Part of the Bay Area News Group

Notes, quotes and observations — final day of camp

By Steve Corkran
Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 at 2:54 pm in Oakland Raiders.

NAPA — Rookie offensive tackle Menelik Watson and linebacker Keenan Clayton returned to practice Wednesday, just in time to take part in the final on-field activities of the Napa portion of training camp.
Now it’s on to Alameda, where the Raiders will spend the rest of the season. Much remains to be done between now and the regular-season opener Sept. 8.
Even so, coach Dennis Allen and quarterback Matt Flynn, in particular, departed Napa satisfied that their time in the wine country yielded the proper harvest.
“It was a good camp,” Allen said. “Our guys came out here and worked and we got better. We got a good evaluation of what we have here in this camp right now.”
Flynn was even more emphatic and fired up over what took place here since the players first arrived four weeks ago.
“I feel like we had a really good camp,” Flynn said. “I do. We’re a different team now than we were at the start of camp on Day 1.
“We’ve made a lot of improvements, gotten used to each other, we’ve developed a lot of chemistry and I learned that there’s a big passion for the game from everyone, from the top to the bottom. I like this team, and I like the work ethic and I have big expectations for us.”

– Allen said Watson has a lot of catching up to do after missing virtually all of training camp with a calf injury. Therefore, Watson won’t play Friday night against the Chicago Bears.
“We got him a couple of reps per period,” Allen said. “Just, again, I want to ease him into it, even though he’s missed a lot of time, and he’s far behind, because he’s missed all of camp, but I want to try to make sure he’s healthy and get him ready to go and I won’t play him in the game Friday night.”
Watson worked at right offensive tackle during the media access period. That brings about the prospect of the Raiders moving Khalif Barnes to left offensive tackle to fill in for injured starter Jared Veldheer and finding someone to take Barnes’ spot on the right side.
After all, Barnes played left tackle during his four years with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the left tackle spot is the blind side tackle spot for the Raiders.
“We’ll talk about it, we’ll look at it,” Allen said. “I feel comfortable where he’s at on the right side. Anything is possible, but I don’t really anticipate a change there.”

– Veldheer spoke with the media Wednesday for the first time since he had surgery to repair a partially torn triceps.
He said the injury was somewhat of a fluke, that it came during a pass-protection drill. He added that he doesn’t feel there’s a connection between the injury and how hard he trained during the offseason. He also doesn’t feel as if he made things worse by continuing to practice for a spell afterward.
“It’s strange,” Veldheer said. “It’s not something that I’ve ever been through. First football-related procedure that I’ve ever had done. It’s disappointing, it’s tough but the only thing that I’m focused on now is putting all my attention into getting after it and rehabbing and getting back on the field.”
He said he intends to play again this season. He won’t have a firm timetable for his potential return until he goes in for a follow-up appointment next week.

– Allen said that strong safety Tyvon Branch and defensive tackle Pat Sims likely won’t play Friday against the Bears.
Branch has been bothered by sore hips. Sims has missed most of camp with a leg injury of some sort.
Defensive tackle Vance Walker also has missed considerable time this camp with an undisclosed injury. He is slated to make his Raiders debut Friday night.

– Alex Barron is your starting left offensive tackle Friday night for the second straight game since Veldheer went down with his injury.
That doesn’t mean that he’ll be the starting tackle for the regular-season opener. In fact, Allen said, the Raiders always are on the look out for players that can provide an upgrade.
“You’re always looking for ways to improve your football team, so we’re going to continue to watch and see what comes across the waiver wire and what else is out there, and if there’s somebody that we feel like gives us a better chance, then we’ll make those moves,” Allen said.

– Several people asked during the live chat today for an assessment of linebacker Chase Thomas. Well, given the media weren’t permitted access to much of the proceedings today, we’ll turn to Allen for his take.
“Obviously, with J.T. (Jason Tarver, defensive coordinator) having some experience with him from Stanford, that was an obvious plus,” Allen said. “He’s got some power, some strength, does a pretty good job as an on-the-line, line of scrimmage linebacker setting edges and doing stuff like that. He was a guy that we felt like could come in, learn the system pretty quickly and really be thrown into the fire fairly quickly.”

