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Old 07-31-2008, 12:20 PM    (permalink
doingthisinsteadofwork
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Raiders coach Lane Kiffin says RB Darren McFadden is making a "wow play" or two every day in practice.

Kiffin is also impressed by McFadden's willingness to learn, and says the rookie is everything the team thought he would be. In Wednesday's practice McFadden worked with the receivers at one point before joining the running backs for positional drills, a sequence that Kiffin called "close to unheard of." Maybe in Oakland, Lane. Maybe in Oakland.
per rotoworld.
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:22 PM    (permalink
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-- After Being Plagued with Injuries During his last Playing Season; he has Come back Stronger than ever to Solidify the Raiders' line

Oakland Raiders legendary linebacker coach Don "Wink" Martindale speaks out about the franchise's recent signing of star lineman Ed Hartwell

Oakland, CA (PRWEB) July 29, 2008 -- SLB Ed Hartwell has regained his health and is set to solidify the Raider's LB position. He has played MLB and could get a shot there on the Raiders' squad moving Kirk Morrison to the SLB position. The 6'1" 250lbs. free agent has good lower-body strength, takes excellent pursuit angles and is known for reacting quickly.

With all these factors in place, Linebacker coach Don Martindale states; "Instinctively this guy has not lost a step. He has brought his toughness to the team; which has spread throughout our LB meeting room. This guy is everyday tough! A true veteran; who wants everyone around him to get better." He goes on to say; "In the National Football League or in College Football something that has always separated Ed from other Linebackers I have coached. You don't have to watch him play because you can hear him play!"

In Ed Hartwell's own words; "Becoming an Oakland Raider means more to me than just getting back on the field. It's a chance to play for the best franchise in football history. It has the best fans that any sport has to offer, a great cast of talented players & coaches, a legend as an owner, one of the best (attack style) defensive coordinators in the league in Rex Ryan, and most of all I get to be reunited with the best coach I have EVER played for Coach Don Martindale. I vow to do everything in my power to bring another Superbowl to Al Davis and the Raider Nation."

About Edgerton "Ed" Hartwell:

Started at Wisconsin before transferring to Western Illinois University. In 2000, as a Senior, Hartwell was an All-American First Team. Drafted by the Ravens in 2001 with their fourth round pick. In 2002 with Ray Lewis out, Hartwell was the first player other than Lewis to lead the team in tackles with 191. He joined the Atlanta Falcons in 2005.
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Old 07-31-2008, 01:57 PM    (permalink
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Howard - Hartwell - Morrison?

Hmm.
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:55 PM    (permalink
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Hartwell sucks.

This elbow injury of Russell sucks. Talk about unlucky. Russell needs as much time as possible to work with his receivers.

I am excited for Ronald Curry this year. I like him alot. I think he will out shine Walker this year.

Oh and Zach Miller. I see him and Russell hooking up many times this year. I didnt realize he had an impressive 44 receptions in his rookie season.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:16 PM    (permalink
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I still don't know what to make of possibly moving Morrison to SLB to make room for Hartwell in the middle. He played quite well there his rookie season but looked far more comfortable playing the mike the last couple seasons.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:56 PM    (permalink
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Hey Edgerton, our D coordinator's name is Rob, you don't play for the Ravens anymore.
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:56 PM    (permalink
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NAPA – Darren McFadden didn't show up to Raiders training camp with an XBOX 360 and a copy of the video game "NCAA Football 09," which features his likeness on the cover.

The fourth overall selection in the 2008 NFL draft isn't here to play games. The running back arrived from Arkansas ready to work and ask a lot of questions.

But in fact, it's McFadden who is expected to be the one with all the answers for a team that has failed to win five games in a season since winning the AFC title in 2002.

"I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform," said McFadden, a soft-spoken yet confident 20-year-old. "It's something I look forward to. The fans, they're looking for me to come out there and perform. I'm just going out there trying to learn the ropes and plays. And eventually, I think I will be a star."

Greatness, not merely being good, is what's expected of McFadden.

Much of the Raiders' success in 2008 depends on how fast McFadden can assimilate with the offense and produce the kind of big plays that became routine at Arkansas.

The Raiders finished sixth in the NFL in rushing last season without the threat of a passing game. And along with second-year quarterback JaMarcus Russell, who will be in his first full season running the team, McFadden is expected to improve both areas.

Russell looks forward to the pairing.

"It's a lot of fun, especially with his capabilities and the possibility of what he might do when he has the ball and doesn't have it," Russell said. "Guys look forward to him doing certain things when he gets it, and they have to be ready for the run and the play-action pass."

