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Notes, quotes and observations from OTA Monday

Rookie Gabe Jackson got some reps with the first-team offensive line today at left guard Monday, and it sounds as if Jackson is on the fast track.
Veteran Khalif Barnes is the projected starter for now. However, it’s not a stretch to envision Jackson winning a starting job at some point, if not right away this season.
“I like Gabe,” coach Dennis Allen said. “I liked him when he came out in the draft. I’ve liked what I’ve seen on the practice field. Mentally is where he’s really got to work to improve. Because any time you get in this situation as a rookie, you’re behind from a mental standpoint and just picking up the offense, not to mention the physical aspect of the game.”
Jackson started all four years during his collegiate career. Allen said starting that many games in the rugged SEC bodes well for Jackson.
Still, Jackson has a ways to go before he beats out either Barnes or Austin Howard at one of the guard spots. Allen makes it sound as if it won’t be long before Jackson makes his mark.
“Gabe is a good athlete for a player of his size, and he’s got very good power,” Allen said. “And he’s a lot better pass protector than people might think. I’ve been impressed with him, I’m pleased with his progress and he’s got to continue to work.”

– Running back Darren McFadden was among a handful of players that returned kicks today. Yes, folks, you read that correctly.
And this wasn’t some lark, either. This is just another example of Allen taking a look at every player in multiple roles to see how he can maximize their talents.
Hence, McFadden joined the likes of Taiwan Jones and George Atkinson III returning kicks midway through practice, even though McFadden hasn’t returned kicks during his first six NFL seasons.
“Anything’s an option,” Allen said, when asked if McFadden is a realistic option as a kick returner. “We’re looking at a lot of different things, a lot of people in a lot of different areas. There’s a ton of things that aren’t set. Everything’s written in pencil right now. We’re going to continue to look, not only at that, but a lot of other areas where guys can help our team win.”

– As for the rest of the offensive line, it looked much the same as it has all offseason:
Left offensive tackle — Donald Penn
Left guard — Barnes/Jackson
Center — Stefen Wisniewski
Right guard — Austin Howard
Right tackle — Menelik Watson
It says here, the only player assured a starting spot along the offensive line is Wisniewski. Penn, Barnes, Howard and Watson simply are the leading candidates to start the season.
“Wiz has been a solid piece to that offensive line,” Allen said. “He’s a little bit of the glue that kind of holds the thing together because he’s highly intelligent. Again, we put a lot on him from a recognition standpoint, whether it be fronts, stunts, blitzes, all that. It’s part of the process. To have somebody of his ability level and his intelligence level, kind of running things in there, is key for our success.”

– Here are the six players who did not participate in full-team drills today: wide receiver James Jones (hamstring), guard Lucas Nix (undisclosed), defensive end Justin Tuck, defensive lineman Antonio Smith, linebacker Kevin Burnett and cornerback DJ Hayden.
Jones worked on his running and routes with an athletic trainer on an adjacent field. He looked fine from a distance. Hayden and Nix did not participate at all, though they was on the field for the duration.
Tuck, Smith and Burnett weren’t spotted on the field at any time. Allen said he communicated with those players and is satisfied with their status.

– Allen and offensive coordinator Greg Olson at times were critical of wide receiver Denarius Moore for his inconsistency.
Here’s what Allen had to say about Moore’s progress in that regard:
“We’re still working through that,” Allen said. “He’s not unlike a lot of guys we have on our football team. He’s still got a lot of improvement that he’s got to make. I’ve seen some strides and hopefully he’ll continue to make those strides.”
Allen is hard on Moore, just as he has been with fellow receiver Juron Criner, Watson, Hayden and others that he has high expectations.
“With all these guys, the attention to detail is where we got to work to continue to improve,” Allen said. “That’s with all these guys because the margin for error in the NFL is very minute, very small, so the ability to be precise in everything you do is critical to (being successful).”
Moore is competing for one of two starting spots, with Rod Streater and Jones the other leading candidates. Allen said the Raiders can succeed without a legitimate No. 1 receiver, as long as a corps of good receivers makes plays when needed.

