Some quick hits from Friday morning’s practice session:
– The Raiders announced the signing of place kicker Sebastian Janikowski to a four-year extension following practice. Janikowski told reporters he hopes to retire a Raider and that is relieved a deal got done.
Timing was on Janikowski’s side, given that the Raiders have ample cap space next season. In Shane Lechler’s case, the Raiders had zero room in his walk year.
Janikowski said general manager Reggie McKenzie called in the offseason and expressed a desire to get a deal done.
Other key players who could be targeted for extensions with expiring deals include left tackle Jared Veldheer, defensive end Lamarr Houston and running back Darren McFadden. There are a number of new players on one-year deals as well should the Raiders determine they fit in to future plans.
– A strong performance from running back Rashad Jennings, particularly in short-yardage. Jennings has heavy feet, the ability to break tackles and could end up being a solid red-zone and third-and-1 option.
– Wide receiver Brice Butler had a strong showing, catching a short pass from Flynn and juking cornerback Tracy Porter on a nice catch-and-run play.
– Free safety Charles Woodson made a diving intercepted off a deflected pass from Flynn that went off the hands of tight end David Ausberry.
– Cornerback Taiwan Jones also had a deflection-interception, but later was victimized on a third-and-1 play when fullback Jamize Olawale got loose on a circle route, with Matt McGloin hitting him in stride for a big gainer.
– Remaining out of practice for the Raiders, among others, were guard Lucas Nix, wide receiver/return specialist Jacoby Ford, running back Latavius Murray and defensive end Lamarr Houston.
Returning to practice was defensive tackle Stacy McGee. McGee didn’t finish however, and newly acquired Myles Wade was injured also, meaning the Raiders will be on the market again for defensive tackles.
– NFL officials were at practice and will hold presentations for both the media and the players on rule changes and points of emphasis. Among the rule changes that will be of particular interest to Woodson _ the elimination of the tuck rule.
– Special teams coach Bobby April is a stickler for executing a kickoff return block at the 25-yarfd line instead of the 20-yard line, as one Raiders player found out in direct terms.
– Quarterback Tyler Wilson seems to be getting fewer snaps. One one play he fumbled a center snap, then attempted to throw over the middle, with the batted ball being intercepted by Jones.
– Cornerback D.J. Hayden remains in a red jersey and unable to truly mix it up in coverage, and it showed on one completion to tight end Brian Leonhardt when he was only able to make a half-hearted swipe at knocking the ball loose.