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Raiders could use some pads

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, July 31st, 2010 at 1:21 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Louis Murphy has a concussion after taking a knee to the head Friday. Darrius Heyward-Bey spent some time with trainer Rod Martin Saturday morning reaching to the sky to test his range of motion, and later returned to make an end zone catch, going down in a heap.

Tight end Zach Miller and strong safety Tyvon Branch both fell heavily while fighting for the ball in the end zone.

So much for the “walk-throughs” which were supposed to get the Raiders ready to start really playing hard come Monday when they go to full pads.

During his first Napa press briefing, Cable talked up the value of last year’s eight walk-through practices and how they prepared everyone to hit the ground running when the pads went on.

In reality, the only practice which resembled last year’s first eight sessions was the first one, when plays weren’t carried to completion and the focus was on footwork and choreography than taking on the person on the other side.

If the Raiders had held the last seven workouts in the offseason and called them “non-contact’’ they’d be hearing from the union and management council and forfeiting additional practice sessions.

“I think the one thing that’s really jumped out at us as a coaching staff is just how competitive guys are on this football team,’’ Cable said. “They want to win whether they’re walking through or jogging through, it doesn’t matter.

“They’re going to try and go make plays. I think you’re seeing that. That’s about what we want before we get to pads.’’

Some news, notes and quotes from Saturday’s morning session:

– Exactly when Murphy received his concussion the previous day was not clear. Cable said it happened in the afternoon practice, Murphy indicated he was kneed in the head by Nnamdi Asomugha in the morning and then had a terrible headache in the afternoon session.

Murphy practiced in the afternoon.

In any case, Murphy looked and talked like a guy who had a headache but didn’t think he’d be out long. He must go through a series of tests to be re-instated. Cable thought that would take “a day or so.’’

Murphy said he had no history of concussions at Florida.

– With Murphy and Chaz Schilens (foot) sitting it out, Heyward-Bey took center stage and didn’t disappoint, although the coaching staff had to be at least a little concerned after he and rookie corner Jeremy Ware went down hard after a 5-yard fade route from Jason Campbell.

Truth be told, Heyward-Bey may have committed an offensive pass interference penalty with a well-placed shove against Ware while airborne before making the catch at the top of his leap.

But the physicality of the play was impressive for someone who seldom attacked the ball with such gusto as a rookie.

On some short routes, Heyward-Bey would make the catch, spin up field and run his 220-pound body up the field looking more like a fullback than a sprinter.

“I watched a lot of guys do some runs after the catch, using the stiff arm, and how that propelled them up the field, so I just decided I got to put that in my game,’’ Heyward-Bey said. “I don’t mind getting hit. When it comes time to delivering a blow, that speed goes out the window.’’

Said Cable: “He and Chaz especially, they’re big receivers. I think the run after the catch, he’s learned how to do that part, so I think we’ll see some difference there.’’

– Schilens went to practice with his helmet on but did not participate, saying his left foot was still sore and that he didn’t want to make it worse.

Cable and Schilens both made reference to a shoe which would give him more support.

– Plays were made on both sides of the ball Saturday, with Chris Johnson at one point stealing a Jason Campbell pass, with Campbell coming back later with his back to the goal line and throwing a deep strike to Johnnie Lee Higgins.

– With Luke Lawton missing the first two games while on suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs, the door is open for Marcel Reece to be the Week 1 starter at fullback.

Reece, however, is resistant to being pigeonholed at a single position. He’s been tried at wide receiver, tight end and fullback.

“I just want to be on the field and making plays,’’ Reece said. “It doesn’t matter what letters are next to my name, whether it’s `FB,’ `H-back,’ or whatever. They can call me anything I want as long as I’m on the field.’’

Reece believes versatility is the ticket to sticking around. He’s the better part of two years on the practice squad before being promoted to the 53-man roster late last season.

“Coach Jackson, coach Cable, coach Tollner and Mr. Davis all have an idea of different things they want me to do,’’ Reece said. “Whatever I can do to help this team, I want to be on the field to do it.’’

– Left tackle Mario Henderson is of the opinion that the casual fan will have a hard time noticing the difference between the strict adherence to zone blocking done since 2007 with the addition of some power blocking this year.

“We’ve changed up on a couple of blocking assignments but it’s the same principle,’’ Henderson said. “It’s been easy to adapt.’’

Henderson said power blocking might be of more help on short-yardage or at the goal line, but conceded nothing will be real clear when padded practices begin.

“It’s coming along real good, but come Monday, we’ll be able to tell when everything’s 100 miles per hour,’’ Henderson said.

– Rookie third-round pick Jared Veldheer continues to get most of his work at left tackle but is also working some at center.

