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Training camp practice highlights, notes and quotes (8-24-11)

Most of coach Hue Jackson’s “toys” were on full display during practice Wednesday, which meant a steady diet of running back Darren McFadden up the gut, wide receiver Jacoby Ford in full sprint down the sideline and rookie running back Taiwan Jones blow past defenders as if he were on ice skates.

Jackson can’t contain himself when talking about those players, and watching them up close offers a valid reason why, as well as a glimpse into how explosive the Raiders offense can be this season.

On Wednesday, Jones sprinted into the secondary a few times, turned on the speed and raced past defenders and into the end zone in no time.

“He’s fast, man,” Jackson said. “God can this guy run. He’s extremely fast but he’s very … he’s very nimble and he’s very smooth. I don’t think sometimes you know he’s running that fast.”

Jones is far more than a speedburner, Jackson said. He stands 6-feet and weighs 195 pounds but don’t be fooled by his size.

“For a guy that’s built like he is, he’s very physical,” Jackson said. “There’s a lot of velocity behind the man when he runs into a pile. I’ve been excited watching him out here practice and we’re going to make sure we can crank him up this week and let him run.”

McFadden hears about how fast he is all the time. Now, he has someone who he can rave about.

“Man, he’s fast,” McFadden said. “Like lightning. I was watching him. He was just hitting holes. You see him put his foot in the ground. He was moving.”

*Well, scratch Kirk Morrison off the list of potential linebackers the Raiders might bring in to help fill the void created by the left knee injury to backup Travis Goethel. Morrison signed with the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday afternoon.

The Raiders didn’t sign any linebackers Wednesday. However, Jackson said the Raiders will continue to look at any players, at any position, who can make the Raiders a better team.

*An injury to veteran tight end Brandon Myers midway through practice left the Raiders with only two healthy tight ends — first-year player Kevin Brock and rookie Richard Gordon.

Myers was kicked in the foot by a teammate in a passing drill, and he was escorted off the field by a trainer after being tended to on the sideline.

Projected starter Kevin Boss (knee) and rookie David Ausberry (undisclosed injury) already are sidelined. Boss is listed as week to week, and he likely won’t play against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night. Ausberry said Wednesday that he “should play Sunday.”

Gordon and Brock made nice catches of high throws Wednesday, showing that they can be counted upon if needed.

“I just play the role that they tell me to play,” Gordon said. “If they ask me to go catch passes, I catch passes, but mostly they brought me in for blocking. I can transition anytime they ask me to.”

*On Tuesday, Shane Lechler punted a ball that traveled 80 yards in the air. It was kicker Sebastian Janikowski’s turn to take center stage Wednesday.

Janikowski lined up for a 64-yard field-goal attempt at the end of practice, with the eyes of his teammates, coaches and friends fixed upon him. The kick sailed through the uprights, to the delight of fans and teammates.

Jackson then backed up Janikowski 5 yards and let him attempt a 69-yarder. The ball appeared to have the distance, but Janikowski said it came up a foot or so short. Janikowski said he drilled a 70-yarder the other day.

“I missed the second one,” Janikowski said. “I didn’t hit it good.”

Jackson said he is comfortable with Janikowski kicking from anywhere on the “plus side” of the field, meaning from 59 yards and closer.

“I’ve been around  four other teams and I’ve never seen a guy kick a ball like that,” Jackson said. “It’s not like he’s taking a running start. The guy takes two steps and, boom, there goes the ball, it goes through the uprights.”

Janikowski’s career-best is the 61-yarder he made against the Cleveland Browns in 2009, in the snow. The NFL record is 63 yards — Tom Dempsey in 1970 and Jason Elam in 1998.

*The Raiders have been waiting for one of their four first- and second-year cornerbacks to step up and separate themselves from the pack. Ladies and gentlemen, Jeremy Ware.

On Wednesday, Ware ran stride for stride with rookie receiver Denarius Moore on a fly route and denied Moore an opportunity to make a play on an overthrown pass. He later knocked away a deep pass intended for receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey.

That’s the kind of production Jackson is hoping to see from Ware, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Walter McFadden and Chimdi Chekwa, as he seeks reliable options at nickel and dime back.

*Eighteen players missed practice Wednesday, including defensive tackle Richard Seymour, middle linebacker Rolando McClain, Boss, cornerback Chris Johnson and receiver Chaz Schilens.

Jackson said he is confiden that most of those players will be back pretty soon and that the Raiders will be at full strength in time for the regular-season opener Sept. 12.

*The last time the Raiders played the Saints in an exhibition game, Saints quarterback Drew Brees completed 14 of 17 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns in a little more than one quarter of play.