– As of now, it’s conceivable that linebacker Sio Moore will be the only one of the 10 players selected by the Raiders in the NFL draft in April in the starting lineup against the Indianapolis Colts in the season-opening game.
In fact, it’s possible that Moore will be the only one of 16 players drafted by general manager Reggie McKenzie during his two years at the helm to be among the 22 starters against the Colts.
That doesn’t mean the Raiders didn’t find some talented players with the potential to help out in some capacity this season and potentially start at some point.
“I’ve been pleased,” Allen said of this year’s draft class. “Really, from top to bottom, we have brought in some talented players. They’ve all made progress throughout this camp. They still have a long way to go, they still have a lot of improving they have to do. The fortunate thing for us is they still have two more preseason games to really evaluate them and to see if they’re worthy of being on the team.”

– Fortunately for this year’s draft class, whether they make the 53-man roster isn’t tied to their performance in the rookie show that teams typically put on during a night out in camp. For the Raiders, that took place earlier this week.
“They were terrible,” Allen said. “In 12 years of NFL football, it was the worst rookie show I’ve seen. A couple of good skits. D.J. has a little talent, Sio Moore has a little bit of talent but overall very disappointed. I’m glad we’re not evaluating them on their rookie show ability.”

– If you’re looking for the next Rod Streater, a player that makes the quantum leap from undrafted free agent to instant impact player, keep looking.
Allen said he was impressed by several such players during camp this season, but none matched the production of Streater last season, when he went from an unheard of player out of Temple to a starting receiver in the opener.

– Quarterback Terrelle Pryor is seeking to become the fourth player to don No. 2 in a regular-season game for the Raiders.
He switched from the No. 6 he wore his first two seasons with the Raiders to No. 2. Punter Leo Araguz and quarterbacks Aaron Brooks and JaMarcus Russell are the only other players to wear that number in a regular-season game before.
Pryor, of course, wore No. 2 at Ohio State. When he signed with the Raiders in 2011, he checked into the prospect of wearing No. 2.
Here’s what Pryor had to say at the time, when he broached the topic with then-coach Hue Jackson: “Coach won’t let me wear No. 2. Why? I don’t know. You tell me. I’m just going off what coach tells me.”

– Allen said it’s possible that all four quarterbacks will see action against the Bears.
Projected starting players tend to play the most in their team’s third exhibition game. So, that means Flynn likely will play one half, if not a tad more, then be relieved by Pryor. Undrafted rookie Matt McGloin will take over for Pryor for the third straight game, Allen said, with fourth-round pick Tyler Wilson mopping up.

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  • The Big Banana

    Guest123 Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:05 am
    So wins don’t matter anymore. we are grading on a curve? what’s the criteria for pass/fail on the “competition scale”. If we lose by less then 10 pts, is that considered a “win”.

    Pardon the questions, I’m just trying to understand the new sliding scale.

    I wish they graded me on a curve when I went to school!

    ——–

    10 and then. In 10 years, they can be held fully accountable.

    2022 – year of accountability

  • The_Judge37

    bcz24 Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:10 am
    never blame God, ever.
    ***************
    Unless hellfire and brimstone rain down from above…
    —–

    Or blame it on Global Warming

  • DJ Johnny

    598, I agree dplunk. The game is the most important preseason game and has potential to be very revealing as to what we’ll be like this year.

    If we get blown out and look bad it will not be a good sign.

    On another note. If DMAC really thinks he’s gonna get some monster contract in free agency next offseason he’d better get his act together.

  • RaiderRockstar

    @G123

    we already know you hate AI for some strange personal reasons. a few months ago trying to convince everybody that he’s a terrible father. pfft

    has nothing to do with his NBA career. just your own bigotry/prejudice

  • RaiderRockstar

    BBall HOF is already easier to get into than Gloria James

    ***

    Judge = another guy buying into rumors & media propaganda

    hey – what are they saying about the RAIDS these days??

