By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 at 11:42 am in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders conducted their second practice of the organized team activities today in Alameda. It marked the first time that the media were permitted access to a practice this year.
Among the notable sights and notes:
Running back Darren McFadden practiced at full speed and in front of the media for the first time since he suffered a severe foot injury against the Kansas City Chiefs last October.
He participated in all the drills, made sharp cuts, caught passes and even ran a deep pattern down the right sideline. This has to pass as the most encouraging news for first-year coach Dennis Allen in the early going.
Allen said McFadden is at full speed and not limited in any capacity “that I can see.” McFadden missed the final nine games last season as a result of the injury.
Defensive end Matt Shaughnessy is back at practice, though he still is recovering from the shoulder injury that forced him to miss most of last season.
Allen said Shaughnessy’s rehab is going “great” and that Shaughnessy should be a full go by training camp.
Starting center Stefen Wisniewski underwent “a little procedure” on his shoulder earlier this year, and he still hasn’t been cleared for full-team drills,
Defensive tackle Richard Seymour and middle linebacker Rolando McClain are not at practice.
Allen said McClain was excused so that he be in Alamaba for his upcoming trial on four misdemeanors. Seymour was excused because it’s a “tradition” for Seymour to prepare for the upcoming season the way he sees fit. Allen said he is in communication with Seymour and satisfied with his approach.
Rookie wide receiver Juron Criner is a guy to keep an eye on. He made at least four head-turning plays during a 20-minute span.
He snared a ball thrown up for grabs in double coverage, caught a pass in that was tipped in heavy traffic, reached back for an off-the-mark throw and made an over-the-shoulder catch on a deep pass down the right sideline.
Allen said this is what the Raiders saw on videotape of Criner before they selected him in the NFL draft and is consistent with the way Criner has performed since he joined the Raiders.
Criner’s play is reminiscent of the way Denarius Moore burst on the scene last season en route to an impressive first season.
Other players absent were: punter Shane Lechler, kicker Sebastian Janikowski, fullback Marcel Reece and linebacker Mario Kurn.
Receivers Louis Murphy and Eddie McGee, as well as right guard Mike Brisiel worked on the side with trainers for part of practice. Allen said Brisiel is battling through a hamstring injury.