Cable said Veldheer’s height isn’t an issue.

“He’s a long-bodied, short-legged guy so he’s really closer to the ground than that 6-8 looks like,’’ Cable said.

The Raiders had a pretty fair tackle-turned-center in Don Mosebar, who played the position at 6-6 until his career ended following an eye-injury sustained in a preseason scrimmage against Dallas.

– Bruce Campbell, the fourth-round pick out of Maryland who played left tackle in college, continues to work exclusively at right guard.

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  • aig-raiders

    thanks Jerry.

  • J Wiggle

    Where u at O? Lake Jennings is really nice

  • J Wiggle

    I told u guys it wouldn’t be a bunch of pity pat!

  • DirtyRaccoon

    “He’s a long-bodied, short-legged guy so he’s really closer to the ground than that 6-8 looks like,’’ Cable said.

    *******

    Even for a “long body”, it is hard to reach the ground when you are 6’8″ with 33″ arms.

  • DirtyRaccoon

    The pick after the Raiders picked Don Mosebar, the Miami Dolphins picked Dan Marino.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Looks like DHB is serious about his career. All the work with Nnamdi after practice on beating the press at the line sounds great.

  • Fear_the_eyepatch

    We are gonna beast on the NFL this year. RAAAAIIIIIDDDDDEEEEERRRRSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Speaking of Zach Miller: “We have done a poor job of utilizing him in the Red Zone” Cable said.

    Hellooooooooooo?

  • aig-raiders

    welcome back kool…where you been

  • On the beach in Cancun

    Thanks Jerry for all your efforts in obtaining Raider info and for all your topics for discussion…plus your twitter.

    Keep you opinions coming guy, I, for one, enjoying reading your thoughts and opinions and even your bickering with each other.

    The bottom line is that it’s great to be back to NFL football and maybe this year will be one with more fruitful results. I’m sure fired up and feeling positive about our draft and pickups.

    We still need a bigger and stronger center. Maybe we can trade Satele for a 400 pound Samoan who’s currently working as a bouncer in a San Francisco whore house (just a thought).

    If Veldheer could learn to long-snap, then we could dump Condo and save a rooster spot. And, maybe Sam Williams’ scholarship will run out, and he gets cut for some younger blood.

    GO RAIDERS….9-7 looking feasible…10-6 a possibility!

  • Fear_the_eyepatch

    Can’t wait to kick the crap out of the Superchokers this year.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    I was banned, now I’m not, but I can’t post from home for some reason. I’m at my office today.

  • aig-raiders

    been banned twice now but who cares. just make a new name and at least add kookell somewhere in there

  • DirtyRaccoon

    Maybe short arms @ Center is a positive thing. With shorter arms you gotta get your body lower to reach the football.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Chaz Schiliens can’t make it through the walk-thrus????

  • On the beach in Cancun

    The players look all fired up and ready to go from the comments of their intensity and focus. Monday with pads will start separating the men from the boys, I just hope the injuries are few and not too severe. Wow, it would sure be great to see a workout in person.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    I must say, I’m optomistic myself.

  • aig-raiders

    holycrap, Koolkell is finally optimistic. That is weird!!!!

  • http://Noknuckleheads! 909RaiderLifer

    Glad to hear that Cable, and Chazerella are going to look for new slippers…

    Who on the O-line will be in the first dust up with LaMarr on Mon. when the pads go on?

    Langston says I, since they’ll be lined up opposite. Gallery is my second choice….

  • purvisman

    Murphy was wearing a helmet, he’ll be fine.

    what about Nnamdis’ knee?

  • lefty12

    If Jared is able to become our back-up Center and BC either wins or is the back-up at RG,Morris will probably be cut.It looks as if the Oline will be a work in progress throughout camp.

  • Thec07

    Actually Houston had a run in with someone yesterday…

  • Thec07

    If we get anything out of Chaz will be cream.
    JLH if he has it in him needs to step up…

  • lefty12

    Houston had a run in with Gallery.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Thin on the O-line.

  • Thec07

    Oline will be a ? mark throught camp…

  • lefty12

    KK-check out the roster.Besides Gallery and Cooper,we have at least 4 or 5 guards who are in their R or 1st & 2nd year-and that doesn’t include Campbell.It is possible a lot of new faces will be on the team at the Oline position-new,young blood.lets hope they are all upgrades.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    Second unit
    Khalif Barnes/Jared Veldheer—left tackle
    Daniel Loper—left guard
    Alex Parsons/Jared Vedheer—center
    Cooper Carlisle—right guard
    Erik Pears—right tackle

    Scary. But you never know.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    First Unit

    Mario Henderson—left tackle
    Robert Gallery—left guard
    Samson Satele—center
    Bruce Campbell—right guard
    Langston Walker—right tackle

    Second unit
    Khalif Barnes/Jared Veldheer—left tackle
    Daniel Loper—left guard
    Alex Parsons/Jared Vedheer—center
    Cooper Carlisle—right guard
    Erik Pears—right tackle

  • DarthPirate

    Can’t wait for the season!

