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Quick hits from last minicamp practice

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, May 2nd, 2010 at 2:31 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Impressions gathered from five practice sessions at the Raiders’ mandatory minicamp, which concluded with a single practice Sunday:

– Coach Tom Cable, a roll-up-your-sleeves and do-it-yourself type, has taken a step back.

Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is running the offense, John Marshall the defense. Line coach Jim Michalczik, who became a spectator at times last year as Cable jumped in as the unit struggled, was the main voice in that unit.

Particularly telling Sunday was Jackson coming in and working with offensive linemen while Cable was off watching Mike Waufle work with the defensive line.

– Rolando McClain knows his stuff.

McClain played in a 3-4 defense at Alabama, but his transition to 4-3 middle linebacker was seamless in terms of knowing his assignments. He jumped right in with the first team and was seldom seen getting heavy tutoring from coaches in between snaps to correct errors.

The most important quality will be fitting run gaps and driving ballcarriers backward, and we won’t know about that until July, but it was a promising start.

McClain sat out Sunday’s practice after being tight following four hard practice sessions where he took a lot of snaps.

– Admittedly, some of the issues had to do with Chaz Schilens and Louis Murphy missing practice, but Oakland’s wide receivers littered the ground with too many dropped passes.

About the only guy getting a passing grade Sunday was Todd Watkins and perhaps Jonathan Holland.

As for Darrius Heyward-Bey, he has indeed improved, but he fell far short of Cable’s glowing assessment at a pre-draft press conference.

Take a look at film of Murphy and Heyward-Bey side-by-side breaking on a deep ball and only one of them would look like a potential star. It would be the guy taken in the fourth round, not the first.

– Jason Campbell is not a statue. Far from it.

I apparently didn’t pay a lot of attention to Redskins games because I thought Campbell a classic dropback pocket passer. He can do that, but he also runs well.

Sunday, he broke to his right and beat end Jay Richardson to the corner for a nice gain.

– Rookie tackle Jared Veldheer looks thin for a lineman at 6-foot-8 and 315 pounds but was strong enough to send fellow O-lineman Alex Parsons flying during a routine drill.

– JaMarcus Russell still hasn’t mastered the art of the short pass, hitting Darren McFadden with a swing pass to his right on one play, then firing the next at the feet of Rock Cartwright.

Russell, whose best practice session was his first one, got a limited amount of snaps in each of the last two practices.

He may not be 290 pounds, but he didn’t look anything like a $9.45 million quarterback, either.

– Rookie defensive backs Jeremy Ware, Walter McFadden and Stevie Brown all had good final practice sessions. Brown properly broke on a pass from Russell intended for Zach Miller and ended up with an interception on the overthrow.

Ware had the prettiest interception of the minicamp when he stayed with Jacoby Ford on a post then out-raced him to a deep pass by Charlie Frye.

– Eddie Anderson has roles that go beyond being watch commander in charge of Russell. During one sequence Sunday, Marshall had some words with Stanford Routt along the sideline, and when Routt ran back out on the field with the first unit, he was sent off by defensive backs coach Lionel Washington.

Eventually, Anderson came over and the two had a discussion. Routt was back on the field a short time later.

– Lamarr Houston, the second-round pick out of Texas who will be in the defensive line rotation at end, will get in his share of scrapes this year. When teams hit the Raiders for a big run and he’s on the field, he’s going to hit back.

He’s one of those “play to the whistle’’ types _ which means once in awhile he’ll play beyond it.

– Cable said Schilens’ absence is not a big deal, and we’ll take him at his word.

But the Raiders’ best possession receiver has had two surgeries on his left foot in the past year. Not everyone has feet that can hold up to playing in the NFL.

If he experiences any setbacks which constitute missing more than a practice or two at training camp, be worried.

– While it makes for a nice story to say Richard Seymour was not at mandatory minicamp because the two sides were working on a longterm deal, one has nothing to do with the other.

Seymour could have signed the tender, been at camp and the two sides still could be working on that contract. He is doing what a lot of people would do in his position _ staying at home with his family rather than go through five football practices as April turns to May.

– Not sure who the Raiders fullback is going to be in Week 1, but there’s a very real possibility that it’s not someone who is currently on the roster.

