By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 at 5:44 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Any notion that Richard Seymour isn’t particularly eager for the 2010 season was dispelled quickly on the day the Raiders reported to the Napa Valley Marriott.
When the bus from the Oakland Airport Hilton pulled into the back lot of the Marriott, the first man off was Seymour.
Understand, this was the bus which brought rookies, both drafted and undrafted. Veterans usually arrive later, driving their own vehicles or hitching a ride with a teammate, stepping out of cars or trucks with shiny new rims and ear-splitting sound systems.
There were no other veteran players on the team bus.
Seymour took the Nnamdi Asomugha approach to franchise free agency as opposed to the Charles Woodson approach. In his first year as a franchise player, Woodson didn’t sign his tender and thus missed all of camp, arriving before the season opener in Pittsburgh.
Seymour, who signed his tender of approximately $12.4 million _ he could have taken the Woodson route and the Raiders would have had little choice but to accept it _ instead is signed and eager to work with a young defensive line.
“For me, it’s a time of year that you come and you lay the foundation for the season,’’ Seymour said. “Camp is the foundation you build your success on.
“During the season you’re spending so much time with game plans and focusing on your opponents that you really don’t have the time to work on a lot of individual things. This is my time where I really get into me and focus in on the things I need to do to make myself a better player. Come and knock some of the rust off and be ready to go.’’
More news and notes from reporting day:
– Defensive tackle John Henderson is fine with his primary responsibility _ seeing if he can help turn around a poor run defense.
“I love stopping the run. That’s my thing,’’ Henderson said. “It’s been that way since I was at the Univeristy of Tennessee.’’
– Interesting hire for the Raiders coaching staff _ former starting middle linebacker Greg Biekert.
The Raiders Web site points out Biekert is best known for recovering Tom Brady’s “fumble’’ in the Tuck Rule game.
To me, Biekert’s best moment was diagnosing Peyton Manning’s audibles at the line of scrimmage to help the Raiders to a come-from-behind 38-31 win over the Indianapolis Colts in a Week 2 win that stamped them as a player in the NFC West.
The Raiders went on to win the division title.
Biekert has long been a class act and one of the smartest players around. Great idea to bring him in during McClain’s rookie year.
– No sign of McClain, by the way, on the rookie bus or at the Marriott.
– Raiders coach Tom Cable said in the offseason the Raiders were “going forward’’ with Trevor Scott as a weakside linebacker, the position he played for the last several weeks of the 2009 season.
While Scott was mostly a first-team weak side linebacker in sessions open to the media along with McClain and strong side starter Kamerion Wimbley, he saw enough time on the edge to think his role could be that of a hybrid.
“Right now I’m under the impression that I’m going to be doing a little bit of both this year,’’ Scott said. “We’ll see what happens . . . as long as I’m on the field, that’s all I want to do. If that’s playing linebacker so be it. If it means playing D-end, I mean, as long as I’m playing, that’s all I care about.’’
– Wide receiver Chaz Schilens, who made it back from a second surgery on his broken left foot sooner than expected at the final organized team activity session open to the media, said he built on that progress.
Schilens said he worked out regularly for a month with quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, who missed much of the offseason with a left pectoral.
Last season, Schilens was a training camp standout before the broken left metatarsal cost him half of the regular season.
– The Raiders only released the training camp schedule through the first weekend, with practices at 8:30 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
Still no word on whether they’ll continue with the “learning intensive’’ practices installed by Cable last year, when the first eight practice sessions were prelims to actual practices.
Plays were stopped shortly after the snap and footwork was evaluated both on the field and in film sessions. Cable believed the lack of injuries during camp (Schilens aside) may have had something to do with the practices.
Schilens, however thought the offseason workouts were thorough enough that the Raiders could get going with contact immediately.
“I’m supposing we’re going to get going because we put in most of the offense during OTAs and stuff but I really don’t know what coach Cable has in store for us,’’ Schilens said.
– Cable meets with the media Wednesday at noon.
Before the first day of practices Thursday, the Raiders schedule Wednesday is as follows:
6:30 to 8 a.m._Breakfast, treatment
6:45 a.m._Wake up call
7 to 8 a.m._Mandatory weigh-in
8 a.m._Team meeting
9 a.m._Life skills meeting
11 a.m. to 1 p.m._Lunch
1:30 p.m._Uniform inspector meeting
2 p.m._Public relations/media meeting
3 to 3:45 p.m._Special teams meeting
6 to 8 p.m._Dinner
8:15 to 9:30 p.m._Position meetings
10 to 11 p.m._Snack
11 p.m._Bed check