– Allen wasn’t thrilled about several of his players participating in a charity basketball game late last week.
Then again, all he could do was let his feelings be known, offer his advice on how to proceed and hope none of his players got hurt.
“I’m happy that we were able to get through that without any injuries,” Allen said. “The intent is the right intent, to raise money for charity. I wasn’t in agreement with the way in which they went about doing it because, again, they’re paid to play football. Anytime you put that at risk, you’re taking a significant risk.
“These are grown men and they make decisions on what they want to do with their personal time, and that was a decision that those guys took part in. The thing I’m happy about is that we were able to get out of that without any injuries. Really my focus now is solely on this team and this team getting better and what do we need to do to improve out here on the football field.”
Safety Tyvon Branch was one of the participants. He said he and others are well aware of what they are doing when they sign up for such an event.
“Anytime you have a chance to get out there and give back to the community and get involved in anything charitable, I’m all for it,” Branch said. “I just want to be out there and have fun with the community.”
Playing basketball isn’t that out of the ordinary for football players. Many of them fancy themselves NBA-caliber players, if just given the opportunity.
“I guess that’s at your discretion what you want to do in the offseason,” Branch said. “We understand the risks that’s involved in working out. Anytime you’re working out away from the facility, you put yourself at risk. But guys do what they have to do to stay in shape. Everybody does it differently.”

– Rookie quarterback Derek Carr had a mixed bag kind of day. Several throws were right on the money. A few others were too low, behind the receiver or off the mark.
Veteran Trent Edwards looked particularly sharp. Matt Schaub and Matt McGloin were much like Carr, with more on-the-money throws than poor ones.

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Steve Corkran

  • TrevJo

    I don’t have an Insider subscription but I think I’d be afraid to see how they’d rank all the Raiders starters anyway
    http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11012674/nfl-ranking-rosters-all-32-teams

  • the super genius dr robert

    Using DMc and MJD as returners may suggest that he thinks someone like Murray or sheets will start.

    If so, may as well put rose guys to use.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Retweeted by Vic Tafur
    Best Movie Line @BestMovieLine · 6h

    “Women are more dangerous than shotguns.” –Franco Citti ‘The Godfather’ 1972

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    And shotguns are frickin’ dangerous.

  • TrevJo

    Hmm actually you can just change the image names to see:
    http://espn.go.com/photo/2014/0605/nfl_starting-lineups-OAK2.png
    And according to this they rank our roster 28th:
    http://www.ign.com/boards/threads/pff-ranks-the-nfl-rosters.454032527/

  • the super genius dr robert

    He corners well? Seriously?

    Guess u haven’t seen him slip and fall a thousand times as he plants to turn upfield.

  • the super genius dr robert

    Did it in college dummy.

  • the super genius dr robert

    Cuz starters don’t do it. He ain’t a starter.

  • the super genius dr robert

    DMc seemed fine with it on the radio today. Enthused even.

  • lefty12

    Sure doesn’t look like Carr is throwing off his back foot in the tweet from Cork.Looks like he is stepping into the throw.

  • Try Some Reality

    Hey Left, how’ve you been?

  • Try Some Reality

    Just watched Sio Moore’s interview. Guy is wise beyond his years. I’m a fan.

  • lefty12

    Fine thanks,and you.Ready to get this thing going?I think this will be a very interesting year.

  • Tyler Angelica Miller

    My MUP is Kory Sheets!!!!!!!!

  • http://batman-news.com accupolco gold aka elmo

    Ès terrifico día ès be a Raderio fan. Ès so terrifico.

  • Tyler Angelica Miller

    Kory Sheets will pick up the slack if and when DMac&Lmurr&MJD go out with injuries…KSheets all the way!!!!!!!!

  • Tyler Angelica Miller

    Why not use the Shifty Kory Sheets?

  • http://batman-news.com accupolco gold aka elmo

    Ès A’s bèisbol ès good bèisbol. Ès so true. Raderios fútbol ès be good fùtbol.

  • http://ggeden.blogspot.com/ GG

    The site has changed, yeah??

  • 0ak R8rs

    Fcking Hayden. Irresponsible, gambling type of pick a team in our position has no business making in the first place. Now, soon to be a wasted pick. Guy can’t stay on the field. Won’t ever progress as an nfl corner like that. Ever.

  • 0ak R8rs

    Yea. Te’o hasn’t come out yet.

  • Guest123

    Regarding McFadden returning kickoffs. I think this is just a little reminder to him that he’s no guarantee to even make the roster. More of a strategic move and attempt to light a fire under him. Notice Cork doesn’t offer any soundbites from McFadden on the move to KR nor does he describe his willingness. It’s just assumed that he’s a happy camper returning kicks. He’s been pampered like a thoroughbred racehorse for years, and now it’s time to do the grunt work pulling the wagon thru the mud. But I still can’t fathom him returning kickoffs in a real game.

  • Guest123

    Dennis Allen hates charities. Booo!