The Raiders won't put the weight of the offense on McFadden immediately. Justin Fargas rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season, and second-year back Michael Bush could prove to be a capable back, too.

But McFadden is no fool. He knows what's coming.

"I feel like there might not be as much attention focused on me but it's probably one of those things where guys will say, 'Fourth overall pick, highly rated coming out of college,' " McFadden said. "They're going to want a piece of me."

People have wanted a piece of McFadden on and off the field for some time. He grew accustomed to it at Oak Grove High School in North Little Rock before moving on to Arkansas.

But he has found being labeled the next great thing a little easier to deal with thus far.

He's not pressed for autographs at every restaurant in California, as he is in Little Rock. And if he wants to meet with an old friend, McFadden doesn't have to find a vacant alley.

His former high school coach, John Mayes, recalls such a meeting.

"I said we're going to meet in the back of Dillard's (department store) where nobody's there and where we can just talk," Mayes said in a phone interview from Arkansas. "We were there about 15 minutes before 15 or 20 people were there wanting his autograph. In Arkansas, nobody left him alone, but I think he handled the pressure well."

McFadden has proven to be adept at dealing with the media and public during his first training camp. Interview requests don't stop, and he handles each gracefully. He's a player that is hounded by fans, and he has taken the time to sign autographs and pose for pictures.

Being a star on and off the field, McFadden has become accustomed to the attention.

"It made me mature faster," said McFadden, the 2006 and 2007 Doak Walker Award winner and two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up. "Growing up, you just had to mature faster. You just have to be aware of who you're around at all times because you always have people watching."

When he isn't being watched or asked for autographs, McFadden is asking questions, trying to improve his game.

McFadden, who signed a six-year, $60 million contract ($26 million guaranteed) shortly after being drafted, has taken his quest for knowledge to new levels. He recently sat in on a special-teams meeting just to learn more about the game, even though he isn't a special-teams player.

"If he continues to do what he's doing, he'll be great," said fullback Justin Griffith, McFadden's roommate.

The Raiders are confident they have the right man for the job.

"He's everything we thought when we picked him," Raiders coach Lane Kiffin said. "All the research was that this is the guy, that he has no issues on the field, in the classroom. Great preparation, great football guy, his teammates loved him and it's showing. I can't think of one negative with him.

"Obviously, he's going to have a lot to do with our success. The faster that we can get him ready, the more we get him the ball, the better we'll be."

http://www.sacbee.com/raiders/story/1122508.html
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:07 PM    (permalink
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Quick hits from Thursday morning’s practice:

– He may not have had his best fastball, but JaMarcus Russell was felt good enough to rejoin practice and make due with off-speed stuff, choosing to simply flick his wrist rather than unleash the full power of his $60 million right arm.

In his first team session, Russell completed two of five passes, one a short pass to Johnnie Lee Higgins and a dump-off to fullback Oren O’Neal. Michael Huff broke up a sideline pass intended for tight end Darrell Strong, a screen to Louis Rankin fell incomplete and Derrick Burgess pressured him into an incomplete pass.

In Russell’s second team session, there were two more short completions.

During seven-on-seven drills, Russell was the victim of a perfectly-played pick by Nnamdi Asomugha, who stole a pass intended for Arman Shields in stride and ran the other for what would have been a touchdown.

“You can see a little bit of a velocity issue with him right now, different from normal,” Kiffin said. “I think that will go away here pretty soon.”

Kiffin said the staff watched Russell closely and that trainer Rod Martin gave the go-ahead to continue.

Russell acknowledged he wasn’t 100 percent but wasn’t comfortable watching from the sidelines.

“I just wanted to get out here today just so I could get back in practice,” Russell said. “I don’t really like sitting out and watching guys bust their behinds when I can be out there doing something. Just anything out there I can help.”

– Right guard Cooper Carlisle and right tackle Cornell Green were given the morning session off, with the Raiders reshuffling their line to accomodate the absence of two starters. Seth Wand got some work at right tackle, Chris Morris at right guard, and Mario Henderson has been working on both sides.

– Speaking of Henderson, it sounds as if Kiffin’s patience has about run out on the first of three third-round picks in the 2007 draft. During the offseason, Kiffin said the Raiders were working on Henderson’s lack of aggression and his passion for football.

It sounds like Kiffin and line coach Tom Cable haven’t made much headway. Rather than shift into coach-speak when asked if Henderson was challenging Green at right tackle, Kiffin was blunt and to the point.

