blocking format to integrate Neal’s biggest strength.

— Cable sees OTAs as a time to play it smart.

“The biggest thing I’m judging right now is how they’re picking it up and are we eliminating the mental errors part of it,” Cable said. “The physical part of it, without pads you can’t judge anything that way. What I want to see is the mental errors, the execution mentally, can we get to a high level and sustain it through practice and eliminate mental errors. That’s really what this whole thing is about.

— Speaking of mental errors, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly jumped offsides at least three more times, a recurring theme this offseason. Kelly also has been quick to penetrate when he guesses right, although Cable doesn’t sound enthused about the possibility of having someone who picks up occasional penalties on gambles.

“Tommy’s a good player, and as I talk to the defense every day, the one common thing they keep hearing from me is more discipline, more discipline, so that kind of fits what you’re saying,” Cable said. “Staying onside, not giving up free yards, free plays, that kind of thing.”

— Khalif Barnes was seen getting reps in place of Mario Henderson for the first time with the first team at left tackle, although Cable said it first happened last Wednesday. He said it was simply a matter of evening out reps.

“Read nothing into that, believe me,” Cable said.

— The Raiders report to training camp July 29, with the first practice the following day. Cable said the Raiders were changing up the format, although he was non-specific. There likely won’t be as many night practices, he said. The club is also working on having the 49ers to Napa for a second straight year, the days and times to be determined.

— Quarterback Charlie Frye was on hand, wearing No. 3, but got no work in seven-on-sevens or team drills as Russell and Bruce Gradkowski got all the snaps.

Frye said he is fine with entering into a situation where Russell is the quarterback of the future and Garcia is counted on as the veteran backup.

“I think I’m a competitor. I think competition brings out the best in me,” Frye said. “With what happened in Cleveland, when me and Derek (Anderson) battled, with Brady Quinn, for that one year, I thought it really brought the best out of my game. So I like competition. That’s why you play the game – to have a chance to compete.”


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Mistabrown

    666, your mum took my pipe out of her mouth just long enough to tell me to talk to Dell.

    What a fkn idiot you are 666.

  • Dude

    Little internet thugs like you are more interested in blog combat, or some sort of self-esteem agendas, than exchanging ideas.

  • Raider Dell


    I’ll reply to you, due to your hate for OakGlenn.

    First of all, did you see the debate a few months back, if yes than there was no name calling on OG part.

    Second of all there is no double standard, this guy Dud has tried to take apart SnB, Raider O and others, no matter what they said it was never good enough for the Dud.

    The guy just wants to hate the Raiders, no information of any positive comments comes from him about our team.

    I would appreciate you keep your fued with OakGlenn to the both of you and leave me out of it.

    I tried to defend you yesterday, maybe it was wrong on my part to help.

  • Mistabrown

    Dell, before Jerry began registration your boy OakGlenn was in here using dozens of screen names, fighting with trolls, etc etc.

    Never a peep from you on that..

  • Dude


    Shut the f up! You want to debate me? Bring it.

  • SaintKaufman

    Man, you guys take yourselves way too serious!

    I can here the deal Raider O has got going right now:

    “Sorry Mickey, give me my money back and you can keep the caravan”. Where Mickey replies,
    “What the fook I want wit a caravan that’s got no fookin’ wheels?”.

    Just sayin…

  • Dude


    Still no comeback?? OK. Another one goes down.

    I have pretty good convos with SnB and O, so zip it Fool Kell.

  • Mistabrown

    LMAO @ a debate a few months back!!! Geez Dell I may have missed it!

    Dell, yesterday I cleaned your “boys” clock so he called me fat, bald, and old. I cant remember ever meeting Oak in person so how would he know? He’s an idiot, he acts like a 12 year old and you’re pretty much the same kinda lil bich, so it seems.

  • Raider Dell


    Where is your proof, that he was using dozen of screen names.

    Why should I comment on the many comments from others who are using different screen names, to help out whom.

    Did you point them out and did it change the blog any?

  • Mistabrown Says:
    June 10th, 2009 at 6:11 pm
    Dell, before Jerry began registration your boy OakGlenn was in here using dozens of screen names, fighting with trolls, etc etc.

    Never a peep from you on that..
    He’s right Dell. Never a peep from you!

  • Dude

    I will say though Dell, you definitely went out as weak as anyone ever has. Congrats!!

  • Dude

    You a tough guy?

  • Dude


    Sure. Are you?

  • Umm. I consider myself a Renaissance man.

    You seem a bit fragile pyscologically to me.

  • Dude

    Is that right? Hmm…. I am just dying for your full analysis………..

  • Mistabrown

    I guess 666 & Dell took off runnin.


  • DKnight007

    SnB Defense Says:
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:53 pm
    Dude Says:
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Does Russell need to be a better leader? Yes or no.
    My guess would be yes. But I am not there, nor am I a member of the team. What I think happened is that Cable’s initial comments, followed by Russell taking time to be with his family mushroomed into all this uber-negative talk.

    Everyone wants to see him bust out and for the Raiders to insert journeyman QB here. That way they can again pile on Al Davis etc….and I am not a big fan of Davis’ personnell decisions btw.

    Look at the media coverage now. Russell had struggled in one OTA and the NATIONAL media said Garcia is the man. Yet nothing when Russell comes through with a couple of good performances. Granted…its only OTAs.

    The Raiders have been an utter disaster the last 6 yrs….they simply aren’t going to get any positive coverage.

    Because the MEDIA is in the spin business they spin things the way they want to.

