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Raiders wrapping up OTAs, eyeing final mini camp

First-year coach Dennis Allen presided over yet another organized team activity Wednesday, giving him only one more voluntary practice before everyone is required to be here for a three-day mini camp next week.

Even so, all but six players were in attendance in Alameda and all but three who are here practiced. Center Stefen Wisniewski, linebacker Aaron Curry and defensive end Matt Shaughnessy still are rehabilitating injuries.

Allen said he doesn’t expect to see Wisniewski in practice until the Raiders convene for training camp in Napa on July 29.

“Everybody needs practice, everybody needs to work to get better,” Allen said in a post-practice news conference. “So, does it set him back? Yeah, it sets him back a little bit, and I wouldn’t expect him back before training camp. But I would expect that once we get to training camp that he’ll be ready to go.”

Allen said he isn’t worried about Wisniewski’s status, even given the fact Wisniewski is converting from left guard to center this season.

Wisniewski has sat in on all the position and team meetings, which has enabled him to get up to speed on the scheme and playbook.

************

Defensive tackles Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly, punter Shane Lechler, running back Darren McFadden, safety Mike Mitchell and fullback Manase Tonga did not attend today’s practice.

Allen said McFadden is in Arkansas so that he can conduct his youth football camp. McFadden is expected back here Thursday.

Mitchell and Tonga, too, are recovering from injuries. Kelly, Seymour and Lechler opted not to attend.

************

Today’s practice marked the first time the media got a look at fullback Marcel Reece. He missed the first three weeks of OTAs because he hadn’t signed his one-year tender as an exclusive rights free agent.

Reece signed his contract Monday and reported to work that day. He looks in shape and ready to return as the starting fullback.

Allen said Reece’s receiving ability gives the Raiders and edge that they can use against opposing defenses.
“He’s an athletic type of fullback,” Allen said. “Where he really excels is in the passing game and the different mismatches that he can create. From our standpoint, as far as being the lead blocker in our scheme, that’s where he’s got the most work that he’s got to work on. But his mismatches in the passing game will be something that we could use.”

************

Rookie wide receiver Juron Criner was at it again today. Early on in the proceedings, he broke off a post route because of a pass that was thrown well behind him. Criner reached back with his left hand and made an eye-opening one-handed catch as he continued into the end zone.

Allen says Criner has “made a couple of plays,” which is to be expected from a coach careful not to play up a rookie too much, too soon.

However, there’s no way around the fact that Criner has been nothing short of spectacular in the four practices accessible to the media.

Criner shows great awareness, goes after the ball, isn’t fearful of going after balls in the vicinity of defenders and catches most everything he gets his hands on. Heck, he doesn’t even need both hands to catch some passes, as evidenced by today.

Later in practice, Criner found a seam between two defenders and hauled in a pass that many rookies might have shied away from.

************

Second-year quarterback Terrelle Pryor has had his moments during the OTAs. Suffice, Wednesday was not one of his better days.

Several passes were overthrown by a wide margin, with one sailing over the head of the intended receiver and into the hands of cornerback Bryan McCann.

“He did like a lot of guys out here today,” Allen said. “He had some good plays and then he had some bad plays. But that’s
to be expected this time of year. I’m not going to read too much into that because what I have seen out of Terrelle Pryor is day in and day out he gets a little bit better. And that’s all that we can ask for is that he keeps making progress, and he’s done that so far.”

************

Rookie offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom had been working exclusively at left guard early in OTAs. He now is getting some time at right guard, as well.

Ultimately, the plan is for Bergstrom to settle in at one position. In the interim, Allen subscribes to the belief that backup linemen need to be versatile enough to play more than one position.

“When you look at the NFL, you got to be multiple and guys are going to have to play multiple positions so when you go into a game on Sunday, generally, you’re going to bring seven offensive linemen into the game,” Allen said. “So, you’re going to bring an inside swing guy that’s got the ability to maybe play guard and center or maybe even play right and left guard.”

With Wisniewski sidelined, the first-team offensive line has remained consistent: Jared Veldheer, Cooper Carlisle, Alex Parsons, Mike Brisiel and Khalif Barnes, from left to right.

Allen said he has been impressed by the ability of the offensive linemen to make a seamless transition to the zone-blocking scheme favored by offensive coordinator Greg Knapp.

