Part of the Bay Area News Group

Raiders training camp practice highlights, notes and quotes

By Steve Corkran
Saturday, July 30th, 2011 at 7:19 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Day 3 brought about the first padded practice, with coach Hue Jackson keeping up the intensity that was missing at the start of the past two camps under Tom Cable.

“Phenomenal,” linebacker Kamerion Wimbley said. “It was great. It was a lot of intensity in the beginning. Guys finished up great for their first day being back in pads.”

Early on in practice, Jackson busted out the famed Oklahoma Drill, where players square off against each other and see who prevails.

There were plenty of heated battles. As usual, the drill failed to live up to the hype, with few exceptions.

On one play middle linebacker Rolando McClain laid a pretty good hit on rookie running back Taiwan Jones. A short time later, Jones returned to the field in shorts an baseball cap.

Jackson said Jones suffered a “nick.” Get used to hearing that word quite a bit. It’s a catchphrase that Jackson uses for most injuries. He later said it’s either a groin or hamstring strain.

Jackson said he is encouraged by what he saw from his players.

“I love that,” Jackson said. “That’s the name of the game. If we’re going to be a team that’s building a bully, I can’t all of a sudden walk out there on Sunday, Monday or Thursday and say we are. We’ve got to become one, and our guys understand it’s a contact sport, and we’ve got to line up every now and then and run into each other.”

Rookie cornerback Chimdi Chekwa’s left shoulder popped out of its socket during one-on-one cover drills amongst defensive backs.

“Trainer!” Chekwa hollered a split second after he suffered the injury. Two trainers rushed to Chekwa’s aid and escorted him off the field. Again, Jackson referred to the injury as a “nick.”

Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey missed practice for the third straight day. He spent his time watching and offering tips to the younger receivers.

When asked the reason for his absence, Heyward-Bey refused to give any specifics.

“I can’t really say,” Heyward-Bey said. “Just trying to get back, trying to get ready. I am in meetings and everything, staying on top of everything and being a coach on the sidelines.”

He said he is receiving treatment for his undisclosed injury. When pressed, he said: “It might be a toothache.”

Fellow receiver Chaz Schilens made a nice adjustment on an underthrown pass, with cornerback Walter McFadden in tight coverage. Schilens made a sliding catch, while shielding McFadden from the ball.

Schilens said it’s a “blessing” being back healthy and not rehabilitating from foot and knee injuries the past two seasons.

“There’s always pressure,” Schilens said. “Even the rookies we had last year. Jacoby (Ford),  there was pressure on him. He knew he had to make plays. Louis (Murphy) knew he had to make plays. It just is what it is, man. We know we have to win. We know we have to go out there and make plays. The quarterbacks are depending on us, the offense is depending on us. Just the offense as a whole, everyone has pressure.”

Offensive lineman Bruce Campbell actually is on the Non-Football Injury List and not the Physically-Unable-to-Perform List. He had ice on his right knee and missed his third straight practice.

Undrafted rookie tackle Alan Pelc had a day to remember. Wimbley worked him over pretty good on a one-on-one pass-protection drill, with Pelc winding up on the ground. Later, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly slapped Pelc upside the head a few times during a brief skirmish.

For the record, second-year linebacker Travis Goethel gets credit for partaking in the first dustup during camp. He brawled briefly with an offensive lineman before teammates intervened.

Jackson confirmed that the Raiders re-signed offensive lineman Khalif Barnes. He said Barnes will get some work at right offensive tackle but not be limited to that spot for the time being. The Raiders are in need of a replacement for Langston Walker.

Rookie Joseph Barksdale worked at right tackle with the first-team offense. He was joined by Jared Veldheer, Daniel Loper, Stefen Wisniewski and Cooper Carlisle, from left to right, on the line.

Defensively, there doesn’t appear to be much room for long-shots or hopefuls to crack the starting lineup. Once again, the defensive line featured Kelly, Richard Seymour, Lamarr Houston and Matt Shaughnessy, the linebackers were Wimbley, McClain and Quentin Groves and the defensive backs Tyvon Branch, Mike Mitchell, Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson.

Walter McFadden jumped a route by Schilens early in practice, stepped in front of Jason Campbell’s pass but dropped the sure interception. Rookie cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke also whiffed on a Campbell pass for Murphy that landed in Van Dyke’s hands at the goal line. Van Dyke dropped down and did some push-ups as punishment for his gaffe.

Jackson raved about the way McClain looks in his second year as the Raiders starting middle linebacker.

“Wow. Wow,” Jackson said. “What an improvement. What a different guy. Last year, obviously, I wasn’t as involved with him that way but I see a guy with a  lot more confidence, really taking command of our defense, is the leader of our defense, wants that responsibility, understands that it’s time for him to play like he can play. Not that he didn’t a year ago but he knows that I expect for him to play like they play. The guys play every day so he comes to practice with that attitude. He brings it. He demands it from the rest of the defense, him and Richard and Tommy. Those guys are doing a good job.”

McClain declined to be interviewed. He rarely speaks with the media. However, he said he intends to speak Sunday.

The Raiders welcomed back linebacker Sam Williams and fullback Marcel Reece. Williams signed on for his ninth year, making him the longest-tenured position player on the Raiders roster. Punter Shane Lechler and kicker Sebastian Janikowski have more time here.

Reece is like the handful of other free agents who aren’t allowed to practice until Aug. 4.

“It’s hard, man,” Reece said of watching. “You don’t realize how hard it is until you get out here and watch them practice. You just want to get out there and get out with the fellas and work around a little bit.”

Reece got a chance to watch the proceedings from a different viewpoint. He said he likes what he saw from his teammates.

“Oh, we looked good, you know?” Reece said. ”You love the fast tempo, you love the hard hitting and you just want to get physical and get back with the team.”