“No, he’s not pushing him. We’ll continue to move Mario around to both sides,” Kiffin said. “Mario is not improving the way we’d like him to so we’ll just continue to push him. But it’s not close right now.”

When asked if Henderson needed to shore up a particular area, Kiffin said, “No, it’s everything right now. Unfortunately.”

– Sounds like Javon Walker, the free agent aquisition whose salary suggests he is the No. 1 receiver but whose practice play has been so-so, will begin getting some extra work starting Monday.

Kiffin said Walker and Fred Wakefield, rehabbing from a knee injury, would begin working twice per day Sunday when the 49ers visit Napa.

When asked if Walker was making progress, Kiffin said, “There’s progress being made. I wouldn’t say as much as I’d like at this point so we’re going to continue to push them. I think pushing him back into two-a-days will help him.”

– Defensive tackle Gerard Warren missed with a thigh injury sustained Wednesday night. Kiffin said he didn’t think the injury was as serious as one that hampered Warren last year and said he was day-to-day. Tommy Kelly sat out as scheduled and should practice tonight. Cornerback John Bowie (knee) did not practice.

Safety Greg Wesley (back spasms) was back at practice but did little of note.

– Defensive tackle Terdell Sands, who has avoided speaking with reporters for the first week of camp for reasons that ranged from a team meal to a team meeting to a doctor’s visit, stopped and chatted for a few minutes.

He conceded to being in better condition this year and was affected last season by the death of his mother.

“I lost my mother last year, so that was very big,” Sands said. “You lose anything like that, some things take tolls on you. You lose things that are aspects of life right there. That’s behind me. I’ve got to push on this year.”

Sands said he takes responsibility for the Raiders’ run defense in 2008.

“I take it all, because they look for me to be a big part of it,” Sands said. “And like I say, I wasn’t mentally in it, so I did some gap responsibility and all my true effort wasn’t out there. I thought I was. But when I watch film, it really wasn’t like I was the year before. So I take responsibility and put it on myself.”

Sands declined to specify how much he weighed last year and how much he weighs now.

– Kiffin has taken to visiting with members of the Raiders’ personnel department occasionally during practice sessions. Wednesday it was Bruce Kebric, Thursday it was Kent McCloughan.

– Defensive tackle William Joseph was worked over by Chris Morris and Jesse Boone on consecutive plays during a blocking drill. Kwame Harris buried Kalimba Edwards on another.

– McFadden was fielding kickoffs along with Hiram Eugene, Rankin, Adimchinobe Echemandu and Tyvon Branch, prompting Kiffin to be asked whether the Raiders’ biggest off-season investment might be utilized on that role.

“He’s such an explosive player that it’s something we have to look at,” Kiffin said. “Part of that will be determined by how the other returners do. Let’s say Branch in preseason is returning great. Then it’s not worth it. If you have a great return situation to put Darren out there that may not be worth it. If we’re struggling, then it becomes more valuable to us.”

Said McFadden, who has been in camp eight days and has had a sunny and agreeable disposition for every one of them: “I don’t know if they’re going to use me back there or not but I’m always prepared for it.”

– Practice joggers for pre-snap violations included Harris, Robert Gallery, tight end Chris Wagner and defensive end Greyson Gunheim.

Gunheim, an undrafted free agent from Washington, actually protested his lap, telling Kiffin that Henderson had first moved his leg, drawing him offsides. Gunheim was right, by the way.
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Old 07-31-2008, 07:33 PM    (permalink
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Russell has me worried just a bit. He should be fine but nonetheless I was expecting something more positive out of him by this point in camp.
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:21 PM    (permalink
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Russell has me worried just a bit. He should be fine but nonetheless I was expecting something more positive out of him by this point in camp.
True.

I hope McFadden's chicken legs can hold up in the NFL. I know that Jerious Norwood has tiny legs and one of his biggest issues is durability.
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:27 PM    (permalink
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True.

I hope McFadden's chicken legs can hold up in the NFL. I know that Jerious Norwood has tiny legs and one of his biggest issues is durability.

Yeah, for sure. I like McFadden a lot. Hoping he does well.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:10 PM    (permalink
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Training camp, Day 8 (P.M. practice)
By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, July 31st, 2008 at 9:17 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Quick hits from Thursday night’s practice:

– Lane Kiffin isn’t a stickler regarding practice wardrobe. He usually has no problem with players wearing shorts even in padded sessions.

