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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.”

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Steve Corkran

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I like Barnes too as a backup, but I don’t think he should start. Barksdale and the 26 YO rookie should compete for RT with Barnes IMO.

  • Marks hair

    The rook will focus on Lg.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    GO CLIPPERS!

  • Dakota

    The rookie is playing LG…..Going to take Carlisle’s spot.

    It will be up to Bark to beat out the Human Penalty Machine Barnes.

  • Marks hair

    Way to win a game 7 lil clippers.. 1st time ever

  • hwnrdr

    First time 2 LA teams make the second round in like forever…it would be funny if the 2 make the WCF! But…

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    He played RT in college.
    You People complained when Al moved players to new positions, but now you are OK with it. Odd?!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Hwnrdr,

    What’s up brother? Fakers will lose to the Thunder.
    Go Clippers!

  • Marks hair

    It can still happen. There’s a reason they play the games.

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    Barnes = HPM.

    Concise Dakota.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I rather have CC start al LG over Barnes starting at RT.

  • hwnrdr

    458.Raider O Says:
    May 14th, 2012 at 9:07 am
    Hwnrdr,

    What’s up brother? Fakers will lose to the Thunder.
    Go Clippers!

    Way to have confidence in your team! :)
    But what everyone has to remember…never count The Lakers out! But dam, we miss Odom coming off the bench!

  • Marks hair

    He played right & left. But he by his own admission doesnt have the lateral quickness to deal with speedy edge rushers in the nfl.

  • hwnrdr

    By the way…Good Morning O! It’s good here in the Bay! How’s things in SD?

  • Marks hair

    462. I miss the triangle.. This yrs O has been tuff to watch at times. Theres no natural 2nd options. Except for 3s

  • DEATHROW 55

    I hope clippers beat the spurms and meet my Lakers so artest can punk that soft azz ginger and mamba can light it up in home and away games. Clippers suck cak.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    It’s been very nice the last few days. Warm but not hot.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Btw Hwnrdr, I don’t think the Clippers can beat SAS.
    Fire Del Negro!

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell
  • hwnrdr

    468.Raider O Says:
    May 14th, 2012 at 9:16 am
    Btw Hwnrdr, I don’t think the Clippers can beat SAS.
    Fire Del Negro!

    LOL, funny is I think he stays by that 27 point come back in game 1. I know Memphis is kicking themsleves now!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I think it’s going to be the Thunder and Spurs for the WCF. The Heat will win the East.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I always treat her and the other ladies in my life well. Nothing special for mothers day. I don’t believe in that stuff.

    If I’m going to celebrate all the special days here, I will go broke.

    ***

    Raider O,

    surprised her at work on Friday with:

    gift card to her favorite decorating store
    mom’s day card
    2 dozen red roses
    dozen bagels from Panera Bread for her to share with the other ladies at her work

    grilled some chicken & veggies after church on Sunday so she wouldn’t have to cook.

    how much work or money is that?? not much

    and it’s only once a year bro.

    you own your own business, so I venture to guess you make more money than me.

    just a tightwad like Al Davis with his coaches???

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I hope not. We need a vet HC with good experience. Del Negro needs more time, but this team is ready to win now.

  • RaiderRockstar

    The Heat will win the East.

    ***

    I hope you’re right, but they always seem to have trouble with Boston..

    Thunder, Spurs, Boston & Miami will be the final 4

  • Marks hair

    471. Bold

  • hwnrdr

    My kids made my wife breakfast in the morning and I cleaned the house! I mean, the whole 9 yards! She kept saying that by doing that I wanted something more, like a night out or something, and I told her, hey, you’re not my mom! You’re their mom! But relax, this is your day!

  • Marks hair

    We signed another T with some experiance. Nice

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    RR,

    Good for you brother. You are One Romantic Dude.
    I didn’t save enough money to open a business by spending my money.
    I’m a tightwad like Al and damn proud of it.

  • hwnrdr

    And it was a good day for all of us! My mom hs stage 3 Alzheimers and for a split moment while talking to her, she remembered who I was! Couldn’t ask for anything more :)

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    http://www.raiders.com/news/article-1/Raiders-Sign-Seven-Free-Agents/c78a12cd-3dd7-4515-81a1-5fe4b0054e39

    The Oakland Raiders on Monday signed seven free agents, K/P Eddy Carmona, DE Wayne Dorsey, TE Kyle Efaw, T Kevin Haslam, CB LeQuan Lewis, FB TréShawn Robinson and WR Travionte Session, all of whom participated on a tryout basis in the team’s rookie mini-camp this weekend.

    Eddy Carmona (5-10, 203) P/K – Harding: A native of Monterrey, Mexico, grew up in Arkansas and played at Central Arkansas until transferring to Harding prior to his senior campaign, 2011. Last season, handled both punting (38.3 avg.) and kicking duties for his team, hitting 46-of-49 PATs and 10-of-13 field goals, including 3-for-4 from 50-plus range.

    Wayne Dorsey (6-6, 272) DE – Mississippi: Played two years at Mississippi after transferring from Gulf Coast Community College. As a senior, started six games and recorded a team-high three sacks despite having season cut short due to a broken arm sustained against Alabama.

    Kyle Efaw (6-4, 247) TE – Boise State: Played four years at Boise State, seeing action in 53 games and recording 103 receptions for 1,269 yards and 13 touchdowns. Played in all 13 games with eight starts as a senior, totaling 31 receptions for 264 yards and a career-high seven touchdowns.

