Part of the Bay Area News Group

Saturday a.m. quick hits

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, August 1st, 2009 at 12:26 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Quick hits from Saturday morning’s practice session:

– Practice was heavy in red zone work, and again plays were not carried out to their conclusion _ sort of like watching a batting practice where the hitter loads and prepares as if he’s going to strike, and then watches the pitch go by every time.

Or a jump-shooter who works on his form all the way up to the point where he rises for the shot _ and then holds on to the ball.

We’ll have at least some idea come Monday if the approach is paying off. Flash back to the Art Shell season in 2006, when the offense continually made its way to the line of scrimmage, then disbanded in confusion, went back to the huddle and started over. It happened all the time, the offense never jelled, and the season was a disaster.

When the Raiders start hitting Monday, they’ve already positioned themselves for every play they’ll run in practice and snapped the ball.

As tedious as it can be to watch for an outsider (and for you to read about), it’s an approach worth trying considering the way the Raiders have started the season the past few years.

– If the dress rehearsals make no difference, it’s simply another wrinkle which will probably be junked, much as Lane Kiffin’s morning-night-afternoon practice rotation was this season. (The Raiders would practice in the morning and at 7 p.m. on double days, always followed by a single practice in the mid-afternoon).

In 2007 and 2008, Kiffin and the players talked about how the practice schedule offered better recovery time, was more conducive to learning and helped keep players healthy.

A year later, Cable believes the approach made the Raiders too soft.

– The Raiders are getting maximum reps by putting the first team offense against the first team defense on one field and the second team offense and the second team defense squaring off on the other.

Quarterbacks coach Paul Hackett and Cable were with the first team, passing game coordinator Ted Tollner with the second team.

– Interesting wrinkle in a goal line defense _ the linebackers were Jon Alston, Ricky Brown and Thomas Howard, with Kirk Morrison watching from the back of the end zone.

– Lorenzo Neal was limping around at one point, favoring an ankle, but the fact that he never came off the field indicates it’s probably not worth worrying about.

– Tommy Kelly had his fifth offsides offense in five practices, with Tony Stewart getting a false start.

– Watched linebackers run a drill where they hit a blocking sled, moved laterally to a boulder-sized ball, pushed off the ball, and then ran into one of their fellow linebackers with a blocking pad.

Coach Mike Haluchak wanted to see a low center of gravity against the sled, lifting it into the air, then use both hands to push off the ball.

No lost a battle to the ball, something which happened more than once to former Raider Tyler Brayton, who occasionally wound up on the ground.

– No sign of Derrick Burgess, and Cable isn’t discussing it other than to say the Raiders are moving on with their season. He declined to say if Burgess is being fined.

– In passing drills against no defense, Darrius Heyward-Bey had occasionally lacked fluidity and struggled to catch the ball. Not on every play, mind you, but at present he’s less consistent than fellow rookie Louis Murphy.

More notes and quotes to come later before the afternoon session . . .

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  • http://www.Raiders.com DarthPirate

    Thanks Jerry.

    “No lost a battle to the ball, something which happened more than once to former Raider Tyler Brayton, who occasionally wound up on the ground.”

    lol.

  • jeff

    Please don’t let heyward bey be another James Jett!

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    jeff Says:
    August 1st, 2009 at 12:43 pm
    Please don’t let heyward bey be another James Jett!

    ———————————————–
    Or Willie (I won’t go across the middle) Gault

  • Tbone Jeff

    # exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    August 1st, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    jeff Says:
    August 1st, 2009 at 12:43 pm
    Please don’t let heyward bey be another James Jett!

    ———————————————–
    Or Willie (I won’t go across the middle) Gault

    ———————————————–

    Or Rocket “Drop-It” Ishmail.

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    ” I want to let Oakland see what Javon has to offer, because I’m young. I’m in my prime right now. My ability hasn’t changed,….”
    - Yavone

    What a joke!

  • ppleschamp030

    hopefully he just needs time to adjust(like all rookies). this is his first real action. but he still should be able to catch. he did have a first round grade.

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    Mr. Davis,

    Cut Yavone, Huff, Sands, and Fargas next year. Please!!

  • dknight007

    Watched linebackers run a drill where they hit a blocking sled, moved laterally to a boulder-sized ball, pushed off the ball, and then ran into one of their fellow linebackers with a blocking pad.

    Coach Mike Haluchak wanted to see a low center of gravity against the sled, lifting it into the air, then use both hands to push off the ball.

    ^^^^^^
    Good drill to get them to stay low and play better against the run!

  • SNB Defense

    Any Chris O’Neill sightings?

  • dtrain

    Thanks for the updates Jerry, they’re great!

