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Training camp practice highlights, notes and quotes

By Steve Corkran
Saturday, August 13th, 2011 at 7:48 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Coach Hue Jackson put his troops through a longer-than-usual, tougher-than-usual practice Saturday, two days after the Raiders lost their exhibition opener to the Arizona Cardinals.

“Long practice today, but it was a good one, a tough one,” Jackson said. “That’s what it’s supposed to be, especially after you lose a game. But the guys  are responding. They know what needs to be done.”

At times, players were allowed to finish off tackles, something that doesn’t take place very often in practices. The drills were lively, crisp and spirited. Playing before 150 or so fans no doubt stoked the intensity level.

The defense dominated the full-team drills, for the most part. Linebackers Rolando McClain and Darryl Blackstock recorded interceptions in red-zone drills.

“Anything can happen when I blow that horn,” Jackson said of the heightened physical contact. “That’s the name of the game. I don’t want them to know and have it planned, so everyone is prepared and ready to go. That’s just the way it is.

“You hear the siren go off, that means anything goes, and I set the ball down and we decide to go down there and have a little fun. And defense did a great job. Offense has got to continue to grow and we will.”

*Penalties were at the forefront of most discussions with players on the heels of the Raiders committing 10 for 84 yards against the Cardinals.

It’s clear that Jackson isn’t just paying lip service to the issue that he says has to be resolved. The Raiders led the league in penalty yards last season and were among the leaders in penalties committed.

“Oh, yeah, he got on us today about it,” cornerback Stanford Routt said. “We had a couple of penalties at practice today. He definitely told us that we definitely got to cut down on them because that’s how you lose football games real quick. Like I said, it was our first game since Jan. 2 of last year, two weeks into training camp, so it’s not time to panic yet.”

Jackson has said that one penalty is too many. At the same time, there’s a “fine line” between toning down the aggressiveness and keeping your edge. It’s Jackson’s job to instill in his players finding the proper balance.

Right offensive tackle Khalif Barnes committed three penalties against the Cardinals. Jackson pointed out that Barnes played penalty-free football in practice Saturday.

Cornerback Walter McFadden and backup tight end Kevin Brock committed two each.

“We’ve got a couple of culprits,” Jackson said, without singling out anyone, in particular. ”I kind of know who they are. And I’m addressing them, just those guys in particular. But, obviously, it’s a team-wide problem. We need to address it.”

*Wide receiver Chaz Schilens has a sprained right knee, Jackson said. Schilens is week to week. He did not practice Saturday.

Jackson admitted that he will be even more cautious with Schilens, given Schilens’ injury history since the Raiders selected him in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL draft. Schilens battled foot and knee injuries last season.

Jackson also wants to be extra cautious with Schilens because of how vital he is to the offense when healthy.

“He’s a big guy, he’s dominant in what he does,” Jackson said. “He’s a big target for our quarterback. Again, I know every time there’s an injury, everybody goes, `Oh, my, God.’ I don’t, because I know this is football. Obviously, we want to make sure all our players are out there. But these things happen.”

*Schilens and Louis Murphy are the projected starters based on their experience. Murphy, too, is dealing with an injury. He missed practice for the eighth straight time Saturday with a sore hamstring.

Murphy said he is back running and expects to be back at practice soon. Jackson said Murphy is close to returning for the first time since Aug. 1.

“Yeah, it’s getting better,” Murphy said. “We’ve just been taking it slow. You don’t want to reinjure it and make it into a longer situation.”

*Offensive lineman Stephon Heyer was escorted from the field midway through practice with what Jackson thinks is a strained triceps. Heyer wasn’t available for comment afterward.

Before the injury, Heyer was getting some reps at right offensive tackle whenever Barnes wasn’t with the first-team offense. Heyer played guard and tackle against the Cardinals, and he is being counted upon to compete for a starting spot and give the Raiders more depth and versatility.

*Samson Satele took most, if not all, of the snaps with the first-team offense. Rookie Stefen Wisniewski received some reps at left guard with the starting unit and played center with the second-team.

