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Rookie class minus-1

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 at 6:03 pm in Oakland Raiders.

As the Raiders gradually arrived to the Napa Marriott Tuesday, it appeared everyone from the draft class was accounted for except for wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, the No. 7 overall selection.

Word had already leaked on tight end Brandon Myers (sixth round), defensive end Matt Shaughnessy (third round) and safety Mike Mitchell (second round). With Stryker Sulak waived before having been offered a contract, that left linebacker Slade Norris and wide receiver Louis Murphy, both fourth-round draft picks.

Norris was spotted arriving with Shaughnessy, and Murphy came later in the day, confirming near a stairwell he had signed his contract in Alameda.

“It’s like a monkey off my back,” Murphy said. “I’m glad to be an Oakland Raider.”

The Raiders have confirmed none of the signings, nor have they announced any of the players which will be cut to to get to the roster limit of 80. Coach Tom Cable should clear some of that up today when he meets with the media at noon.

Update: Agent Drew Rosenhaus is reporting on his Twitter account Murphy signed a four-year contract.

Players will continue to arrive throughout the evening, and we’ll leave that up to Cable to tell us who did or didn’t show up on time.

Some notes and quotes from reporting day:

– Fullback Oren O’Neal believes he’ll be practicing once a day and said he is running and cutting at full speed. He said no one has said anything about going on the Physically Unable to Perform list or being limited in practice.

“(I’ve been able to do) everything. Cut, run, jump, hit the sled, everything that you can do without the pads,” O’Neal said. “The only thing I haven’t been able to do is, I haven’t been with a full-team activity and taking on blockers, but everything else, I have been able to do with no problem.”

Still, you never know. No one was more surprised than Ronald Curry in 2006 when the Raiders decided he wasn’t physically ready to practice. They held him out without ever telling him why, and in retrospect it was the right move. Curry was coming off two ACL tears and the cautious approach was the right one.

– Michael Huff understands this is a hugely important training camp if he hopes to remain a Raider.

“Every year you’re fighting for a job but I guess this year is different, especially the way last year year ended and you never know the uncertainty of being here as far as training camp,” Huff said. “Hiram (Eugene) played well last year so I think this is really an open competition between us two. The best man is going to get the spot and so that’s all I can ask.”

– Mitchell said he actually signed his contract last Thursday, but at the urging of the club, “we were real hush-hush about it, let them announce it.”

Technically, he’s still waiting. There was no announcement or confirmation. Not that it matters. It’s a formality for all draft picks except the first one.

Mitchell said he’s looking forward to his first NFL contact, although truth be told, he won’t really get to unload on someone until a preaseason game. But Murphy ought to keep his head on a swivel, just in case.

“I really can’t play like myself when you can’t be physical. I’m a pretty physical guy. There’s one guy I want to get pretty good, that’s Louis Murphy. He’s made on too many Ohio comments about me so we’re going to have our little moment,” Mitchell said. “Other than that I’ve been instructed to keep everybody up. These are our teammates, you don’t ever want to hurt anybody, I wouldn’t want them coming in and cutting me from the side so they definitely don’t me hitting them when they go up for a ball. We all need each other to get to the Super bowl and that’s our no. 1 goal.”

Mitchell’s warning for Murphy, by the way, was said with a broad smile on his face. Of course Jarrod Cooper smiled a lot, too.

– If Walter was one of the players cut to make room for draft picks, he hadn’t heard as he arrived Wednesday afternoon.

“I’m under contract, so 9 a.m. mandatory meeting tomorrow,” Walter said. “I’ll be there unless something changes.”

– Defensive end Trevor Scott looks much bigger in the upper body. Last year, from a distance I thought Stuart Schweigert had been re-signed. No more mistaking him for a safety, based on the size of his arms.

Scott said he weighed 256 pounds and wasn’t shy about stating his goals.

“I want to start, I want to get double-digit sacks and just try to (defend the) run as well as I can,” Scott said.

Scott came to Oakland playing on the left side, but said he is now more comfortable on the right.

– Linebacker Isaiah Ekejiuba arrived wearing a T-shirt in honor of Marquis Cooper, who drowned during the offseason during a fishing trip. He said the shirt was designed by Sam Williams, who gave it to several players.

– Will be curious to see the intensity and level of contact over the first four days, all two-a-days. One player told me he thought much of the first two days would be mostly installation, with little hitting. Could have been wishful thinking, however.

