Raiders practice notes


Filling in for Steve Corkran with some practice notes . . .

— Best news about Al Saunders bringing in some of his “Greatest Show on Turf” ideas from his days with the St. Louis Rams?

It means Darren McFadden gets to play Marshall Faulk.

I say this every year at training camp, but McFadden might be the Raiders best receiver. He glided into a swing pass at full speed and made Rolando McClain look like a cardboard cut-out.

— To be fair, McClain was in the middle of a lot of plays during the padded practice, and seemed to take particular delight in hammering Rock Cartwright whenver the opportunity arose.

— After a rough couple of early practices, seventh-round draft pick David Ausberry, a converted wide receiver out of USC, has flashed some playmaking ability.

— Still no practice for Darrius Heyward-Bey. He’s missed the first five sessions with an undisclosed injury (they’re almost all undisclosed this year) and as much as Hue Jackson says he thinks things are fine, it’s hard not to look at it as a problem.

Heyward-Bey needs these practices as much if not more than anyone to gain some traction and do something with his third season. Chaz Schilens, meanwhile, hasn’t missed a session, is playing hard, catching the ball and doing enough to inspire optimism. Keep your fingers crossed . . .

— Tight end Kevin Brock couldn’t adjust under a throw by Jason Campbell in the end zone, but on the following play burned Jerome Boyd for a touchdown form Kyle Boller.

— Wide receiver Louis Murphy continues to excite and infuriate. He looks like the most polished receiver in camp right up to the moment he has the inexplicable drop. It happened today on a perfect pass from Jason Campbell on a medium deep route against rookie DeMarcus Van Dyke.

— Wide reciever Jacoby Ford was wearing a heavy cast on his left hand and probably had surgery, although the Raiders won’t say. Pressed for a time table, coach Hue Jackson would only say he thought Ford would play in the opener on Sept. 12 against Denver.

— Amazing how things can change in a day. The mood regarding tight end Zach Miller was optimistic on Sunday, with one team source saying that details were being worked out on a deal.

That all changed Monday with the news Miller was in Seattle visiting the Seahawks.

The Raiders essentially let Miller wait while giving big money contracts to Richard Seymour, Stanford Routt and now Kamerion Wimbley, with guaranteed money totaling $71.5 million.

Yet they let Miller, their best offensive player over the past four years, sit and wait.

Part of the issue is economics _ tight ends are lower on the economic totum pole than rush ends, cornerbacks and potential Hall of Fame defensive tackles.

But the feeling persists that if the Raiders had given Miller a good offer before the lockout, as they did Routt and Seymour, this wouldn’t be an issue.

If Miller leaves, it’s a body blow to a team that for better or worse, has seen most of its offseason plan of bringing back the players they wanted come to fruition.

Kevin Boss (New York Giants) is probably the best available UFA tight end.

— Safety Mike Mitchell was out today with an undisclosed injury. Rookie running back Taiwan Jones remains out with what is probably a hamstring injury. With Ford and Jones out, Nick Miller is getting plenty of work and is flashing as he has the past two camps. He’s the modern day Kenny Shedd of summer football.

Rookies Van Dyke and Denarius Moore have gotten a look returning kickoffs.

— How’s this for an economic boon?

The Raiders invoked a $3.5 million buyback to $635,000 in salary to retain Wimbley in February, meaning he was set to make $4.135 million.

Except an obscure “30 percent rule” for players in the final year of their contracts voided the deal. Wimbley made $2.1 million, meaning his salary would have almost doubled.

To avoid losing him, the Raiders made him an exclusive franchise free agent _ for a one-year salary of $11.3 million. That’s right _ it’s illegal to raise his salary to $4.135 million but perfectly legal to make it $11.3, because the latter was a new contract.

And now Wimbley is making a reported $29 million guaranteed.

Sometimes, life is kind.

— Scout.com reported Mario Henderson may be back in the picture. He is said to be in Napa, although he hasn’t been spotted by any media to my knowledge. As for Seattle middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu, he’s reportedly on his way to Washington, D.C. to visit the Redskins after talking with the Raiders.