*Free safety Michael Huff played cornerback quite a bit against the Cardinals the other night, with second-year player Stevie Brown taking over at safety. Huff was at it again in practice.

That’s something you’re likely to see until the slew of first- and second-year cornerbacks show that they are capable of making plays on a consistent basis.

DeMarcus Van Dyke, Walter McFadden and Jeremy Ware all had their moments against the Cardinals where it appeared as if they have a ways to go before they can be relied upon in regular-season games.

Not to worry, Routt said.

“It’s so blown out of proportion,” Routt said. “They’re young. People are going to make mistakes. It’s preseason. Everybody wants to act like if you do bad in one preseason game, you should be crucified or whatever. It is what it is, the first preseason game. We got three more. Mistakes happen. Veterans make mistakes.”

Routt recalled his first exhibition game in 2005 not being something to cherish, either.

“Oh, man, the first one in my career, it wasn’t pretty,” Routt said. “It happens. Mistakes are the mother of learning. If you don’t mistakes, you really can’t learn.”

Jackson used Van Dyke as an example of how a young player can use a poor performance in a game as a learning experience.

“When I talk to the young man, there is no fear in him at all,” Jackson said. “Fitzgerald makes those plays on everybody. I’ve seen him make them on the best in this league. He made one on that young man. But the young man came back and stayed with him the next time, and that’s what this is all about.

“Then you come back out here to practice and, every now and then, I scheme things against him, to go test him. And I got him today. And that’s the fun part about our young players getting better every day. They’re going to win some and they’re going to lose some. What I want to make sure is when they lose ‘em, they don’t go in the tank. And that’s one thing about him. He doesn’t go in the tank. He comes out here, he keeps battling, and he’s looking for the next opportunity.”

*Rookie receiving sensation Denarius Moore turned in the catch of the day once again.

Moore slowed up from an underthrown pass from Jason Campbell, got position on Van Dyke, timed his leap perfectly, and snatched the ball at its highest point for a long reception.

Moore’s catch elicited hearty applause from the fans in attendance.

“I told you he’s a special player,” Campbell said. “He made a big third-down play (Thursday) and got yards after the catch. That was big. And then the punt return, ended up almost taking one to the house. It got called back, but you could see flashes of his talent and ability.”

*Moore wasn’t the only receiver who turned in a solid practice. Jackson doled out high praise for Darrius Heyward-Bey for his three receptions, including one that he turned into a long touchdown.

“He’s gotten better,” Jackson said. “The guy caught the ball in the game. We threw it to him, and he caught it. He went up and made a play on a contested catch. As I told you guys before, there’s no question in my mind that, at some point in time, he’s going to start coming down with those.

“He is working his tail off. He is very determined. He had a great day today. He’s catching the ball when we throw it to him, and that’s what matters. Obviously, his confidence is up, and the quarterback’s confidence is up in him. We just keep on going, and he’s doing a heck of a job.”

*The Raiders opened the game with a deep pass against the Cardinals, mixed in an end around and passed 36 times against the Cardinals. That’s nothing, Jackson said.

Just wait until the regular season, when games count and opponents aren’t sure what’s coming.

“You know how coach is,” Campbell said. “You’ve seen some of our games from last season. That definitely was not an A-plus playbook we threw out there in the game. It’s just something to get on film, see guys move from spot to spot, work on technique things. What you look at in preseason and the first game, is you’re pretty much scrimmaging against another team in a live atmosphere in front of fans.”

Jackson said it’s only a matter of time before he busts out a can of, well, you know.

“You’re going to laugh, that’s as vanilla as I’ve been in a long time,” Jackson said. “That was vanilla ice cream. I mean, there was no cherry on the top, no sprinkles. There was nothing to that. That was basic, Raider football. You’ll know when I decide to open up this can. We ain’t opened it yet. There’s no need to. We’re still teaching our team.”

*Routt shut down everything thrown his way Saturday. He even shadowed Moore on one play, riding him out of bounds as the ball sailed into the crowd.