    I don’t liken the approach to a batter or jump-shooter but more to doing drills to help them with sense memory and fluidity. For example, it’s like in Hoosiers where the team only went through drills and passing (not shooting) till they were ready. Or like wax on – wax off, it became part of a larger purpose.

    At least that’s how I’m hoping this turns out. We won’t know till we win or lose some games. But for now I think it’s a good starting point.

  • http://raiders.com RaiderTW

    O, no problem, if you’re interested I have more I’d like you to read. Closest thing to the truth I’ve read about. Have you heard the music yet?

  • dknight007

    dtrain Says:
    August 1st, 2009 at 1:04 pm
    Thanks for the updates Jerry, they’re great!

    I don’t liken the approach to a batter or jump-shooter but more to doing drills to help them with sense memory and fluidity. For example, it’s like in Hoosiers where the team only went through drills and passing (not shooting) till they were ready. Or like wax on – wax off, it became part of a larger purpose.

    At least that’s how I’m hoping this turns out. We won’t know till we win or lose some games. But for now I think it’s a good starting point.

    ^^^^^Agreed!

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    SNB,

    You mean the guy we waived Fratz to keep! lol

  • http://www.poopiepants.com KoolKell

    Im still on the toilet…Lord help…on 25th roll of TP since last night…who said that? lmao :)

  • AZ Raider

    O

    You know my stance on Walker already :)

    I’m telling you, I think he’s gonna suprise alot of people. He’s got some left, I can feel it!

    9-7! DRINK IT!

  • SNB Defense

    What on Earth was Tom Cable and the “scouting dept” thinking? Not only does JaMarcus Russell get a FREE PASS…but so should that kid Alex Smith.

    What was Cable thinking? Take a look

    http://web.splashcast.net/web_watch/?episodes=2006+Kwame+and+Derek+Episode+Player&code=ZHAC9804LJ

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    TW,

    Not yet. I’m waitting for the right time AKS session. lol

    The George Carlin Calendar Pages are Funny as hell. LMAO

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    AZ,

    I don’t care if he makes the PB ( no way), I still want him gone next year.

    Cut Walker!!!
    Drink the 9-7 KoolAide!!
    Legalize it!!

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    AZ,

    Does service get Rebates ( or anything close) from the Factory or the Corp?

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    AZ,

    I know your revenues come from parts sales and labor time, but is that it??

  • lefty12

    O-that is ridiculous.if the guy comes back healthy and shows his old form he would once again be one of the top WRs in the league,and you’d want to get rid of him?ridiculous!!!!!

  • http://raiders.com RaiderTW

    Crabtree not in 49ers camp
    By JANIE McCAULEY, AP Sports Writer
    57 minutes ago

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP)—Michael Crabtree(notes) was a no-show at San Francisco 49ers training camp Saturday.

    The Niners kicked off their first camp under coach Mike Singletary without their top draft pick, the star receiver from Texas Tech. The team said Crabtree had yet to sign and Singletary gave no hints after the opening workout as to when he might see Crabtree in uniform.

    San Francisco general manager Scot McCloughan raised both hands up in the air as if to say he had no guess, either.

    “Nothing new,” McCloughan said.

    “That’s one of those things, whoever’s out here, that’s who I’m going to be focused on right now,” Singletary said after a two-hour opening session. “When that happens, I’m excited about it, but I’m not looking back wondering when it’s going to happen. I haven’t asked anybody anything. These guys out here, we’ve got to make sure we’re ready.

    “The most important thing that I can do is make sure this team understands that one guy coming is not going to make the whole picture different. We need to make sure we’re getting better each day. I’m excited that we have him. I know we want to have him and when the timing’s right he’ll be here.”

    Singletary said earlier in the week he wouldn’t be surprised if Crabtree hadn’t agreed to a contract by the first day. The rest of the rookies reported to the training complex Tuesday.

    The record-setting receiver was the 10th overall pick in the NFL draft after he unexpectedly slipped several spots. He’s listed and wearing No. 15 on the roster being handed out on a day when practice was open to the public.

    Crabtree, who turns 22 next month, also missed the 49ers’ offseason minicamps and their organized team activities while recovering from a foot injury, but was a regular presence at team headquarters for rehabilitation and strengthening workouts.

    Crabtree will be part of one of the Niners’ most talented and deep receiving corps in the last decade—and he’s the biggest addition to the 49ers’ receiving corps since Terrell Owens(notes) left after the 2003 season.

    Two phone messages and an e-mail from The Associated Press to Crabtree’s agent, Eugene Parker, went unreturned.

    Crabtree caught 97 passes for 1,165 yards and 19 touchdowns last year during his sophomore season at Texas Tech. He finished his collegiate career with 231 receptions, 3,127 yards and 41 TDs.

