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Campbell adjusting to life on the inside

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, August 9th, 2010 at 7:54 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Tom Cable moves his offensive linemen with the frequency my mother-in-law rearranges the furniture.

He’s particularly fond of running an inside game, taking someone the outside world views as a tackle and moving them to guard. Or in the case of rookie Jared Veldheer, even center.

One of Cable’s newest projects is Bruce Campbell, the Maryland left tackle who wowed everyone at the NFL scouting combine with an off-the-charts combination of size and speed and virtually zero body fat.

The Raiders jumped at the chance to take Campbell in the fourth round (when there was some speculation they wouldn’t pass him up in the first), and while analysts were breathlessly talking up his potential as an ideal left tackle, Cable had other ideas.

Campbell lined up at right guard for his first practice at the post-draft minicamp and he’s been there ever since.

While acknowledging that he can be overly hard on himself and that his play has improved considerably since training camp began, Campbell conceded, “It’s still a struggle.’’

For all the talk of his incredible athletic skills, Campbell sounds as if he’s still unsure of himself as a football player.

“It’s all about knowing what I have, knowing my strengths, knowing my abilities,’’ Campbell said. “I really, truly don’t know what I have yet.’’

Cable sees an explosive athlete who has not yet learned to channel his knowledge and his body into putting his skills to good use on the field.

“We’re still trying to speed him up and playing at the right tempo when the ball is snapped,’’ Cable said. “These preseason games will help a lot. They help young linemen a tremendous amount.’’

Campbell enjoys the pulling aspect of playing guards but is still learning the proper angles to execute his blocks.

“I enjoy pulling a lot more as long as learn how to square up linebackers and square up people when I pull because it’s something I’m still not used to,’’ Campbell said.

Campbell is doing as much listening as he is working on his incredible physique. One moment he’s talking to defensive line coach Mike Waufle coming off the field, the next he’s with his fellow offensive linemen or comparing footwork with a linebacker.

“I talk to everybody, I talk to offensive linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers, just to see what they can see that I can’t see,’’ Campbell said. “If I’m leaning, if I’m twitching, if I’m looking . . . I ask everybody.’’

Rather than play it cool about his professional debut, Campbell already admits to some anxiety.

“It will actually be the first time I’ve been to an NFL game,’’ Campbell said. “I’m pretty excited, but at the same time I think I’m as nervous as I am excited.’’

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

– No sign of Darren McFadden (hamstring) making it unlikely he’ll face Dallas Thursday. The same goes for Chaz Schilens (foot) who was at practice but didn’t participate, although Cable said no determination has been made.

– Cable wasn’t ready to commit to Colt Brennan as third quarterback in hopes that Charlie Frye will be available. Frye went through some footwork drills with the quarterbacks but didn’t actually throw the ball.

Frye’s right wrist injury was an overuse injury, Cable said.

– Although wide receiver Jacoby Ford went through some early drills, he didn’t participate in team sessions. Also out were quarterback Bruce Gradkowski (groin), wide receiver Paul Hubbard (hamstring) and defensive end Jay Richardson (knee).

Richardson said he’s 50-50 to play Thursday but probably won’t chance it unless he’s 100 percent.

Among those who didn’t complete practice were defensive tackle John Henderson and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. Cable said both were “sore’’ which has become this year’s generic phrase for virtually any injury.

Safeties Michael Huff and Mike Mitchell both left the field temporarily and appeared to be in some pain, Huff injuring a hand after breaking up a deep pass, and Mitchell with a back issue after knocking down a short one.

Cable said both were fine.

– Like Bruce Campbell, Khalif Barnes knows what it’s like to move inside and has put aside the feeling that he was exclusively a left tackle to further his career.

“If I can play more than one position I can be useful and help the team,’’ Barnes said. “You just never know when they’ll need you.’’

Barnes has played mostly left guard, backing up Gallery, but has also played right tackle and also been the backup left tackle when Veldheer plays center.

– One of the tightest competitions continues to be the third running back spot behind Bush and McFadden, with Roderick “Rock’’ Cartwright realizing special teams could be his ticket to the roster.

Both he and Michael Bennett have run well, with Cartwright, a 5-foot-8 fireplug, running with more power and Bennett with more speed.

Cartwright has experience returning kickoffs but not punts, and has done virtually everything else.

“I’ve always been on punt return, holding up. Kick-off return, I’ve been L-4,’’ Cartwright said. “I’ve returned kicks. On punts, I was the personal protector. So, I’ve been around. I was in Washington my whole career and that’s kind of what I do, play special teams. So, whatever I can do to help the team win, that’s what I want to do.’’

x-Runners went through one particularly difficult sequence backed up at the 20-yard line, with backs getting routinely stuffed by the defense, drawing the ire of offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.

