By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, August 2nd, 2009 at 2:45 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Notes and quotes from Sunday’s morning practice:
Raiders coach Tom Cable hasn’t broached the subject with either man, but was asked Sunday if he has considered asking Mario Henderson or Khalif Barnes to move to right tackle.
“I am,” Cable said, “because I’ll pick the best five guys, however that all works out.”
Barring injury, the job almost certainly belongs to Henderson. He was given the Al Davis seal of approval when Tom Cable was hired as head coach, noting how he handled Richard Seymour, Mario Williams and then Gaines Adams after taking over for Kwame Harris.
Cable has already put Henderson in the lead publicly instead of citing an even competition. The only time he got with the first unit was in a short-yardage situation as a second left-tackle called a “tank.” Left tackle is Henderson’s job to lose, and odds are he’s not going to lose it.
So here comes Barnes, who was sold on the notion of a one-year, $1.3 million contract to rebuild his reputation after a shaky season in Jacksonville, where his season was similar to the one which ended Harris’ one-year run in Oakland. Too many penalties, too many sacks allowed.
Some scouts believe Barnes’ best position would be at right tackle. Problem is, it was clear Barnes isn’t one of them given the way he answered the question when asked if he would be comfortable switching to the right side if Henderson prevails on the left.
“To be honest with you, no,” Barnes said. “I haven’t did a right-side kick since I was in college. I just _ I’ve been so used to being in this stance for so long, it’d be awkward to be over there. So, I mean, I don’t know man.”
Left or right, Barnes said the topic was never discussed in free agency.
“They didn’t really say anything,” Barnes said. “I didn’t really ask either.”
Barnes figures its way too early to be conceding starting positions and is still learning the system and his teammates. For now, he’s enjoying his surroundings.
“There’s something about the shield and playing for the shield,” Barnes said. “I liked the Raiders as a kid. I’m happy to be here. So, I’m going to do what I can to stay and try to become an important role on this team.”
More notes and quotes:
– While their crossbay rivals were doing pit drills on the first day of practice, Cable has no intention of putting the Raiders through an “Oklahoma” man-to-man combat drill at any time during camp.
“That’s just not constructive and what we want to do is our thing against each other, get it as fast and as violent as we can but also taking care of each other,” Cable said.
– Center Samson Satele, traded to the Raiders by the Dolphins after starting 32 games in two years, gives his surgically-repaired shoulder its first test Monday. Satele has taken virtually every snap with the first team ahead of John Wade.
“The guys in the training room did a good job and I feel pretty good about it right now, but we’ll see tomorrow,” Satele said.
The Dolphins opted for Raiders free agent Jake Grove rather than give Satele a third season as a starter.
“You know I tell everybody it’s a business, you can work every day of your life and your boss can cut you or fire you,” Satele said. “ Same thing in the NFL. They wanted get Jake (Grove) so I am here in a better place it worked out better for me and I hope it worked out for him too.”
– Ryan Boschetti has gotten some work at end as well as tackle, and the ability to do both could determine whether he sticks on the 53-man roster.
“He’s been inside and outside, (we’ll) see if he can do that here if he’s going to be a Raider,” Cable said.
“The past four days we’re just going through, I don’t want to say the motions, but probably 50 percent, getting your reads, getting your stuff right. We’re pretty anxious to put the pads on and start banging heads,” _ linebacker Ricky Brown on the start of padded practices.
“We’ve gone through the learning period and it’s time to go play some real football and start hitting. I think everybody is waiting for the afternoon practice to be over and lace ‘em up Monday,” linebacker and special teams player Isaiah Ekejiuba on the same topic.
– “Kind of saving things for tomorrow to get out there and be fresh. Being a little older these days, kind of letting the other guys get some good work and mental work and physical work. We’re not doing a whole lot of throwing anyways,” quarterback Jeff Garcia on why he did very little in practice.