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Brennan ready to be thrown into the fire

Colt Brennan can’t promise things will always go as they’ve been drawn up, but that doesn’t mean he can’t put a little excitement into the Raiders’ preseason opener in Dallas.

“I’ve always had an ability to see the field and make a play,” Brennan said after taking his first snaps as a Raiders quarterback Sunday. “Sometimes it drives the coach nuts but when it works I end up getting a touchdown or something good ends up happening. I can kind of hopefully rely on that Thursday night and see the field and make some good plays and hopefully throw no interceptions and make minimal mistakes.”

Brennan is getting a crash course in the Raiders system, spending most of the Saturday afternoon practice huddling with passing game coordinator Ted Tollner (he’s still listed that way even though the Raiders have an offensive coordinator in Hue Jackson) and the majority of Sunday looking over plays with quarterbacks coach Paul Hackett.

With Bruce Gradkowski unable to practice with a groin strain and Charlie Frye nursing a wrist injury on his throwing hand, the Raiders either had to find a quarterback who could see time against Dallas or face the possibility of playing Jason Campbell and Kyle Boller longer than they wanted. Typically, the starting quarterback in the preseason opener goes a quarter at the most, and sometimes less.

Putting Campbell in harms way against hungry Dallas reserves is not an option.

So Brennan could get at least a quarter of play or maybe more _ with his performance on short notice dictating whether he heads out of town once Gradkowski and Frye or healthy or is intriguing enough to keep around as a potential No. 3 or practice squad quarterback.

Brennan didn’t take any snaps in team session until the practice was nearly 90 minutes old, and completing 4 of 6 passes, including two nice medium-depth completions to Todd Watkins. His first completion was a roll out to the right in which he improvised and found Johnnie Lee Higgins.

Raiders coach Tom Cable sounded as if he’s simply getting an emergency quarterback ready for an immediate assignment, and wasn’t looking beyond anything more. The Raiders also considered Jevon Snead, the Ole Miss quarterback quarterback who came out early and went undrafted, but opted to go with someone with NFL preseason game experience.

“In case both of those guys are still out by the time we leave Wednesday, it will give us a chance to finish the game up with him,” Cable said.

Last year with the Redskins, Brennan completed 16 of 26 passes for 164 yards in the last two preseason games to ensure himself a spot on the roster as a sixth-round draft pick, but underwent March knee surgery and was released Aug. 2 when Washington acquired John Beck from Miami.

“I got a call Friday night asking if I could try out,” Brennan said of his Raiders’ opportunity. “I’m happy to get another opportunity in the league.”

Brennan isn’t a classic big-armed prototype quarterback the Raiders prefer. Listed at 6-foot-3, he looks closer to Gradkowski’s 6-1.

But he’s well-schooled in terms of passing offense dating back to his days in high school backing up Matt Leinart at Mater Dei, and in June Jones’ freewheeling Hawaii attack. Brennan threw an NCAA record 58 touchdowns in a season and held 30 Division I passing records at the time of his graduation.

“ I grew up in Southern California, my dad had Raiders tickets growing up,” Brennan said. “I was looking at my helmet the other day right before I put it on and I was thinking it’s kind of weird but it’s also kind of cool to be putting on the silver and black.

Right now basically I’m just trying to get somewhat of a gameplan for Thursday night just so I can be ready. I can at least look like I know what I’m doing out there and have a chance to move the ball and have some success with that third team.”

Play well and Brennan could become a competitor for a roster or practice squad. If he plays well and the Raiders still don’t think he’s a fit, there’s something on tape for another team or the UFL.

More news, notes and quotes from Sunday’s lone practice session:

– Not a good day for Raiders receivers. With Zach Miller out with an undisclosed injury (he was seen leaving practice the other day with his upper left thigh taped), good hands were in short supply. Most conspicuous was a Chaz Schilens drop in the end zone on a near-perfect jason Campbell throw against the blitz, and a ball which thudded off the hands of Darrius Heyward-Bey loud enough to be heard throughout the wine country.

Tight end Brandon Myers was also struggling to hold on to the ball.

“I didn’t think we caught the ball particularly well during the blitz period, and hopefully we’ll come back tomorrow and clean that up a little bit,” Cable said.

Cable said according to the practice charts kept by the team, “We’re miles and miles ahead that way. What I don’t like is, what I saw today, there’s a drill where it’s a critical period because of the blitz and we’re getting some things protected and getting the ball out, and we’ve just got to make those plays catching. I think there were three or four of them. That’s too many.”

– Darned if Nick Miller isn’t making another run at a roster spot after being sidelined all of last year with a broken tibia. He made one terrific end zone grab of a Campbell pass, and again occasionally has lined up and taken pitches as a running back out of the backfield.