“They’ve really adapted to the zone-running scheme that we’re going to use. It’s a lot different than some of the things that they were asked to do last year,” Allen said. “But they’ve done a nice job of adjusting. Our offensive line coaches are doing an outstanding job of working with those guys.

“At the end of the day, by the time we get through training camp, I’ll be real pleased with where we’re at offensive line-wise and what we’re going to be able to do.”

Bergstrom and Joseph Barksdale figure to get some reps with the first-team line at some point, even if it’s not until training camp.

************

The Raiders under then-coach Lane Kiffin were penalized by the league for being too physical during some OTAs. On Tuesday, the Seahawks were informed that they will lose two OTA days and a workout day, as well, for going beyond the rules as set forth in the collective bargaining agreement.

Allen said he and his coaches are vigilant about abiding by the rules, even though it’s not always easy to do.

“It’s difficult because all of us as coaches, we want to do the best that we can but also make sure that we’re within the rules,” Allen said. “We’re trying to do everything we can to practice the right way and get something out of it but yet try to do it within the rules of what’s been set forth with the new CBA.

“Every day, we’ve gone out and we’ve preached the message of no contact and trying to stay up off the ground and, basically, if you come into contact with somebody to kind of shut it down.”

************

The Raiders playoff aspirations took a huge blow when lead running back Darren McFadden went down with a severe foot injuy last season.

To that end, Allen said the Raiders are taking precautions to help keep McFadden on the field more this season. McFadden missed the final nine games last season.

“I don’t know if it’s a case of not pushing him too hard,” Allen said. “Part of the issue is, making sure we do everything we can in the offseason program to make sure his body’s in the right condition to handle the type of punishment that a runner has to take.

“As we go through the season, we’re going to have to make sure we monitor him, make sure we keep him fresh and make sure we keep him healthy. He is a threat and he is a big part of our offense.”

************

Wide receiver Denarius Moore also made an impressive one-handed catch during practice today. Allen said Moore reminds him of some of the great receivers he was around during his tenure with the New Orleans Saints.

“He’s an exceptional route-runner, he’s got great speed,” Allen said. “I’m really looking forward to working with Denarius. He’s going to be a really good football player for us. I would compare him, as far as route-running, he’s a lot like Lance Moore that we had there in New Orleans, but probably a little bit faster and a little bit more of a down-the-field threat.”

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Steve Corkran

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    We drafted Moore, Ford, and DHB (most productive WR last season) under AL.

  • 8RaiderReign8

    Raider O Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 1:46 pm
    Allen & Knapp are full of Schmitt!
    $$$$$$$
    LMAO
    Reece is an avg blocker, but he is a matchup nightmare in the passing game.
    ________________

    Reece aint half bad at running either.

  • TxRaider210

    @49 Crazy how when most times you see dump off to DMAC or Reece, you know they should pick up at least 10 yds.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Allen’s post-practice message urged the players to play with “passion and violence.”

    ***

    yeah, baby!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Defensive end Hall Davis, a first-year player out of Louisiana-Lafayette, made the defensive play of the day when he batted a Matt Leinart pass into the air near the goal line and then made a diving interception

    ***

    this guy gunning for Jack Crawford’s 4th DE job?

  • RaiderRockstar

    At fullback, free agent signee Owen Schmitt and first-year back Rashawn Jackson got most of the work.

    “It’s nice to have Marcel back. He’s a little behind but he’s working hard to get caught up in what we’re doing offensively,” coach Dennis Allen said.

    ***

    Schmitt = starter

  • 8RaiderReign8

    Raider O Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 1:48 pm
    We drafted Moore, Ford, and DHB (most productive WR last season) under AL.
    ___________________

    You’re right O… It just seems funny that the only wide receiver drafted is already a standout player.

    Plus DHB having the most yards isn’t that great… Somebody had to catch the ball

  • Raidernationdave

    I’m gonna knock you out! Momma said knock you out!

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

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Allen’s post-practice message urged the players to play with “passion and violence.”

    ***

    yeah, baby!

  • 8RaiderReign8

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 1:51 pm
    At fullback, free agent signee Owen Schmitt and first-year back Rashawn Jackson got most of the work.

    “It’s nice to have Marcel back. He’s a little behind but he’s working hard to get caught up in what we’re doing offensively,” coach Dennis Allen said.

    ***

    Schmitt = starter
    _____________

    Reece = luxury/closer

  • RaiderRockstar

    I’m gonna knock you out! Momma said knock you out!

