Notes, quotes, observations from today’s practice


The Raiders granted access to the media Tuesday for the second straight week, as they continue their organized team activities in Alameda. What follows is an overview of things gleaned from watching the two-hour practice, as well as post-practice interviews:

Rookie Juron Criner is not a one-practice wonder. Early on in drills, Criner broke toward the sideline on an out route, only to discover that the ball was thrown well off the mark.
No worry. Criner stuck out one hand and stopped the ball and then calmly secured the ball with his other hand, just before he stepped out of bounds.
Add this catch to the growing list of eye-opening plays made by Criner in the month or so since he was selected in the NFL draft.

Running back Darren McFadden shows no lingering effects from the foot injury that forced him to miss the final nine games last season.
On one play, McFadden lined up wide right, put a move on strong safety Tyvon Branch, ran past Branch and into the open field. Carson Palmer’s throw sailed over McFadden’s head, but the play showed that McFadden is all the way back and ready to pick up where he left off last season.

Quarterback Matt Leinart worked almost exclusively with the second-team offense today, with second-year player Terrelle Pryor taking the snaps with the third-team offense.
What’s it mean? Who knows at this point. It’s conceivable that coach Dennis Allen and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp just wanted to see Leinart with the second-team today and that Pryor might get his shot later down the road.
Leinart looked sharp, save a pass that was intercepted on the final play of practice. Pryor was a tad off on some of his throws, but he was accurate enough so that the receivers could make plays on the ball.

Rookie Miles Burris worked at outside linebacker today with the first-team offense, in large part because projected starter Aaron Curry is sidelined with an undisclosed injury.
That’s where Burris will stay for the time being, Allen said. He wants Burris to focus upon learning the nuances of the defense, as well as the outside linebacker spot, before he attempts to convert to the middle or inside.
“Right now, with the learning curve, we’re going to keep him outside linebacker and let him get his feet wet,” Allen said, “and then we’ll figure where he’s at probably closer to training camp, and even closer to the beginning of the season.”
Burris played mostly outside in college. However, he is versatile enough to play anywhere, as he did on occasion at San Diego State.

Middle linebacker Rolando McClain practiced for the second straight day after missing the three practices last week, while in Alabama for his trial on four misdemeanors from a Nov. 30 incident in Decatur, Ala.
He looked to be in fine shape and moving around well. Allen said he isn’t worried about McClain at all, though he said McClain needs to perform better against the pass.
“He’s moving around good,” Allen said of McClain. “Obviously, he had some injuries last year. I’ve been pleased with everything I’ve seen out of Rolando this whole offseason.”
Allen said McClain is “ahead” of where he should be at this point of the offseason.
“He’s done a real good job from a leadership standpoint,” Allen said. “He’s very instinctive. He’s smart out there. He’s taken command of the huddle. Those things I’ve been pleased with. Physically, as you look at him, what he needs to improve on, and he knows this, is a little bit of the pass coverage aspect.”
McClain issued a statement about his legal issue in which he was found guilty on all four counts and sentenced to 180 days in jail. He intends to appeal the sentence and ask for a jury trial, according to his lawyer.
Allen said he and the Raiders will wait for the legal process to play out before deciding whether to mete out any punishment.
“Well, really, right now, as we look at it, Rolando’s part of our family, he’s part of our team,” Allen said. “We’re going to let the whole process play out before we do anything and once the whole legal proceedings are finished then we’ll determine what if any action we need to take.”
McClain did not field any questions from the media. The fact he emerged to issue the statement is another example of general manager Reggie McKenzie and Allen being serious about players being accountable.
Moving forward, Allen said that he has spoken with his players about how he and the Raiders expect them to comport themselves.
“We’ve talked to all the players about that,” Allen said, “and all the players understand what we expect out of them. And the thing we’ve also got to understand is that we’re starting anew. We’re not going to take into account past sins necessarily for everybody’s actions. But everybody knows what the standard is around here and we’re going to expect people to uphold that standard.”

The following six players were not in attendance today, either because of injury, personal reasons, contractual issue or the choice to miss what is a voluntary practice: punter Shane Lechler, kicker Sebastian Janikowski, defensive tackles Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour, and fullbacks Marcel Reece and Manase Tonga.
Allen said Tonga underwent surgery on his knee and won’t be back until mid-June, at the earliest.
The following 10 players were here but did not practice: Wide receivers Thomas Mayo, Brandon Carswell, Eddie McGee, Louis Murphy and Denarius Moore, safety Mike Mitchell, center Stefen Wisniewski, defensive end Matt Shaughnessy, Curry and offensive lineman Zach Hurd.

The Raiders practiced in helmets that don’t have the iconic shield on each side. It’s likely that Allen is using that as a motivational ploy.
“We just started off that way,” Allen said. “If anything, we’ll all earn the right to wear that symbol.”
There you go.

Impressive sight of the day: former Raiders guard Steve Wisniewski doing numerous push-ups on the sideline as the players performed running drills early in practice. It appears as if Wisniewski could throw on a uniform right now and nail down a starting spot.