– Michael Huff and Tyvon Branch at cornerback? They were for a handful of plays on Sunday. Cable says it was simply to work on their coverage skills and that neither will be moving from safety to the island.

– The first OTA session begins May 18. In past years, the media is allowed to cover one day of sessions which last three days.

– For more practice highlights, check my Twitter page.

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  • Random Drug Tester

    transfer those automaker jobs to the public transit and to infrastructure making…no difference in the number of jobs. Only in who makes money off of it.

  • Random Drug Tester

    your government is not operating in the best interests of the people it is supposed to represent.

    It is up to you people to change that, not wait for them to decide on their own what the right thing to do is.

    Americans are supposed to be known for that, remember the 60′s?

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Random Drug Tester,

    Americans and Canadians, for that matter, have historically lived in wide open spaces. In Europe and Asia, space is a premium as is size…so you have to pay a huge premium to get a bigger house or a bigger car to drive down smaller streets.

    Also, the public transit in those countries are superior…even China.

    America has a third world public transit system. It would take Billions…maybe more…to build the rail system to connect the country at the same quality that others are doing it.

    Plus, Americans, for better or for worse, generally have a distrust of large government projects…plus as a nation we are not capable of managing and executing large intiatives because our leadership pool is awful.

    America will respond to conditions when it hurts….like when gas prices went up to 4 or 5 dollars and people started changing behavior.

    Legal fiat won’t get it done…only cold hard economics

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Random Drug Tester Says:
    May 3rd, 2010 at 9:58 pm
    your government is not operating in the best interests of the people it is supposed to represent.

    It is up to you people to change that, not wait for them to decide on their own what the right thing to do is.

    Americans are supposed to be known for that, remember the 60’s
    =======================================================
    Our political system is just like WWE Raw…its not capable of being changed…only in crisis.

    Americans know the system is crummy…but we don’t trust each other to do anything big….that blue state vs. red state is very real

  • Random Drug Tester

    Eisenhower was so far ahead of his time that it is truly scary that I guy like him is still today the voice of reason.

    America has a Constitution and Bill of Rights that protects you from a Government that is not operating in the best interests of the people and yet, it is the worst offender of that right.

  • Random Drug Tester

    The basic premise of cold hard economics is that “man will strive to maximize his own satisfaction”…given that, as long as you take it, you will continue take it.

    If you want it to change, change your behaviour. Screw around with the Primary’s, screw with the whole political process.

    If you don’t follow along, they don’t have a mandate.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Random Drug Tester,

    The government is only as good as the people are informed and choose to be informed.

    Too many Americans only have a pedestrian interest in politics..and the commercialization and marketing has made it such that candidates are blow dried and presented without really being challenged or questioned.

    America has some of the finest Universities in the world. Yet the only people that get elected are hacks, lawyers most of them…or well-connected people through birth.

    Until people start voting for the candidate and not the commercial face of the same damn party…we will continue to sputter along.

    The country is a shell of its former self.

    Our parents and grandparents were great people. They fought a complicated wars that defeated tyranny, they fought and pioneered civil rights (Al Davis played his small part), and we put man on the moon with less technology that is available in your cell phone and helped rebuild the world

    Somewhere, Americans lost interest in those types of things and got complacent….then our POS leaders took advantage of TV and marketing and turned the political process into a joke.

    America will get out of its rut…we just have to go through some of the pain we are now…like not being able to write up a decent home loan

  • Random Drug Tester

    Not to sound to Nationalistic or anything, but if we in Canada had to choose between Palin, Billary, McCain or Obama…we would have voted for the Rhino Party or the Green Party just to show our disdain for the supposed Incumbents shenanigans.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3ng4yHw2xk&feature=PlayList&p=E565EF0DE2F587FA&playnext= Raider75

    looks like eurotrash political hour in here.

  • PassTheCheetos

    we should switch to hydrogen you can make it in your own house. then again thats why we’d never switch to it because gas stations would go out of business.

  • PassTheCheetos

    Canada lives off the benefit of being the United states little brother. Hardly any money goes to your military when you got the US backing you up.

  • Random Drug Tester

    you are exactly right SnB…currently our “Liberal” party is trying to raise the “fee” for running for head of the Liberal Party to $500,000.00 just to keep the “undesirables” from being able to run.

    They have lost a lot of votes already for mentioning it and will have a hard time staying alive as viable political party.