*Jackson said that backup safety Hiram Eugene underwent surgery for the dislocated hip he suffered in the third quarter against the Cardinals.

“We need to find out what’s going on with that surgery,” Jackson said. “There are some decisions that need to be made after that surgery and when we see where he is. Those things will be coming soon, but we’ve got to further evaluate that to know what it is.” 

It’s safe to assume that Eugene won’t be back anytime soon. It’s conceivable that he will be placed on injured-reserve at some point and miss the season. Too early to tell, though.

*Rookie cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (shoulder) returned to practice, but he still hasn’t been cleared to do too much. He dislocated his shoulder earlier in camp. Fellow cornerback Joe Porter also returned to practice after a long absence.

Running back Darren McFadden, receiver Jacoby Ford, defensive end Trevor Scott, safety Mike Mitchell and rookie running back Taiwan Jones missed practice once again. It’s uncertain when any of them will be back.

*Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

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  • SnB Production

    Thec07,

    If you think guys like DVD, Bruce Campbell and W. McFadden are going to be key contributors…then I can feel confident that Chaz will come through.

    This is Chaz’s 4th season….still within that 5 year timeframe to show something

  • Thec07

    To expect anything more than spot duty the next couple of years is optimistic.

    ++++++===

    Thats your opinion and you are entitled however, as stated lets see what coach Jackson and his staff thinks…The team is moving away from developmental projects and giving guys several years to develop.
    As stated I trust the coaching staff, not the blog opinion.

  • SnB Production

    JFB,

    Going into this season its all about the pass rush. We all knew that going in.

    So if the Front 7 aren’t at least harassing the QB then yes..the defense will get torched.

  • Thec07

    201.SnB Production Says:
    August 14th, 2011 at 9:42 am
    Thec07,

    If you think guys like DVD, Bruce Campbell and W. McFadden are going to be key contributors…then I can feel confident that Chaz will come through.

    This is Chaz’s 4th season….still within that 5 year timeframe to show something

    +++++++++++

    Chaz we know wont ever be able to stay on a field FACT.
    Your opinion on BCAMP is conjecture or opinion at this point as no one knows but our coaching staff….With all the changes that we made and the Olinmen we picked up, if the coaching staff thought he cound not contribute he would be gone plain and simple…

  • Thec07

    Moore is a rookie who hasn’t played a regular season game yet

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    38.Thec07 Says:
    May 1st, 2011 at 11:42 am
    I can see moore starting, i like the way he catches the ball, and makes great adjustments…Best pick of our draft from a value/rd in my opinion…

    +++++++++++++++++++==

    Donald Royal started as a rookie for denver. DMOORE is better than royal…

    DMOORE > CHAZ

  • Thec07

    Eddie Royal, not Donald Royal….

  • http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=eb53t3&s=5&hid=3&tag=my+pool Lynn from Snot

    Trade for Asante Samuel Eagles are looking to deal

  • YoungAmerican

    Lynn from Snot Says:
    August 14th, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Trade for Asante Samuel Eagles are looking to deal

    ————–

    Terrible, terrible scheme fit. Think DeAngelo Hall all over again. Pure zone corner. Can’t press. Can’t play man. Won’t tackle.

  • No Mas Diamante

    The only reason barnes sticks is because he can line up a tight end. that way we can carry two real tight ends and barnes as an extra blocker and occasional target for soup. he aint going to start as a tackle.

  • YoungAmerican

    Barnes sticks because he can play both OT positions and is more than adequate depth. It won’t have anything to do with his ability to play TE (the Raiders will carry Boss, Myers, and Ausberry on the roster). And he certainly won’t lose his job because of a few false starts in the first preseason game.

  • Just Fire Baby

    So if the Front 7 aren’t at least harassing the QB then yes..the defense will get torched.

    ************************

    In all fairness, this is true for a majority of NFL teams. Especially when facing the top tier passing teams in the league.

    My issue I guess, is with the level of “torchness”. Are they just going to give up a lot of passing yards, but get a pick or two, and find ways to get off the field. We can live with that, if the offense is firing in most cylinders.

