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What we learned from training camp

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, August 26th, 2010 at 7:15 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Things we learned from Camp 2010 at the Napa Marriott:

– The Raiders go into the season with zero doubt as to their starting quarterback. Jason Campbell is it, as proclaimed by Tom Cable the day camp opened.

Of course, JaMarcus Russell was the anointed starter last year, but every day was a referendum on his performance and work ethic.

– The offense belongs to Hue Jackson. He was finally allowed to talk to the media Thursday, but what he did on the field spoke far more than what he said in a 13-plus minute interview.

Jackson brought more electricity and made practice more interesting than any Raider coach since Jon Gruden.

– Distractions, by Raiders standards, are at the lowest rate in memory.

No fisticuffs between assistants or allegations of domestic assault. No disgruntled players, unless you count a concussed Luke Lawton, wondering why he didn’t get more snaps following a head injury. Exclusive franchise player Richard Seymour was the first man off the bus and even if that was a staged bit of symbolism, very little that went on in Napa suggested this was a team on the verge of imploding.

– Either the “competition” suggested by the coaches was a sham, or this group was extraordinary at determining its best players.

The depth chart looks the same now as it did in OTAs and minicamps, with injuries being the only wild card.

– Rolando McClain and Lamarr Houston had better be good right away.

They were starters from the moment they arrived, and both looked to be upgrades, although you never really know until real games begin.

– Camp Cable was not much different than Camp Kiffin, Camp Shell, Camp Callahan, Camp Gruden or any other camp in terms of violence at the line of scrimmage.

There was a live session of a dozen or so plays, and a goal line sequence, but as long as Al Davis owns the Raiders don’t expect the head coach to risk losing talent before a regular season game is played.

– Chaz Schilens simply cannot be relied upon as a big part of the offense based on his propensity for injury. Two foot surgeries, now an arthroscopic knee procedure. The Raiders are holding out hope he’ll be ready for Week 1, but that’s not the way to bet.

– Louis Murphy is far and away the Raiders’ best and most dangerous receiver _ and he still drops too many passes for a real level of comfort.

– Hope Zach Miller is in the best shape of his life. He’ll take more blows than Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent. It took Campbell about five seconds to discover Miller is his best option.

– Nnamdi Asomugha is the new Tim Brown in terms of speaking his mind and not concerning himself with what the owner thinks. He’s all Raider, and likes what he sees, but Asomugha makes so much money and has such status he can also say what he thinks and not worry about the ramifications.

– McClain is his own man. He goes his own way and seems to have a serene confidence about himself, while not having much interest in talking to reporters (no problem) or even signing autographs for fans who cheer his name (not a problem either, but not cool).

– Cable may have distanced himself from the direction of the offense, but he can’t help himself when he sees issues on the offensive line. When he does, Jim Michalczik steps aside.

– Tommy Kelly jumps offsides too often and it remains to be seen if he’s a nose tackle, but darned if he didn’t come into camp in the best shape of his life with what seems to be a sincere belief that he’s got to do better.

– Michael Bush remains the best option for steady yardage in the running game.

– Best looking crop of draft picks I can remember. McClain and Houston are instant starters. Judging offensive linemen is difficult in camp, but Veldheer at least earned a start at center and Bruce Campbell’s body and speed alone are worth a fourth-round pick. Jacoby Ford showed better receiving skills than advertised although slowed by a quad injury. Middle linebacker Travis Goethel looks like a keeper. Seventh-round picks Jeremy Ware and Stevie Brown both have legitimate shots to not only make the team, but play before the season is over.

– Shane Lechler and Sebastian Janikowski really don’t need to attend at all. OK, maybe a week, at most.

Coming later: What we didn’t learn from training camp.

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  • http://www.safc.com/page/StadiumofLightDetail/0,,10281~1706060,00.html neilb

    In 1988, he played in the United Kingdom for the Leicester Panthers. Payton landed the starting quarterback role for the Panthers. Payton led the Panthers to a touchdown on the first possession. That same season saw the Panthers go to the Quarterfinals of the British League, eventually losing to the London Olympians after Payton had returned early to the US to take up a coaching position.

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

    I guess I’d believe Sean Payton over Priesttj on this issue simply because Priesttj is so loyal to Al Davis.

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

    Then again, TJ was telepathic about McMuffin…

  • http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_04kZGR_ltmE/TB4fQEZq4aI/AAAAAAAAH1U/H_ihQYOECNo/s1600/Kobe-Bryant-Lakers-W Dakota

    Being right about 1 thing in 30 years?

    lol

  • hwnrdr

    Trade DMac for a McMuffin!

  • http://www.safc.com/page/StadiumofLightDetail/0,,10281~1706060,00.html neilb

    Did he know you were going to say that Bo?