He deviated from the norm for the second practice, with players donning full uniform pants in a physical padded practice featuring short yardage and goal line sessions.

All the contact helped instigate the first training training camp fight, with center Jesse Boone and defensive tackle Josh Shaw squaring off at 8:27 p.m. The two scuffled inside, with Shaw then taking a second run at Boone before it was broken up.

Neither is a stranger to scuffles. Boone got into it with Warren Sapp on his first day as a Raider last training camp, and Shaw once exchanged physical unpleasantries with Justin Fargas.

– Quarterback Andrew Walter took the evening practice arm to rest a tired arm, the result of all the extra throws necessary the previous two days because of the JaMarcus Russell’s bruised elbow. Russell threw with more velocity in the evening practice than in the morning session, including some deep rainbows during drills with receivers.

Wide receiver Javon Walker, working to regain his burst, was excited enough to catch one of those deep balls during a routine drill that he spiked it out of bounds.

He wasn’t as enthusiastic earlier in the practice when he and Drew Carter lined up inproperly.

“Give me a new X and a new Z,” Kiffin barked. “Go learn the formation.”

Johnnie Lee Higgins and Arman Sheilds jumped in as the replacements.

– Another practice, another interception from Nnamdi Asomugha, this one a perfect read on a rollout pass by Tuiasosopo intended for Jonathan Holland.

– Moments after chastizing Tuiasosopo for taking too long in the huddle, Jarrod Cooper sent Chris McFoy sprawling with a high hit along the sideline. McFoy caught Tuiasosopo’s rollout pass and was headed upfield and was nearly sent into the hydraulic lift the Raiders use to elevate practice cameras.

– Strong side linebacker Sam Williams closed off at least two running plays, by holding his edge and not letting runners get outside.

– Defensive tackle William Joseph, a free agent and former first-round pick of the New York Giants, made his most impressive play of camp when he blew up what was supposed to be an outside run to the left by McFadden, getting to the running back three yards deep.

“That’s good (bleep), Joseph,” yelled defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

– During a third-and-short drill midfield, the offense converted four of seven opportunities. The wins came on an inside run by Michael Bush, a pitch to the left to Darren McFadden, a pass from Russell to Oren O’Neal and an inside run by McFadden.

Defensive wins came when a Russell-to-Carter completion came up short, another Russell-to-Carter attempt was broken up by Michael Huff, and a nice play-fake by Tuiasosopo resulted in a deep pass just out of the reach of Higgins.

– During the goal line session, the offense won five of eight snaps, with the ultimate indignity coming when the score was 5-2 and Kiffin sceamed out to the defense, “Hey, they’re going to run the ball!”

Armed with the call, the middle of the defense stopped McFadden short of the goal line. Another stop came when Bush was stopped with a thunderous hit in a mass of humanity in the middle of the line (sorry, didn’t see who actually made the tackle).

Offensive scores came on a run by Fargas, a run by McFadden, another run by Fargas to the right in which O’Neal caved in the right side of the line, and a pass from Tuiasosopo to tight end Darrell Strong.

– Defensive tackle Gerard Warren missed his second practice and was day-to-day. Center Jake Grove and guard-tackle Fred Wakefield sat out as scheduled. Tommy Kelly practiced after missing the morning session, and Greg Wesley practiced twice in a row for the first time.

– The Raiders will practice once Friday at 3 p.m., twice Saturday at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. and will take Sunday off before practicing with the San Francisco 49ers twice on Monday at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:22 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
NAPA -- Terdell Sands was signed to a four-year, $17 million deal be the Raiders big run stuffer last year.

Unfortunately, the only part of the equation that proved to be true was Sands was big.

He struggled to play well while not just carrying extra weight, but also the burden of having lost his mother in February of last year.

Football took a backseat to grieving.

"I wasn't doing cardio like I should and conditioning, so I kind of got behind in my workouts and stuff," Sands said. "So it was a big part of last year."

Sands wasn't the player the Raiders saw in 2006 when he emerged as a player that could stop the run.

The Raiders finished 31st against the run last season and Sands sees it as his job to fix that. In retrospect, Sands knows he didn't give his best effort in 2007.

"I take (responsibility for) it all, because they look for me to be a big part of it," Sands said. "And like I say, I wasn't mentally in it, so I did some gap responsibility and all my true effort wasn't out there. I thought I was. But when I watch film, it really wasn't like I was the year before. So I take responsibility and put it on myself."