  • Whoknows
  • willy91137

    just want to see them compete in games this year next year when we have the money

    and all of our draft picks will want to see them bring some players in where we can start containing in our division

    the quarterback situation we will find out this year if our quarterback is on this team now or will drafted one next year and we will be able to to sort out are O line

    maybe Watson will be a stud that would give us three very good lineman

  • SpudRaider

    Anyone know what Menelik Watson’s boxing record was? Was he the type that required good foot work, or did he just count on taking punches until he got an opening and hoped to lay that one punch? If he was the former I think he will be quickly able to start, good foot work is good foot work.

  • SpudRaider

    dplunk; Menelik Still looks British to me.

  • The_Judge37

    SpudRaider Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:33 am
    Anyone know what Menelik Watson’s boxing record was?
    ——-

    Apparently, he never actually fought. Just hung around the Boxing Gym with a calf injury. But his coaches could just tell he’d be a beast.

  • PlunkforHOF

    Good morning Raider fans and others!

    Really annoying to have to sign in EVERY time I want to post.

    For those of you who have asked about my health stuff, I had throat surgery yesterday. They took out the tonsil where the cancer was, and took a few biopsy samples from my tongue and throat. Doc said in the recovery room that everything looks great and not to worry. Waiting for pathology report.. Thanks to my Raider brethren for your kind words and support.

  • willy91137

    what the hell do British people look like nowadays he looks like an African-American to me with a British accentSpudRaider Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:35 am
    dplunk; Menelik Still looks British to me.

  • The_Judge37

    PlunkforHOF Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:43 am
    Good morning Raider fans and others!
    —–

    Good morning and good news.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Whoknows Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 8:43 am
    I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not the 49ers have a very very good defense
    and DA knows defense
    ********************
    We were told DA knows defense. Where is your proof?
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    We know he is clueless about the offense.

  • PlunkforHOF

    BTW, Raids/Aints replay coming on NFLN in 10 mins.. Think I can stomach watching it again.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Guest123 Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 8:48 am
    Well if this ship is the titanic, I want to be one of the violinsts playing a happy tune while the ship upends and sinks in the ocean.

    Cheers gentlemen! Been an honor and a priviledge!
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Not me. I want to live. I want to be the guy in the boat after pushing a woman and her child in the ocean.

  • bcz24

    The last 3 minutes of the first half and the 3rd quarter were good…

  • Bigmike34

    Who Knows

    Thanks for the link….It clearly demonstrates how effective a short pass can be for a long gain…It is just as effective for a long gain as throwing it up and hoping for the best…and Flynn can heave it 50 yards or more if he has an open guy…

  • DJ Johnny

    Whoknows Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:29 am
    http://espn.go.com/blog/afcwest/post/_/id/61156/lack-of-top-100-talent-cripples-oakland-raiders

    Interesting that they say Reggie won’t build much thru free agency but rather by developing his own players like they did in GB.

    Then they quote Reggie saying “When I got to GB we didn’t have many studs and it wasn’t until we got Brett Favre and Reggie White that things started to take off”.

    Favre was NOT “developed” from inside the GB org. and Reggie White was one of the biggest FA signings in NFL history.

    So…Reggie will build from within as his credo for success but admits that it was only through picking up a FREE AGENT in Favre and the biggest splash in free agency history in White that was the impetus for the team to become a force in the league?

  • dplunk

    SpudRaider Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:35 am
    dplunk; Menelik Still looks British to me.
    ————————————————
    ha ha ha….Easy Now

  • Whoknows

    Bigmike34 Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:54 am
    Who Knows

    Thanks for the link….It clearly demonstrates how effective a short pass can be for a long gain…It is just as effective for a long gain as throwing it up and hoping for the best…and Flynn can heave it 50 yards or more if he has an open guy…
    *************************************
    Yes because Pryor is incapable of making the -2 yard throw. Yawn.

  • DJ Johnny

    Yes. Brett Favre and Reggie White are the perfect examples for not utilizing free agency in building your program. Even though he cites those FREE AGENT signings as being the key to launching their success in GB.

    Ok. I get it.

  • Whoknows

    You make a good point DJ.

  • Just Win Baby

    The_Judge37 Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:42 am
    SpudRaider Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:33 am
    Anyone know what Menelik Watson’s boxing record was?
    ——-

    Apparently, he never actually fought. Just hung around the Boxing Gym with a calf injury. But his coaches could just tell he’d be a beast.
    ===============

    Now THAT’S funny.

