Part of the Bay Area News Group

Notes, quotes and observations from camp — Day 5

By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 at 3:28 pm in Oakland Raiders.

NAPA — Two years ago, Denarius Moore burst onto the scene in training camp as a wide receiver to be reckoned with. Last season, Rod Streater made a huge splash. This year, it’s Andre Holmes emerging from a crowded receiving corps and making a strong case for a roster spot, if not significant playing time.
Holmes, 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, caught two passes for 11 yards in seven games with the Dallas Cowboys last season. He also spent time with the Minnesota Vikings since he entered the NFL out of Hillsdale college, the same college that produced Raiders left offensive tackle Jared Veldheer.
Moore and Streater ultimately enjoyed successful rookie seasons. Time will tell if Holmes follows their lead, even if he isn’t a rookie.
If so, he won’t get to make his mark until the Raiders fifth regular-season game, at the earliest, because he was suspended four games by the league for violating its policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Holmes has outshined the likes of second-year receiver Juron Criner, 2013 draftee Brice Butler and undrafted free agents Conner Vernon and Sam McGuffie so far.
Time and again, it’s Holmes making the big play, drawing oohs and aahs from the fans in attendance and catching the eyes of the coaches that will decide who stays and who goes a month or so from now.
“I’ve made some plays and everything but I’m still going to be hungry and just think, ‘OK, I’ve done what I’ve had to do,’ ” Holmes said. “It’s continuous, especially going into the preseason games. That’s where, I said every practice is a game, well the preseason is like the Super Bowl. You got to go out there and show your worth and just because you do it the first four days of camp, you got to keep doing it every single day.”
On Tuesday, Holmes worked his way into the corner of the end zone, timed his leap perfectly and came down with a pass from Tyler Wilson just as the ball sailed over cornerback Taiwan Jones’ fingertips.

– As long as we’re on the subject of wide receivers, coach Dennis Allen said he still isn’t sold on any of the players on his roster as the go-to receiver just yet.
He is hopeful that someone will emerge as the clear-cut No. 1 by camp’s end. Moore and Streater figure to be the only legitimate candidates for that role right now.
“I don’t think we have a go-to guy yet,” Allen said. “I’m waiting for someone to jump out and be the guy. We have a talented, young group that’s working hard, but it’s going to be a work in progress. We have until September to figure that out.”
Moore played the part last season, until he lapsed the second half of the season. Allen is eager to find out if Moore can regain his standing as the No. 1 receiver on this team.
So, what does Moore have to do?
“Make the plays that we want him to make,” Allen said. “He’s going to have to go up and make the contested plays, and he’s going to have to make sure he doesn’t have those concentration drops that he had at times last year. Again, It’s as much about the mental part of it as the physical part of it.”
Beyond that, Allen said, he wants every one of his receivers to develop a certain mind-set.
“Just, to be the go-to guy you’ve got to see yourself as a go-to guy,” Allen said. “We’ve got to develop a swagger with the players on this team. There’s got to be a vision and there’s got to be a belief that they’re good football players, and that they can get the job done.”
Streater said he is taking that message to heart and not wasting any days at practice.
“As of now, I feel like I’m competing for that,” Streater said. “Every day, anything that comes my way I got to catch. Whatever I don’t, I just got to continue to work hard and just continue to focus on running routes right, blocking and doing things receivers do when the balls not in the hands.”

– Nice touch by Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Brown and current Raiders scouts Zack Crockett and Calvin Branch to spend some time with long-time season ticketholder Josh Maresca during practice today.
Maresca, who turned 58 today, is battling illness right now, so the visit no doubt served as a nice pick-me-up. He watched today’s practice while wearing a No. 80 Raiders jersey.

– Linebacker Joe Mays signed with the Houston Texans, but not before receiving interest from a handful of other teams, including the Raiders.
It’s unclear whether the Raiders offered Mays a contract before he opted to sign with the Texans. However, he was on the market when the Raiders were searching for help at linebacker in light of injuries to Miles Burris, Billy Boyko and Kaluka Maiava.

