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Walker ascends, DHB struggles

Quick hits from the final practice of the “learning phase” of Raiders training camp:

– What went on in the workout area Sunday evening was more interesting than anything that was taking place on the field.

Wide receiver Javon Walker, who two days before talked talked with unbridled optimism about his health and claimed to be in the prime of his career, looked to be at least something approaching that as he put on a show with a member of the Raiders athletic training staff.

Walker ran at what looked to be full speed with an effortless glide. He ran short and intermediate patterns, at one point reaching back on a short crossing route and snatching a pass with his left hand without slowing down.

He ran patterns 25 to 30-yard downfield, reaching out and catching the ball at his highest point with good acceleration. Walker dropped exactly one pass that I saw during a drill in which he ran directly forward at the passer on a controlled run.

After the pass-catching was done, Walker was jumping over a series of obstacles set in his path with explosive leaps, showing no sign of a limp. He then jumped and twisted over each obstacle, a drill which would surely cause some pain to a defective knee.

Instead, Walker appeared buoyant as his session concluded, taking off on a run to join his teammates on the field for the end of practice.

When it comes to Walker, I’ve been one of the biggest skeptics since the moment he signed during free agency last year. Now I’m curious and cautiously optimistic.

If the Raiders suddenly have a physical veteran receiver who could get 50-plus catches, 800-plus yards and get in the end zone, it’s a huge bonus. And frankly, a bargain, considering he renegotiated his contact downward to $4.6 million over the next two years.

From free agent bust to Comeback Player of the Year?

Not so fast, but Walker’s progress is suddenly a story worth watching closely. Walker said as camp opened he thought he’d be out two weeks.

Depending on how he feels, the Raiders might consider moving that up and could always keep Walker out of padded practices and easing him in to no-contact sessions.

– Meanwhile, rookie No. 7 overall pick Darrius Heyward-Bey struggled to catch the ball, at one point leaving three catchable passes on the ground, one time punting a drop into the air in frustration. Keep in mind none of these plays came against defenders. That won’t happen until Monday’s first padded practice at 3:30 p.m.

Heyward-Bey gave his Rickey Dudley impression in the presence of Al Davis, who was driven over in a golf cart to talk to Heyward-Bey afterward. Also present was wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal.

Rest assured, the more Heyward-Bey struggles, the more Lal will be held responsible.

Heyward-Bey had looked more fluid and sure-handed in the morning session.

– Heyward-Bey wasn’t alone. Will Franklin has struggled catching the ball, and even sure-handed Darren McFadden had a deep throw from Russell fall to the ground.

– Also getting an audience with Davis following practice were linemen Greg Ellis, Trevor Scott and Jay Richardson, with Ellis sticking around for an extended conversation.

– While waiting to see if Davis had anything to say to the media regarding Derrick Burgess or anything else (he didn’t _ reporters were ushered out before he left the practice area) coach Tom Cable walked past and said, “Why don’t you guys go out and have some fun. Or come and watch some film _ your choice.”

I’m going to assume he was kidding about the film.

I’m passing on the morning walkthrough and will file again following the padded practice. I’ll file occasional updates on my Twitter page.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • OAKlifer

    Thanks trey,

    A ferw more people just heard/read my name thanks to you!!! hey could you do this on other sites as well just let em know who i am!!!! Thanks bro!!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Bobby: my sources tell me that Danny Southwick is mormon. check out his website

    http://www.dannysouthwick.com

    very impressive young lad.

  • AZ Raider

    Oaklifer,

    Kool-aid pimp comin to ya from the desert baby!

    Man, I’m gettin pumped up! I can’t wait for September!

  • Dakota

    Plaxico has been indicted…but the LB got out of it…

  • RaiderRockstar

    Dakota: new definition of “hater”

    anyone allergic to or not fond of Kool-Aid …

  • RaiderRockstar

    FREE PLAX!

  • no more infield…

    answer dakota how can you say for certain that DHB can’t catch? what happens if he lights it up after the first few games? will you be man enough to admit your foolishness? I have my doubs. you are a hater like the rest.