Guess who’s coming to town Sunday night? Here comes Mr. Brees and his high-flying offense once again. Jackson said it poses “an unbelievable test” for his cornerbacks.

Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said forget about how he and his defensive mates played in the first two exhibition games. Sunday night’s game will be the litmus test.

“(Brees) gets the ball out of his hands, he makes great decisions with the ball,” Kelly said. “They have got people on the outside that can scare you. They have a real complete offense. We’ll pretty much know if we’re headed in the right direction after Sunday night.”

*Quarterback Terrelle Pryor still hasn’t signed a contract with the Raiders. Until he does, he isn’t allowed to join his teammates in Napa.

Jackson said Pryor will be here in due time and that the focus needs to be on the players who are here right now.

“I’m sure when he walks in this place, everybody will know that he’s here,” Jackson said. “Again, he’s just a piece of the story. The true story that’s going on right now is this football team and the chance that we have to be a very good team.”

*Finally caught up with veteran receiver Derek Hagan to ask him his thoughts on Jackson crediting part of his success to avoiding the trap of getting caught up in playing video games at night.

“No, I don’t play X-box too much,” Hagan said. “I do, but there’s no reason. We’re in training camp, and you shouldn’t even be playing video games. You got to get your study time in. This is my job, this is my profession and it’s something I love to do. I try to stick what I do best and that’s playing football.”

Spend a few minutes with Hagan or watch him practice, and it’s hard to imagine him not making the roster. In fact, it begs the question, why did another team let him go?

He runs hard, executes precise routes, catches most everything and plays with a confidence missing in some of the younger receivers on the roster. Hagan, 26, is the second-oldest receiver on Oakland’s roster, second only to Shaun Bodiford. So, it’s likely that he will be the oldest on the team if he makes the 53-man roster.

Hagan says he learned his work ethic from the veteran receivers when he joined the Miami Dolphins in 2007.

“It’s just watching other receivers that I’ve been around in the league,” Hagain said. “When I started off as a rookie in Miami, I had  Chris Chambers and Marty Booker, just following those guys. Now, they just passed it down to me and just knowing that you got to put in that time and that work just to be a great player. That’s something that I definitely try to do.”

The other Raiders receivers would do well to follow Hagan’s lead.

*Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

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Steve Corkran

  • YoungAmerican

    That’s a poor use of talent on Seattle’s part then, because he was born to play the weakside.

    ————

    Wake Forest’s then, too.

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    The Linbacker and CB debate overshadows the fact that Murphy is becoming expendable.

    609 yrds and 2 TDs in 2011 doesn’t exactly jump out as a “must keep”.

    Ford-Must
    Chaz-Scholarship
    Moore-Camp and game time freak.
    DHB-29 Millions reasons he stays.

    If we go 5 wide, does Hagan bump Murphy?

  • SilverNBlackPA

    295.RaiderRockstar Says:
    August 25th, 2011 at 9:48 am
    PA,

    Julian Peterson is 33 years old.

    Was invisable for Detroit the past 2 seasons!

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

    Still better than Groves. At least he’s a natural linebacker & not a converted DE.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    301.YoungAmerican Says:
    August 25th, 2011 at 9:51 am
    That’s a poor use of talent on Seattle’s part then, because he was born to play the weakside.

    ————

    Wake Forest’s then, too.

    ++++++++++

    Are you absolutely sure he played the strongside at Wake Forest?

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Chaz-Scholarship

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

    Not sure Chaz is on a scholarship anymore. 3 straight seasons, 3 straight injuries causing him to miss significant time. I think his time has run out.

  • raiderjhawk

    Here’s the deal, I’ve been thinking a lot about our LB’s. Does anyone know if Taylor Mays is still available from the 9er’s? We need to bring his ass here and stick him as a LB, probably on the weakside. He knows how to cover and he would be covering TE’s, he’s fast so he could blitz and he hits hard.

    I think we are set at every position (including WR) but we need to do something about the LB’s because that’s our achillies heal right now.

    Taylor Mays at LB, bring him in!

  • raidertay

    I didnt think Groves was that bad last year. Then again I like Thomas Howard as well.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Raiderjhawk,

    Mays was traded to Cincinnati. And I’m glad of it, want no part of him here.

  • inonewordraider

    raiderjhawk Says:
    August 25th, 2011 at 9:54 am
    Here’s the deal, I’ve been thinking a lot about our LB’s. Does anyone know if Taylor Mays is still available from the 9er’s? We need to bring his ass here and stick him as a LB, probably on the weakside. He knows how to cover and he would be covering TE’s, he’s fast so he could blitz and he hits hard.