– Alex Daniels, the undrafted free agent who started camp as a defensive end, has a new number. Instead of wearing No. 71 in black, he’s No. 39 in white. He’ll fit into the confusing fullback competition for the foreseeable future.

“We’re going to move him over there and take it out of the experiment category and put it in the realistic category and see if we can develop him,” Cable said.

Daniels has been in at least two fights with his former defensive teammates, but stayed out of scuffles Sunday. The lone battle was between Langston Walker and Desmond Bryant. It was quickly broken up, with a few defensive backs, including Michael Huff and Tyvon Branch, staging their own fake fight in the aftermath.

– If only the Raiders could break up their existing fullbacks and create one player _ the receiving skills of Marcel Reece (who looked very good in that area Sunday), the bulk and power of Daniels, the blocking skills of Manase Tonga. Luke Lawton continues to miss time with a concussion and will be out with a concussion and will miss the first two games of the season under suspension.

– Wide receiver Jonathan Holland was waived injured to make room for Brennan. That means the Raiders are responsible for his rehab up to the point where he’s ready to sign with someone else. He’s out with a high ankle sprain. He would also be eligible to sign with the Raiders.

– Michael Bush looked strong during the padded practice as Darren McFadden is out with a hamstring strain. The third-running back battle between Rock Cartwright and Michael Bennett remains intriguing and a bit of a dilemma.

If Bush and McFadden are healthy, then Cartwright is the better option because of special teams play. But if one of the lead backs are injured, Bennett looks like the superior runner of the two competitors fighting for the spot vacated by Justin Fargas.

– Jacoby Ford was limited with a quadriceps strain, going through a few drills but no team sessions. Others who didn’t practice included defensive end Jay Richardson (sore knee). Richard Seymour (back spasms) made it into some team sessions, and Robert Gallery (ankle) was full go at left guard.

– Either the Raiders are getting a look at other players or Thomas Howard is biding his time awaiting to be cut or traded. Despite his speed and pass coverage ability, he wasn’t even running with the second team nickel defense.

– Safety Jerome Boyd was ordered off the field by secondary coach Kevin Ross for not lining up correctly and criticized shortly afterward for being slow to react. Boyd then earned compliments from Ross for better pursuit to a running play.

– The Raiders hold a single practice today at 3:30 p.m. and have a double session Tuesday before leaving for Dallas Wednesday. Twitter practice updates should return Monday and Tuesday.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • J Wiggle

    I like the confidence

    —————————————————-

    11-5!

  • RaiderRockstar

    I like the confidence

    ***

    we’re all confident when Russell is off the team and Gradkowski is on the bench!

    Go Campbell :)

  • Just Fire Baby

    I can’t see the logic in replacing a D-lineman for MM34 on 1st and Ten, or 3rd and 2.

    Running plays, he may come in for Huff, and rotate Branch to FS.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Gradkowski is on the bench!

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

    Not taking the bait, lol

  • YoungAmerican

    If anything, Mitchell will come in as a linebacker on 3rd and long situations. Maybe that’s why they’re phasing out Howard.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I think a DL comes off the field when Mitchell comes in.

    ***

    taking Kelly, Seymour, Henderson or Bryant off the field to bring in another DB means it better be a passing play!

  • J Wiggle

    …until they play Oakland

    ——————————————————

    So you’re expecting this year’s team to be the same ole non threat on offense? When the other team scores, they can just sit on the ball?

    I disagree.

    I think our offense is going to avg 22 pts. I believe our Oline is going to be able to open some holes and convert some of those 3rd and 2s.

    I think our secondary is much improved and will be able to get off the field on 3rd and longs better than they did last year.

  • J Wiggle

    I think a DL comes off the field when Mitchell comes in.

    ***

    taking Kelly, Seymour, Henderson or Bryant off the field to bring in another DB means it better be a passing play!

    ——————————————————

    I didn’t say a DT comes off the field, did I?

  • http://atm Raider O

    LMAO Vegas & RR!
    -I don’t think Mitchell’s contract is in Millions.
    -BOO doesn’t/ will not have any problems. We are backed up with Real Gold!!!!

  • J Wiggle

    I can’t see the logic in replacing a D-lineman for MM34 on 1st and Ten, or 3rd and 2.

    Running plays, he may come in for Huff, and rotate Branch to FS.

    ——————————————————-

    Goes back to what you said about the preseason games. Going to be interesting to see how it shakes out.

    I have the 3 safties playing A LOT together. Mike Mitchell will be much more than a 3rd down guy. How they get him on the field? Again, that’s my original question.

    I think Scott or Wimbley drop down to DE to make room for Mitchell. Maybe Scott or Wimbley come out. But I’m pretty sure we will see Mitchell.