  • Guest123

    Whether it’s fair or not, and nobody can forecast injury, but Reggie is responsible for wasting the #3 overall pick last year. If Hayden fails to make an impact this year, there will be lots of reasons for Reggie’s head on a platter, but D.J. Hayden will be exhibit A.

  • Guest123

    Those type of numbers are the kind of stats you expect from a 2-4 win team. Only bottom feeders have QB’s that throw for 3500 yards and 20 TDs. 4000 yards is the baseline just to have a shot at 8 wins anymore. And do you realize that last year, we rushed for 2000 yards? Now we are hopeful to get to 1200 yards? And from this you expect 9 or 10 wins? Try three or four. That isn’t very glorius.

  • 0ak R8rs

    My problem w Hayden is the injuries. And I think in his case it could be predicted. If you take a guy that had a near fatal injury, it’s fair to say he may be injury prone. And that’s what he’s shown. The injuries to Burris and Murray were a surprise, and in no way could have been predicted. Didn’t take a crystal ball to know Hayden might have some injury issues. Like you said, Hayden is Exhibit A. 20 other guys we could have taken in that slot. Probably could have had Hayden in the 3rd of Reggie wanted him that bad.

  • 0ak R8rs

    McFadden is going to KR anymore than MJD is gonna PR. On the one hand, I think it’s good that DA is trying everyone, everywhere. On the other hand, w such limited practice time, I could see how some might question using some of that time trying stuff you simply aren’t going to do in a game.

  • Guest123

    Allen and offensive coordinator Greg Olson at times were critical of wide receiver Denarius Moore for his inconsistency.
    Here’s what Allen had to say about Moore’s progress in that regard:
    “We’re still working through that,” Allen said. “He’s not unlike a lot of guys we have on our football team. He’s still got a lot of improvement that he’s got to make. I’ve seen some strides and hopefully he’ll continue to make those strides.”
    Allen is hard on Moore, just as he has been with fellow receiver Juron Criner, Watson, Hayden and others that he has high expectations.
    *****************
    Earlier, DA said he didn’t need a true #1 WR, but he seems to contradict himself in this passage of quotes. He wants somebody to step up, but he can’t count on any one guy to be the Andre Johnson type safety valve for Matt Schaub downfield. Last year, Schaub showed a trepidation to attack the numbers, and that led to his pick 6 troubles. He won’t take a chance threading the needle between the corner and the safety if he can’t trust the WR’s route and decision making. Moore, Criner, et al. need to earn his trust. Lack of true #1 WR ability is a huge void, that maybe we’ll address next year. This hodge-podge group is going to be maddeningly inconsistent all season. You get what you pay for though. They are all late round draft picks or UDFA’s. TE’s as well.

  • 0ak R8rs

    Well that’s the thing, isn’t it? You only get so many top picks a year. And of you let Mark or Al run the show (his last 10 years or so), you don’t always get those top picks either. That’s why it takes 3 or 4 years of solid moves to build a solid franchise. Like Seattle, started 4 or 5 years ago. Or the Niners, started back in the Singletary days. Guy couldn’t coach, but he sure could draft. It’s either build to win over multiple years, or get lucky w a guy like Manning or Brady that can win w just about anything. We’ve got neither, for now.

  • Guest123

    The offense seemed flat in practice and receivers Denarius Moore and Andre Holmes, in particular, had some bad drops, while the quarterbacks also seemed off target at times.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/oakland-raiders/post/_/id/4741/ten-raiders-otas-observations

  • Guest123

    John Middlekauff@JohnMiddlekauff · 16h

    If Reggie could do it over, no doubt they’re the picks @PierreVolkov: Could have/Should have had Sheldon Richardson or Star Lotulelei”

  • Guest123

    Levi Damien@LeviDamien · 15h

    #Raiders Donald Penn said when he left Tampa he wasn’t ready to move to RT. “I plan on finishing my career at left tackle.”

    *************
    I know it’s just an expression, but this quote is disturbing. Already Penn talking about finishing his career. Usually when you talk about retirement, some part of your mind is already embracing it.

  • Guest123
  • hwnrdr

    Good Morning Nation!!!

  • Guest123

    Good morning Hwn!

  • Guest123

    Even if you get lucky and have a Manning or Brady, you still need a stud coach and GM to hoard the talent to make a series of super bowl runs. We have a popgun coach with a few chambers empty. It’s going to take some time and we have no margin of error to waste prime draft picks. If DJ Hayden is a bust, that’s grounds for Reggie’s dismissal alone in my book. It sucks, it’s a mean business though, and success is mandatory. That’s why they get paid the big bucks, right?