Quarterback Trent Edwards also showed up to watch practice, only hours after signing a contract. He picked the Raiders on the recommendation of former Raiders passing game coordinator Ted Tollner.

Coincidentally, the Raiders coveted Edwards in 2007 out of Stanford. Instead, the Raiders used the No. 1 pick on quarterback JaMarcus Russell. Edwards was drafted by the Buffalo Bills.

“I just remember visiting with coach Knapp (Greg, offensive coordinator) when he was here, and they were interested,” Edwards said. “I felt like I had a good chance coming here and now I didn’t, obviously, and now I’m back and excited to be here.”

”

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  • J Hill

    Jerrymcd Jerry McDonald
    Here’s how one person I trust summed it up _ teams simply aren’t paying big bucks for TEs. If Zach had big offer, he’d have signed by now.

    —————————————————–

    Like I said, pass catching TEs are a dime a dozen.

  • CuzImaRaider

    For what it’s worth I like Huff coming back, maybe he saw what his value was while on the market, and he’ll get to work to improve that value. The process has to be humbling for someone who lists themself as an ALL-PRO FS on his twitter account! He is a Vet back there, and the NATION will accept him back with open arms, he’s a RAIDER from day one!

  • CuzImaRaider

    If we can get, Blalock or Nicks as another gaurd, would be nice. And or champ, or Cro at Corner I’ll be content with or FA frenzy. Long live the Nation, Peace!

  • From the Bay 2 L.A. 2 Las Vegas

    Todd Heap signs with the Cardinals.

  • J Hill

    Carlisle is not going to look as bad now that he doesn’t have to cover for the super duper uper stiffs Satele and Walker.

    Loper starting at LG, can’t you get that threw your thick skull?

    I’d like to know another backup OG that is making 3 million a year in this salary capped year?

  • From the Bay 2 L.A. 2 Las Vegas

    B, sign Lofa, Cro, Mill and Flo..we be set!

  • YoungAmerican

    Still not sold on the RT situation. Hopefully Barnes is at home on the right side.

  • big oak boy

    screw huff the guy cant tackle as our last line of defense

  • Nnamdi21

    607. Barksdale could win RT

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

    Huff is so soft he calls himself “Huffy”.

    Not ideal for an OAKLAND RAIDER SAFETY.

    That pic of him partying shirtless with VY was VERY weak….

  • http://www.aldavissucks.blogspot.com RAIDER

    Gradkowski had a higher rating the past two years than Edwards.

    Overall QB roster still worse than last year.

    1st backup QB position still a downgrade from last year.

  • 1234567

    BeAlwaysUrselfCommittingtoExcellence2011 Says:
    July 31st, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Lofa and Cromartie come on down and jump on this afc west title run
    ________________________________________________________
    Lofa is ridiculously under rated in this league. But where would you put him here? I dont think hes coming here, but if he did, hypothetically, where would you put him and what would be your LB group for this team, assuming McClain is the MLB?

  • Nnamdi21

    Glad Huff is back. The thought of Tyvon in coverage doesn’t instill confidence.

  • Nnamdi21

    610. and from years ago. Huff’s fine…

  • 1234567

    Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    July 31st, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Huff is so soft he calls himself “Huffy”.

    Not ideal for an OAKLAND RAIDER SAFETY.

    That pic of him partying shirtless with VY was VERY weak….
    ________________________________________________________
    And thats another good point. Playing safety does require a certain aggressiveness that Huff simply doesnt have. Im glad hes back, hes experienced in the league now and is serviceable as a FS, but still, his skill set is better suited for CB and thats where I think he shoulda started his career and played.

  • TheLastWarrior

    Dennis Dixon…come on Al sign him!!

  • morilla

    Gaithers tweet makes it sound like there is a possibility he will be a Raider down the road. Just speculating here.

    JaredGaither – i’m sorry guys sometime thing just don’t go as planned but its will work itself out in the long run…
    about 20 hours ago
    Retweeted by VittorioTafur

  • armond

    vonta leach is now a raven. anyone want to get mcclain now?

  • TheLastWarrior

    Leron Mcclain…No

  • Nnamdi21

    UUUUUUGH! Jeebus Joey and Mary Ann. Just saw Nnamdi in an Eagles T.

    NOOOOOO!!!!

  • ohioraider

    Albert Bigelow Paine Says:
    July 31st, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Raider Toe Jam, Davis does has a gm. His/Her names are John Herrera, Amy Trask, and Danny Southwick.
    ——————————-
    Sad.

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  • RaiderSam

    Raider Toe Jam Says:
    July 31st, 2011 at 9:48 am
    It is now pretty evident Al needs the services of GM. His sidekick and him just aint moving like players in the FA market, letting Aso slip for nothing, ZMiller?

    After improving last year you’d think he woulda got some meat where he needed it. Sure he got some rookies but that isn’t the instant gratification he’s always looking for.

    Als’ strong suit: give up the 1st round picks for some blue chip guys.
    =============================================
    he had a GM, Ron Wolf, who subsequently went to Green Bay, found Brett Favre, and they developed 3 playoff coaches; Andy Reid, Jon Gruden and Mike Holmgren. The GM concept as well as a “scouting director” simply didnt register with someone so autocratic. And you’ve seen the results. Please expect a lot of the same..KC made the playoffs with Scott Pioli in the 3rd year he was there, they took their lumps traded Jared Allen for multiple picks moved down to stockpile picks and did the right way, although Haley is a loudmouth, the Chiefs built a team the right way.

    “expecting lightning in a bottle due to draft picks” without a coherent blue print to build = desperate trades and going hit-and-miss on mid round and late picks (the true teams find players due to their personnel dept, scheme and coaching staffs)

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