Jackson made it clear McClain is the Raiders’ middle linebacker and hinted Tatupu would have to move if he came here. Given that Tatupu has been an every down linebacker who wouldn’t take a pay cut from $4 million, it’s hard to imagine him coming here to be a player who leaves during nickel and dime defenses and a moderate salary.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • BeAlwaysUrselfCommittingtoExcellence2011


  • J Hill

    i been playin at the desk


    unplug from the Matrix!

  • inonewordraider

    Bring back doug jolley!

  • Inonewordraider Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:22 am
    DHB might be in the doghouse


    Didn’t want to re-negotiate his contract so we could be under cap!
    Al told Hue…sit him..he dont need bonuses, we’ll try to trade him for a 7th RD pick before trade deadline!

  • DonManoukiansNeighbor

    Bring back Don Manoukian!

  • big oak boy

    inonewordraider Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Bring back doug jolley!

    he was pretty consistant

  • ambase9

    j hill
    he let gallery go because rg let it be known he did not like cable getting fired and very outspoken about.

  • Dakota

    Ahhh what the hell, what is one more overpaid player? Sign Miller already. Give him $25 million guaranteed. fk it. Already overpaying Seymour, Routt, Wimbley, etc etc etc…..give Zach his payday too.

  • St. Louis Raider

    I love Rob Ryan but damn…when has any of his defenses kicked anyone’s ass for more than 2 games a year? Fuk



    Why would we punish dhb by not letting him practice, he needs all the reps he can get. What they need to do is restructure his contract plain and simple.

  • If DHB is in the doghouse the only possible reason would be that he sucks a$$ and has disappointed everybody in the org especially AL.

  • J Hill

    I think it’s rare that a player won’t restructure their contract. It’s been pointed out that doing so always works to the players advantage as they get a lumo sum check now.

  • lol @ restructure his contract as if he is getting paid big $$$$$$.

    How about we cut him or pay him and put his a$$ on the field and play 10 on 11 ?

  • big oak boy

    bush DHB and a 7th for osi then sign ricky willams m.floyd and k boss ricky is ten lbs lighter and way faster than bush and is very physical

  • J Hill

    let it be known he did not like cable getting fired and very outspoken about.


    You’re confusing him with Shane Lechler, who is still on the team.

  • DonManoukiansNeighbor

    There would be shortage of weed in Oakland if Ricky went there.

  • Davy Jones

    Greg Papa via Vittorio Tafur: “Davis didn’t just give Wimbley $29 million to lose Zach Miller to Tom Cable”.

    I agree with Greg, the deal with Wimbley was made (and Wimbley was overpaid a bit to get it done in a timely fashion) specifically in order to free up space to make a deal with Zach.

    Probably get strung out until Wednesday anyway, but I like Papa I see Miller coming back.

  • hwnrdr

    Just heard that Ryan Matthews failed his conditioning test, then passed it, rana play and had to sit out due to soreness….and then one dude in SD tweeted that Matthews is fat due to the awesome fish tacos that they have there….HAHAHA!

  • ambase9

    j hill

    i know shane was pissed as well along with gallery

    lechler’s dont come along that often

    gallery is a dime a dozen

  • St. Louis Raider

    big oak boy Says:

    bush DHB and a 7th for osi then sign ricky willams m.floyd and k boss ricky is ten lbs lighter and way faster than bush and is very physical


    = crazy OSI want 7 mil the next 2 years
    Williams is 39 years old, Bush is 27
    Floyd not bad but only played in 11 games due to injury – not a #1 receiver

  • big oak boy

    DonManoukiansNeighbor Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:48 am

    There would be shortage of weed in Oakland if Ricky went there.

    never this is oaksterdam he will love to play at the coliseum weed always in the air

  • Big Oak Boy Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:46 am
    bush DHB and a 7th for osi then sign ricky willams m.floyd and k boss ricky is ten lbs lighter and way faster than bush and is very physical


    Ricky is pushin 40… might as well sign Tiki!

    Tyrone Wheatly?
    Charlie Garner?
    Lamont Jordan?
    Zack Crockett?
    Justin Fargas?