    Or are they going to get torched to the point that we have to start tossing the rock around to match the 30+ our pass D surrendered?

    Let’s not forget our safety play in all of this as well. Huff is decent, getting better, but probably not great. Branch was borderline awful at times in coverage last year, and MM34 is not a cover guy either.

    Pass D will be helped greatly by our rushing attack and front 7.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Asante Samuel won’t fit in with the Raiders scheme. He’s a zone corner….plays off his man like deAngelo Hall.

    Horrible fit.

    Stick with the guys on the roster….

    My question is this…Will Sanford Routt shadow the #1 receiver? Or will the strategy be the same BS where Nnamdi just stayed stuck on his side of the field cover #3 and #4 receivers?

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Just Fire Baby,

    The Raiders gave up almost 30 pass TDs last year, so the secondary was garbage anyway.

    They are going to give up yards and they are going to give up TDs.

    Hopefully, they will grab about a dozen INTs for the year which hopefully helps decide a couple of games in the Raiders favor.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Khalif Barnes….oh well…maybe just a bad game

  • YoungAmerican

    My question is this…Will Sanford Routt shadow the #1 receiver? Or will the strategy be the same BS where Nnamdi just stayed stuck on his side of the field cover #3 and #4 receivers?

    ————-

    I think the best thing (maybe the only good thing) about Nnamdi leaving is that now Routt won’t have to cover the #1 so often. He won’t get attacked as much either.

    In spite of Routt’s paycheck, the Raiders don’t have a guy of Revis or Nnamdi’s caliber on the roster anymore. No point in moving Routt around just so he can get tested constantly.

    If Routt doesn’t see 100 passes coming his way again this season, it can only be a good thing.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    YA,

    I don’t agree with your conclusion on Routt. He is hte best CB on this team by far…he has to shutdown the opponents number 1.

    Otherwise, what’s the point in paying the guy all that cash? Routt is better than CJ and the rooks. Who wants to see them get abused.

  • Thec07

    Our secondary will be tested more this year than in the past…Our front 7 are going to need to pressure the hell out of the OB…And Blitzing should be a staple…I dont want us sitting back and letting rivers, orton, cassell, brady sanchez dictating what we do…If we stay in attack mode we will be fine…
    It all starts with the front 7 and the pressure they generate…

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    DVD is not Charles Woodson (duh).

    That being said, in Woodson’s first game, Andre Rison schooled Charles on an out-and-up.

    Fitzgerald is a far better WR (bigger & stronger) than Rison, imo.

    If Rison can school Charles, then DVD gets a pass, in my book, for now.

    DVD was not burned, ran stride for stride and went up for it.

    He may never be as good as Charles, but I’ll settle for Albert Lewis/Terry McDaniels level of play.

  • http://www.actionext.com/playlist_57486.html La Milicia Negra

    SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    August 14th, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Khalif Barnes….oh well…maybe just a bad game
    _______________________________________________________

    how do you explain all the bad games in Jacksonville?

    I tell ya, and I have since the talk of him joining us, this Guy does NOT have it..

    I rather see a rookie get his leaning papers than see a Vet that continually cant end a play…

  • YoungAmerican

    SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    August 14th, 2011 at 10:10 am

    YA,

    I don’t agree with your conclusion on Routt. He is hte best CB on this team by far…he has to shutdown the opponents number 1.

    Otherwise, what’s the point in paying the guy all that cash? Routt is better than CJ and the rooks. Who wants to see them get abused.

    ————

    Best CB on the team, maybe. Good enough to constantly face #1 WRs? No.

    There was no point in paying him all that cash. Could have had a superior player in Johnathan Joseph for that money.

  • Kirk

    Barnes s%cks. He should NOT be starting.

    Same with DHB. Moore should be starting.

    Get Moore the ball in space. He has the ability to make people miss.

    Skill starters should be Ford, Moore, Boss, and DMac.

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    YA-

    I am banking on the D-line to bail out the DBs during their growing pains.