    ***

    @RND

    nice LL Cool J reference. loved that song when I was a youngster!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    We have been doing well in later rounds especially at the WR position.
    L Murphy 4th RD
    D Moore 5th RD
    J Criner 5th RD

    Other positions:
    T Branch 4th RD
    M Bush 4th RD
    T Scott 5th/ 6th RD

  • Raidernationdave

    Ladies Love Cool James

  • RaiderRockstar

    We have been doing well in later rounds especially at the WR position.

    J Higgins 3rd RD
    L Murphy 4th RD
    D Moore 5th RD
    J Criner 5th RD

  • Raidernationdave

    Hopefully the Raiders can score 48 a game to counter the 44 a game they are set to give up!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Veldheer 3rd RD
    Shaughnessy 3rd RD
    Ford 3rd RD

    I can’t complain about the draft. The last few years have been solid IMO.
    Btw, I’m not ready to give up on McClain, and DHB continues to work and improve and he was our most productive WR last year.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    LOL
    You can’t help yourself? Where is Funky Smurf at now? Is he still in the league?
    I had high hopes for that dude, but he wasn’t the same after that hit.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Where is Funky Smurf at now?

    ***

    same place as Frantz Joseph!

    waiting for a call from Reggie.

  • 8RaiderReign8

    Yeah drafts have been getting better… But you have to admit that we went away from our usual standard in drafting wide receivers

  • 8RaiderReign8

    Raider O Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 2:07 pm
    LOL
    You can’t help yourself? Where is Funky Smurf at now? Is he still in the league?
    I had high hopes for that dude, but he wasn’t the same after that hit.
    _______________

    He still has a dancing career with all those pop locking moves

  • El Tato

    who is playing first team slot CB?

  • 8RaiderReign8

    El Tato Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 2:22 pm
    who is playing first team slot CB?
    _____________________

    Sounds like a good question for the live chat

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I didn’t Know he was out of the league. Too bad, I wanted us to draft him.

  • DutchRaider77

    FB Marcel Reece, who signed his exclusive rights tender Monday, said he still hopes to land a future long-term deal with Oakland. “I want to be a Raider for life,” Reece said Wednesday. “I think I’ve made that clear since 2008. That’s just the bottom line.”

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Spencer will be our slot CB, and I think DVD or Chekwa will start with Bartell.

  • DJ Johnny

    42.8RaiderReign8 Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 1:40 pm
    All I ever wanted for the Oakland raiders is to have the run defense in the top 15… If we could do that we’re going to the playoffs

    All i’ve ever asked is if you have your opponent at their own 1/2 yd. line…with the game on the line…that i can have a reasonable expectation that the defense is going to find someway…somehow…to make a damn stop to save the game.

    Last year…that was waaaaay too much to ask apparently.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    8RaiderReign8 Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 2:18 pm
    Yeah drafts have been getting better… But you have to admit that we went away from our usual standard in drafting wide receivers
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    I agree.

  • TxRaider210

    Raider O Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 2:38 pm
    Spencer will be our slot CB, and I think DVD or Chekwa will start with Bartell.
    —————
    I’m not sure if I want DVD to start, but Chekwa can play well when healthy. Spencer in the slot could work imo, he seems to play physical.

  • DonManoukiansNeighbor

    Kelly, Seymour and Lechler opted not to attend.
    —————————————————-

    Wonder if Lechler is butt hurt over something.

  • DJ Johnny

    74.Raider O Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 2:38 pm
    Spencer will be our slot CB, and I think DVD or Chekwa will start with Bartell.

    I think you’re right on with that one. I do wonder though if during these 6 long weeks between mandatory OTA’s and actual training camp if we’ll see any last minute dealings from Reggie to solidify that DB corps.

    Or..if he’s gonna bring in T.O or somethng weird. Doubtful i guess.

  • DJ Johnny

    So training camp is basically only 2 weeks to put the pads on and get your team ready for the entire season since camp is in late July and our first preseason game is on Aug. 13th.

  • DJ Johnny

    78.DonManoukiansNeighbor Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 2:41 pm
    Kelly, Seymour and Lechler opted not to attend.
    —————————————————-

    Wonder if Lechler is butt hurt over something.

    Maybe he’s still mad about Cable getting fired..Remember that tirade?

  • TxRaider210

    @79 I pray that Reggie doesn’t bring a cancer, like TO, in that locker-room. I don’t care if Palmer likes the guy, he doesn’t ever seem to learn.

