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Raiders training camp practice highlights, notes and quotes

Day 4 of Camp Hue brought about a welcomed break for those 30 years old or older. All players who reached that threshhold were given the day off as a means of letting their bodies heal from the first three days of Raiders coach Hue Jackson’s physical camp.

That didn’t stop Jackson from putting the other 65 players or so allowed to practice through the paces, with an emphasis on third-down plays.

*Running back Darren McFadden looks rather serious about reaching the undisclosed lofty goals he set for himself this season. He is making players miss on a routine basis, making sharp cuts into the open field and blowing past would-be tacklers with ease. It says here, don’t be surprised if he surpasses his yardage total from his breakout season last year.

*Rookies Denarius Moore and DeMarcus Van Dyke split time with Nick Miller on kick return duties. That job figures to go to Jacoby Ford before all is said and done, but it doesn’t hurt to know what you have in case Ford gets hurt.

*Roy Schuening replaced Cooper Carlisle at right guard in Carlisle’s absence — he was given the day off — and he looked the part. At one point, assistant line coach Steve Wisniewski singled out Schuening, let out a holler, ran to the line and patted Schuening onthe backside for a job well done. Schuening has spent time with the Raiders on their practice squad.

*Moore made an impressive catch of a laser pass from fellow receiver Edward McGee, who has experience at quarterback. “We got another arm, we got another arm,” an unidentified player yelled upon seeing McGee cut loose.

*Linebacker Kamerion Wimbley was someone to stay away from during practice Sunday. Those who crossed his path usually ended up on the ground. Wimbley flattened tight end Kevin Brock with a forearm shiver during a seven-on-seven passing drill, and he later laid out Miller in full-team drills.

*Second-year left offensive tackle Jared Veldheer got beat by defensive end Matt Shaughnessy in a pass-protection drill the first timne they squared off. Wisniewski pulled aside Veldheer, gave him some pointers on his stance and footwork and sent Veldheer back in the line of fire. Veldheer stoned Shaughnessy the next two times.

*Rookie right offensive tackle Joseph Barksdale did an impressive job holding his own against second-year end Lamarr Houston during pass-protection drills. Barksdale is competing against veteran Khalif Barnes for the starting spot held by Langston Walker last season.

*Backup quarterback Kyle Boller is well known for his arm strength. It was on full display on a deep pass to receiver Chaz Schilens down the right sideline. Schilens fought through a pass interference from strong safety Tyvon Branch and hauled in the pass, just before he got flattened by safety Stevie Brown. Schilens added a leaping catch on an in route, just before he got drilled by rookie Zac Etheridge. Both times, Schilens bounced to his feet.

*Jackson said that he is confident in the Raiders getting running back Michael Bush and tight end Zach Miller in the mix soon. “Those things are going to resolve themselves soon,” Jackson said.

*Jackson speaks at length about the work ethic of his players and coaches. Long after practice, offensive line coach Bob Wylie was spotted on the field putting his starting offensive linemen through drills and working on technique, while Schilens was off to the side catching balls spit out from a machine.

*Free safety Michael Huff said he was amused by all the stories during the offseason that had him headed to the Dallas Cowboys or somewhere else. He said he and the Raiders had an understanding that he would be back once he was allowed to re-sign. It wasn’t that he didn’t have any other offers, though.

“I could have (left), yeah, but like this whole time I didn’t take any visits, didn’t take any phone calls or nothing,”Huff said. ”They called, but I didn’t answer.”

Huff said he still is the free safety. However, he intends to “do it all.”

“Whatever the defense needs, I’ll do it,” Huff said. “I’ll play dime, I’ll play a little linebacker in there  –  I’m not really too big but I’ll do anything to help the defense. I just want to win. That’s the main thing is to win and make plays.”

 Huff isn’t allowed to practice until Thursday, along with the other veteran players who signed contracts since the lockout ended.

*Jackson said it doesn’t appear as if the shoulder injury suffered by rookie cornerback Chimdi Chekwa is anything “major.” Chekwa’s left arm is in a sling as a result of his shoulder popping out during a drill Saturday.

*Jackson said that receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is day to day. Neither Jackson nor Heyward-Bey will say what’s wrong with Heyward-Bey. He has not practiced since camp began Thursday.