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  • http://twitter.com/raidermight RaiderMight

    Wow Jerry! Great work. You managed to tweet quick hits and still write 2 full blog write ups at the same time. The work is much appreciated. :)

    Others that are Tweeting, don’t blog until they are completely done with the day.

    Keep up the great work.

  • http://RAIDERS Oakglenn

    Let’s get to work.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Mitchell said he actually signed his contract last Thursday, but at the urging of the club, “we were real hush-hush about it, let them announce it.”
    ____________________
    Oh for gawds sake, geez!!

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

    The off season is officially OVER!

  • Nnamdi21

    Raiders!!!

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

    bydavidwhiteS Michael Huff is here, saying this camp is different knowing he’s fighting for a roster spot and not a given starter.”

    Huff must have been reading our comments earlier today.

  • Mistabrown

    If BEY still has hamstring issues he wont be on the field so…AL might be waiting it out to see how the other unsigned players deals play out.

  • Pingback: The RaiderCast | Rookie class minus-1

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

    Mistabrown Says:
    July 28th, 2009 at 6:35 pm
    If BEY still has hamstring issues he wont be on the field so…AL might be waiting it out to see how the other unsigned players deals play out.’

    Good Call Mista. You can blame Crabtree for most of the other top 10 not signing yet. They are eagerly awaiting to see what kind of deal he can get. He was selected 10th yet he is looking for top 5 money, which will then screw up the pay scale for the rest.

  • Nnamdi21

    Lets hope they don’t get some bull**** penalty by the league for hitting during camp. Watched the HBO HardKnocks thing a couple of times and they’re blasting each other full speed.

    What a crock…

  • Mistabrown

    So we should sign BEY before Crab signs because Crab is going to drive up the $$$!

    I dont see the 9ers opening up their wallets for Crabs liking, going to be fun to watch that play out! Could be a long holdout similar to JR.

  • SnB Defense

    Mistabrown Says:
    July 28th, 2009 at 6:35 pm
    If BEY still has hamstring issues he wont be on the field so…AL might be waiting it out to see how the other unsigned players deals play out.
    =======================================================
    The hamstring was a month ago. He’s got to be ready to roll. D-HB will hold himself out to the bench if he sits out too long.

    I gotta give Al Davis credit. Money is not his #1 issue. He forgoes advertising revenue by not opening up his training camps to the public, he generates as little off-season media coverage as possible….almost like the team disappears in the offseason…

  • Mistabrown

    SnB hamstrings can linger for a year if you dont heal it up 100%. Yet your giving it a month!

    AL forgoes advert $$$ during camp because he is paranoid more than he cares about $$$.

    Anything else I can clear up for you SnB ?

  • Bishop916

    Hats-off to Mr. Jerrymcd; the tweets are much appreciated as well as the insightful blog posts. The Raiders Blog @ IBA just became the go to spot for Raider info!

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    Sam Williams is the Adonal Foyle of the Oakland Raiders. Such a nice guy and great teammate that you just can’t seem to part ways with him. Nice touch with the Cooper shirts.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    Until the 6th and 8th pick are signed, or especially the 8th pick, I don’t see DHB signing yet. Al lives for the opportunity to pinch a few pennies on a draft pick.

  • SnB Defense

    Mistabrown Says:
    July 28th, 2009 at 6:45 pm
    SnB hamstrings can linger for a year if you dont heal it up 100%. Yet your giving it a month!

    AL forgoes advert $$$ during camp because he is paranoid more than he cares about $$$.
    =======================================================
    I am not concerned one bit with D-HB. I believe that Schilens and JLH will emerge as solid receivers in 2009. If Murphy emerges all the better. Plus a great pass catching TE in Miller and two RBs out of the backfield with good hands in Bush and DMAC.

    So let D-HB take all the time he needs

  • SnB Defense

    Also don’t forget.

    Chaz Schilens runs a 4.38 40x. So he can stretch the field with any of them.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Where’s Jerry’s Tweets?

  • DarthPirate

    This is much appreciated Jerry, twitter AND a blog! Thank you sir.

    KoolKell, Jerry’s tweets are here: http://twitter.com/jerrymcd

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

    KK

    Jerry appears done for the day

  • Mistabrown

    KK cant locate his brain or Jerrys tweets. He sure can find his racist tongue though.

