By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, August 17th, 2010 at 7:15 pm in Oakland Raiders.
– Backup quarterback Charlie Frye on Wednesday will undergo a surgical procedure to repair an unspecified injury in his right wrist, coach Tom Cable said.
Frye hurt his wrist Aug. 5 and hasn’t practiced since. Cable said he isn’t sure how long Frye will be out of action.
Kyle Boller and Bruce Gradkowski have been getting increased reps during Frye’s absence. Boller even received a great deal of time with the second-team offense Tuesday.
Don’t make too much out of that, though, Cable warned.
“Bruce isn’t back (from pectoral surgery) all the way yet,” Cable said Tuesday. “We’re bringing him back. That’s really more the issue than anything.”
Still, Boller looked sharp, including back-to-back scoring strikes to tight end Zach Miller.
– Undrafted free agent Alex Daniels made it in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated for his quote about being willing to block for President Obama if that’s what it takes to make the Raiders roster.
Apparently, things are going well, for more than S.I. are taking notice.
On Tuesday, Daniels received a one-on-one audience with managing general partner Al Davis for several minutes after practice.
This came a few minutes after coach Tom Cable singled him out as the one undrafted free agent who has caught his eye the first three weeks of training camp.
“There’s been some guys who have shown up,” Cable said. “I think about guys like Alex Daniels and his move to fullback. He’s learning it, figuring it out. Physically, he looks to have all the tools to be able to maybe help us there. I think that’s the guy that probably stands out in my mind as much as anybody right now.”
Cable said Daniels will receive his first playing time in an NFL game Saturday night against the Chicago Bears.
– Wide receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey (rest) and Chaz Schilens (foot), running back Darren McFadden (hamstring) and cornerback Chris Johnson (undisclosed, though he came up lame in practice Monday) missed the lone practice.
– McFadden was spotted jogging around the two practice fields while his teammates practiced. Afterward, McFadden said he is making progress toward a return to the field, though he isn’t able to display the burst he is known for.
“At this point it’s something I just need to take care of just so I don’t have to deal with it all season,” McFadden said. “So, I’d rather get it healthy now and then it won’t bother me all season.”
As for this Saturday night’s game against the Chicago Bears, McFadden said he hasn’t ruled it out just yet.
“Well, right now, we’re just playing it day by day until I feel like I get the chance where I can open all the way up and then try to see what I can do,” McFadden said.
– Davis attended a practice for the fifth time since training camp practices started July 29. He watched from a golf cart parked between the two fields.
Afterward, Davis left the field as a passenger in the cart. A handful of fans screamed Davis’ name as if they were seeing one of the Beatles stroll past their front yard. Davis acknowledged the love with a slight wave of his right hand.
– This camp has been relatively devoid of fisticuffs. One of the few altercations occurred Tuesday during a one-on-one pass-blocking drill between center Samson Satele and defensive tackle William Joseph.
Satele blocked Joseph to the ground with both arms and then delivered a knockout blow as Joseph attempted to get to his feet. From there, it was on.
Joseph started swinging at Satele once he got to his feet, and Satele responded in kind as numerous offensive and defensive linemen intervened to calm down the situation.
– Wide receiver Louis Murphy said he has made it a point to keep his emotions in check this year, something he struggled doing as a rookie last year.
On Tuesday, Murphy struggled with a case of the dropsies that he typically avoids. At one point, he slammed his helmet against a water cooler, sat down and contemplated his not-so-good day.
Quarterback Jason Campbell and tight end Zach Miller walker over and talked things out with Murphy. On the bright side, Murphy made a nice catch of a deep pass over cornerback Stanford Routt.
– One particularly clueless fan shouted at a player as he exited the locker room and headed for the team hotel. “Charlie Frye!”
“Nope, I’m Kyle Boller,” Boller said, as he laughed.
For the record, there’s no resemblance between Boller and Frye other than the fact they both play quarterback. Boller should have told the fan to buy a program that features mug shots of all the players.
Kudos to Boller for taking it in stride and going over to sign autographs anyway.
– Rookie Jared Veldheer worked at left offensive tackle with the second-team offense for most of practice, while Chris Morris handled the center duties.
Veldheer is alternating between offensive tackle and center as a means of making himself more versatile and therefore more valuable to the Raiders as a backup.
Cable is adamant that his offensive linemen be able to play more than one position once the regular season starts because only two or three extra offensive linemen are activated for a game.
– Running back Rock Cartwright beat strong safety Tyvon Branch on a corner route for a 30-yard touchdown from quarterback Jason Campbell. Yet another example of Cartwright’s versatility as a runner, receiver and kick returner. It’s that versatility that is catching the eyes of his coaches and making him a strong candidate to make the roster as a backup to McFadden and Michael Bush.
– Cable said he won’t make determinations on playing time and such for the Bears game until later this week. However, he offered this snipped about one area he expects to see improvement.
“I am encouraged (by the protection), but as we talked about after the game, we need to get going a little quicker and sustain some drives,” Cable said. “Third down was really the biggest negative out of that football game. There was some good things in terms of protection. I thought in the second half running the ball with some efficiency. But I’d like to see us get started just a little bit quicker.”
– For as good as cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha has been the past three seasons, in particular, he has room to get even better, Cable said.
“Just being more complete,” Cable said of what Asomugha needs to work on. “I know that’s where he’s chasing, is to try to be complete and try to be the best. It takes doing what he’s doing. He kind of refocuses himself, and don’t be afraid to find your weaknesses. You know them before anybody else does. Don’t before to find them and work at it. And I think that’s what sets him apart. I think he’s able to do that every year.”
As for what sets apart Asomugha from most every other cornerback not named Darrelle Revis, Cable said: “Just the fact that he’s intelligent. He’s not afraid to say, ‘This is something I need to get better at.’ He doesn’t feel like he’s arrived or any of that stuff. He continues to thirst to be good, to be as good as he can be.”