  • fat kidd

    49ers set to unveil weapons Saturday
    Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on August 27, 2010 10:32 AM ET
    The 49ers bandwagon has filled up rather quickly, mostly on the basis of a strong defense in 2009 and some big names on offense that don’t play quarterback.

    On Saturday, Mike Singletary will see two of those young stars play for the first time this preseason. Michael Crabtree should play roughly a quarter after missing the first two games of the preseason with a neck strain. Frank Gore will get playing time after missing the first two preseason games because he’s Frank Gore.

    The team will also see what Brian Westbrook has to offer. It will be the former Philly star’s first work since concussion knocked him out early in the 2009 season.

    The only key missing for San Francisco on Saturday will be Vernon Davis, who doesn’t appear likely to play again the preseason because of a knee injury

  • http://www.safc.com/page/StadiumofLightDetail/0,,10281~1706060,00.html neilb

    Time for some dinner…..

    Have a great weekend everyone.

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

    neilb Says:
    August 27th, 2010 at 7:38 am
    Did he know you were going to say that Bo?

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

    I am nothing if not consistent!

  • http://www.tube8.com NoLuv4Hoes

    Westbrook is a concussion away from becoming a vegetable

  • 30 year raider

    GOOD MORNING NATION!!!! the beauty of taking time off work and talking RAIDER FOOTBALL!!

  • http://www.tube8.com NoLuv4Hoes

    He better have some extra padding in the helmet because McClain and Mitchell will be looking to take that dudes head off. Crabtree is as fragile as our boy Chaz

  • http://blackhole@aldavisshouldbeonmountrushmore Drexl

    Yo Hoe, what do you mean when you say “pito”? I see it everyday wtf?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/skew-t/166654980/ BART Bridge Blues

    Frank Gore and the Niners O-Line should be a good test for our D. They need to give three strong quarters, without major mental lapses like that Forte run last week.

  • http://www.tube8.com NoLuv4Hoes

    Google image search it

  • 30 year raider

    LOOKS TO me like the indiana colts are in need of LB’S and have an influx of WR’S….hymmmm… what would it take to get reggie wayne in silver & black?????????? that should be under SERIOUS CONSIDERATION!!

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

    whistle?

  • http://www.tube8.com NoLuv4Hoes

    Vincent jackson, who’s your mama, and Reggie Wayne. Trade for one of those pitos

  • http://www.tube8.com NoLuv4Hoes

    Yeah whistle

  • http://www.tube8.com NoLuv4Hoes

    Also horn

  • bcz24

    Not a chance they are trading Wayne to us

  • 30 year raider

    we need a proven playmaker in here… need to score points to win games… id let go t. scott right now for reggie wayne if thats what the colts wanted..

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

    Trade DMAC, not Scott.

  • Dude

    30 year,

    Please tell me your last post concerning T Scott and Wayne was a joke.

  • 30 year raider

    never say never… when a team has an ABBUNDANCE of players at one position and lack at others things can happen.. they got a great looking young wr in garcon who comes alot cheaper for them.. never say never to anything when it comes to sports..

  • http://www.tube8.com NoLuv4Hoes

    Umm if not trade for a wr when is the first roster cuts?

  • TheyCallMeAssassin

    Howard and a draft pick to the Colts for Anthony Gonzalez, please.

  • 30 year raider

    of course youd have to sweeten the pot with a high draft pick but things can happen..

  • http://blackhole@aldavisshouldbeonmountrushmore Drexl

    per urban dictionary:

    1)A type of beer brewed locally in northern Ghana, served warm and most commonly in an outdoor seating area.

    2)The real meaning of pito in Spanish is a small flute or whistle. In some Latin American countries, pito is referred to as a rolled cigarette such as a marijuana joint.

    3)Slang for peanis in mexico and/or someone with a very low IQ. Usually used in place of someones first name to be made into an insult referring to them.

    4)”Whistle” in Spanish, but generally used to refer to a peanis.

  • 30 year raider

    # TheyCallMeAssassin Says:
    August 27th, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Howard and a draft pick to the Colts for Anthony Gonzalez, please.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    i thought of that too but hell, wanna win big WE GOTTA START THINKING BIG! this ship is turning in the right direction, we need to start making moves to get better…in order to do that sometimes u have to give up something pretty good..t. scott is just an example…we have gotten players in here b4 of high caliber… ie. randy moss, r. seymour.. etc..

  • 30 year raider

    reggie wayne can be had… hes no spring chicken hes in his 10th yr…like i said the colts have a need they need LBS.. And we have something to offer..

  • Dude

    LOL!! I would love to be on the line when Al Davis called the Colts….

    Al-Hey Bill, would you like to swap your all world reciever Reggie Wayne for our fringe NFL starter Trevor Scott?

    Bill- Hey Al, WHO THE F IS TREVOR SCOTT????