*Chris Johnson said he is eager to get back in the starting lineup after losing the job to Stanford Routt last season. The opportunity is there now that Nnamdi Asomugha no longer is around to lay claim to the right side.

“I always looked as myself as a starter in this league,” Johnson said. “My whole thing was, once I lost that starting spot last year, I always looked at myself as a starter, so I don’t really worry about getting back in the lineup. It’s just a business. And like I said, at the same, I’ve been hungry the whole time so it’s just my time to get back in and do what I know I can do and show everybody what I can do.”

*Shaughnessy is the hardest-working player in camp, according to Jackson. It’s only a matter of time before he gets the kind of leaguewide recognition he deserves, Jackson added.

“I’ve said earlier this year, that I think he’s about to hit his stride and I really believe that,” Jackson said. “I think he’s close. He’s got to do it consistently over time, like any players does in this league that people say are great players. But he works at it and there’s not a harder worker on this football team and there’s not another player with more desire than he has, so he’s getting there. He’s very close in my opinion.”

*Jackson spent an inordinate amount of time talking about the myriad players who have shined during the early part of camp. We’ll let Hue take it from here:

“I’m not going to tell you that there’s a surprise,” Jackson said. “I’m very excited about what our quarterback is doing. I think Jason (Campbell) is doing a fantastic job. He’s doing really good job. (Rolando) McClain, is doing a good job. Tyvon Branch is everything I’ve said he is. I feel very comfortable where he is and where he’s going.

“Obviously, Jared Veldheer, he’s second year in the league. (Stefen) Wisniewski, I mean ’cause he’s playing center. He’s playing a lot of snaps and he’s running the show up there and he’s done a tremendous job. Obviously, Louis Murphy today just had an outstanding day.

“But there’s so many players I could talk about, individually, but collectively, I think our whole team is starting to get it, of what it takes to play, week in and week out, day in and day out every time you walk out here on this field, to get better. That’s probably what I’m most excited about. The team, the attitude, the conviction of coming out here with a purpose to play. I mean, there’s young men out there now working at their skill. That’s what it takes. These guys what to be good and there’s no substitute for hard work.”

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Steve Corkran

  • CuzImaRaider

    Steve, awesome!

  • http://poopreport.com MuddButt

    Al getting T Edwards was a smart move if you think about the big picture (Als’ picture).

    He’s got players out there on the practice field. Returners and draftees.

    What the big man did was to go out and get coaches and put the pressure on them. Hue can handle the pressure. But if the Raiders dont win, Al will have steam coming out of his ears.

    Frye will get cut and Edwards and Boeller can duke it out for 2 & 3. Al is done spending. Probably felt he spent more on coaches this year than ever before, so it is on them.

    I like it.

  • Raiders for life

    thats alot of wants get edwards on an incentive loaded deal and T.O. as well

    ##########################

    Can Owens still walk? I thought he was hobblin around at St. mercy hospital.
    Jokin aside I’m good with little Nicky, at least he can get his bell rung and not biach an moan about it.
    I know nick is getting cut, just saying.

  • http://poopreport.com MuddButt

    Another thought Al may of had, by not going after players in the FA market, he’s saying to the players hes’ got out there that he has confidence in them. Why get a Heap or a Ocho or Plax or anybody when he’s got the guys hes’ got.

    And fist slam the pressure onto the coaches to make them winners.

    Gotta love it.

  • CuzImaRaider

    Raiders for life Says:
    July 31st, 2011 at 10:14 pm
    92.The Realist Dirty Raccoon Says:
    July 31st, 2011 at 9:20 pm
    PlunkforHOF Says:
    July 31st, 2011 at 8:38 pm
    Excellent post Steve.. Thanks

    Raccoon- If you drape a CODE BLACK 2011 banner at Piled High Stadium… what else could be said other than YOU ARE THE MAN!
    :::::::::

    I got big Silver and Black Balls bro, it shall be done!

    ################################

    The NATION will owe you a high five and a pitcher of beer.

    ————————————————

    This is cool!

  • http://poopreport.com MuddButt

    Al has all the faith in the world in Hue to make these guys winners. Losing isnt even in the equation.

