Things gleaned from mini camp


Not much happened during the practice portion of today’s mini camp in Alameda, which is to be expected when full contact is prohibited and coaches are getting their first look at many players.
However, plenty was gleaned from interviews with coach Dennis Allen, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, defensive coordinator Jason Tarver and a handful of players.
Here are the highlights:

Many players received a harsh wake-up call about the sizable leap from college football to the NFL.
“The pace was a tough transition for a lot of rookies,” defensive lineman Christo Bilukidi said.
It was the first time in my life I was sore without working in pads.”
Offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom likened the christening of sorts to mental gymnastics, trying to learn plays and schemes, while facing live competition.
“I’ve always said there’s really no way to condition for football besides football,” Bergstrom said. “You can run all you want. I’ve been running at elevation but you still come out here and get tired. Today felt a lot better.”
Allen said it’s natural for young players to need an adjustment period. The key is, working hard from here on out and catching up as soon and as quickly as possible.
“It’s extremely important” to have a rookie camp before adding in the veterans, Allen said. “We’ve had the veteran players here for a while and have already been through a minicamp with them. The rookies are obviously behind from a mental and a physical standpoint. They’re going to have to work hard and work fast to get caught up because if they don’t get caught up, pretty soon they’ll fall behind.”

Running back Darren McFadden is on track to make a successful return to the field after missing the final nine games last season with a severely sprained foot.
That’s according to running backs coach Kelly Skipper, who offered the most in depth report on McFadden’s health since the injury occurred.
“The thing about Darren is, he didn’t have any major surgeries, so he’s able to come back her healthy and he’s playing at a high level right now and it’s offseason,” Skipper said. “So, that’s a good thing. He didn’t have surgery so he’s going to be off the whole spring. Nah, that’s not the case. He’s out here. You would never know he got hurt. He’s making cuts at full speed, everything.”

Former Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell fared better than most people realize in 2008, when Knapp was the offensive coordinator under coaches Lane Kiffin and Tom Cable.
“I was very pleased with JaMarcus’ finish in his career here,” Knapp said. “In his last six games – keep in mind, that the year that we were here, he went through three play-callers; Lane Kiffin, myself and Tom Cable. That’s tough on anybody to play. He, really, the last six games played at a pretty high level. He had almost a 90 (passer) rating.
“So, he wasn’t as established as Carson (Palmer), but I was pleased to see the growth and, unfortunately, the staff got blown up and had to be readjusted. So, I couldn’t see the development continue.”
Knapp was gone at the end of that season, soon after being stripped of his play-calling duties by Cable, who had replaced the fired Kiffin as coach. Russell was released two years ago.

Knapp isn’t eager for the Raiders to sign a veteran wide receiver such as Plaxico Burress or Terrell Owens. At least, not yet.
“It’s too early to tell,” Knapp said. “We’ve only had the one vet mini camp, three days of practice. I want to get through the OTAs and get a better feel for where we’re at. Like I said, I’m real excited to see some of these young guys, once they learn some of the offense with a few more reps, to perform.”
Knapp also said the Raiders possess more talent offensively now than they did during his first stint, with the exception of tight end, a position that needs “growth,” he said.

Allen is high on defensive tackle Travis Ivey.
“He’s a big, powerful guy inside who has the ability to be a good run-stopping player inside,” Allen said.
Ivey spent time with the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins before he signed with the Raiders late last season. He said he is eager to make the jump from the practice squad to the 53-man roster and contribute any way possible.
Ivey played the 4-3 in college but learned the nuances of the 3-4 with the Browns and Dolphins. Either way, he said, he just wants to hit someone.
“I’m just eager for camp to come around,” Ivey said. “We have these OTAs and minicamps. We can’t hit anybody and my game is hitting people and being physical. I really look forward to doing the right things and getting my hand placement right right now. I’m really looking forward to camp so I can really show them what my game is.”
Ivey said he learned a great deal from defensive tackle Tommy Kelly last season. Both went undrafted and were forced to take the difficult route to the NFL.

Rookie linebacker Miles Burris has heard the so-called experts say he isn’t a natural fit for any one position in the NFL.
To that, Burris said he is willing and able to play any linebacker position, even if that means converting from the outside spot he played at San Diego State.
“They’re just for guys that are willing to get after it and get to the ball and make plays and have a love for the game,” Burris said. “I think I have those abilities.”


Steve Corkran

  • DMAC

    Morning/afternoon peoples!

    Arkansas gas prices drop by 30 cents since April.
    Can someone tell me why gas is about $4.50/gal in the Bay area?

  • DMAC

    So we’re getting closer to that Thunder-Heat finals.

  • hwnrdr

    505.DMAC Says:
    May 14th, 2012 at 9:45 am
    Morning/afternoon peoples!

    Arkansas gas prices drop by 30 cents since April.
    Can someone tell me why gas is about $4.50/gal in the Bay area?

    Good Morning DMAC! It’s because this is the Bay!

  • DMAC

    hwnrdr Says:
    May 14th, 2012 at 9:46 am

    505.DMAC Says:
    May 14th, 2012 at 9:45 am
    Morning/afternoon peoples!

    Arkansas gas prices drop by 30 cents since April.
    Can someone tell me why gas is about $4.50/gal in the Bay area?

    Good Morning DMAC! It’s because this is the Bay!

    But why?
    I need answers.

  • HairyBush

    love to see Celtics/Thunder
    one more ring for the old timers!

  • ohioraider

    Where is this “Dave” who showed up just long enough to flame me the other day? Not “Raiderdave” but just plain “Dave.” Probably just a temporary handle? If you’re their and want to debate something “Dave” I’m all ears.

  • Marks hair

    505. Because monoplies dont have to be fair.

  • guest123

    Good luck with the growing family RRS. It’s a lot of work, but worth it and your young enough to enjoy it. At my age, it’s sometimes tough. lol@Barney songs. I’m not out of those woods yet.

  • r8eray

    Good Morning Raider Nation!!

  • Mark,

    Me too.

  • Marks hair

    FK boston!

  • Hwnrdr Says:
    May 14th, 2012 at 9:35 am
    484.The Realist Dirty Raccoon Says:
    May 14th, 2012 at 9:34 am
    Morning RR, O, Duck, hwnrdr, KK, Nation.!

    Who is faster, Criner or Zach Miller?

    What’s up Raccoon?


    Same ol my Raider brother.

    So, O,RR, if Criner is faster than Miller, and can grasp the nuances of the NFL he looks like an outstanding pick. I am really starting to warm up to our WR group. More, DHB, Ford, Criner??
    This is the first year in a few I really don’t think we “need” a vet WR for these guys. Maybe a vet TE though.

  • HairyBush

    new post

  • RaiderRockstar

    Did you have any luck?



    well since I have to work full-time, i’m sort of limited to a weekend hunter. Then Sundays I go to church and teach Sunday School for 30 high school kids. So really, once a week during turkey season. Then one of those Saturdays my wife had a 10am bridal shower to attend. frustrating. Didn’t see anything but hens in my first few outings. Everybody else in the family was killing big gobblers during the week. was starting to wonder if I’d strike out. Saturday (May 5th?) I went out and it was all or nothing. morning broke and I heard gobblin’ quite a ways away. Never like to leave the place I set up that early when turkeys can see you before they fly down into the field. Decided to do it anyway and was able to sneal up on one. Killed probably a 19-21 pounder with an 11 inch beard. no spurs! (broke them off, fighting?). probably a 2 years old turkey, very tender. I am pleased. Always love to have meat in the freezer, from animals I killed!

  • Marks hair

    Fired one up, time to mow the lawn in a stoned rage