A few impressions from the just-concluded OTA practice in Alameda:
– Can’t roll my eyes anymore when Tom Cable tells how much Darrius Heyward-Bey has improved. Best practice I’ve ever seen him have, and there isn’t anything else that’s even a close second.
Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said it was the best he’d seen Heyward-Bey play.
– The dominant figure on the field continues to be offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, who fortunately isn’t muzzled when he is on the field.
Jackson is talking trash, calling out defenders as targets (including Asomugha), putting pressure on his offense to make plays.
Haven’t seen a Raiders passing offense look this good in years. I realize it’s just OTAs and non-contact drills, but even in those situations the pass offense has been subpar since 2006.
– Great moment at the close of practice when Jailen Cooper, age 10, flattened his favorite Raider, Darren McFadden, in the midst of a gauntlet of Raiders chanting his name.
Jailen had surgery to remove a tumor from is pituitary gland in December of 2008 and has undergone a rough road with chemotherapy. His visit was arranged by the Raiders and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Jailen’s mother, Jessie, reports her son is doing fine, a recent MRI showed no tumor and the prognosis is good for a full recovery.
The Raiders sent Jailen a No. 1 jersey with his name on the back and he addressed the media following practice along with Cable. Raiders CEO Amy Trask said there were a lot of lumps in a lot of throats at the reaction of Jailen when he saw a locker which was set up for him in the Raiders’ locker room.
More to come later . . .