  • Mistabrown

    KK you are always able to locate your race card.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    Any takers on who will be the first to start a fight in training camp? I’m going with McQuistan, he needs to make a name for himself and open some eyes. Second guess….. I’ll go with Chris O’Neil, he will have to try to prove he is a LB and not a TE.

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

    Vegas

    I will go with Trevor Scott. He’s bulked up a bit and looking to make some noise. He will get into it with old Mop Handle…

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

    lmao @ mista

  • Chris in NY

    # vegas raider Says:
    July 28th, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Sam Williams is the Adonal Foyle of the Oakland Raiders. Such a nice guy and great teammate that you just can’t seem to part ways with him. Nice touch with the Cooper shirts.

    ——————————–

    Williams also did a nice job on special teams last year. I noticed he was in on several big plays. He never shined at starting LB, but look at the run defense last year when he played very little LB. It didn’t improve, it probably got worse. Hopefully Marshall can fix things. You can’t just line up and do the same thing play, after play, after play. Every team has talent. Every team has sub-4.5 guys all over the field. A lot of the competitive advantage left to gain is in the coaching and strategizing. The Raiders need to get it together and start blitzing, mixing up their looks, etc.

  • Chris in NY

    First fight?
    I’m going to go with the new DT, Ryan Boschetti. Who with? Maybe Cooper Carlisle? No, I’ll say Boschetti-Khalif Barnes.

  • Florida Pete

    crabtree…

    i am so absolutely happy that we did not take him…

    this guy is the new T.O… minus the skills…

    think Jerry Porter with mega’tude…

    9er’s are going to regret having even heard of this guy…

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    Chris,

    He did play well on ST, always has, and is a good teammate. However, drafting a guy and having him on your roster for 7-8 years as mainly a Special Teamer is almost unprecedented in the NFL. If he was a jerk, he would probably have been gone a season or two ago.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    RaiderDogg Says:
    July 28th, 2009 at 7:22 pm
    Vegas

    I will go with Trevor Scott. He’s bulked up a bit and looking to make some noise. He will get into it with old Mop Handle…

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

    Ol’ mop handle’s girl was bigger than Trevor Scott, so Trevor might have his hands full, lol.

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

    Raiders likely won’t want Vick, either
    Posted by Mike Florio on July 28, 2009 9:47 PM ET
    The Oakland Raiders haven’t — and likely won’t — declare whether they are or aren’t interested in Mike Vick.

    But Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News recently pointed out a fairly important fact regarding the potential placement of Vick in the silver and the black:

    The autumn wind is a dog lover.

    Specifically, Raiders president Amy Trask serves on Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, as a member of the board of directors.

    Here’s a quote from the mission page of the group’s web site: “ARF saves dogs and cats who have run out of time at public shelters and brings people and animals together to enrich each others lives. ARF strives to create a world where every loving dog and cat has a home,
    where every lonely person has a companion animal, and where children learn to care.”

    So, yeah, we probably should put the Raiders on the Anti-Vick List, since they won’t likely be signing him.

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

    lol @ Vegas

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    Vick is going to the UFL, I’ve been saying it for months. It will be like a rehab stint for a pitcher trying to come back from Tommy John or something. No way is he mentally or physically ready (nor should he be) for a training camp, and what team is going to take on that type of negative pub for a backup QB?

  • Chris in NY

    # RaiderDogg Says:
    July 28th, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Raiders likely won’t want Vick, either
    Posted by Mike Florio on July 28, 2009 9:47 PM ET
    The Oakland Raiders haven’t — and likely won’t — declare whether they are or aren’t interested in Mike Vick.

    But Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News recently pointed out a fairly important fact regarding the potential placement of Vick in the silver and the black:

    The autumn wind is a dog lover.

    Specifically, Raiders president Amy Trask serves on Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, as a member of the board of directors.

    Here’s a quote from the mission page of the group’s web site: “ARF saves dogs and cats who have run out of time at public shelters and brings people and animals together to enrich each others lives. ARF strives to create a world where every loving dog and cat has a home,
    where every lonely person has a companion animal, and where children learn to care.”

    So, yeah, we probably should put the Raiders on the Anti-Vick List, since they won’t likely be signing him.

    ——————————-

    That’s a major reach by Florio.