  • RaiderRockstar

    featured player on the Raiders official website – Justin Fargas

  • OAKlifer

    off to lunch but my question to the nation is this…..

    When some big names get cut here in the coming weeks will the raiders make a signing that has the shock and awe effect..if so who or what postion will it be at???

    Or will we just stand pat????

    RAIDER ON!!!

    PLAYOFFBOUND!!!

    Thanks for the love beech!!!!!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    our first preseason game is in 10 days!

  • http://Biggaydicks.com Treyrockstar

    Oaklifer 
    sure ill even throw a shout out to you on nfl live
    barring no brett favre or tom brady news, or if I see that Adrian Peterson commercial again!

  • Dakota

    I think you are right about that Rockstar.

    You don’t think Cable is the next Madden? You are a hater!

    You don’t think Al the GM is untouchable? You are a hater!

    You don’t think DHB is the best WR prospect ever? You are a hater!

    You don’t think our defensive line is good enough? Man, what a fukin hater!

    lol

  • http://Biggaydicks.com Treyrockstar

    Bob, you ever beat off while watching the Adrian Peterson commercial?

  • OAKlifer

    Kool-aid pimp comin to ya from the desert baby!

    Man, I’m gettin pumped up! I can’t wait for September!

    LETTTTTTTTTTTTTERRRRRRRRRRRRRR RRRRRRRIPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    PLAYOFFBOUND!!!! see ya guys in a few!!

  • no more infield…

    would u like some cheese with your constant whining dakota?

  • http://IBABUZZ.com Dirty Raccoon

    I am all for freedon of speech, in person!

    C’mon down.

  • http://Biggaydicks.com Treyrockstar

    Hey Dakota? Don’t fuck with my rr or I’ll chop off your dick and serve it to bob

  • http://IBABUZZ.com Dirty Raccoon

    Freedom

  • no more infield…

    and where are all the idiots that were calling for crabtree? did you all not take into consideration that we all ready have a big fast possession guy named Chaz? Now that would have been a wasted draft pick…

  • http://IBABUZZ.com Dirty Raccoon

    OAKlifer Says:
    August 3rd, 2009 at 11:30 am
    off to lunch but my question to the nation is this…..

    When some big names get cut here in the coming weeks will the raiders make a signing that has the shock and awe effect..if so who or what postion will it be at???

    Or will we just stand pat????

    RAIDER ON!!!

    PLAYOFFBOUND!!!

    Thanks for the love beech!!!!!!

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

    Yes we will find DT help. On way or another.

  • no more infield…

    now you will get booted trey. using real profanity is not too smart… lol

  • http://Biggaydicks.com Treyrockstar

    Hey who do you guys think Adrian Peterson is running to in that commercial? I hope it’s me :)

  • Beeecham

    Oakcrapper, you are my boy! Old, wrinkled, smelly and senile, but still my boy!

  • http://Biggaydicks.com Treyrockstar

    Andrew Walter resurfaces in Minnesota after seeing that Adrian peterson commercial

  • SNB Defense

    OakLifer

    I don’t see any big signings. The only change you will see is Derrick Burgess traded for a 3rd round pick (hopefully)….Here is the roster as I see it:

    QB(3): Russell, Garcia, Frye
    RB(3): DMAC, Bush, Fargas
    FB(2): Neal, O’Neal
    WR(6): Schilens, JLH, Walker, DHB, Murphy, Nick Miller
    TE(3): Miller, Myers, Steward
    OT(4): Henderson, Barnes, Green, McQuistan
    OG(3): Gallery, Carlisle, Morris
    C:(2): Satele, Wade

    DE(5): Ellis, Scott, Shaughnessy, Richardson, Gunheim
    DT(4): Kelly, Warren, Sands, Boschetti
    LB(7): Howard, Morrison, Brown, Alston, Norris, Ekijuba,Williams (scholarship program)
    CB(4): Asomugha, Johnson, Routt, Miller
    SA(4): Eugene, Branch, Huff, Mitchell

    ST(3): Lechler, Janikowski, Condo

  • http://Biggaydicks.com Treyrockstar

    Booted? Heavans no I’m Treyrockstar this site needs me

  • RaiderRockstar

    and where are all the idiots that were calling for crabtree? did you all not take into consideration that we all ready have a big fast possession guy named Chaz? Now that would have been a wasted draft pick…

    ***

    are you projecting that Chaz Schilens will be a better pro than Michael Crabtree?

    and how do you call Crabs a “wasted pick” and not Heyward-Bey?