Sands (who is listed at 6-7, 335 but probably heavier) is in better shape this year. He won't discuss how much weight he lost except to say "a bunch of it."

What a lighter Sands means he can fight off blocks and play longer.

Sands being able to do that will be key. If he and Tommy Kelly command more than one blocker, the Raiders' athletic linebackers will be free to run to the ball.

Sands sees the difference in himself already.

"I see more getting off the ball," he said. "I see myself in shape, I'm running to the ball more, and I look good. I'm slimmer, so I feel real good."
http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/raiders/
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Old 08-01-2008, 04:42 PM    (permalink
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Does anybody know the deal with training camp, are all practices open to the public, how much are tix, etc. Ive looked around online and cant get any info, I want to attend the session with the 49ers this Monday.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:22 AM    (permalink
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That session is closed to the public.
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Old 08-02-2008, 12:39 PM    (permalink
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http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/traini...ory?id=3516068

Oh, just great . :(
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Old 08-02-2008, 04:07 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 619 View Post
what a *****

i can't see him being that productive now, mentally his head is not in it.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:56 PM    (permalink
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i say get rid of him get the signing bonus back and let him retire ... especially if he is willing to return the money , no need to waste the money on a player who has a slim to non shot of really wanting to play anymore.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:41 PM    (permalink
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Training camp, Day 9
By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, August 1st, 2008 at 6:45 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Quick hits from Friday’s practice:

– Quarterback JaMarcus Russell is practicing and getting the strength back in his elbow, getting the majority of the work as the undisputed No. 1 quarterback.

Meanwhile, Andrew Walter returned after missing practice with a tired arm the previous evening and finished off practice with a 99-yard drive culimnated in a 3-yard touchdown pass to Chaz Schilens on a fade route over Darrick Brown.

Walter got the offense out of trouble with a 38-yard strike down the left sideline, with Ronald Curry making a leaping circus catch despite decent coverage by Michael Waddell. A few gainers by Michael Bush and Darren McFadden set up a 29-yard jump-and-catch to Todd Watkins, putting the ball at the 5.

McFadden eventually got inside the 2 _ but here’s how practice works _ Kiffin didn’t want a short-yardage call, having covered that the previous evening.

“Move it back to the 3, I don’t want goal line,” he said.

Walter then finished it off with the flip to Schilens for the score.

For the first time, Kiffin conceded a clear-cut advantage for Walter over Marques Tuiasosopo as the backup quarterback.

“Andrew does everything you can out here. He continues to complete balls, and continues to have a high completion percentage,” Kiffin said. “I’d say right now he’s ahead of Tui. He’s making more plays and throwing the ball better downfield. Preseason will be big for those two.”

– Gerard Warren (thigh) missed his third practice and was joined by Terdell Sands, who had his knee drained. Sands, Kiffin said, will be reduced to one practice per day on double days. Warren remains day to day.

Also missing practice were John Bowie (knee) and Arman Shields (knee).

Shields, a fourth-round draft pick, has had some impressive moments but has it slowed by missing sessions as he works his surgically-repaired knee into shape.

– With Warren and Sands out, William Joseph got in work with the first string defense alongside Tommy Kelly. He broke into the backfield on one play and stopped Justin Fargas by latching on to his shirt. Joseph also showed up on several plays during the Thursday night session.

“He made a number of plays last night and it was good to see too because we had pads on when he was doing it and that’s what matters in the end,” Kiffin said. “He’s got to be more consistent in his play. He is powerful and big but he gets reached and cut off too much right now for us and that’s where we really need to improve him. He needs to be a more consistent player. He’s not played a lot of football since he’s been in the NFL.”

Joseph is a former first-round draft pick with the New York Giants who never reached his potential.

– Two plays served as a snapshot of what the Raiders hope to get from Kwame Harris at left tackle. On one play, he walled off Kalimba Edwards as JaMarcus Russell rolled out and found Darren McFadden for a gain. On the next play, a counter with the action flowing to the right, Adimchinobe Echemandu cut back to his left and found Harris in front of him at the second level.

– The day’s most conspicuous drop came from Drisan James, as a Walter pass over the middle thudded off his hands and chest and to the ground.

– Only one jogger for a false start Friday _ center Jesse Boone.

– Training camp receiving stars come and go _ remember Alex Van Dyke and Will Buchanon? _ but it’s hard to escape the conclusion that Watkins isn’t making a serious run at a roster spot.

Kiffin said he was going over lists with staff members which rank players and that Watkins was showing up there as well as on the field.

