By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 at 6:50 pm in Oakland Raiders.
News and notes from Tuesday’s second practice:
– If Tom Cable was hoping quarterbacks and receivers would get on the same page with the wide receivers after a shaky first practice, he failed to get his wish.
Wideouts were an afterthought both for JaMarcus Russell, who his coach said bore responsibility for timing issues in the first session, as well as Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye, as the Raiders went through third down and red zone team sessions in shorts and shells.
The majority of the completed passes went to tight ends and running backs, with misfires and occasional drops going to wide recievers, virtually across the board.
– Neither safety Mike Mitchell nor Darrius Heyward-Bey participated in team sessions. Mitchell sat it out altogether after it looked as if he had a hamstring injury of undetermined severity near the end of the morning session. Cable will adress the availability of players Wednesday at a brief walkthrough, but don’t be surprised if Mitchell sits out the Dallas game.
Heyward-Bey was suited up and went through some drills, but was not involved in running pass routes against defenders in the team sessions.
– Before the final red zone session, Cable and Russell met for a talk in the middle of the field, with Cable appearing to do most of the talking. Each quarterback had an unsuccessful four-play series, and in the final round, Russell was skipped while Gradkowski and Frye each took one last series.
– Cable said Monday preparation for the Cowboys would consist mainly of working on things the Raiders would do this year, but it looked as if there was at least some rudimentary scout team working going on in the second session in getting ready for Dallas.
– The National Football Post is reporting the Raiders have shown some interest in free agent lineabacker Derrick Brooks, although “it was unknown what their level of interest is.”
Brooks, a player with Hall of Fame credentials, was exclusively a weak side linebacker in Tampa 2 defense throughout his career. The Raiders have what they believe to be their weak side linebacker for the next several years in Thomas Howard.
So it could be no more than the Raiders having their name floated as a possibility in order to get another team (like New Orleans) to react.
Besides, would Brooks want to change positions at this point in his career? If he did, and was moved to the strong side, economics say Ricky Brown, who received a high $1.7 million tender to prevent him from being a free agent, could dislodge Kirk Morrison in the middle.
Jon Alston the strong side starter last season after Brown was injured, is sidelined with plantar faciatis and Cable said he wanted to get a good look at rookie fourth-round pick Slade Norris against Dallas.
Morrison is in the final year of his contract and acknowledged Monday he was fighting for his job.
– I won’t be at the brief pre-game walkthrough Wednesday but should have access to a pool report and press update from Cable.
– More practice quick hits are available on my Twitter page.