– Allen had a rather revealing quote about rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden: “He’s not a first-round draft choice that feels like he’s entitled. He’s a first-round draft choice that wants to come in and prove himself. That’s what I like about him.”
Everything we’ve seen from Hayden supports Allen’s take. Hayden got beat on back-to-back plays Tuesday, but he bounced back and ran stride for stride with the receiver a few plays later and prevented a long completion.
Even though Hayden hasn’t been cleared for contact in practice, he participates in every drill, doesn’t take off plays and soaks up as much info as he can from coaches and veteran players.

– Offensive players wore the silver jerseys the past couple of days. As it turns out, that’s more than coincidence.
Allen said there’s a little competition going on between the offense and defense each day, with the unit that outperforms the other getting to wear the silver jerseys the next day.
It’s all part of fostering competition, creating a little good-natured rivalry and keeping things interesting during the drawn-out days at training camp.
“There will be practices throughout training camp where we’ll put the jerseys up for grabs and the side of the ball that competes the best,” Allen said, “because, at the end of the day, we’re judged on winning and losing. We had a competition day the other day, the offense won the jersey, the defense is fighting to get it back.”

– Tony Bergstrom worked at left guard once again with Lucas Nix sidelined by injury. The rest of the offensive line looked the same, for the most part.
Jared Veldheer is at left tackle, Stefen Wisniewski at center, Mike Brisiel at right guard and Khalif Barnes at right tackle.
Recently signed lineman Andre Gurode worked at right guard and center. He moved from center to right guard when he was on the field with Wisniewski.

– The play of camp so far came late in the proceedings today, when defensive coordinator Jason Tarver pleaded with his troops to make a goal-line stand.
On the next snap, strong safety Tyvon Branch jumped a route for tight end David Ausberry, stepped in front of Ausberry and intercepted Matt Flynn’s pass. Branch was off to the races, his teammates and Tarver off the hook with excitement.

– A close second came a tad earlier when fullback Marcel Reece matched up with Jones, bolted down the left sidelined, timed his leap perfectly and snared the ball over Jones and kept going for a long touchdown.
That’s the precise reason the Raiders love Reece so much, for his ability to create matchup nightmares because of his rare combination of size, speed, hands and athleticism.

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  • RAIDERMAN99

    Holmes reportedly got whacked for amphetamine usage, right ?

    I’m not condoning the use of amps, but what’s the big deal ?

    Do they give you a ‘competitive advantage’?

    Are they even banned by baseball ?

    Can a football player drink a Red Bull or 5 Hour Energy ?

    I associate amphetamines usage with being skinny, tweeky, paranoid and toothless.

    Why would an athlete use them ?

    To stay alert ?

    They don’t make you bigger, faster or stronger do they ?

    Why are they considered as ‘evil’ as steroids by the NFL ?

  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist

    Good Morning Raider Nation!!!
    It’s a beautiful day to be a Raider fan, isn’t it?

  • CJ Legend 34

    I hear allot of talk about the QB position but if we can’t run the ball this year we’re done! We have to get back to power running the football and that will set up the pass. If we can’t run the ball and stop the run we’re done.

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    Charlie Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 8:05 am

    As I recall Shell’s 2006 club went 4-1 in preseason (we played in the HOF game and had 5 that year.
    We got hammered by the Seahawks in the last game and the rest is history.

    As a result, I do not think the preseason W/L’s is as relevent as what you see in terms of quality of play.
    ===================================================

    I would completely agree with this and there is even an old adage in the league that says if you are winning your preseason games you are not looking at enough players. BUT, this team NEEDS to develop an expectation of winning. And that has not been here for some time. So we all better start with that expectation now, in the preseason.

  • http://www.christianitydisproved.com/ Silverandblack666

    “Why are they considered as ‘evil’ as steroids by the NFL ?”

    Stupid Reagan and his war on drugs.

    Stupid current President allows the Feds to bust legal pot stores in Washington State last week.