    Hard for a QB to complete a pass from the prone position.

    Raiders D-line is Lethal.

  • Thec07

    I tell ya, and I have since the talk of him joining us, this Guy does NOT have it..

    I rather see a rookie get his leaning papers than see a Vet that continually cant end a play…

    ++++++++++++++++

    Yep that should go for all positions on the field…Play the guys that give us a chance to win…

  • YoungAmerican

    Lowdown_in_Beijing Says:
    August 14th, 2011 at 10:19 am

    YA-

    I am banking on the D-line to bail out the DBs during their growing pains.

    Hard for a QB to complete a pass from the prone position.

    Raiders D-line is Lethal.

    ————

    Agreed. Raiders’ pass rush needs to be as good, if not better than last season. With Houston coming into his second season and Shaughnessy being a full-time starter, I’d say that’s a real possibility.

  • Thec07

    38.Thec07 Says:
    May 1st, 2011 at 11:42 am
    I can see moore starting, i like the way he catches the ball, and makes great adjustments…Best pick of our draft from a value/rd in my opinion…

    ++++++++===

    DMOORE will win RON, and be up for ROY….As predicted.

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    3rd and short.

    Raiders trot out a Three Tight End Set.

    K. Barnes comes in as an extra tight end.

    Flase start.

    3rd and long.

    I saw all last year.

    It’s the same book, same story, same ending.

    Practice squad at best.

    Let UDFA from Anywhere University replace him.

  • Thec07

    Kudo’s to the Raiders player personnel dept…
    Have done a solid job the last couple of seasons…

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    DHB Ford and Murphy are going to get the start. If Chaz stays healthy he will be ahead of Moore too.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Moore could become a starter with solid play…but won’t be before week 4

  • Raider On High

    Pre-season, so what, until the 4th game. But, saw some same old same old. Makes you wonder.

    Please no prevent, useless damn scheme.

    Moore gonna be light years ahead of DHB.

    Corners gonna be a big question.

    JC will sharpen up. Need a strong ground attack to control the game and keep the D off the field (meaning cant be lopsided T.O.P.)

  • Raider On High

    Lowdown_in_Beijing Says:
    August 14th, 2011 at 10:22 am
    3rd and short.

    Raiders trot out a Three Tight End Set.

    K. Barnes comes in as an extra tight end.

    Flase start.

    3rd and long.

    I saw all last year.

    It’s the same book, same story, same ending.

    Practice squad at best.

    Let UDFA from Anywhere University replace him.
    =================================

    Exactly. Its the some old story that scares me. But hopefully HueJack has something bigger and better in store.

  • Thec07

    Best Wr’s on this team;

    1a. JFORD
    1b. DMOORE

    DMOORE should be a starter but he doesnt have to start. He wil get his throws and contribute much more than his draft rd suggest.

    Coach Jackson will do the smart thing and play the best WR’s often iregardless of age or draft position.

    Our QB also beleives in DMOORE…That 26 yard completion he could have hit the TE, he targetd DMOORE because the youngster makes plays….Period

  • davidon

    I remember when Heyer was on the Skins and I think played tackle and did a pretty good job. I would move him to RT and dump Barnes

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Thec,

    I hear what you are saying. However, DHB is going to be given every opportunity to succeed this year and will be starting.

    I don’t see Moore getting ahead of Ford on depth chart. All will get on the field though….

  • Thec07

    Moore gonna be light years ahead of DHB.

    +++++++++++

    No doubt however,DHB will be a solid contributor…

  • Just Fire Baby

    Not as concerned about the #3 DB in weeks 2 and 3. I like Fitzpatrick for the Bills, but they don’t have enough skill players to kill us. And Sanchez?? No concern there after we hit him in the mouth a few times.

    But Orton and especially Brady? We need to have our #3 DB manning up, or those two QB’s will just pick on him time and again.

  • davidon

    BTW I was in Foxboro last week and saw the Pats practice. The stadium (practice) was full and the crowd was clapping and cheering when they completed passes in 1 to 1 passing drills.