  • DJ Johnny

    *correction to post 622.

    I think Favre was acquired in a trade. Same difference.

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    DJ Johnny Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 7:50 am
    Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush) Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 7:42 am
    As I was eating dinner last night with Riki Ellison and his family, Riki gave me his thoughts on the 2013 Raiders. We were in full agreement that the Raiders need a coach before anything has a chance of turning around.

    So he doesn’t have faith in DA?

    I have a question. Would SF have gone from 5-11 to 13-3 and within a fumble of the SB in one year with a DA as coach?
    ————————————
    Maybe if DA was a coordinator on the team, but not as the lead guy. Unfortunately for us Raider fans He is out of his league as an NFL head coach.

  • dplunk

    Just a thought:..IDK the answer:…Did the Seahawks “fire’ their GM for signing Matt Flynn in free agency?

  • DutchRaider77

    622.DJ Johnny Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:57 am
    Yes. Brett Favre and Reggie White are the perfect examples for not utilizing free agency in building your program. Even though he cites those FREE AGENT signings as being the key to launching their success in GB.

    Ok. I get it.

    __________________________________________________

    Brett Favre was developed in Atlanta? Uh, he was on the Atlanta Falcons for one year…had 4 passes for 0 yards and two of them were INTs.

    I bet next year we get a big time FA…

  • Just Win Baby

    We should have traded Darren McFeces 2 seasons ago when he still was worth something. Now he is not only a Ferrarri with a bbent wheel, but he has 2 year old gas sitting in the tank. Couldn’t even sell him for parts. That dude who shredded him on that fantasy football program was right. He is just collecting a paycheck.

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    DJ Johnny Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:54 am
    Whoknows Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:29 am
    http://espn.go.com/blog/afcwest/post/_/id/61156/lack-of-top-100-talent-cripples-oakland-raiders

    Interesting that they say Reggie won’t build much thru free agency but rather by developing his own players like they did in GB.

    Then they quote Reggie saying “When I got to GB we didn’t have many studs and it wasn’t until we got Brett Favre and Reggie White that things started to take off”.

    Favre was NOT “developed” from inside the GB org. and Reggie White was one of the biggest FA signings in NFL history.

    So…Reggie will build from within as his credo for success but admits that it was only through picking up a FREE AGENT in Favre and the biggest splash in free agency history in White that was the impetus for the team to become a force in the league?
    —————————-
    I want to believe in Reg but stuff like this really makes me question him.

  • dplunk

    willy91137 Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:44 am
    what the hell do British people look like nowadays he looks like an African-American to me with a British accentSpudRaider Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:35 am
    dplunk; Menelik Still looks British to me.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    L.O.L. Exactly!

  • bcz24

    Favre was NOT “developed” from inside the GB org
    *********
    Favre absolutely WAS developed in the GB org. He was traded from Atlanta in his second year. He wasn’t very good in Atlanta (clearly… you don’t trade good QB’s)

  • DutchRaider77

    Maybe if DA was a coordinator on the team, but not as the lead guy. Unfortunately for us Raider fans He is out of his league as an NFL head coach.

    _________________________________________________

    Yeah, so was Pete Carroll and Bill Bellicheck…both fired.

  • DJ Johnny

    Whoknows Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:58 am
    You make a good point DJ.

    Thanks. I just don’t understand this reasoning.

    The writer of the piece didn’t recognize the contradiction either. Maybe i’m missing something.

  • bcz24

    Brett Favre was developed in Atlanta? Uh, he was on the Atlanta Falcons for one year…had 4 passes for 0 yards and two of them were INTs.
    ***********
    His first completion in the NFL was to… himself.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    SpudRaider Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 8:06 am
    I’m Sorry 539 but question like

    “I have a question. Would SF have gone from 5-11 to 13-3 and within a fumble of the SB in one year with a DA as coach?” I find absurd.

    I have a question if Napoleon had one dude with an M-16 at Waterloo would we have won?

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

    LOL.

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    guest123 Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:09 am
    these are not your fathers Raiders.
    ——————————-
    Don’t remind me!