  • RaiderRockstar

    teams KNOW that the Raiders haven’t been able to stuff the run for the better part of a decade … the run D will be tested early & often in most games, whether our offense scores 3 points or 23 points.

    right now the projected “Top 3″ DT’s are guys that were on the team last year when we finished 29th against the run. shuffling guys around Seymour to DT, Kelly to NT, Scott to WLB doesn’t always yield the best results. don’t forget that with all the hype surrounding McClain, he’s still a rookie and he’ll make a few mistakes. may be a liability against the pass as well

  • http://atm Raider O

    Vegas,

    50 days!!!! That is a crime against humanity and your mind. End the suffering and come see Raider O!!

    Smoke Session!!!!!
    Legalize it!!!!

  • Just Fire Baby

    MM34 will be on the field, but more than likely replacing a LB, as a hybrid type, on 3rd and longs, and/or replacing Huff on the short-yardage situations.

    But again……I’m only a semi-pro, could be WAAAAY off.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I didn’t say a DT comes off the field, did I?

    ***

    Jwigg: please be patient with me, but I’ve never seen a 3 man line with 2 DT’s and 1 DE … have you?

  • RaiderRockstar

    I think Scott or Wimbley drop down to DE to make room for Mitchell.

    ***

    thus making it a 4 man line. gotcha

    thanks for clearing that up Jwigg! :)

  • J Wiggle

    RRS …

    Matt S – Seymour – Henderson – Scott

    Houston – Kelly – Seymour – Scott

  • RaiderRockstar

    3rd downs:

    ShoNasty-Seymour-Kelly-Houston
    Wimbley-McClain-Mitch
    Asomugha-Huff-Branch-Johnson

    sweetness

  • Just Fire Baby

    We need some real snaps to evaluate, this splitting hairs on 3 man/4 man D-lines and UT/NT/1-gap/3-gap/NG is getting exhausting!!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Mike Mitchell playing OLB on 3rd downs = kiss Thomas Howard goodbye

    Sam Williams & Ricky Brown are good guys to have on special teams … Goethel backs up McClain at MLB and will play ST as well (basically replaced Ekejiuba)

  • RaiderRockstar

    We need some real snaps to evaluate

    ***

    JFB: you need to wait until Thursday to find out that i’m always right?

  • J Wiggle

    3rd downs:

    ShoNasty-Seymour-Kelly-Houston
    Wimbley-McClain-Mitch
    Asomugha-Huff-Branch-Johnson

    sweetness

    ——————————————————

    3rd downs?

    What about 2nd and 15′s?

  • YoungAmerican

    Hopefully we can trade Thomas Howard. Along with a later-round draft pick for some offensive line help…

  • bcz24

    No way I am quitting the green and sticky… unthinkable.

  • Just Fire Baby

    I mean Tom Howard is almost gone anyways right?

    Not even running with 2nd team Nickle? What is that mean? 3rd team Nickle, LOL.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Hopefully we can trade Thomas Howard. Along with a later-round draft pick for some offensive line help…

    ***

    We should trade Nick Miller, Stanford Routt & Thomas Howard to Baltimore in exchange for Jared Gaither

  • bcz24

    What is a 2nd team nickle? Isnt a Nickle just refering to any formation a 5th DB? Do we HAVE a whole 2nd team Nickle, or just a “2nd team” nickleback… aka a Dime back

  • RaiderRockstar

    The sight of a 6-foot-8 center could be a little comical. We’d swear 6-foot Raiders backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski was bouncing as he dropped back to pass the other day, trying to get a look past rookie Jared Veldheer up front.

    Veldheer, Oakland’s third-round pick out of Hillsdale College (Mich.), might be the team’s left tackle of the future, but he’s learning how to play center at training camp. He played a little center in high school and scoffs at the notion that he might be too big to hike the quarterback the ball and then stand in front of him.

    “You’re never too big, too small, too fat, too skinny to play anything,” he said. “If you can play a spot, you can play a spot.”

    Coach Tom Cable says the 315-pound Veldheer is a unique species.

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

    Veldheer would be the tallest center in the NFL, looming over Baltimore’s 6-6 Matt Katula, but he wouldn’t be the first extra-large center to wear the Silver and Black. Don Mosebar, who is 6-6, made the Pro Bowl three times in 13 years with the Raiders before losing vision in his eye after an inadvertent poke in a 1995 preseason scrimmage.

    How soon, or if, Veldheer becomes the next Mosebar will be known once preseason games start. Cable said he won’t know if starter Samson Satele should start sweating until Cable sees the rookie in action.

    “That’s an exciting young lineman,” said Cable, who likes the idea of Veldheer locking up with huge defensive tackles. “He’s got a tremendous future. I’m anxious to watch him play, to be quite honest with you.”

    Veldheer was a little surprised at the move.

    “It’s been going well,” he said, “I have been getting used to the switch from playing on the outside to playing on the inside. It’s a little different mentality. You have to make the calls and set your offensive line. You have to know your stuff.”