    If Russell was on the Pats or Steelers….BSPN would drool over him like they drool over Brady and Rothlisberger…..LOL

  • SaintKaufman

    Tough guy….on an internet blog….requires keyboard fighting skills…you friggin knuckleheads!!!

  • Yes. I think you have a lot of anger you can’t do anything with. You’ve lost control of something in your life, your own destiny perhaps? and you’re angry, no?

  • Mistabrownnose Says:
    June 10th, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    666, your mum

    Typical 4th grade mentality, seriously like that took some brain power to conjure up. Why don’t you just say I am rubber you are glue because the your momma stuff is so retro.


    You couldn’t debate a mop handle out the hands of Cornell Green if you were the local police….hell you couldn’t even get laid in a monkey who re house with a sack of banana’s, why do I even bother talking to you.

  • SaintKaufman

    Do you guys have magical powers as well??

  • Dude

    Nah, my life is pretty dope actually. My 10 month old is sleeping on me as we speak and he is as healthy as a horse so, I got no worries. I simply call sheet as it is and most Kool aid drinkers cant take it. Thats all.

  • Dude


    Riveting, just riveting. Pick a topic and I will give you my thoughts the you can tear me up. Lets go….

  • No, I speak my mind too. But without the hostility. You are very hostile, that connotes anger.

  • Dude

    I laugh most of the time im on here actually. Some of these guys are down right funny.

  • dude

    The big bang theory

    Is the earth 4.5 Billion or 5.4B years old.


    How accurate is Carbon dating.

    You choose

  • I was one that was critical of Russell after the reports of the last OTA’s, and while “we” may have been overreacting a bit, as well as the media probably, people are missing the point, the bigger picture.

    If the Raiders are going to be good, like really good winning playoff games good, our only shot is for Jamarcus to be really good……..every day. That means Wednesday’s in May, and Monday late-night film sessions in week 15, and every-day in between.

    With all that being said, sure nice to hear him lighting it up today. 4 straight TD’s, I’ll take it.

  • SaintKaufman

    Easy SnB,
    The Dinosaurs built the pyramids! Duh!!

  • Dude

    MMMMM…. lets stick with Raiders issues. Seriously, name a player i will give you my thoughts and you can detroy me.

  • Ok Dude you said I could pick a topic now you say pick a player.

    O.J Simpson

  • Alrighty then.

  • Does it have to be a Raider?

    Todd Christianson

  • Yes Vegas you overreacted. A Reactionary. What do you think of the rise in Right-Wing terrorism?

  • Dude


    Are you serious? You bark about how stupid I am and how I am a hater and blah, blah, blah. So in response I simply ask you to name a topic, didnt think I had to spell R-A-I-D-E-R-S for you, and you cant even do that. Thats just weak man. All you have to do is name something Raider related and I will give my stupid, hater thoughts. You obviously arent prepared to debate so nevermind. I guess just keep hurling baseless insults.

  • Good one Kool. How come no where near the media coverage of the crazy muslim guy in Alabama compared to the abortion Dr?

  • Dude

    666 is a kool-aid drinkin, so & so. Not intellectually capable of much more than childish name-calling.

    Hey 666!

  • Dude

    Sigh………. OK. Lets play your game. Thanks for proving my point too by the way..

    #46- Sure handed prototype tight end. Loved the guy. Was pretty young when he played but was one of my faves. Think hes kind of a clown in the booth but still like him.

  • SaintKaufman

    How do I get into this dang argument?

    Getting totally blown off. Which is normally a good thing, mind you.

  • The Doctor and the Holocaust Museum today.

  • SaintKaufman

    You’re probably better off without these arguments. They’re forced on me

  • SaintKaufman

    I just wanted to sling some mud.

    Guess I’ll take your word for it.

    Go get ’em!

  • However, I don’t think we should say we overreacted. If he doesn’t want the criticism, play better and silence the critics.

    I know he played great the last few weeks last year, but our whole franchise hinges on his success and leadership. Were all desperate and beat up from the last few years and NEED some good news, not pics of him with a bigger beer belly than some guys in here and reports of him one-hopping guys during the first camp of the year.

    Overreacting, possibly, but certainly an understandable mentality given the last few seasons.

    Signing off for the night, Raider On!!!

  • Later Vegas/Out.

  • Sold!!

    Saint Mcgiver,

    I do honest work, but I don’t leave any money on the table. Like I said, I’m really good at sales.
    I sell good cars, and I back them up. I buy good, clean, and cheap cars. ( as we say a steal).

  • SaintKaufman

    Playing 4 squares have you, O?

  • Saint,

    I don’t know what that means.

  • I googled it!! I still don’t know what you mean.
    Help your brother, English is not my native language.

  • SaintKaufman

    Ha! Gotcha.

    So long as I know that you know that I know that I’m not getting screwed!! 🙂

  • Dude just a show of how smart you are.

    # Dude Says:
    June 10th, 2009 at 6:38 pm


    Riveting, just riveting. Pick a topic and I will give you my thoughts the you can tear me up. Lets go….

    I pick topics that your little brain couldn’t handle so you then had to back peddle and say lets talk about any Raider.

    If you are such a great debater you would not limit yourself to only one topic and one team.

    Whats is that the first narrow minded debate that only dim witted Raider fans can participate in. Try reading a book sometime you might learn something.

    unkookell the guy is like 70 years old he cant control his bowel movements he reads and writes at a 4th grade level do I really care what he says in here. No one does.