  • 0ak R8rs

    These guys talk a lot. I try not to read too much into ambiguous comments like that. Just yesterday Penn said:

    Donald Penn: “I don’t think Menelik (Watson) knows how good he can be. He’s a guy I’m going to try and take under my wing.” #Raiders

    Doesn’t sound like a guy that’s checked out.

  • Guest123

    Looking back, I wonder what the heck Reggie was thinking when he said Hayden was his pick even if he couldn’t trade out of the #3 pick? What tape was the golden tape that made everyone in the scouting room cream their pants? I don’t get it, I mean I see the potential. But at #3 or even #12, he’s just a guy. Supposed to be drafting instant stars and difference makers with premium first round picks, not flyers with injury concerns.

  • 0ak R8rs

    I actually don’t have a problem w him SAYING he’d have taken Hayden at 3. My only problem would be if he actually meant it. We’ll never know for sure. What else is he supposed to say? “We traded down, lost our guy, and settled for Hayden”?

  • Guest123

    I saw plenty of Penn last year in Tampa. He got beat off the snap consistently with spin moves and handchecks/swims. Saw his fat azz chasing down jerseys from the back side as his QB bit the dust. I don’t trust him at all. Least not to be teaching pass pro to young Melenik anyway.

  • 0ak R8rs

    And CBs r rarely instant stars. So I don’t indict Reggie for that part of it either. It’s the injury risk that I’ve had a problem with and still do. I’m ok w most of the rest of it.

  • 0ak R8rs

    He sucked last year. He was fat. He had a rookie QB w no mobility. And a shtty coach. He’s always been a better run blocker than pass blocker. Hopefully he comes in around 325 and provides “adequate” pass protection. Don’t forget, we’ve really upgraded w MJD for pass blocking situations, as well as most of the rest of the OL. I think we will be ok.

  • Guest123

    There was a lot of buzz on draft day and I don’t recall who was spreading it, but the name DJ Hayden kept popping up in mock drafts to the Raiders. Inside sources kept saying Reggie was going after Hayden all along. I don’t think that he missed his target. I think the proof is that he got swindled for that #3 pick by showing his cards too early. I think the Raider mole has since been exterminated from the building.

  • 0ak R8rs

    I’m not saying he missed. It may be true. But he can’t say anything other than what he said. That’s all in saying. Regardless, Hayden is bad in either slot, unless it’s the 3rd round.

  • Guest123

    I hope we are ok. Like you said, we upgraded the pass pro significantly with MJD who should be our starter for that reason alone. It’s similar to Knowshon Moreno last year starting for the Broncos over a better runner because of pass pro. As for Penn, I’m not hating on him while he wears silver and black. But I don’t trust him either and I won’t be doing anything but penciling him in at LT. Despite what he says, he’s got no right to be talking about finishing his career at any one position.

  • Guest123

    I was never ok with it. Like you said, CB’s are rarely first year impact starters. Fair enough. But you mean to tell me with our interior issues on the D-line, with Richardson and Star either/or could solidify and strengthen your front 4 for a decade and you take a chance on a CB that’s in no way the consensus top corner? That was a huge mistake. Not that we didn’t need a good corner. But we could have also used a great D-lineman. It’s all about value. This wasn’t the second round what we are talking about here.

  • Buckarama

    Good morning hwnrdr!

  • 0ak R8rs

    Idk if you get fired over one move. But if Hayden does bust, and Reggie does get fired, I’ll feel better about the firing using Hayden as one of the justifications. That being said, if Watson and Moore and Rivera and/or Murray pan out, overall this class won’t be that bad. But Watson and Murray r big ifs as well, so Reggie isn’t looking too good right now.

    At least on paper, 2014 looks a lot better. Solid picks up and down. That’s all I wanted to see before the draft. Maybe he’s learning? Maybe this draft was so deep you really couldn’t miss anyway? Remains to be seen how it plays out.

  • hwnrdr

    Off topic, and sorry, but…
    Go Kings!!!

  • Guest123

    Look at the top teams, like Seattle you mentioned earlier. They had three straight killer drafts. They dominated the later rounds to get the main players in their “Legion of Boom” defense headlined by 5th rounder Richard Sherman. This league is a league of haves and have nots. Reggie apolgists will point to his bare cupboard draft boards, but he’s had a decent amount of picks to get some talent. At this point and it’s still early, it doesn’t look like Reggie has killed it with his draft picks. Only Sio Moore and maybe Mychal Rivera look like good picks. I know it’s a tall order to draft like Seattle did from 2010-12, but that’s what’s needed to turn this franchise around. Hit and miss on the draft is treading water in the standings.