    Veldheer, who didn’t give up a sack in college until an All-Star Game after his senior season, will know the blocking schemes so well that he could even play guard.

    “If you know left tackle and you know center, you’re probably going to know what your guards are doing, too,” he said. “You can step in and fill any spot on the line if there’s ever a problem.”

    -Vittorio Tafur (SF Gate)

  • bcz24

    Gaither? We dont have enough time to teach him how to give up sacks, poorly run block, and get a bunch of false start penalties… aka, ZoneBlock

  • J Wiggle

    Gaither visits back specialist, Harbaugh says it’s not serious
    Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on August 7, 2010 5:49 PM ET
    If Ravens tackle Jared Gaither was a little more well known, his training camp odyssey might be receiving a post every morning, like a certain Redskins player less than an hour away.

    There’s been no shortage of topics to write about. Gaither has been bothered by a mysterious bad back, and the Ravens had him take blood tests to try to explain his sudden and unwanted 29-pound weight loss.

    The drama continued Saturday with Gaither visiting a back specialist, while coach John Harbaugh down played the injury.

    “I have not heard the report on that yet, other than to hear it’s not serious, it doesn’t look like,” Harbaugh said. “It’s just something he’s got to fight through. It’s unfortunate because he’s competing for that spot and you’ve got to stack practices. That’s what the competition’s all about.”

    Our coach translator says that means: “You better get back to practice fast or I’ll bench you and that will cost you money.”

  • RaiderRockstar
  • J Wiggle

    Veldheer handling TK

    BEAST Campbell holding his own with Big John

    Get these rooks in the lineup!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Gaither? We dont have enough time to teach him how to give up sacks, poorly run block, and get a bunch of false start penalties… aka, ZoneBlock

    ***

    LOL! very true

    put him at RG instead of Carlisle or Loper :)

  • Just Fire Baby

    Those rooks will get a lot of in T-minus 79 hours.

    If Gallery doesn’t start who replaces him? Khalif? Or do they slide Cooper over and start Bruce, or just start Bruce at RG?

    I almost want Bob to sit this one out to see!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    BEAST Campbell holding his own

    ***

    Who ???

  • bcz24

    If we brought in Gaither you have to think SuperMario loses his spot immediately

  • Just Fire Baby

    Meant LG…..sure you could figure what I meant.

  • J Wiggle

    I almost want Bob to sit this one out to see!!

    —————————————————-

    Bob ????

    LOL!

    Yeah, I can’t see him playing more than one series. The rooks are going to get A LOT of work.

  • RaiderRockstar

    If Gallery doesn’t start who replaces him? Khalif? Or do they slide Cooper over and start Bruce, or just start Bruce at RG?

    ***

    Barnes is at LG after Gallery. then probably Pears, Loper or Morris – not 5 year starting RG Cooper Carlisle

  • RaiderRockstar

    1st team: Henderson-Gallery-Satele-Carlisle-Walker

    2nd team: Veldheer-Barnes-Morris-Campbell-Pears

    3rd team: Loper-Parsons-Veldheer-Rodd-Smith

  • RaiderRockstar

    at Dallas (minus Gallery)

    1st team: Henderson-Barnes-Satele-Carlisle-Walker

    2nd team: Veldheer-Loper-Morris-Campbell-Pears

    3rd team: Campbell-Parsons-Veldheer-Rodd-Smith

    Jwigg is right. I think the rooks will see plenty of action after the starters take a seat

  • bcz24

    3rd team RG… #60 BCZ24! Yup. I am walking on this year. I will be starting next year once I get my 30yo body back into football shape.

  • Thec07

    test to see if the use of the word clinton gets your comments moderated…

  • Thec07

    so if you use 0bama on this blog comment will be moderated..

  • Thec07

    Thec07 Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    August 9th, 2010 at 11:27 am
    Just Fire Baby Says:
    August 9th, 2010 at 9:40 am
    O,

    I’m not giving you greedy bankers any of my money!!!

    Do we get an interest rate on it? Are you going to use it to leverage anything?

    What happens when BOO goes into insolvency?

    ++++++++++++++++=

    The BOO will get bail out money from 0bama…

  • bcz24

    Thats ok Thec… I think Zero-bama is more realistic anways. Zero Hope Zero Change Vote Zero-bama

  • Just Fire Baby

    The best shirt I have seen was one with the fancy O graphic that BO used in his campaign, with a L before and after it.

    LOL!!

  • Thec07

    Veldheer is either really good, the org does not beleive satele, and morris can get it done, or we are just adding depth…

  • Chip Stevens

    Colt wont even make the team.

  • Chip Stevens

    Center is obviously our weakness on the OLine.

  • RaiderRockstar

    new post!