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Raiders tackle Menelik Watson learned how to take care of his body after injury-wracked rookie year

Filed for print . . .

So far, so good for Menelik Watson.

The second-year offensive lineman has made it through the offseason and the first two practices healthy as the first-team right tackle, a stark contrast to a year ago when a calf injury left him sidelined.

What followed for Watson were knee issues and a re-injury to his calf. In the end, a second-round draft pick who was named the starting left tackle on little more than raw ability and very little practice time ended up being mostly a frustrated spectator.

Watson has tried to keep things low key in Year 2, focusing on building up his body, although he did a recent BBC media tour in England related to the Raiders game in London on Sept. 28. (He was born in Manchester, England).

Although cordial and loquacious while talking to reporters Saturday, he plans on keeping to himself more often in 2014.

“It’s really been about action and not about talking,’’ Watson said. “Coming up, nobody knew who I was back then and it was all about action. I’m just trying to get back to that.’’

After playing just one season of junior college ball at Saddleback College and one year at Florida State, Watson conceded he was not ready physically for the rigors of the NFL.

“In college and junior college it kind of flew by so fast I wasn’t thinking about my body, I was thinking about learning the game,’’ Watson said. “As a professional, you need this body. It’s a job . . . I love this game. It was a lot to have it taken away from me last year.

“This is a new year. Last year is behind me.’’

The Raiders line since the offseason has remained constant, with Watson on the right side joined by former Jets tackle Austin Howard at right guard. Stefen Wisniewski is at center, with veteran Khalif Barnes at left guard (pushed by rookie Gabe Jackson) and free agent Donald Penn at left tackle.

“It’s a totally different feel,’’ Watson said. “You don’t feel like you’re out there as an individual. You feel like you’re out there as a group.’’

– Linebacker Kaluka Maiava missed practice with a hamstring strain and cornerback Tarell Brown did not complete practice because of an illness.

– The Raiders will hold their first padded practice Sunday.

“Tomorrow is the first day we really play football,’’ Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “I think everybody gets excited about the first day in pads, but we’ve got to maintain our focus every day and get better and not worry about whether we’re in pads or not in pads.’’

– Running back Maurice Jones Drew has been working with the punt returners and Allen won’t rule out using him there. Jones-Drew has been sure-handed, although he struggled with a booming Marquette King punt.

“I had a mishap today and everybody got on me so I’m going to try not to have any more of those,’’ Jones-Drew said. “It’s just another way to get out there and get on the field and play.’’

– Defensive tackle Antonio Smith said he missed the offseason program recovering from sports hernia surgery.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • TUCK YOU

    Ok troll, I said he wont be elite because I watched him play a whole year and that there is a reason he went undrafted

  • RediaR

    Good. I was worried he might be out LONG….ER.

  • Raider O

    4th preseason game is for bubble players to showcase their talents.

  • 2romes

    That spot is where the money should be. Hope it works out well.

  • TUCK YOU

    I Said he doesnt have elite talent, went in detail, dont need to explain myself to an attention seeking troll

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    All 4, just looked it up

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    The problem is the package deal.

  • TUCK YOU

    You are an attention seeking lonely troll, not just a moron, saying Colston is elite lmfao

  • RediaR

    Fair enough. Memories are like three card monte. Even if you miraculously guess correctly you still lose all of your money and get stabbed in the pancreas.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I said that in 6 words.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    The devil, you say.

  • JV.

    He was owning people I read in press coverage but got beat deep.

  • http://thebadtenants.com/ eternal pessimist

    Being right and challenging you on your opinion doesn’t make me a troll. that’s a bad cop out to try to throw at me when you’re wrong. might as well call me a “hater” if I disagree… smh

    but to get this straight, you watched him play a whole year as a 2nd yr wideout with terrible QBs playing behind a terrible line, inconsistent running game and not much else reliable to throw to, and that, in your expert opinion shows you that he can’t turn the corner into elite territory? despite him racking up almost 900 yds under those circumstances. you must have elite scouting ability.