  • DonManoukiansNeighbor

    Or..if he’s gonna bring in T.O or somethng weird. Doubtful i guess.
    ————————————————–
    T.O. was cut from his arena league team. If that doesnt mean he’s done with football what does?

  • DJ Johnny

    I hear ya TxRaider.

    I think he can probably still play but don’t think Reggie and DA want that sideshow.

  • DutchRaider77

    Those in attendance but not practicing with their teammates were Stefen Wisniewski, Aaron Curry, and Matt Shaughnessy. All are injury related….Curry was replaced at weak side linebacker by rookie Miles Burris.

    __________________________________________________

    Wonder if this is somthing to watch, Burris over Curry at WLB?

  • DonManoukiansNeighbor

    81.DJ Johnny Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 2:45 pm
    78.DonManoukiansNeighbor Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 2:41 pm
    Kelly, Seymour and Lechler opted not to attend.
    —————————————————-

    Wonder if Lechler is butt hurt over something.

    Maybe he’s still mad about Cable getting fired..Remember that tirade?
    —————————————————
    Maybe Reg told him to make some good investments because those check will be alot smaller in the future. Plus we brought in a punter.

  • TxRaider210

    @84 I just don’t trust the dude as a team player. I’d take Plax or one of our young guys, who want to play, over him anyday.

  • TxRaider210

    DutchRaider77 Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 2:48 pm
    Those in attendance but not practicing with their teammates were Stefen Wisniewski, Aaron Curry, and Matt Shaughnessy. All are injury related….Curry was replaced at weak side linebacker by rookie Miles Burris.

    __________________________________________________

    Wonder if this is somthing to watch, Burris over Curry at WLB?
    —————
    If I was worried about a LB taking my job, it’d be Burris for sure.lol

  • Raidernationdave

    He’s butt-hurt cuz Raider O wants to dock his pay!!!

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

    DonManoukiansNeighbor Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    81.DJ Johnny Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 2:45 pm
    78.DonManoukiansNeighbor Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 2:41 pm
    Kelly, Seymour and Lechler opted not to attend.
    —————————————————-

    Wonder if Lechler is butt hurt over something.

    Maybe he’s still mad about Cable getting fired..Remember that tirade?
    —————————————————
    Maybe Reg told him to make some good investments because those check will be alot smaller in the future. Plus we brought in a punter.

  • aig-raiders

    Steve Corkran ‏@CorkOnTheNFL

    Palmer threads laser over two defenders and right on the money to Heyward-Bey, who attempts to one-hand the ball and drops it.
    —————————–

    and the sky is blue…bla bla bla.

    He is who he is. Just throw him short passes and let him run with the rock.

  • The Big Banana

    #38 – so would you be ok with all starters flipping the bird to OTAs? Didn’t Allen just say that Wiz (a starter) missing OTAs would set him back a bit?

  • The Big Banana

    I don’t think coaches get excited about high attendance at OTAs just for sh1ts and giggles.

  • TxRaider210

    92 I think for the money that Sey and TK make, I’d like to see them going the extra mile to help in a new D.imo

  • The Big Banana

    #90 – lol. Trying to keep up with Criner? He needs to catch those balls however he can (with his body) and stop with the theatrics.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    LOL Dave.

  • http://out-of-whack 909RaiderLifer

    Nice of Corkran to join us BEFORE happy hour, for a change…

    Can’t wait for training camp. When the defense can take off the flags, and put the pads on. Only then will we get an idea if Allen, and Tarver’s scheme is worth the hype. I sure hope it is…

    We want the CUP! Go Kings GO!!

  • Raidernationdave

    It’s all love brah! Man-hug!

  • Raidernationdave

    LMFAO!
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    909RaiderLifer Says:
    June 6th, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Nice of Corkran to join us BEFORE happy hour, for a change…

    Can’t wait for training camp. When the defense can take off the flags, and put the pads on. Only then will we get an idea if Allen, and Tarver’s scheme is worth the hype. I sure hope it is…

    We want the CUP! Go Kings GO!!

  • Raidernationdave

    In all fairness Raider O is not that hard on our boy Shane “The Best Fricken Punter in the NFL” Lechler.

    “O” thinks Shane can be a monster punter making minimum wage….not NFL minimum wage mind you, minimum wage!

  • Raidernationdave

    I kid because I care “O”!