  • RaiderRockstar

    @Marks Hair

    read this. it might help you

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2949591

  • http://WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS
  • R8ER MIKE

    skinny, tweeky, paranoid and toothless.
    ****************************************
    ??? sounds like the redneck version of the 7 dwarfs !!!

  • The_Judge37

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 8:35 am
    I had my doubts on Watson when Willie Brown announced the pick and completely butchered his name.
    ——-

    The way the 1st two picks went, i could’ve sworn Willie was reading Al’s last will and testament.

  • http://WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    And I see Bellator’s on tonight as well. Sweet!

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    CJ Legend 34 Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I hear allot of talk about the QB position but if we can’t run the ball this year we’re done! We have to get back to power running the football and that will set up the pass. If we can’t run the ball and stop the run we’re done.
    ================================================

    We have McFadden! Nothing can pooosibly go wrong with McFadden. Seriously tho, Walker, Roach, Sims, the Burnetts, Houston can definitely run defend. Look for improvement there.

  • The_Judge37

    651. Ever see a tweeker run?

  • RaiderRockstar

    read up on the suspensions of Pacman Jones & Odell Thurman, too

    educate yourself bro. or listen to me (your choice)

  • http://www.christianitydisproved.com/ Silverandblack666

    “skinny, tweeky, paranoid and toothless.”

    Don’t we have a trailer park resident who fits that description usually in here trolling and doing a horrible job of predicting presidential races.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Steve Corkran‏@CorkOnTheNFL 8h
    “@ProFootballTalk: Carson Palmer not conerned with “stepping on toes” http://wp.me/p14QSB-9ega ” – Or honoring contract. Table for one? Palmer?

    ***

    LOL!

    nice one, Steve

    8)

  • http://WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    Silverandblack666 Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 8:51 am
    “skinny, tweeky, paranoid and toothless.”

    Don’t we have a trailer park resident who fits that description usually in here trolling and doing a horrible job of predicting presidential races.

    ==========================================

    Post of the Week, right here. I won’t mention his name because he no doubt CTRL-F’s these pages.

  • http://www.christianitydisproved.com/ Silverandblack666

    666

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    Are they even banned by baseball ?
    ========================================

    Is anything banned by baseball?

  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist

    And some cold meds actually will make you read positive in certain tests. He may be telling the truth. Don’t know about the NFL’s tests. They don’t disclose much. For obvious reasons.
    Holmes said he’s accepting the suspension, but maybe he’s still pleading his case in camera.

  • http://www.christianitydisproved.com/ Silverandblack666

    “Post of the Week, right here. I won’t mention his name because he no doubt CTRL-F’s these pages.”

    Exactly why I did not do it!

  • RaiderRockstar

    NAPA – Tony Bergstrom is in a fortunate, yet awkward spot.

    The Raiders offensive lineman is competing to be the starting left guard, a title he’s longed for since being drafted in 2012. Problem is, he has to beat his friend and roommate Lucas Nix to get it.

    The two alternated first-team reps through the first three practices in a hotly contested position battle. In the fourth, Nix went down. He sustained a left knee injury on Monday that coach Dennis Allen considers minor, a relative term when dealing with the fickle, often fragile joint.

    Bergstrom has taken over first-team responsibility with Nix out, a task he didn’t want to be given. He wanted to earn it outright. He certainly didn’t want Nix to get hurt, even if it becomes a positive for him.

    “You never want a friend and a teammate to go down with an injury,” Bergstrom said. “I want the starting spot, but I want him to do well too. I think we push each other and make each other better when we’re both going strong.”

    Bergstrom has an opportunity to take control at left guard, especially if Nix’s absence extends from days to weeks. “You have to take advantage of your opportunities,” Allen said. “He and Nix had been rotating in and out, and with Nix down we need someone else to step up. This is an opportunity for Tony to take advantage of the extra reps.”

    Left guard is a crucial spot in a new blocking scheme based on gap creation and control. Either Bergstrom or Nix, with just one start between them, will man that spot.

    Competing against a good friend can be difficult, but it’s a part of life within a position group. In Bergstrom’s case, his competition with Nix doesn’t extend beyond the practice field.