    Ask the Progressive Conservatives about what happens to a Party that takes Canadian people for granted.

  • Random Drug Tester

    PassTheCheetos Says:
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:16 pm
    Canada lives off the benefit of being the United states little brother. Hardly any money goes to your military when you got the US backing you up.
    ———————————————-
    Go sell that crap to someone that buys that…we need you to protect us from fights that you start…Oh OK!

  • Random Drug Tester

    All hail the United States of Mafia Extortion

  • Nnamdi21

    SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Americans know the system is crummy…but we don’t trust each other to do anything big….that blue state vs. red state is very real

    ================

    The divison is those who believe their lies and those who see thru.

    The truth is they work at dividing us. Too busy fighting each other to take on them.

    The truth the new racism is the haves and the have nots and the distances grows exponentially while we wait for someone to tell us what to do.

  • Random Drug Tester

    Our economy stands on it’s own…we don’t have to create internal turmoil and strife in other countries to keep their eyes off of our hands pick-pocketing them to the point where they want to kill us.

  • Pingback: Raiders, Seymour Talking Long-Term Deal « MYRAIDERNATION

  • Random Drug Tester

    Nnamdi21…read “Why Your World is About to get a Whole Lot Smaller” by Jeff Rubin.

    He is and has been right on about a lot of things.

  • Nnamdi21

    849. All true.

  • Nnamdi21

    Peace out and goodnight guys.

  • Random Drug Tester

    The governments biggest threat is a well-educated electorate.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Nnamdi21,

    I am not sure I completely agree. Americans of all political persuasions have to demand better.

    How about real political debates instead of these marketing shows….Truth is, before all the commericalization, Americans of all walks of life were very engaged in their politics….back when candidates had to go out and meet people in the street without the benefit of image consultants and 24 hour noise channels spewing misinformation (both parties)

    How about reading position papers…researching positins…not listening to stupid commercials or listening to party news station (Fox or MSNBC)

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Random Drug Tester Says:
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:25 pm
    The governments biggest threat is a well-educated electorate.
    =============================================
    Slightly disagree…..the biggest threat is a disengaged electorate.

    Being well-educated is not necessarily a prerequisite for being informed about the issues

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Some of the most disengaged are the educated people….too busy doing what busy people do to get involved…or like me..just disgusted at the overall baffoonery

  • Random Drug Tester

    SnB, maybe you need to talk to your friends and enlighten them, so they can talk to their other friends and enlighten them, and so on…and so on.

    Just like in the olden days.

  • Random Drug Tester

    change well-educated for well-informed

  • Random Drug Tester

    gotta say g’night…have to work tomorrow so I can pay the highest taxes in the world.

  • Random Drug Tester

    BTW…the Raiders are looking better than they have in years!!!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3ng4yHw2xk&feature=PlayList&p=E565EF0DE2F587FA&playnext= Raider75

    # PassTheCheetos Says:
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Canada lives off the benefit of being the United states little brother. Hardly any money goes to your military when you got the US backing you up.
    ………

    Not only that, but…

    The U.S. is Canada’s largest foreign investor.
    Statistics Canada reports that at the end of 2007, the stock of U.S. foreign direct investment in Canada was $289 billion, or about 59% of total foreign direct investment in Canada.

    In 2008, 75% of Canada’s exports went to the U.S.

    Without the U.S., there would be no Canada.

    Random Drug Tester Says:
    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Our economy stands on it’s own
    …………………..
    Whatever.

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

    How about reading position papers…researching positins…not listening to stupid commercials or listening to party news station (Fox or MSNBC)

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

    Unfortunately in our great country, when look for political “news” they are looking for affirmation not information.

    If it doesn’t jive with how they feel, the majority just change the station or scoff and question the validity of it all.

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  • Nnamdi21

    880. Very astute observation Vegas.

  • ohioraider

    The very presence of Russell and Hayward Bey, representing Al’s colossal misjudgement, remains a disgrace. I’m convinced he had very little to to with the first four or five picks this year. And if none of his late round CB projects pan out, f him. Get him in a home pronto.

  • fat kidd

    ”I could give a flying crap about the political process … We’re an entertainment company.”
    —FOX News Channel’s Glen Beck, Forbes interview, April, 2010

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