By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 at 8:46 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Note: I thought this had posted hours ago . . . assuming it’s operator error (my fault).
Notes and quotes as supplied by correspondent Ben Beitzel of the Gwinnett Daily Post at the Raiders’ passing camp in the Atlanta area:
– The Raiders practiced at nearby Buford High School. Chip Smith, director of Competitive Edge Sports, said defensive tackle Richard Seymour was the force behind the camp.
“Richard is a friend of ours who we’ve known over the years,” Smith said. “He came to me and said, `I would really like to run some team-led OTAs here in Atlanta and would likeyou guys to organize that for us in conjunction with Jason Campbell.’
Smith said Seymour assumed financial responsibility and planning has been going on for over a month. Seymour presided over the defense during light, non-contact scrimmages and Campbell the offense with an assist from Kyle Boller.”
– The workouts were described as something more than half-speed lolly-gag affairs. The CES staff conducted drill work with players and there were lengthy sessions working with ropes and weights.
Smith said Seymour’s instructions were “to get more intense, to show the public we are serious about getting in shape and showing up in shape.”
– Quotes from Richard Seymour:
“We just wanted to give Atlanta a little taste of the Raiders. It’s been great. It’s a great turnout. The guys are excited. We can’t control what’s going on with the NFL lockout, but we wanted to come out and be able to run some drills and do it in an organized fashion. We wanted to make sure it was organized and first class.”
“We needed to get together. I understand the fans’ frustration with the lockout and we want to play as much as they want us to play. But when the lockout is lifted we want to make sure we’re ready to go. Any time we can come out and develop the chemistry with our teammates. I haven’t seen most of these guys since we played our last game at the beginning of January. It’s a good opportunity to get them in the south, get them some of that southeast heat and I think that’s going to benefit us once the season comes.”
“I think we made huge strides last season, but obviously not making the playoffs is a huge disappointment. But there is only one happy team at the end of the year. I know there are a lot of Falcons fans down here, but we want to make it a Raider Nation.”
– Middle linebacker Rolando McClain said the there was little in the way of in-depth scheme.
“We didn’t really work in depth on plays,” McClain said. “It’s more just for a feel of the game. Just see some plays and get the feel of football instead of the feel of facation for the last four months. Just to get back in a football-type environment.”
Even losing much of the offseason, McClain hopes to have momentum going into his second year.
“I feel like my second year can be a lot better than my first year so it kind of sucks not to be able to be around football for so long,” McClain said. “It feels good to bget out there and do something with the team but it is what it is.”
– Bruce Campbell lined up at right tackle during scrimmage situations rather than at right guard, where lined up situation. It sounded as if it was more to re-acquaint himself with playing outside than some sort of mandate about a position change.
“I am going to practice both positions, but I am giong to practice moreso at tackle because I haven’t done it in a year,” Campbell said.
– Rookie cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke said he received an e-mail about joining his new teammates from fullback Marcel Reece.
“It was good to see the guys, to put names with faces and get the vibe from different guys,” Van Dyke said. “There was a learning curve, but it was pretty much man (coverage) like we did at Miami. But I had to get up to game speed. You have fast guys like Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy. All those guys can run so I was just learning how those guys run routes.”
Van Dyke and Stefan Wisniewski were among the rookies attending. Taiwan Jones also was present, according to his Twitter account.
– Jason Campbell has had Heyward-Bey, Ford and Murphy staying at his home in Virginia as they attempt to get their timing down and was glad to change the venue to Atlanta.
“They’ve been staying at my house in D.C. and I was ready for them to go,” Campbell said. “It was costing me too much money a week to feed these guys.”
Campbell was enthused by the level of conditioning he saw.
“You can see a lot of the guys have been working out, a lot of guys are in great shape already,” Campbell said. “The main thing is building camraderie, seeing each other gain, keeping the unity we were seeing at the end of the season going. The other thing is seeing some plays, running and lifting weights and running some actual plays.”
Campbell said “all the guys that were restricted or unrestricted were here. You can’t ask for anything better.”
Note: There was no roster of players provided and players wore no uniform numbers or helmets, making it difficult to make identifications for media members who weren’t familiar with the Raiders.