  • St. Louis Raider

    plus who would want DHB but Al? ha

  • J Hill

    gallery is a dime a dozen


    Thus the LOL by the Raiders at his 8 million a year demand. Countered with a fair 3 million a year, which still too much for his BUST arsse.

    Pass catching TEs are also a dime a dozen. Don’t believe me? Ask Zach Miller, and the rest of these FA pass catching TE, agents what kinda offers the are NOT getting.

  • BeAlwaysUrselfCommittingtoExcellence2011

    Naw jhill im ICON….before he woke up when i go into the office lol

  • St. Louis Raider

    J Hill Says:

    Thus the LOL by the Raiders at his 8 million a year demand. Countered with a fair 3 million a year, which still too much for his BUST arsse.

    Pass catching TEs are also a dime a dozen. Don’t believe me? Ask Zach Miller, and the rest of these FA pass catching TE, agents what kinda offers the are NOT getting.


    Agreed. Just like fantasy football. There is Gates and Witten ahead of the pack and everyone else is damn near equal. As long as they have good hands and can find the open spaces in coverage, it’s up to how the OC uses them — and you know the Raiders love to dump off to the TE, DMAC, and Marcell. Any pass-catching TE would be successful in our system — in my opinion.

  • BeAlwaysUrselfCommittingtoExcellence2011

    Weed fa sho in oakland!

  • Plunketthead

    LA to TheBay Says:
    Gonna go lick my wounds. Dakota much better at this than I am.

    Actually you are better because Dak has cried wolf too often

    When I read “Kameron has been injured” I automaticly looked up to see if he had written it. When I saw your name my heart sunk.

    Good job last night with B. I was glad to see you two shake hands after the “fight”

    The Raider way!!

    Best year ever!!

  • St. Louis Raider Says:
    August 2nd, 2011 at 10:31 am

    DEATHROW 55 Says:

    Just hope DHB can break out this year he has all the tools just needs …


    Agreed…he needs to learn how to get better separation from the Db’s too.. seems like he runs about 20 go routes per game. Never see double moves, etc. His games against Seattle and STL were nice – wish he could be consistent with that.


    I remember watching James Jett’s “progression” as he learned to be slightly more than a one trick pony. After spending his first few seasons running almost exclusively go routes to stretch the defense, he actually learned how to run a nice 12-15 yard out pattern. Since the D didn’t want to waste a S on double coverage for a decoy, the CB had to play 10 yards off Jett to handle his speed. Once he learned how to pull up underneath the cushion, he was pretty much an automatic first down on that out pattern multiple times per game.

    And not coincidentally, it was the season that he added that out to his repertoire that he had his best overall year, including several bombs for TDs. By showing that he could make those medium depth plays, the CBs had to decrease the cushion, giving him the edge to beat them deep.

    Not that James Jett was ever a super star, but in his best seasons he was an effective #2, that gave Tim Brown more freedom to work his underneath possession game. He also had some bums at QB during that era (George, Hollas, Wade Wilson), although at least George could throw the deep ball well. Still, imagine what that two threat mid or deep mix could add with a better QB that could make the reads and audibles, drill the timed out, and throw a good deep ball for him to run under. Lastly, Brown and Jett were the only real receiving threats during that era (97-98), with Rickey “I make DHB hands look good” Dudley at TE and no 3rd WR worth mentioning.

    If DHB can follow Jett’s pattern at a minimum, and master at least one other route to compliment his go routes, good things will happen. Assuming (hoping?) that Z Miller comes back and Schilens can stay healthy, very good things can happen. Granted, Schilens is no Tim Brown, but he is a solid possession WR. Z Miller and DMac are orders of magnitude better receivers at their positions than what Jett played with, and Campbell is at least solid in his ability to read, audible and make the mid to deep throws with decent accuracy.

    Call me Silver glasses wearing, but I think this is the year DHB turns the corner and becomes a legit threat. Enough so that we’ll want to see him on the field most downs as the #2. And don’t forget, if he is justified to be anything more than a decoy on the field, then the team benefits from his superior downfield blocking skills that can eliminate a safety and turn 8 yard DMac scampers into long breakaway runs once or twice a game. That ability is just as effective as connecting on a deep pass.

  • dvrick