  • Raiders for life

    68.hendu Says:
    July 31st, 2011 at 7:36 pm
    JHill,not with ya on this one!Dave Casper,Todd C,Raymond Chester,all GREAT receivers,MONEY players!!The RAIDERS have always looked to the Tight End,period!Miller may have the BEST hands on the Team,cant think of anyone else,can anyone?That said,RAIDERS!!!!!!!

    ##########################

    Good solid point.

  • Raider J

    73. SilverNutSack Says:
    July 31st, 2011 at 8:48 pm
    jmackraider16 Says:
    July 31st, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    64. -”I’m beginning to feel we don’t need that vet WR”

    Moore is our guy..shotgun 4 wr..shilenz and moore in the slots, murphy and ford out wide
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I feel where y’all are coming from but a vet WR who can make plays for 1-2 seasons and show this young receiving corps some nuances of the position that only come with experience will help build a stronger future. Coach Val a’int enough.

    I’m thinking Derrick Mason.

  • big oak boy

    derrick went to a superbowl right i will take that

  • armond

    why did everyone make a big deal about the raiders being over the cap when dallas had to cut hella players to sign some of their own? raiders werent any worse off than some other teams and some of yall just staight biotched. i believe we will sign a few quality guys this week now that the market is dry. there are several players that have gotten a reality check. now is when u clean up and get a lot of depth for cheap.

  • http://www.tedhendricks.com/Ted_vs_Montana.jpg BigTed707

    INITIATE CODE BLACK

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

    Against All Odds: NFL Players Association Emerges From Lockout as Bruised, Battered Victors
    By Dave Zirin
    Print this article

    A sports media consensus on the end of the NFL lockout has already emerged. Like six year old kids getting trophies after soccer practice, everyone’s a winner. As Don Banks at Sports Illustrated, assessed, thrilled that the golden goose will lay eggs another day, “Neither side got everything they wanted, but good negotiations are like that. Now that this CBA fight is almost over, and labor peace seems finally at hand, both the players and the owners have the right to claim success.”

    These parroted assessments, by focusing on the final score, miss the true, overarching story of the longest work stoppage in NFL history: at the opening kickoff, the sides weren’t close to evenly matched. I think that what the NFLPA has done is the equivalent of the Bad News Bears squeaking out a victory against the 1927 New York Yankees. It’s The Haiti Kid taking down King Kong Bundy. It’s workers, in an age of austerity, beating back the bosses and showing that solidarity is the only way to win.

    When the lockout began, NFL’s owners had, in their judgment, and frankly mine as well, every possible advantage. They had a promise from their television partners of four billion dollars in “lockout insurance” even if the games didn’t air. They had a workforce with a career shelf-life of 3.4 years, understandably skittish about missing a single paycheck. And most critically, they had what they thought was overwhelming public opinion. After all, in past labor disputes, fans sided against those who “get paid to play a game.” Owners wanted more money and longer seasons and approached negotiations with an arrogance that would shame a Murdoch spawn.

    I remember talking to NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith at the start of this process, and hearing his optimism in the face of these odds, as he spoke of the bravery of workers in Wisconsin and the people of Egypt who he said were inspiring him to fight the good fight. He mentioned the books he was reading like the classic Civil Rights history Parting the Waters: America in the King Years by Taylor Branch. I remember smiling politely at De Smith and thinking, “This guy is going to get creamed.”

    I was very wrong. I didn’t count on Judge David Doty, a Reagan appointee, putting an injunction on that four billion dollar lockout slush fund, taking away the owner’s financial upper hand. I didn’t count on the way that health and safety issues would bond the players together, making defections among the 1,900 players nonexistent. I didn’t count on the way many fans, upset at the lockout and well-educated on the after-effects of the brutality of the sport, would side with the players. I lastly didn’t count on the way that reservoirs of bitterness felt by NFL players and the union would bind them together against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and an ownership group that had just lied to them once too often.

    They stuck it out and now, the end results of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, look quite good for players. We are looking at a 10 year CBA in which minimum salaries will go up 10% a year for the life of the agreement. Players get a slightly lower % of revenues (about 46% down from 50%), but they will receive 55% of future national media revenue, which, will mushroom in the years ahead. Teams also will now have to spend at least 90% of the salary cap on actual salaries. In other words, there won’t just be a salary cap there will be a salary floor. In return, rookies will need to sign four year contracts that are scaled at a lower rate. The net affect of all of this, is that veteran salaries will go up perhaps quite dramatically, and if players can stay healthy beyond that fourth year, they will be very well compensated.