  • 30 year raider

    WE NEED TO START THINKING BIG IN ORDER TO WIN BIG

  • Dude

    30 year,

    Maybe the dumbest post EVER to show up on this site. And thats saying alot considering Priest and Raider O frequent this site. Congrats! LOL!!!!

  • Dude

    Hey maybe next we can call the Rams and offer up Mike Mitchell for Steven Jackson!!

  • 30 year raider

    # Dude Says:
    August 27th, 2010 at 8:26 am

    LOL!! I would love to be on the line when Al Davis called the Colts….

    Al-Hey Bill, would you like to swap your all world reciever Reggie Wayne for our fringe NFL starter Trevor Scott?

    Bill- Hey Al, WHO THE F IS TREVOR SCOTT????
    #################

    man id love to have you as our GM… LMAO.. NO BALLS AND NO HEART… he was an example.. like i said youd have to sweeten the pot with a high draft pick but he can be had..

  • http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_04kZGR_ltmE/TB4fQEZq4aI/AAAAAAAAH1U/H_ihQYOECNo/s1600/Kobe-Bryant-Lakers-W Dakota

    Al would want Wayne and a 2nd round pick for Scott.

  • Dude

    Then we holler at the Cowboys and see if theyre willing to send Romo our way for sayyyyyyy…. oh I dont know…Stanford Routte.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Folks,

    Once again you guys are overrating Raider talent. If Thomas Howard can’t start for Oakland…why on Earth would Indy trade its best receiver for him…hell its 5th receiver for him?

    Thomas Howard is all speed. That’s it. Can’t tackle, not a good blitzer, can’t shed blocks…just another guy. Does he play special teams?

    He’s an Al Davis Height/Weight/Speed bust. Sorry! They threw a 2nd round tender….no one bit…and no one will. He will be fighting to stay in the league and might be on the well worn Oakland to Omaha flight.

  • Dude

    Where in the world did you get the idea Reggie Wayne could be had??? Name one rumor, one source, one whisper in the wind. No way your dumb enough to actually believe what your posting. I worry that your walking the streets if so.

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

    The Celtics may have a slight lead over the Lakers in NBA championships, 17-16, but which of the two storied franchises would win if their all-time best players and coaches squared off?

    After comparing each team’s all-time best players (at their peak), position by position, and doing the same with the coaches, the Lakers have a 4-2 advantage.

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2010/08/alltime-lakers-vs-alltime-celtics-guess-who-wins.html

  • 30 year raider

    # Dude Says:
    August 27th, 2010 at 8:28 am

    30 year,

    Maybe the dumbest post EVER to show up on this site. And thats saying alot considering Priest and Raider O frequent this site. Congrats! LOL!!!!
    ##########################3

    you obviously dont remember that we traded NAP. HARRIS for RANDY MOSS do you

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

    That post was a peace offering to my fellow Laker fan, the Ostrich of Hot Springs.

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

    you obviously dont remember that we traded NAP. HARRIS for RANDY MOSS do you

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

    And got robbed.

  • Dude

    Moss was a cancer and wanted out of Minn. Harris was coming off a good year and was well thought of. BIGGGGGG diff

  • http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_04kZGR_ltmE/TB4fQEZq4aI/AAAAAAAAH1U/H_ihQYOECNo/s1600/Kobe-Bryant-Lakers-W Dakota

    I read that yesterday Bo.

    I admonish you for not keeping up on Lakers’ stories.

  • http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_04kZGR_ltmE/TB4fQEZq4aI/AAAAAAAAH1U/H_ihQYOECNo/s1600/Kobe-Bryant-Lakers-W Dakota

    Nap Harris AND THE 7th OVERALL PICK!

  • 30 year raider

    August 27th, 2010 at 8:32 am

    The Celtics may have a slight lead over the Lakers in NBA championships, 17-16, but which of the two storied franchises would win if their all-time best players and coaches squared off?

    After comparing each team’s all-time best players (at their peak), position by position, and doing the same with the coaches, the Lakers have a 4-2 advantage.

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2010/08/alltime-lakers-vs-alltime-celtics-guess-who-wins.html
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    lakers will tie the boston next yr when they raise #17

  • http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_04kZGR_ltmE/TB4fQEZq4aI/AAAAAAAAH1U/H_ihQYOECNo/s1600/Kobe-Bryant-Lakers-W Dakota

    Strasburg needs Tommy John surgery lol

    At least the Cubs got a few decent months out of Mark Prior!

  • 30 year raider

    # Dude Says:
    August 27th, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Moss was a cancer and wanted out of Minn. Harris was coming off a good year and was well thought of. BIGGGGGG diff
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@2

    ya hes a cancer.. lmao thats what tom brady calls him every day.. ” hey cancer nice 81 yrd touchdown” LMAO ‘

  • http://atm Raider O

    Dude is useless. He has no ideas, opinions, and he doesn’t contribute anything to this blog.
    Dude = Jabustus!!!!!