By Steve Corkran
Friday, July 29th, 2011 at 7:04 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Day 2 of Camp Hue was even more up tempo than the previous day. That fact wasn’t lost on defensive tackles Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour, along with the numerous players seeking massages afterward.
Raiders coach Hue Jackson said Thursday that he apologized to his players for throttling down on Day 1. They got the full Hue on Friday.
“Oh, yes, I did,” Jackson said, when asked if he noticed a more up-tempo practice. “I was even harder today, I was faster. So, I know that the tempo was much faster. Tommy Kelly will tell you guys today, ‘Hue, you’re going to get it out of us.’ That’s what he said. No doubt. I am. That’s the name of it. We’re going to go fast all the time. Our players expect it. They’re excited about it because, as you see, practice goes a little faster. But that’s the process. We’re going to take care of our bodies but we’re going to practice with a purpose every day.”
At one point, right guard Cooper Carlisle steamrollered cornerback Stanford Routt on a sweep left, with Carlisle leading the way for running back Darren McFadden.
The quick, breathtaking pace featured countless fly routes, which made for numerous highlight-reel plays by wide receivers and defensive backs.
Second-year safety Stevie Brown garnered Play of the Day honors for breaking up a pass to McFadden on a play in which quarterback Jason Campbell hit McFadden in stride, with safety Hiram Eugene trailing the play. Brown entered the picture at the last second and knocked the ball from McFadden’s hands.
A short while later, cornerback Chris Johnson broke up a pass that arrived on target in waiting hands of rookie receiver Denarius Moore.
Johnson made several nice plays, which came only an hour or so after the Raiders learned that three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha had taken his talents to Philadelphia.
Jackson said he was comforted by the sight of Johnson flying around and breaking up passes.
“He made plays out there today,” Jackson said. “He’s competing for the ball, and it’s time for guys to rise up and be players. And Chris is. He’s played in some big games for us and he knows how to play. We’re very comfortable and confident in his abilities.”
Jackson said he’s also confident that young cornerbacks such as Walter McFadden, Jeremy Ware, Chimdi Chekwa and DeMarcus Van Dyke will make their mark before long.
“We got some good young players behind those guys, and on we go,” Jackson said. “That’s just part of it. I feel very comfortable and very good about the players that we have here. I’ve said that all along. We have very good players here at the Raiders. It’s just a matter of us coaching them, and those guys playing as a unit and as a very good football team.”
Speaking of Van Dyke, he got a taste of just how difficult it’s going to be making the transition to the NFL on a deep pass to receiver Louis Murphy. Van Dyke let Murphy run past him, and Murphy hauled in a well-thrown pass from Campbell for a long gain.
Paging Zach Miller. Mr. Miller, please, pick up the silver-and-black courtesy phone. Rookie tight ends Richard Gordon and David Ausberry struggled at times during the pass-heavy drills.
At one point, Gordon dropped a crossing route and fumbled at the end of a short reception on back-to-back plays. A short time later, Ausberry clanked a well-thrown pass near the sideline.
In other news, rookie offensive lineman Joseph Barksdale practiced for the first time, one day after he signed his contract. All eight rookies were on the field at the same time for the first time as Raiders.
Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and linebacker Quentin Scott missed practice. Heyward-Bey watched amongst his teammates. Scott was nowhere to be seen. No word on whether he was cut or excused for the day.
Jackson confirmed that offensive lineman Bruce Campbell also is on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Word has it that he failed his physical Wednesday. Defensive end Trevor Scott is on the PUP list, too. He worked out off to the side, without a brace on the left knee he injured last season.
The Raiders confirmed the signings of long-snapper Jon Condo and defensive end Jarvis Moss. Both players were at practice, but they aren’t allowed to practice until Aug. 4.
The Raiders signed undrafted free agent Cody Habben, an offensive tackle from the University of Washington. He is wearing No. 70.
Defensive tackle John Henderson missed the tail end of practice Thursday. He was back at full strength Friday.