Cornerback Ron Bartell said he has healed from the neck injury that forced him to miss all but one game last season, when he was with the St. Louis Rams.
Bartell said he isn’t at greater risk of further injury as a result of his broken neck and that he is eager to validate the Raiders signing him this offseason.
“I’ve been completely (healed) and 100 percent since about March,” Bartell said. “I feel great. The injury happened early in the year. I didn’t get a lot of wear and tear on my body because I played one game, so I feel fresh, new spirit, just excitement to help get this team back to where it should be. So, I’m just ready to play ball.”
Bartell and fellow newcomer Shawntae Spencer are the projected starters at cornerback this season. Bartell said he is just trying to make the most of his opportunity.
“To have the type of injury I had, just from that standpoint, just being able to get back out on the field and compete, that’s all I can ask for,” Bartell said. “Another chance, another opportunity to play again. The way I look at it, the chips will fall where they may. They’re going to put whoever they feel is best for the job out there on the field. If I’m one of those guys, then more power to me. If not, I’ll play my role.”
Bartell is a big fan of defensive coordinator Jason Tarver’s scheme, he said, because it places players in position to make plays.
As for his experience, Bartell said he and Spencer are doling out advice to the younger players such as DeMarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa.
“I just try to show them what it’s like to be a pro, how to approach practice, how to study film, how to take care of your body, some of the little things that I picked up along the way from a lot of the veterans that I was able to play with,” Bartell said. “So, if I’m able to rub off on them that way, it will be positive for them.”

Spencer was part of a 49ers team last year that made the precipitous jump from mediocre team to Super Bowl contender in one season.
He said the talent was there with the 49ers before last season. The key was, getting a coach and coaching staff to harness that talent.
Given that, Spencer said he doesn’t see any reason the Raiders can’t make the same kind of leap, as long as they cut down the penalties and turnovers.
Just looking at it here, you can ask leaguewide, the Raiders are always the most talented team. Size wise, speed wise, skills wise and things like that but it’s just changing the culture, being disciplined, doing the little things right,” Spencer said.
Spencer said Allen and his staff are preaching details, discipline and working hard. That has Spencer and others feeling confident about what lies ahead.
“Once you do those things, it all comes down to the game,” Spencer said, “but if you’re beating yourself before the ball’s even snapped, you don’t have a chance. So that’s what he’s really been preaching and that’s what everyone’s buying into right now. We got a great attendance at OTAs and we had a great attendance thus far through the offseason programs, so I think the whole building, everyone should be optimistic.”


Steve Corkran

  • DJ Johnny

    May 24th, 2012 at 2:09 pm
    “SR Raider = Tyler Brayton
    Mistic = Jason Camp
    RM99 = DHB
    Dirty Raccoon = Ted Washington
    Plunk = Plunkett
    LMN = Rod Coleman
    ABP = Eric Barton
    JLofty = Todd Christiansen
    Mike = Stabler
    Duck = Flores
    YA = Rod Woodson (the player, not the coach!)
    BSJ = Condo

    HairyBush= Napolean Kaufman”

    SilverandBlack666 = Carson Palmer

    Print it!

    I call dibs on Bill King!

  • DJ Johnny

    Swarco Raiders Tirol

    Founded 1992
    League Austrian Football League
    Based in Innsbruck, Austria
    Team colors Black and Silver

    Head coach Shuan Fatah
    Championships 2004, 2006, 2011
    Website http://www.raiders.at/

    The Swarco Raiders Tirol, is a semi-professional American football club based in Innsbruck, Austria. Founded in 1992, the Raiders since has become one of Austria’s and Europe’s most dominant American Football clubs, winning the Eurobowl title three times (2008, 2009 & 2011) and the EFAF Cup once (2004). Playing in the Austrian Football League (AFL), the team has won the league championship twice, in 2004 and 2006, and losing the bowl game multiple times to their main competitors, the Vienna Vikings and Graz Giants.

  • DJ Johnny

    Shuan Fatah=Tom Flores.

  • Nnamdi21

    N21 = N21

  • Nnamdi21


    The notion that the game passed Davis by was at the time of his passing less and less true. If you look at the last 2 seasons you’ll see double digit teams throwing for 4-5 thousand yards. So much for the myth of the “dated” Davis vertical game.

    In fact, Davis’ vision of football has become the vogue and purposely so by the Leauge to drive up scores and make the game more exciting.

    That was always a Davis point.

    As far as those who bash the supposedly Defensive minded Davis’ under performing defenses, perhaps they simply don’t understand his philosophy.

    Others have started to come around.

    The top 3 winningest teams last year (NYG,NE and GB ) all featured some of the “worst” defenses statistically (27th, 31st and 32nd) and cater to the Davis theorum that yds between the 20s don’t matter.

    This “radical” type of defense is nothing new but has been taken to another level thanks to the advent of “Moneyball” type analytics for the NFL.

    Davis and his system certainly wasn’t perfect and relied on a gamblers chance of the big defensive play. Give take, bend but don’t break and set yourself up to make decisive game changing plays.

    Sounds crazy right?

    Davis’ type of D is predicated on players making big plays (without playmakers thats something Oaklands D has repeatedly failed to do.) when it counts.