  • priesttj

    I know the sentiments in here about who should and who shouldn’t start but the coaches are there everyday allday they see who does what from a consistency standpoint. It’s more to the game than just the ability that seems obvious to fans and I know running routes and understanding what the context of the offense is will win jobs. You win jobs in practice you keep them in games. If a guy is doing the right thing from a consistency standpoint in practice they will start.

    I know nyou cats have your favorites and so do I but no matter how flashy David Ausberry may be I know he’s not ready to start over Boss. He may make some huge contributions over the year but that doesn’t mean he should start. The same is true with DMoore because there’s more to the game than meets the fans eye.

    Fans get way too caught up in who starts and who doesn’t especially in skill positions when the coaches see it in practice the guy will play and even start. Moore should definitely play IMO as far as starting I’lll leave that much to the coaches.

  • Thec07

    234.SnB offense defense specialteams Says:
    August 14th, 2011 at 10:31 am
    Thec,

    I hear what you are saying. However, DHB is going to be given every opportunity to succeed this year and will be starting.

    I don’t see Moore getting ahead of Ford on depth chart. All will get on the field though….

    ++++++++++=

    I am ok with that as he will be making more plays this year than last….

    We now have the WR’s to run 3 and 4 wide sets….

    I guarantee they wil not stack the box like in years past…I will put money on it…

  • Teabag

    Lowdown_in_Beijing Says:
    August 14th, 2011 at 10:16 am

    DVD is not Charles Woodson (duh).

    That being said, in Woodson’s first game, Andre Rison schooled Charles on an out-and-up.

    Fitzgerald is a far better WR (bigger & stronger) than Rison, imo.

    If Rison can school Charles, then DVD gets a pass, in my book, for now.

    DVD was not burned, ran stride for stride and went up for it.

    He may never be as good as Charles, but I’ll settle for Albert Lewis/Terry McDaniels level of play.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    LOL @ “I’ll settle”

    settle for what?? the equivalent of a 5 time pro bowler and an 2 time all pro cornerback? That”settling”???

    LOL he is a 3rd round pick (selected much higher than he should have been) that LOST HIS STARTING JOB IN COLLEGE…

    You will settle for whatever you get LOL

  • Hagar the Horrible

    Thec07…good point about blitzing and pressure. The problem, and it always has been our problem, will Al let us blitz? Probably not. On a limited basis, maybe, and then only until we get burned…then Al’s style of play will take over. Always has and always will. Al does not like to blitz and pressure. That’s why he kept Rob (Mr. Prevent Defense Specialist) Ryan for 4 or 5 years. We love Al for the many good things he’s done, but there are parts of him, many of us hate, and his meddling with the defense and his dislike for blitzing is one of them.

  • TerrapinRaider

    The Raiders have been drafting (or UFAs) great talents and coaching them up over the past few years; instead of being one of the major players in FA.

    Across the board, most of the talent on this team is ‘Raider grown’ talent.

    DMC, Reece, Veldeer, Murphy, Bey, Schilens, Ausberry and Moore of offense

    Huff, Kelly, ShoNasty, Houston, RoMac, Goethel, Routt, Mitchell, Bryant et al

    Drafted by the Raiders or picked up in UFA. The philosophy seemed to have changed (back).

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    FA-

    DEs and DTs are menacing, hands down.

    J. Moss showed he can hold the edge against the run on a spetacular shed and tackle of the RB. Something T. Scott has yet to show.

    Thec-D. Moore is polished. I had no clue who he was or what he brought. I haven’t seen moves like that since T. Brown.

  • dvrick

    GO LA RAIDERS!!!!

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  • jasonthane

    Im having a hard time finding any hope in the Raiders when Edwards out played both boller and cambell. Hue needs to pull his nose out of cambell’s butt and make him earn that spot!!! This is another below average team headed for another loosing season. Once again the Raider nation is sucking down the kool-aid. Ive lost all faith that Big Al knows what he is doing. The game has passed him by and he wont give up the reins.

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