  • RediaR

    I prefer being the only one with a package.

  • Eldiabs

    The Raiders still have enough money to have paid both Houston and Veldheer….. Nice going RM you dizzy MF

  • RediaR

    Jag sade att i tjugofyra ord.

  • JV.

    http://m.espn.go.com/general/blogs/blogpost?blogname=oakland-raiders&i=TWT&id=5116&w=1e8sg

    Looks like McFadden is going to continue with the wildcat.

  • Eldiabs

    The way this org is cursed we prob will go 8-8 by miracle and the two dizzy idiots will be re-upped by the head dizzy idiot and we can continue to be the laughing stock of prof sprots….. Game on

  • JV.

    @VicTafur: Allen on Mack: “wouldn’t say there were lot of ‘wow’ plays, but I thought some of the rushes he had off the edge were pretty good” #Raiders

  • RediaR

    I’m so sick of reading that name.

  • Eldiabs

    Patience. Everything has been fixed…. We will be 4-12 forever and ever

  • http://thebadtenants.com/ eternal pessimist

    how am I attention seeking? i’m talking to one person on a message board.
    your “detail” that you went into was calling him a poor man’s DHB and saying he had avg attributes. not really detailed, but when I asked you about them, you jumped to the UDFA argument.
    once again, me challenging your opinion about raider football on a raider football blog doesn’t make me a troll. but it seems that name calling is your forte when you don’t have anything intelligent to say… sad.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Doodle translate had a little trouble, but I hear you.

  • Eldiabs

    Allen and Knapp and Sparano…. A never was a never will be and a has been….. all at the top of the on field brain trust

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    He’s there.

  • http://thebadtenants.com/ eternal pessimist

    keep name calling with nothing intelligent to say. kind of hard to be “attention seeking” here… or is that how you change the subject when you can’t admit you were wrong?

  • Eldiabs

    It was on par with keeping two punters on your roster and hanging out a rookie QB out to be snagged for nothing

  • TUCK YOU

    Wayne Chrebet, thats all anyone needs to read on this thread to realize you are the moron

  • http://thebadtenants.com/ eternal pessimist

    woah woah woah. facts? you dare use facts here? be careful or he’ll call you a troll. haha.

  • Dakota

    Yeah, we took one – eyed Joe Aska in the forth round of that draft and a mormon tackle who told everyone he wasn’t going to play….that pick was 6 picks or so before the donks took td. We could have ended elway chances of a sb with the right call in that draft.

    Fml

  • Eldiabs

    Name another lineman in NFL who played high level center guard and tackle….. and we still would have had the money to keep both Houston and Vledheer. RM doesn’t have an eye for talent

  • Dakota

    Approaching bust status……

  • 2romes

    First day, I’ll take it. I do want to see the Raiders Professional sports writer print, “Mack Attack” Raiders got this one right.

  • RediaR

    Yup. Cut him now.

  • 2romes

    NFL Network showing light lights of Andre Johnson.

  • Dakota

    Sounds very illuminating.

  • 2romes

    Not the first and third games. At least the beginning of them

  • 0ak R8rs

    And hall of famer.

  • 2romes

    Some wanted to reunite Schaub and Andre. You know, what could have been.

  • 0ak R8rs

    New post.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I thought RB’s were close to plug and play in Shanarat’s system? Not that TD wasn’t good.

  • 2romes

    Great thanks.

  • http://thebadtenants.com/ eternal pessimist

    Chrebet was a welker mold before the nfl was ready to accept that type of WR into elite categories. He was undeniably very good. And he was a UDFA. But once again, I keep providing specifics, you keep reaching for name calling. Do you realize that if any other person reads thru this, they won’t be calling me the moron? Your hole is getting deep man. Keep digging.

  • 2romes

    And read before you read the 25 Disney girls gone bad.