    For example, Green Bay had an amazing 31 interceptions last season.

    The Giants stock piling pass rushers and applying natural 4 man pressure is Davis 101.

    Even though computer access has been readily available for decades, only recently have data teams come to realize the genius of Davis’ seemingly bizzaro approach to the game.

    Only in recent years have franchises come to embrace the asymetrical tactics Davis knew instinctually.

    The sheer genius of Al Davis is on display every sunday. His influence can be seen on the field, in the stands and not just with Raiders but League wide. Even the way the game is played and is developing right now is a direct result of one of the most hated and beloved men to ever grace the sport.

  • The Beeech Dawg

    Yo, just kicking back on the Reggae Party Boat with a virgin Pina Colada (gotta tighten up the abs for Summer) and came up with a new dope 2 Kewl 4 Skool jam called “Your Smile Gets An A+”

    It’s a showcase for Alan, the “All American Golden Boy with Small Ding A Ling” personality.

    He needed a feature song, maybe now he’ll stop getting hysterical in the bathroom all morning and ruining his pube ‘do

    Check it, this jam is off the hook –

    Baby, baby, I kinda like your breasts
    Got a smile so white, you must brush with Crest
    Girl, your face rocks, anyone can see
    But you’re kinda boring, so personality gets a “C”

    Can easily see Miley Cyrus rocking some Daisy Dukes in the video, word

  • DJ Johnny

    Tebow Throws Two Int’s in Three Tries:

    Mark Sanchez was sharp in the New York Jets’ first session of organized team activities open to the media, while backup Tim Tebow threw two interceptions in a three-play span.

    While it’s only May, and the Jets have made it clear that Sanchez is the starting quarterback, it was an encouraging performance. The play of the day was Sanchez’s 80-yard toss to speedy second-round draft pick Stephen Hill.

    Tebow, acquired in March to be Sanchez’s backup, was picked off by Bart Scott and then newly signed Yeremiah Bell two plays later. Tebow, who also was used as the personal protector on the punt team, says he was running a new set of plays for the first time.

  • Silverandblack666

    Nice post 21

  • jesusraiderjim

    340 more and it’s 2000

  • RaiderRockstar

    N21 = RNS sponsor?

  • RaiderRockstar

    trade McClain for Tebow!

  • Not many coaches, after experiencing the strange vortex of Raiders weirdness, sign up for another tour of duty with the team. But Knapp did after seeing how McKenzie was restructuring the organization to be far less weird. Allen also had worked as an assistant coach alongside Knapp for two seasons in Atlanta, where he had juiced up the Falcons’ offensive numbers.


  • “They knocked my socks off,” Knapp said. “The new infrastructure here, the way they’re setting it up for not just now but long term, the philosophy to get players that are football players and not focus as much on the speed and size components … it wasn’t hard to make up my mind.”

  • qodrn1

    So I can be prepared,again I ask what are the qualifications of a MUP? What has to happen to a player to be a MUP?

  • Nnamdi21

    1665. Especially because he was a lowly QB Coach in Houston.

  • Knapp listed three ways we’ll know if his game plan is working.

    “One, if we are not having negative running plays,” he said.

    “Two, if we’re not in third-and-long situations.

    “Three, if we’re getting explosive passing gains — and the barometer we use for that is 16 yards or more.”

  • The Beeech Dawg

    KrappyRat, not only are you cut and pasting an article, but an old article we’ve all read.

    Don’t you have anything useful to do around the house while KrappyWife is working?

    Sowing, perhaps?

  • HairyBush

    Cardinals signed OLB Quentin Groves.
    With the relatively unproven Sam Acho and O’Brien Schofield scheduled to start at outside linebacker, the Cardinals are looking for experienced depth. Groves, a 2008 second-round pick, hasn’t recorded a sack since his rookie season. He won’t be guaranteed a roster spot

  • raiderzmaverick

    KoolKell Says:
    May 24th, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Knapp listed three ways we’ll know if his game plan is working.

    “One, if we are not having negative running plays,” he said.

    “Two, if we’re not in third-and-long situations.

    “Three, if we’re getting explosive passing gains — and the barometer we use for that is 16 yards or more.”
    The ONLY way our offense will not progress DRAMATICALLY is if the scheme does not fit the personnel.

    Last year, our QB came in off the couch with no timing, no practice, no knowledge of the system etc. halfway through the season. WE lost our starting RB and two starting WRs for much of the season. Still were towards the top of the league.

    How we tell if it’s working is if we’re in the top 5.

  • r8eray


  • dvrick

    R8eray Says:
    May 24th, 2012 at 3:49 pm

  • KoolKell Says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 10:05 pm
    What would make anybody call Hue Jackson a “Pimp”?

    I know, he’s black. Never mind.

    Sullivan44 Says:
    May 22nd, 2012 at 10:46 pm
    Kell, a white guy has to sink pretty low to be called a pimp. A black guy only needs to make a shrewd business move or two.


    2 guys keeping Racism alive and well!

  • Just Fire Baby

    Wait this one has 1600 posts too