“Good defense,’’ assessed Cable. “I thought initially the defense was playing it square and staying in their gaps. Very disciplined.’’

A short time later, the Raiders did run better _ most notably a run by Michael Bush where he broke free on the left side and took dead aim on Michael Huff. The only thing that prevented Huff from being flattened was that it wasn’t a completely live drill.

Huff gave a half-hearted shoulder to Bush and lived to play another down.

—It was a better practice catching the ball for Raiders receivers, with Darrius Heyward-Bey having a good day in that regard. While improved from last year, however, this still doesn’t have the look of a 60 percent passing team as yet.

—There will be a double session today with practices at 8:30 and 4:20 p.m

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  • Nnamdi21

    jmello21 Says:
    August 9th, 2010 at 11:26 pm
    To be complete, here is the final synopsis:

    JCampbell is less injured, turns the ball over less, scores and passes for more touchdowns, has a higher passer rating, throws for more yards and was never waived by a team, or in Grad’s case, two

    ====================
    He can be solid but you can’t really ask him to go out and win it. He hasn’t really shown he can consistently go out an put together a game winning drive.

    More often it seesm he gets picked.

    I hope we can protect this kid so he can produce.

    Lets get a run game cranked up.

    Been saying Oaklands going to go hybrid and could rotate O linemen situationally.

    Sounds great in theory.

  • belle

    hi

  • belle

    LeBron finally decided to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat . It’s his determination,, just hope he will have a better future. The website are updating many jerseys for Lebron.For more information, just log in jersey-boys

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    “No sign of Darren McFadden (hamstring) making it unlikely he’ll face Dallas Thursday.”

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

    Well, at least that glass bust won’t be fumbling this game away…

  • YoungAmerican

    Thomas Howard for Marshawn Lynch?

    Thomas Howard and draft pick(s) for Marcus McNeil?

    Thomas Howard and draft pick(s) for Matt Light?

    Work your crazy magic, Big Al.

  • YoungAmerican

    I’ll admit that at first I didn’t think getting rid of Howard was a good idea. Mainly because if there’s one knock on the new Raider linebackers, it’s that they’re mostly unproven in coverage. But I really like the idea of Mike Mitchell coming in on passing downs at either S or LB, which it looks like the coaching staff is experimenting with. Anything that gets Mitchell on the field more sounds good to me. And as long as Thomas Howard still has trade value, the Raiders might as well get something for him.

  • http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/1324/raidersskulllogo.png GG

    # JB Says:
    August 9th, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Maybe the thing to do is keep both Cartwright & Bennett along with Bush at RB. Move DMac, on paper, to slot WR and just be done with the DMac experiment. He seems to be as fragile as Schilens. Maybe he’ll bode better at WR – a lot less contact.

    —-

    I was just thinking this too lol. Seems like Bennett/Cartwright are both tough and running with purpose, so dont cut either and send Dmac to special teams and WR. And if he and Schilens keep falling apart physically then what can you do but the inevitable?

  • NoMoreFargasForever

    Oh yeah DudleyHB,Chaz,Murphy,JLH all Defense Coordinators are staying up late trying to contain all those amazing WR.
    I trade the first 3 for just Crabtree but I would keep JLH guy could be an amazing slot WR.

  • hwnrdr

    Good Morning Nation!!!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Fair weather SD fans. This team was picked to be in the Super Bowl this off season folks…

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer or apparently more dedicated fan base.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Good one Nnamdi!!! LMAO!!!

  • bcz24

    San Dieg-blows has been picked to be in the Super Bowl like 4 years running… they will find a way to choke.

  • Just Fire Baby

    With San Diego it is the same thing every year.

    Preseason media darlings to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Get off to a slow start, than have a great last month of the regular season, than blow it in their first playoff game (usually at home).

  • hwnrdr

    Cannot wait to see our boys is black kick the boys in blue!!!!
    I hope Cable gives my boy Brennan a shot…come on now…Frye hurt his throwing wrist? Really?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Bruce Campbell = project

  • RaiderRockstar

    Cable wasn’t ready to commit to Colt Brennan as third quarterback in hopes that Charlie Frye will be available. Frye went through some footwork drills with the quarterbacks but didn’t actually throw the ball.

    Frye’s right wrist injury was an overuse injury, Cable said.

    ***

    I’d rather see what Brennan can do versus watching Charlie Frye limp wrist it for 2 quarters!

  • RaiderRockstar

    I would keep JLH guy could be an amazing slot WR.

    ***

    NMF: my man! JLH is gonna be a stud with JCamp at QB

  • RaiderRockstar

    last 2 practices:

    Nick Miller drops well thrown Brennan seam route . . . he’ll wince when that film comes up during WR meeting .

    NMiller can’t hold routine Boller flare left.