    I think we are set at every position (including WR) but we need to do something about the LB’s because that’s our achillies heal right now.

    Taylor Mays at LB, bring him in!

    traded to Cincy

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Mays is one of the freakiest freak athletes to come out of college in the past several years and Al Davis wanted no part of him. Think about that.

  • J Hill

    What does “scholarship” mean?

    The way I see it, there are 53 scholarships handed out each year.

    There is no way in hell Al Davis “scholarshiped” Justin Fargas over his top draft pick McFadden.

    Is Tyvon Branch on scholarship over MM34?

  • DEATHROW 55

    Mcclain is a beast and will break out like a bad mofo this year, who ever is sain that we don’t have a single good lb is stupid. Lets watch our 1st unit play a whole game before talkin $hit.

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

    If we go 5 wide, does Hagan bump Murphy?
    *************
    NOPE!

  • J Hill

    We need a 250lb plus guy playing OLB for us.

    Not a DB!!!!

    Mike Mitchell, Jerome Boyd, and any other DB would be a terrible option for us at LB. Would get road graded in the run game on a lot more plays.

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    Scholarship= superfulous.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Vet WR = Hagan.

    Yeah, Hagan’s looked pretty good. Head on straight too. Just what we need with our young WR core.

    ***

    Jhill & Canuck,

    Glad to see you guys so willing to dump Nick Miller (white webster) off a cliff to bring in a productive receiver :)

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    Mind you, healthy Chaz flashes.

    Murphy, nice guy, calls his mamma once a day.

    No anamosity towards either.

    But starting either Murphy or Chaz over Ford and Moore (if his productions keeps on its current trajectory) would be weak sauce.

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

    # DEATHROW 55 Says:
    August 25th, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Mcclain is a beast and will break out like a bad mofo this year, who ever is sain that we don’t have a single good lb is stupid. Lets watch our 1st unit play a whole game before talkin $hit.
    ************
    I agree, also, it make take some time to get on the same page with Beikert and the new DC.

    I have hopes that an athlete with Romac’s work ethic will be able to improve upon his Rookie Performance.

  • bcz24

    Mays went to Cincy last week I believe.

  • J Hill

    All we heard about McClain was how he hit the film room and was going to be GREAT. Not good, but GREAT!

    He said was thinking too much last year and the extra film study would help him know what the play was before the snap and help him play much faster.

    Haven’t seen one sign of him recognizing the play early and attacking it. He just doesn’t get moving out of his stance early enough for me, YET. That half a second he is taking to diagnos the play is letting the other teams OL to get on him. If he could react just a tad faster, he would have a better angle on these guys to get to the hole.

  • bcz24

    Ingram is nursing an injury, might not play much Sunday

  • YoungAmerican

    Are you absolutely sure he played the strongside at Wake Forest?

    ——–

    At least according to this he did:

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/516519

  • HairyBush

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    August 25th, 2011 at 8:55 am
    Groves might be the biggest weakness of our entire team.

    What does he do well? Tweet bible scripture?

    ——————————–
    It’s a toss up between Groves and C.Johnson for biggest weakness. (on defense anyways)

  • J Hill

    Nicki Miller was one of the top 6 WRs last year, and the year before.

    This year, not a chance.

    I’d take Bodiford over Miller.

    Would also keep the UDFA McGhee over Nicki.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Maybe Sam Williams is a late bloomer?

    ***

    LOL @ Lowdown_in_Beijing!

  • HairyBush

    inonewordraider Says:
    August 25th, 2011 at 9:17 am
    Trade Bait: WMcfadden, Ware, Chekwa, Branch, Mitchell, Groves, Scott, Schilens, Murphy, NMiller, Boller, Edwards?

    ————————-
    Not sure who wants any part of that scrap heap lol

  • RaiderRockstar

    Sam Williams is here to stay. I should have bought his jersey 8 yrs ago

    ***

    LOL @ SharkCatcher!

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

    Murph is going into his third year, give him a chance! He has performed quite well for us considering where he was drafted, his salary, and QBs. He has been our most productive WR since the day he got here – he can get open, he is a speed burner, and also a good blocker. He just need to improve his catch/drop ratio.

    Trade him if anything! You don’t think another team would be interested?

  • HairyBush

    Trade Walter Mcfadden for another Darren Mcfadden

  • HairyBush

    Keep Murph!

  • YoungAmerican

    Scott and Bush are the only somewhat expendable players who would have any trade value at all.

    Murphy MIGHT get a low-round pick. Kelly’s contract is absolutely untradeable, and there’s very little depth behind him.