  • bcz24

    Besides, Reggie never said he WON’T use free agency. He has always maintained that you build your core through the draft, and add in FA’s to compliment them. That is sound football logic right there. YOu can’t buy championships through free agency.

  • Whoknows

    Maybe Reggie thinks Flynn is his new Farve.

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    DutchRaider77 Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 10:04 am
    Maybe if DA was a coordinator on the team, but not as the lead guy. Unfortunately for us Raider fans He is out of his league as an NFL head coach.

    _________________________________________________

    Yeah, so was Pete Carroll and Bill Bellicheck…both fired.
    ———————
    Are you making comparisons?

  • DJ Johnny

    bcz24 Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 10:06 am
    Brett Favre was developed in Atlanta? Uh, he was on the Atlanta Falcons for one year…had 4 passes for 0 yards and two of them were INTs.
    ***********
    His first completion in the NFL was to… himself.

    Not saying he was “developed” just that he was acquired from another team.

    The point of the latter of the piece was that Reggie was gonna do it GB way and not thru free agency, then immediately syas they sucked until they picked up two guys from other teams.

  • DutchRaider77

    Think Reggie signs Jay Cutler next year? No, not a good thing…

  • rediaR

    Uhhh when has Reggie ever had the cap room to actually build through free agency more than he already has? Call them excuses all you want, but that is reality.

  • DJ Johnny

    bcz24 Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 10:07 am
    Besides, Reggie never said he WON’T use free agency. He has always maintained that you build your core through the draft, and add in FA’s to compliment them. That is sound football logic right there. YOu can’t buy championships through free agency.

    That’s fine but everybody knows Reggie White was more than just a compliment. He ( a FA) is widely recognized as the most important piece to GB getting over the hump and winning their 1st SB since Lombardi.

  • guest123

    You guys think Reggie signs DMC to an extension after the season?

    why or why not?

  • DJ Johnny

    rediaR Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 10:11 am
    Uhhh when has Reggie ever had the cap room to actually build through free agency more than he already has? Call them excuses all you want, but that is reality.

    It’s more in the speculation of what he will do NEXT yr. and how many are saying despite all the $$$ he will have he won’t go big in FA.

    No. He hasn’t had much room to do much as yet.

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    guest123 Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 10:13 am
    You guys think Reggie signs DMC to an extension after the season?

    why or why not?
    ————————-
    I hope Reggie sees that even if DMAC has a nice year that he is not dependable and not worthy of a big multi year contract. I think if DMAC has a good year maybe Reg will offer him a 1 year deal, 2 year MAX.
    If I was a betting man I would say DMAC is a Packer or Patriot next year.

  • DJ Johnny

    Nobody wants a FA frenzy where Reggie is overpaying a bunch of check cashers; which is what u get sometimes when you go that route.

    He may need to pay more than he wants to get a real good player that will help the team.

    “Overpay” depends on that guys value to your team.

  • SpudRaider

    willy91137 & dplunk

    Sorry no disrespect I was just trying to be humorous–that’s all. Sorry if a I crossed a line. Your right I’m a white dude who doesn’t know what he is talking about. I agree that African-Americans still aren’t treated equally in this country. I’m no white liberal apologist, it’s obvious w/ anyone w/ eyes. How can the Southern States of this country have no African-American as a senator when the majority in those states are of that decent?
    The thing is I’m a workaholic who had to take medical leave w/ strict instructions of no working from home. So to occupy my time I started blogging.

  • ElkGRaider

    Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush) Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 10:16 am
    guest123 Says:
    August 22nd, 2013 at 10:13 am
    You guys think Reggie signs DMC to an extension after the season?

    why or why not?
    ————————-
    I hope Reggie sees that even if DMAC has a nice year that he is not dependable and not worthy of a big multi year contract. I think if DMAC has a good year maybe Reg will offer him a 1 year deal, 2 year MAX.
    If I was a betting man I would say DMAC is a Packer or Patriot next year.
    ===========

    He’s turning into a homerun hitter. If the hole is there he runs hard (and keeps it tucked in one arm). If he needs to gain that tough 1-2 yrds its like he puts both arms around it and closes his eyes.

    He’s done. Gun shy…