    ***

    uh oh :)

  • RaiderRockstar

    John Henderson, talking to Seymour, points to his knee

    -Vittorio Tafur (twitter)

    ***

    No !!!

  • http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/1324/raidersskulllogo.png GG

    I’ll change my QB depth chart…

    Campbell-Boller-Brennan

  • RaiderRockstar

    good morning AM crew!

    Hwnrdr, Fire Baby, BCZ, NMF, GG …

    Gabby, get these boys some coffee!

    my treat. breakfast buffet is open

    special of the day: the JaMarcus

    ‘the JaMarcus’ features 4 scrambled eggs, 4 strips of crispy bacon, 4 sausage links (or patties), breakfast potatoes (or hash browns), 4 biscuits w/ country style gravy

    add 8 pancakes for an extra $3.00 served with hot JaButterworth sizzurp

  • http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/1324/raidersskulllogo.png GG

    Lol…


    Owner Woody Johnson told ESPN’s E:60 program Monday that his “gut feeling” is Darrelle Revis will not play for the Jets in 2010.
    “My gut feeling is, I would say no,” said Johnson. Added coach Rex Ryan: “I have no communication there from my end. … We’ve got to prepare like he’s not going to be here.” The Jets rejected a contract proposal from Revis and his agent, and now seem poised to take a hard-line stance. Perhaps talks will pick back up if the Jets suffer an injury in the secondary this preseason.
    Source: New York Daily News
    —-

  • bcz24

    Whats the deal with Brennan? He was a stud in college, doesnt he hold the NCAA record for 58 TDS in a season? He couldnt even make 3rd sting with Washington? Or did he get released because of his injuries?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Jets will still have Antonio Cromartie & Kyle Wilson at CB with Dwight Lowery as the nickel corner.

    FS Brodney Pool / Eric Smith
    SS Jim Leonhard / James Ihedigbo

    the Jets secondary will be fine. They are right for playing hardball with Revis, but wrong for slamming Al Davis imo

  • NoMoreFargasForever

    Brennan played in the spread O in College , UH would throw it like 50-60 times a game 5 wr no rb and always from Shotgun. He has a weak arm and can’t play a Pro style O.

  • http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/1324/raidersskulllogo.png GG

    Brennan released because of injuries.
    Rookie year, was the best rookie QB in pre-season league-wide.
    Right after, he had to be IR’d.
    Then this off-season, he had more surgeries and got cut.
    But he’s a good’un.
    There are a few of us in R’Nation who like Brennan.
    I’ve been huge on him.
    But if he keeps getting surgeries he’ll keep being on the roster bubble from team to team.
    But IMO…here’s a prediction….he’s a “gannon”-type waiting to happen if he can stay healthy a couple years straight.

  • RaiderRockstar

    He couldnt even make 3rd sting with Washington? Or did he get released because of his injuries?

    ***

    Shanny took over and brought in 3 new QB’s. McNabb, Grossman & Beck to replace Campbell, Collins & Brennan

    Ratface just wanted to clean house and bring in “his guys” from the looks of things … apparently Haynesworth isn’t one of them, but DeCrapalo Hall is!

  • http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/1324/raidersskulllogo.png GG

    Brennan’s pros is that he is highly accurate, and a gunslinger, he likes to go downfield, not check down. He’s also mobile.

    But his cons is his injury-proneness, and getting used to a pro-style.

    But he did fine with that at Washington before his injuries. He was taught by Zorn who might suck as a HC but is a very good QB coach.

  • bcz24

    Well good, I hope he works out. Could be the QB of the future if Campbell isnt stellar.

  • hwnrdr

    Same question I’ll ask of Ja Marcus…
    What happened to him? He used to run around in college…oh well…at least Colt doesn’t do cough syrup!

  • http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/1324/raidersskulllogo.png GG

    Well hopefully we get a look at him versus Dallas. C’mon, Cable, don’t be a party pooper.

  • bcz24

    Jamarcus? Ran around? What did they put a motor on the hot dog cart?

  • bcz24

    You guys will get a look at him vs Dallas… Up here in western NY that game certainly will NOT be televised.

  • hwnrdr

    bcz24 Says:
    August 10th, 2010 at 7:10 am
    Jamarcus? Ran around? What did they put a motor on the hot dog cart?

    Ok, you got me…LOL

  • bcz24

    T-Minus 3 hours until I pop in my fresh of the press Madden11 and spank some peeps with the new and improved RAIIIIIIIIIIIIDERS!

  • http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/1324/raidersskulllogo.png GG

    i have to get going guys, got some online training courses to do, raiders talk is too addictive.

  • bcz24

    DMAC just told me on Twitter his injury is nothin’ serious, its just a hammy strain, he just doesnt want to rush it and have it naggin’ him all year… if anyone cares

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