    Whether or not we sign Vick is going to come down to whether that’s a need big enough to put up with the distraction and whether signing Vick will win us more or fewer games. Amy Trask’s position on the local ARF board isn’t likely to be in Al Davis’ top 100 considerations when deciding to sign Vick or not.

  • Mistabrown

    Chris you are over thinking. We wont sign Vick because we just dont need him.

    FYI…register as a Democrat!

  • Chris in NY

    Why does Crabtree think he can get more than other No. 10 picks? If he was worth more than the No. 10 pick, someone would have picked him before No. 10. It’s not like there weren’t teams in need of a WR in the top-9. This makes no sense.

    I’m starting to wonder if the guy is Mike Williams, Part 2. Hopefully DHB doesn’t wait on this clown and shows some class, signs a fair contract and gets into camp on time.

  • http://Raiders.com RaiderTW

    Mitchell’s warning for Murphy, by the way, was said with a broad smile on his face. Of course Jarrod Cooper smiled a lot, too.
    ———-
    Thanks for reminding us, Jerry.

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    How important is week one for the Raiders?

    Since 1996, every single year we’ve won our season opener, we went to the playoffs. Every year we’ve lost our opener, on the other hand, we did not go to the playoffs. 13 seasons.

    The last season we went to the playoffs despite losing in week one: 1991. Nearly 20 years ago. (’95, on the other hand, we won our season opener, but failed to go to the playoffs)

    What does this mean?

    It means week one might as well be the Super Bowl for the Raiders. It means the Raiders just about NEVER rebound after losing week one.

    It means that when the Raiders win week one, the momentum seems to carry them through the season.

    Is Tom Cable thinking about this?

    Does he realize that the Raiders, under Al Davis as owner, and the environment in which he fosters, will bring back that Raider tradition of finding ways to win if he can just get them to a week one victory?

    Does he know what it takes to get a week one victory, where our opponent will come out playing their best game ever, despite how bad they are? (and in this year’s case, it won’t be a bad team…)

    Does he understand the level of preparation it will take to beat the biggest Raider killers in the NFL in recent years, the San Diego Chargers? Is he thinking about this every waking moment?

    WEEK ONE WIN, RAIDERS GO TO THE PLAYOFFS. WEEK ONE LOSS, THEY DON’T.

    No matter how much hyperbole you follow a week one loss with, Tom, the season is over. You’ve lost the team. You’ve lost the locker room. Since 1991, Tom. That’s what’s on the line. Week one. Period. San Diego.

    You guys know what I think is going to happen.

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

    Looks like MR is predicting a week one victory for the Raiders. Good for you bro.

  • http://Raiders.com RaiderTW

    All right! A true Raider “fan”

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    RaiderDogg, where in my comment do I predict a week one victory for the Raiders?

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    I predict a week one loss, as a matter of fact. But I can tell you this much, if we win, I’ll eat my words and be proud to be a Raider fan again, because we’ll go to the playoffs if we win week one. You guys simply can not deny the fact that 1991 was the last season where we lost in week one, and still went to the playoffs. To deny that statistic is kool aid drinking at its worst.

  • Teabag

    MR is predicting a Week 1 win for the Raiders.. but following what logic??

    Hey here is an interesting stat for you….

    Since 2003…. The Raiders have not beaten the Chargers.

    OUCH!

    I am predicting a 12th straight loss to the Chargers.. Because, simply, they are more talented….

  • DarthPirate

    Where is Jarrod Cooper these days? Did he retire?

  • Teabag

    I stand corrected MR… glad to see there is another realist on this site.

  • Florida Pete

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    July 28th, 2009 at 8:48 pm
    RaiderDogg, where in my comment do I predict a week one victory for the Raiders?

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

    i don’t know about these other guys…

    i felt the love you have for the raiders…

    i felt your prediction for a week one victory…

    man, you are a true raider fan to go out on the limb like that and pick the raiders to beat a team that has been giving us a hard time…

    so thank you, man… thank you for giving all of us hope for this upcoming season…

  • http://Raiders.com RaiderTW

    Right over their heads, RaiderDogg. Hahahaha

  • jhill

    Just curious how you guys think we are going to lose game 1 …. 24-21? 31-10?

    How’s it going to go? LT for big yards? Sproles? Turnovers?

  • http://none The Real MaddenRaider

    teabag, the Raiders haven’t beaten the Chargers since ’03, and haven’t gone to the playoffs following a week one loss since 1991. It doesn’t look good.