    I wanted Crabtree prior to the draft. I don’t think that makes me an idiot …

  • AZ Raider

    no more infield… Says:
    August 3rd, 2009 at 11:38 am
    and where are all the idiots that were calling for crabtree? did you all not take into consideration that we all ready have a big fast possession guy named Chaz? Now that would have been a wasted draft pick…
    ………………………………………………

    Ah yeah, you guys heard this from AZ already huh!

    Chaz is the man! ….I mean DMAC is the man, but Chaz is the sh*t too! Crabtree didn’t have a place here in Oakland.

  • HayesDaze#37

    It’s a great morning to be a Raiders fan! Isn’t it?

    If DHB doesn’t take a starter’s job this year, but his numbers in situational play come close to these, he and the team will be just fine:

    Gms GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
    16 1 33 771 23.4 74T 3

    Those aren’t a superstar’s numbers…those are the rookie numbers of James Jett. When Jett started all 16-games (his career yrs 4-6), he was in the mid-40′s in receptions for 800+ yards.

    Again — on the surface, no superstar numbers…but if DHB wins a starter’s job, 45-rec/800+yds is entirely possible this year from the rook.

    Oh, yeah…here’s a cool stat. One year (’97) when Jett caught “only” 46-passes for 804-yards…he produced 12 TD’s. 12 TD’s in 46-receptions = a ratio of 1-TD for (less than) every 4th catch! Those are numbers we could all live with from DHB. In the beginning, at least.

    Unfortunately, some people think DHB is a bust already, and if he doesn’t produce with 50+ receptions in year-one, they’ll beat their chests and proclaim they’ve been proven correct. When anybody who knows anything knows that rookie-year success from the WR position must be graded on a curve…and with an eye to the future.

  • http://Biggaydicks.com Treyrockstar

    Hey guys there’s a new post by jerry. Wow da guys on top of things

  • AZ Raider

    RR,

    We have no way of “knowing”… It’s a wait and see game, but Crabs and Schilens are the same player.

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  • Snoopy

    WAlker, DHB, Higgins, or even my Grandmother! REally, I don’t care.

    “Don’t bother me with trivialities… There Will Be Blood Tonite!!!”
    (from one of the coolest movies ever, “Princess Bride”)

    The top of all this stuff is the Chemistry Cable is bringing to the table for this team and that is the real story.

    I just don’t care about this guy or the other guy this is FINALLY starting to look like a fricken TEAM!

    That is so exiting i’m almost feeling gitty, but not just yet.

    Dem’s a good start but, we’s still got sum rustlein to do so, Fire up da BBQ!

    “Snoopy” Half way through a cowboy movie marathon session with my girl and a few friends”

    This season will be new, unique and good!

    As always people…

    We are the Nation. The only Nation. RAIDER-NATION!

    (you hear that “steal’r Rooney”)

    EDC

  • chuck

    I have been saying this all along, but my fellow Raider fans have a tough time ever admitting the Raiders makes some mistakes. I like some of the picks the Raiders made in the draft, however, DHB is already dropping passes all over the field. This guy is a track guy, he does not have good hands. Maybe if he works and works at it, he will have average hands someday. I did not think this guy was worth the 7th pick of the draft and 23.5 million guaranteed. When you have a chance to pick number 7, you can really come away with a great player. I do believe Murphy was a steal in the 4th round, and Mitchell was a good pick in the second round, but DHB does not make catching a football look easy, he struggles with it. I hope he can make progress, but watching the tape on him does not show it.

    Lets go Raider Nation!!!

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