    “You’re not playing directly against other, so that rivalry doesn’t develop,” he said. “Off the field, we’re pretty close. We’re roommates and we’ve lived together since we were rookies. There’s no bad blood at all. We understand that we’re both working to make the team better.”

    -Scott Bair, CSN

  • hwnrdr

    668.Seymour Bush Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 8:53 am
    Are they even banned by baseball ?
    ========================================

    Is anything banned by baseball?

    Alex Rodriguez may be…Pete Rose, Shoeless Jackson

    Good Morning btw!

  • dplunk

    one thing for certain is the Raiders players havent’ had many cases in recent history with players being juiced other than the RB Goodman last year. so with heightened HGH testing a possibility.. Who knows how the Raiders will fare if the playing field is leveled.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 7:00 am
    Bass seems like a huge upside pick for a 7th rounder.

    Compare that to Nate Stupar, whose ceiling was about 3 inches from his floor.
    ==========================================
    Stupar was too small. Don’t know how he got drafted.

    RAIDS seemed to have a fascination with PENN ST players last year.

    Stupar, Crawford, can’t remember the name of the kid that was a DB and supposedly an ‘other worldly’ athlete and special teams ace.

    And now there’s McGLOIN.

    Someone should tell the scout working Penn State to try to find us a Matt Millen instead of these throwaways.

  • http://WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    And from Twitter:

    Christopher Hansen
    Haven’t heard/seen any rehab. Conditioning likely. RT @RaiderDuck: @ChrisHansenNFL Any idea what’s wrong with Menelik Watson? #RaiderNation
    just now from TweetDeck

  • RaiderRockstar

    has Von Miller appealed his suspension and been made available for the Raiders game, yet?

  • R8ER MIKE

    Silverandblack666 Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 8:51 am
    “skinny, tweeky, paranoid and toothless.”

    Don’t we have a trailer park resident who fits that description usually in here trolling and doing a horrible job of predicting presidential races
    ********************************************
    i have never predicted a presidential race sir , and i am no where near skinny either !!

  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist

    R8ER MIKE Says:
    skinny, tweeky, paranoid and toothless.
    ****************************************
    ??? sounds like the redneck version of the 7 dwarfs !!!
    ===================================

    Thanks, Mike. I spit coffee all over my laptop.

  • RaiderRockstar

    thanks for the update on Watson, Duck..

    maybe he is on the cheeseburger diet, that I tried to debunk last week?

    one of the astute semi pro’s gets +2 BCP from me

  • dplunk

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 8:58 am
    has Von Miller appealed his suspension and been made available for the Raiders game, yet?
    ——————————————
    I his suspension will be reviewed in the 2nd wk of August

  • The Big Banana

    Lol, Mike!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Mike has more jokes than the Kansas City Chiefs!

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    hwnrdr Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 8:56 am

    668.Seymour Bush Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 8:53 am
    Are they even banned by baseball ?
    ========================================

    Is anything banned by baseball?

    Alex Rodriguez may be…Pete Rose, Shoeless Jackson

    Good Morning btw!
    =======================================

    hahaha. Good one.

  • dplunk

    I his suspension will be reviewed in the 2nd wk of August
    —————–
    I think his suspension will be reviewed in the 2nd wk of August

  • The_Judge37

    673.dplunk Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 8:57 am
    one thing for certain is the Raiders players havent’ had many cases in recent history with players being juiced other than the RB Goodman last year. so with heightened HGH testing a possibility.. Who knows how the Raiders will fare if the playing field is leveled.
    ——–

    Yeah that’s true. Our training staff might not be good at getting guys healthy, but we know how to cover up drug tests, so it’s give and take.

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    Sir RaiderDuck, OMS Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 8:58 am

    And from Twitter:

    Christopher Hansen
    Haven’t heard/seen any rehab. Conditioning likely. RT @RaiderDuck: @ChrisHansenNFL Any idea what’s wrong with Menelik Watson? #RaiderNation
    just now from TweetDeck
    ================================================

    Watson’s calf was wrapped when I saw him.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Watson’s calf was wrapped when I saw him.