  • lefty12

    Barnes has been working mainly at RC behind Gallery,but that could be so he is ready in case Gallery’s back doesn’t hold up.

  • DKnight007

    I still have a looooong way to go before I catch up to all the stupid posts MRSBrown has posted all these years! Isn’t that right mrsbrown? Haha. Suck it up mrsbrown…admit the warriors suck and you will feel better about yourself. It’ll be okay…

  • http://tada Florida Pete

    DirtyRaccoon Says:
    July 31st, 2010 at 1:43 pm
    “He’s a long-bodied, short-legged guy so he’s really closer to the ground than that 6-8 looks like,’’ Cable said.

    *******

    Even for a “long body”, it is hard to reach the ground when you are 6′8″ with 33″ arms.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    you don’t understand…

    short legs, short arms…

    means his torso is further back from the line of scrimmage…

    kind of like a dachshund…

    so only a five step drop instead of six…

    a masterful plan…

    except for the part where he falls down when his hands reach his crotch…

    they may have failed to factor in “center of gravity”…

  • Thec07

    WR Corps
    DHB <——- No where to go but up
    CHAZ <——- Good player, lacks calcium
    MURPHY <——- Bad A$$
    JLH <——- ?? shell shocked, can he recover
    Watkins <——- ??? used very little last year
    NMILLER <——- ??? Looked good last yr in presea
    JFORD <——- ??? Rookie I beleive will shine

  • SaintKaufman

    is there an afternoon session today?

    Go Raiders!

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    4:20pm

  • lefty12

    A lot of people are,but we shouldn’t underestimate JLH.The guy makes plays at WR when called upon.

  • SaintKaufman

    Correct KK!

  • SaintKaufman

    screw it, 3:45 is close enough….

  • Thec07

    lefty12 Says:
    July 31st, 2010 at 3:29 pm
    A lot of people are,but we shouldn’t underestimate JLH.The guy makes plays at WR when called upon.

    ++++++++++++++++

    I Like him but question his toughness, moreover he does not contribute in the return game like he once did…

    He will be gone at the end of this season…

  • Thec07

    Jerry, can we get some opinion on how indivduals are doing? For instance what is your opinion on DHB so far?
    I know these are sessions without pads, however would be good to get to hear non the less…

  • lefty12

    We have 2 other guys in Ford and Miller who can handle the return duties.Let JLH concentrate on just being a WR.I doubt he will be gone in the near future or at the end of the year,but we shall see.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    DHB & Nnamdi according to Jerry, have been staying after practice everyday so far working on the Jam at the line of scrimmage

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Thec07,

    JLH managed to get three 4 reception games and a 3 reception game the last half of the season in limited time.

    The guy got HAMMERED over the middle, probably was concussed and had the most incompetent QB/OC combination in league history.

    JLH will be fine this year. Outside of Murphy, JLH is the only receiver on the roster to play the season and actually make a play or two.

    JLH will be on the field this year making plays as the number 3

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Once a semi-average QB was on the field, JLH became a contributor.

    No WR could succeed with JaDAvis.

    EVeryone gets a 2nd chance now that we have Campbell

  • Nnamdi21

    Jerry you rock so friggin hard!!!!

    Great stuffs mang…

    “The Raiders had a pretty fair tackle-turned-center in Don Mosebar, who played the position at 6-6 until his career ended following an eye-injury sustained in a preseason scrimmage against Dallas.”

    I remeber when that happened. Got his eye socket crushed when the guys hand got under the facemaks and just gripped his socket and squished.

    Ugh…

    Shame that…

  • Thec07

    SNB, I dont need to be sold on JLH, i saw the games and know the stats, however he will need to make plays, and he is a FA next year if i am not mistaken…

    Never said i did not like JLH, I like him as he is a member of the NATION, I will be hoping for his success.

    Bottom line is he will need to step up as he is one of the vets…

  • Nnamdi21

    Who’ll be #3?

    http://www.raidernationstation.com/2010_off_season

    Kinda likin Rock Carwright and always liked Reece baby!~

  • kvnbntly

    lmfao @ comment 19 , new slippers thats funny
    from chazzillza to chzerella funny stuff

  • fat kidd

    we need a new shortstop