    But there’s the rub. If the average career is only 3.4 years, how can players be ensured to stay healthy enough to get the big payday? Here is where I think the NFLPA made the most headway. Not only did they beat back the owner’s dream of an 18 game season, they also negotiated a much less arduous off-season regimen. The off-season program will now be five weeks shorter. There will be more days off. Full-contact practices are going to be greatly curtailed. This matters because in will limit not just the wear and tear on players bodies, but also concussions and other brain injuries which are far more likely to happen in repetitive drills than in games.

    Also when careers finally do end, players can now be a part of the NFL’s health plan for life. This is a mammoth deal for players who previously were kicked off of all plans five years after retirement. Getting private insurance after playing in the NFL is a nightmare, as your body is a spiderweb of pre-existing conditions. Retirees also will now receive up to a $1 billion increase in benefits, with $620 million going to increasing pensions for those who retired before 1993.

    Yes, owners received a bigger piece of the pie, and yes they received their rookie pay scale. Yes, I agree with Brian Frederick, director of the Sports Fans Coalition, who commented today, that it’s a problem that “Fans were forced to sit on the sidelines during these negotiations, despite the massive public subsidies and antitrust exemptions we grant the league.” This is especially true given the fact that, as SFC reported, “Thirty-one of the 32 NFL stadiums have received direct public subsidies. Ten of those have been publicly financed and at least 19 are 75% publicly financed.”

    But in the end, this deal – against all odds – is a victory for players, their families, their health, and their long-term financial solvency. It’s also an example for workers across the country. There is power in labor and there is power in solidarity.

    http://www.edgeofsports.com/2011-07-25-639/index.html

  • BeAlwaysUrselfCommittingtoExcellence2011

    Armond….i dont have a long way to go at all. DHB just sux man. Even guys who I campaigned for in the past…fked up or didnt perform aand they had to go. All this nice guy schit has brought us what lately? We need to wait to find out if a guy sucks? How long did we wait for Gallery? We cant do that again. This guy dhb aint did nada and year 3 as I did with russell its put up or shut up. No more excuses……good nite

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

    So…Trent Edwards, Michael Huff…and who else?

    Out of a free agent pool that included Chad OchoCinco, Albert Haynesworth, Nnamdi Asomugha, Antonio Cromartie, Plaxico Burress, and numerous other big names? Edwards, Huff, some lineman, forgot his name… Can’t they see that the Raiders are heading upward under Hue Jackson? Weird.

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

    Correction…some of those guys were traded. Nonetheless, they were on the market, either via the trading block or free agency. I wonder why the Raiders hardly made a splash this year. Usually when a team’s heading upward, players are tripping over themselves to get there. Just doesn’t compute.

  • http://www.wasRaider75.com wasbanned

    Al made some bad deals, the Nnamdi deal a few years back to name one, and the Russell contract for another, so getting his own back this year will have to be enough.

    These guys can win, but they have to play better than they did last year.

    Go Raiders!

  • big oak boy

    165 good point

  • Davy Jones

    Correction…some of those guys were traded. Nonetheless, they were on the market, either via the trading block or free agency. I wonder why the Raiders hardly made a splash this year. Usually when a team’s heading upward, players are tripping over themselves to get there. Just doesn’t compute.

    =========================================================

    Oh Boo Frickety Hoo. Al has learned from Javon Walker and DeAngelo Hall to cautious in FA and NOT dole out insane money deals, but instead to wait for the bargains, particularly in a year where there is no cap room.

    So this time your b*tch is that by not throwing the monopolu money around, Al Davis isn’t acting enough like Al Davis to suit you? You should be happy about his frugality and caution . . . unless you are a troll and a non-fan who just looks for reasons to be a malcontent.

    If Miller is signed, considering the cap situation, this FA is a win for Al Davis 100%. Nnamdi was going to leave any way.

  • DonManoukiansNeighbor

    It’s just curious that they refuse to talk about what’s wrong with DHB. Every other player that is NICKED up they have said what is wrong. Maybe it’s something to do with his contract. Incentives that aren’t reached he doesn’t get a bonus or something.

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