    Kevin Haslam (6-5, 304) T – Rutgers: Another former basketball player as a 195-pound senior in high school, saw action at both guard and tackle as a college offensive lineman, and started the final 26 games of his career. Signed with Jacksonville as a non-drafted free agent in 2010, then missed the 2011 NFL campaign with a knee injury.

    LeQuan Lewis (5-11, 187) CB – Arizona State: In training camp with the Tennessee Titans last season after signing as an undrafted free agent. Played two years at both cornerback and wide receiver at Arizona State, seeing action in 22 games and recording one interception.

    TréShawn Robinson (5-11, 246) FB – Idaho: A four-year letterman as a linebacker, started at least one game each season. Led the Vandals in 2011 with 117 tackles as a 12-game starter, including a career-high 20 stops against Utah State. Also registered a pair of sacks and four forced fumbles as a senior.

    Travionte Session (6-2, 191) WR – Nevada: Played in 42 games in four years at Nevada, hauling in 71 passes for 978 yards and six touchdowns. Recorded 23 catches for 291 yards with one touchdown as a senior last season.

  • RaiderRockstar

    @ Hwnrdr

    kudos to you, bro!

    I’ve only been married for 5 years now, but I learned pretty early on that when you make your wife happy, she wants to make you happy

    if you make her feel unappreciated, get ready for a cold shower.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I’m sorry to hear that Hwnrdr. I know how hard that can be. I’m glad you and the family had a great day.

  • DEATHROW 55

    Kobe going to mind fuccck westbrook artest is already mind fukkkin harden. Bynum and gasol>ibaku and Perkins. Thunder gettin a reality check

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Davis The Realist Dirty Raccoon

    Morning RR, O, Duck, hwnrdr, KK, Nation.!

    Who is faster, Criner or Zach Miller?

  • RaiderRockstar

    The Oakland Raiders on Monday signed seven free agents, K/P Eddy Carmona, DE Wayne Dorsey, TE Kyle Efaw, T Kevin Haslam, CB LeQuan Lewis, FB TréShawn Robinson and WR Travionte Session, all of whom participated on a tryout basis in the team’s rookie mini-camp this weekend.

    ***

    thanks, Duck!

  • hwnrdr

    481.RaiderRockstar Says:
    May 14th, 2012 at 9:31 am
    @ Hwnrdr

    kudos to you, bro!

    I’ve only been married for 5 years now, but I learned pretty early on that when you make your wife happy, she wants to make you happy

    if you make her feel unappreciated, get ready for a cold shower.

    482.Raider O Says:
    May 14th, 2012 at 9:31 am
    I’m sorry to hear that Hwnrdr. I know how hard that can be. I’m glad you and the family had a great day.

    Well, with me, I feel the same way! It is afterall, a two way street! :)
    O, thanks, it was hard when i experienced it with my mom in 2010 for teh first time, but I learned to accept that neither I, nor any of my family members can really do anything about it!

  • HairyBush

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    May 14th, 2012 at 9:24 am
    I always treat her and the other ladies in my life well. Nothing special for mothers day. I don’t believe in that stuff.

    If I’m going to celebrate all the special days here, I will go broke.

    ***

    Raider O,

    surprised her at work on Friday with:

    gift card to her favorite decorating store
    mom’s day card
    2 dozen red roses
    dozen bagels from Panera Bread for her to share with the other ladies at her work

    grilled some chicken & veggies after church on Sunday so she wouldn’t have to cook.

    how much work or money is that?? not much

    and it’s only once a year bro.

    you own your own business, so I venture to guess you make more money than me.

    just a tightwad like Al Davis with his coaches???
    —————————
    Well, you were succesful in making half the blog feel like they didn’t get the mom’s in there life jack squat. well done

  • hwnrdr

    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?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Btw, western men are more romantic that ME men.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Thunder gettin a reality check

    ***

    OKC had 3 games rest compared to the Lakers.

    Lakers just slumped in, by besting Denver in 1 qtr of the last series. You don’t have a convincing argument as to why they’ll defeat OKC, but if they manage to win Game 1 anything can happen. momentum in basketball is HUGE

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Raccoon!!!
    Griner is faster. He has football speed.

  • RaiderRockstar

    whats up, HB?

    how did you enjoy turkey hunting?

    any luck?

  • Marks hair

    483. Haha nice

  • guest123

    Nice work RRS to detail a plan for Mother’s day and follow thru. The rest of you need to take notes.

    I asked the wife what I could get her to make her day, and she asked for the impossible. She wanted a calm, quiet, drama-free day relaxing in PJ’s with the 4 kids. Only way I could make that happen is doing out the “timeouts”, and being a cricus clown to my 6 mo old girl. Oh well nothing is perfect, it’s the thought that counts.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Agreed with O,

    Criner has football speed. he’ll be fine as long as he can digest the playbook, catch the football and run routes.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Hwnrdr,

    I can’t do it. My father passed away in 06, and I’m still learning to get over it. I’m a control freak, so not having control over the situation scares me and puts me in panic mode.

  • hwnrdr

    490.RaiderRockstar Says:
    May 14th, 2012 at 9:37 am
    Thunder gettin a reality check

    ***

    OKC had 3 games rest compared to the Lakers.

    Lakers just slumped in, by besting Denver in 1 qtr of the last series. You don’t have a convincing argument as to why they’ll defeat OKC, but if they manage to win Game 1 anything can happen. momentum in basketball is HUGE

    Also remember that they are still a very young team. We did beat them this year also! And, one weeks rest can either be godo or bad!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Marks hair,

    If you are going to make predictions, bold is the way to go.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Criner*

  • Marks hair

    The Lakers didnt slump in. If the Lake show takes game 1 okc better worry.