  • RaiderRetribution

    Mr. Pryor, although he can practice and play during the preseason, is not eligible to practice or play until after the 5th game.

    Raiders have their bye on the 8th week , that gives them 4 weeks of practice if they wait until the 2nd half of the season to insert him into games.

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

    Murph has been WAAAAAYYY better than DHB, and WAAAAAYYYY cheaper!

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

    Cut Sam Williams!
    I’d rather see Gbadyu than that guy!
    Thanks for the special teams Sam, but we need a LB who can play Defense!

  • J Hill

    TK is only making about 6 million a year over the next 3 years. That’s a frickin bargain. FAR from untradeable.

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    Want Murphy to put up 80 catches for 1000 yards, that’s what I want.

    In order to do so, he needs to beat out his competition (Ford, Moore, DHB) in camp and preseason.

    IMHO, however.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I’d take Bodiford over Miller.

    Would also keep the UDFA McGhee over Nicki.

    ***

    DANG!

    what about Chad Jackson or Damola Adeniji ???

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    In that vain, in years past, Murphy in a coma looked better than DHB.

    DHB is flashing.

    Like I said, I like Murphy, he drives a Chrysler.

  • bcz24

    what the hell is wrong with Murph anyways? Has he taken a snap yet?

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Here’s a great article on Curry, how he’s been a disappointment so far, what he does well and what he needs to do to improve:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6696370

    The upside on this kid is still crazy. I think a cerebral linebacker coach like Biekert could be just what he needs

    Man, the season needs to start. Look at us semi-pros, wasting time dissecting a kid who’ll never put on silver and black.

  • YoungAmerican

    J Hill Says:
    August 25th, 2011 at 10:19 am

    TK is only making about 6 million a year over the next 3 years. That’s a frickin bargain. FAR from untradeable.

    ————

    I don’t see any team trading anything of value for a 30-year-old UT who has really only had a couple good seasons, who also happens to be making $6 million for the next three years. He’s making Barry Cofield money.

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

    I’d take Bodiford over Miller.
    ***************
    Agreed, with Jonesy and Ford back – no need to keep N.Miller – let him go to the Bungles!

  • LA to TheBay

    Man, the season needs to start. Look at us semi-pros, wasting time dissecting a kid who’ll never put on silver and black.

    ———-

    Al will deal our 2013 1st rounder. Bet.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Lets not over react to romacs game last week. he made some tackles and forced the ball at times. i thought he was much quicker to the ball and seemed to do a good job of directing traffic.

    The defense seemed a bit off balance in the first niner drive. D linem men and lbs over pursued in the run game and the secondary was a step late in pass coverage. However they stiffened in the red zone. On the next possession they had a take away.

    The raiders intercepted smith with a fire zone,( so much for the idea that davis calls the defense), the perfect defense against what the niners tried to do on that play. Romac as the leader on the field has the ability to check out of a defensive play if he sees that they are in a bad situation. He made certain they were in the correct alignment and diagnosed what was coming pre snap, it was perfect.

    The raiders defense caved in once the starters left, the first team defense didnt give up a score, and collected 2 turnovers.

    This is not the same old defense ,and romac must adjust to the new wrinkles along with the rest of his teammates.

    Give it some time, we will be fine.

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

    # bcz24 Says:
    August 25th, 2011 at 10:22 am

    what the hell is wrong with Murph anyways? Has he taken a snap yet?
    ************
    Dude strained his groin. He’ll be fine!

  • dvrick

    # BeAlwaysUrselfCommittingtoExcellence2011 Says:
    August 25th, 2011 at 7:56 am

    I am the Real Raider Ray in here…..whats shakin in the 702? Hear its like 110 degrees

  • RaiderRockstar

    Cut Sam Williams!
    I’d rather see Gbadyu than that guy!

    ***

    tsk tsk, Ted.

    you’re becoming ever so close to having your semi-pro status revoked.

    Sam Williams has been the face of the franchise since we drafted him in 2003.

  • lefty12

    I’m sure glad NONE of you are our GM or have any say over the roster.

  • LA to TheBay

    BigTed707 Says:
    August 25th, 2011 at 10:25 am
    # bcz24 Says:
    August 25th, 2011 at 10:22 am

    what the hell is wrong with Murph anyways? Has he taken a snap yet?
    ************
    Dude strained his groin. He’ll be fine!

    —————-

    “Groin.” Suuuuuuuure. Viagra OD?

  • dvrick

    # HairyBush Says:
    August 25th, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Trade Darren Mcfadden for another Walter Mcfadden