    ***

    in bacon!

  • dplunk

    The_Judge37 Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 9:02 am Yeah that’s true. Our training staff might not be good at getting guys healthy, but we know how to cover up drug tests, so it’s give and take.
    —————————————————-
    I’m going to err on the side that the players are clean

  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist

    R8ER MIKE Says:
    skinny, tweeky, paranoid and toothless.
    ****************************************
    ??? sounds like the redneck version of the 7 dwarfs !!!
    ==================================================

    Skinny, Tweaky, Paranoid, Toothless, Twitchy, Scabby, and Fried?

  • hwnrdr

    686.Seymour Bush Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 9:03 am
    Sir RaiderDuck, OMS Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 8:58 am

    And from Twitter:

    Christopher Hansen
    Haven’t heard/seen any rehab. Conditioning likely. RT @RaiderDuck: @ChrisHansenNFL Any idea what’s wrong with Menelik Watson? #RaiderNation
    just now from TweetDeck
    ================================================

    Watson’s calf was wrapped when I saw him.

    You went to TC right? How long did the fans get to stay, or was it til the afternoon then we all went home?

  • http://www.christianitydisproved.com/ Silverandblack666

    “i have never predicted a presidential race sir , and i am no where near skinny either !!”

    Nor do you have brown skid marks on your underwear and wake up drinking Pabst’s Blue Ribbon We are talking about someone else who we do not want to name…

  • http://www.christianitydisproved.com/ Silverandblack666

    “Watson’s calf was wrapped when I saw him.

    ***

    in bacon!”

    LMFAO I spit out my coffee when I saw that.

  • The_Judge37

    688.dplunk Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 9:06 am
    The_Judge37 Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 9:02 am Yeah that’s true. Our training staff might not be good at getting guys healthy, but we know how to cover up drug tests, so it’s give and take.
    —————————————————-
    I’m going to err on the side that the players are clean
    —-

    How many of our players got caught up in that BALCO mess? I remember Wheatly and Romo, but they never got busted when they were on our Roster. I attribute that to a great training team.

  • M.Shorter

    Anybody see the helmets cams? Pretty badass. ALL Day was fun to watch. Jano and Kluwe got jokes. Also if anyone noticed King is def taking pointers from Kluwe.

  • Purvisman/Intrepid/Eternal Optimist

    RR, fan of the Bacon-Wrapped Filet, huh?

  • The_Judge37

    691.Silverandblack666 Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 9:07 am
    “i have never predicted a presidential race sir , and i am no where near skinny either !!”

    Nor do you have brown skid marks on your underwear and wake up drinking Pabst’s Blue Ribbon We are talking about someone else who we do not want to name…
    ——

    Hey man, what have i ever done to you?

  • R8ER MIKE

    Silverandblack666 Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 9:07 am
    “i have never predicted a presidential race sir , and i am no where near skinny either !!”

    Nor do you have brown skid marks on your underwear and wake up drinking Pabst’s Blue Ribbon We are talking about someone else who we do not want to name…

    *****************************
    very true sir…. i drink Miller Lite !! lol lol

  • raidertbone

    RE 658:
    The other three are: Stanky, Slowfoot, and Cletus

  • DutchRaider77

    693.The_Judge37 Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 9:09 am
    688.dplunk Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 9:06 am
    The_Judge37 Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 9:02 am Yeah that’s true. Our training staff might not be good at getting guys healthy, but we know how to cover up drug tests, so it’s give and take.
    —————————————————-
    I’m going to err on the side that the players are clean
    —-

    How many of our players got caught up in that BALCO mess? I remember Wheatly and Romo, but they never got busted when they were on our Roster. I attribute that to a great training team.

    _________________________________________________

    Awww…the glory years.

    When was the last time you saw a Raiders player in a game playing out of their mind and wonder if they were on somthing?

    I sure haven’t, well maybe the purple drank…

  • Just Fire Baby

    Baseball actually has the toughest testing policy in all of sports.

    They draw blood and test for HGH during the season.