  • AZ Raider

    100% commission O

    Parts & Labor

    Warranty work = 5.5%

    Retail work = 6.5% if your customer surveys are good
    as low as 4.5% depending on how good your
    survey scores are.

    Sublet work = 4.5%

    We get spiffed on stuff, like window tint and details…

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    Lefty,

    lol
    4 or 5 knee surgeries, and a bad attitude! He wanted to retire last season, and he is on the PUP list!

    Cut Walker!!

  • lefty12

    Wrong-he doesn’t have a bad attitude.that is something repeated on this site but you’ve never heard that from any of our coaches or any players.in fact everything i’ve ever heard from teammates and our current coaches is what a great teammate he is,how he works WITH our young WRs.don’r believe all the garbage put out by some on this blog.

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    AZ,

    I love Service!! $$

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    What do you call what he did in vegas?? He wanted to retire before that too, so what do you call that? Passion for the game!!

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    Lefty,

    IF the attitude is not a problem for you, then we can talk about his 4/5 knee surgeries.

  • http://www.snotmerch.com Lynn From Snot

    What was Cable thinking? Take a look

    My gawd I can only say OOOLLLEEE!!!

  • AZ Raider

    Walker is actually a class act O. Just because he got mugged in Vegas doesnt mean he’s Adam Jones… Bret Favre said great things about him, and JLH said he was a great help to him in particular in helping him develope his recieving skills…

    Why does everyone only remember the negative stuff?

  • Ty

    Jerry-Why are you whining so much about Cables approach? There are teams not in camp yet! you act like the players are missing out on something or wasting time. A month of hitting is more than enough. Sorry if it bores you.

  • lefty12

    it was the off season.players are people too.they have just as much right to go to Vegas and party during their off hours as everyone else.what you and others seem to forget is he was the VICTIM.he wanted to retire(if that’s true,after all it came from Lance) because he felt he couldn’t preform up to his capabilities due to injuries and he was probably still bothered because a good friend died in his arms.sometimes it takes more time to heal wounds for some than others.

  • AZ Raider

    The knee surguries are a good reason to be skeptical, but the new found confidence in himself and the fact he says he’s going to be 100% in a couple weeks, is a good reason to be optamistic :)

    Walker to the starting line-up! Comeback player of the year!

    DRINK IT! 9-7!

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    AZ,

    Class Act!! Yavone!!

    I want some of what you have in your jar! lol

    Spraying people with Moet!! That’s a class act??!!

  • lefty12

    if he comes back healthy,i don’t care if he has had 10 operations.what does that have to do with anything if he is now full strength?

  • http://www.Raiders.com DarthPirate

    IMO, anything we get from Javon is gravy. Don’t cut him, let him play and see how he does. If he stinks, then cut him and take the cap hit. It’s not like he’s being actively disruptive.

  • dtrain

    Should Derek Mason ahve stayed retired or is it okay that he came back?

  • AZ Raider

    Besides being MUGGED, what character flaw would you like to point out? ….my good friend Mr. “O” :)

  • AZ Raider

    Derek Mason DEFINATLEY should NOT retire… Bro, he has like 4 years or so left if you ask me.

  • lefty12

    he plays for the Ravens.i hope he does retire.if he played for the Raiders,maybe not.

  • dtrain

    My question was really directed at O, the point being that is Walker needs to be let go because at on point he wanted to retire then so should Mason. I’m with you, play Walker and if he’s ready then he has a potential good upside

  • AZ Raider

    I thought Walkers comments were a good sign. You didn’t hear a peep from him in the media all last season. I suspect thats because he knew he wasn’t able to be effective on the field. A little confidence thrown out to the media, the way he did, tells me he has the hunger back hopefully.

  • Destrilogy

    kelly needs to stop jumping off sides. seriously.

  • AZ Raider

    Yeah, no sheez!

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    Go to vegas and party, Yes!
    Spray people with Moet, No!

  • http://RaiderO Raider O

    D Mason is diff, he wanted more money!!

  • AZ Raider

    At least he’s not masterminding a lizard fighting ring or something wierd like that… And if you havent sprayed a crowd with bubbly before, you haven’t experienced a true party O, lol…

    9-7! JAVON WALKER COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR!

    DRINK IT!

  • lefty12

    O-just say you don’t like him.don’t make phony excuses.he didn’t hurt anyone spraying the stuff.nobody seemed to be that bothered.from the pictures i saw it looked like everyone was having a good time and laughing.

  • AZ Raider

    kIRK MORRISON SAYS ON TWITTER:

    “This learning process we are doing this camp is good for us. Everybody is on the same page and understanding what’s at hand. Nap time til 3.”

  • Al Davis Has Cojones

    Morrison better play his ass off this year or we’re gonna see a lot more of RBrown in the middle.