“A number of guys on the staff had him extremely high on their list,” Kiffin said.

– Kiffin said Kelly weighs 330 pounds and is still rounding into game shape, but expressed hope that his presence at the “three technique” would shore up the NFL’s 31st ranked rushing defense. Kiffin liked what he saw of Kelly’s limited time inside as a Raider.

“He was extremely hard for guards to reach, more of knock-back player, kind of a two-gap scheme player in that sense even though that’s not what we play,” Kiffin said. “He’s an old-fashioned, head up and knock the guy straight backwards guy.”

– Tackle Mario Henderson took Kiffin’s criticisms of his development in stride, acknowledging he has a ways to go to be the player he wants to be. Kiffin said Thursday Henderson was not challenging for a starting spot on the right side and needed to develop in every area.

“I’m sure he’s probably trying to fire me up because that’s his job,” Henderson said. “I’m just coming out here to work every day. They’re the coaches, they know a lot better than I do. I still do have a lot to work on. So, that’s the one thing I got to do is just work hard.”

– One of the pitfalls of covering practice _ no official stats. I reported last night during a goal line drill about a ferocious collision in which Michael Bush came up short. Turns out, according to Kiffin, that Bush scored despite a perfect run fit from Kirk Morrison.

(Local officials hired for the practiced never raised their hands, not that I saw, anyway).

“The highlight of the drill to me was Michael Bush, him and Morrison were unblocked in the hole and that was our first chance to see what we’ve all hoped that Mike’s going to be,”’ Kiffin said. “He lowered his pads and ran over him and got us in the end zone.”

Bush, not surprisingly, was even more excited than Kiffin, given it was the closest thing to being in a real game he has had in nearly two years.

“It was the first time I strapped on top to bottom in pads and took contact like that,” Bush said. “It was a big collision, and I just enjoyed it. It was fun.”

Was Bush sure he had scored?

“I knew I got in. He met me right on the line,” Bush said. “I weigh more than him, a little bigger, and you could tell, and I got kind of got under him, so I knew I was in the end zone.”

– The Raiders got a lot of grief for deals which promised $18.125 million for Tommy Kelly and $16 million for Javon Walker, but at least those two figure to suit up this year.

The Green Bay Packers are reportedly considering paying their best quarterback $20 million not to play.

I know it seems obvious, but if you’re willing to pay a guy $20 million so he doesn’t go to your division rival, he probably ought to be your starting quarterback. Either that or Aaron Rodgers has suddenly morphed into Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and the Packers are the only ones in on the secret.

– The Raiders will host an interactive game day area, the “Raider Rookie Zone,” at McAfee Coliseum. It is presented by California Police Youth Charities and community sponsors include the Chabot Space and Science Center and the Oakland Museum of California.
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:42 PM    (permalink
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August 1, 2008
Russell's passes look like a normal QB's
NAPA - JaMarcus Russell's passes picked up some steam today. He's still not his normal self according to his coach.

"He's still being safe with it," Lane Kiffin said. "If it wasn't him you wouldn't even notice. But because he's throwing the ball like other quarterbacks do now velocity wise as opposed to what he usually does. We had it checked by a number of people and nobody sees it being a long-term issue."

Russell hurt the elbow Tuesday morning when he hit it against Darren McFadden's helmet during a throw.

Russell's first two of passes during the team session were dump offs to McFadden. As practice progressed Russell's throws looked stronger.

He wore a sleeve on his arm during practice as well as after practice.

Kiffin said he's taken some reps away from Russell because of the arm injury but hasn't altered the playcalling.

Upon further review

Last night's practice collision involving Michael Bush was against Kirk Morrison on the goal line in the first live practice of camp.

The winner, Kiffin said, was Bush.

"Him and Morrison were unblocked in the hole and that was our first chance to see what we've all hoped that Mike's going to be," Kiffin said. "He lowered his pads and ran over him and got us in the end zone. Probably out of the eight live plays on the goal line ... it was worth it to go live, nobody got hurt, just really to see Michael do that."

A play like that was a long time coming for Bush. It was his first full-contact action since his last college game in Sept. 2006 when he broke his leg.

"I just wanted some contact," Bush said. "I'm still waiting for the game so I can strap it on and have some fun against guys other than my teammates. It's one of those things, I haven't been in pads for a long time and the low man wins. It was a good battle."

Watkins still impressive

A training camp practice seems incomplete unless Todd Watkins makes a hard catch look easy.

Watkins was up to it again today. His acrobatic catch over Darrick Brown set up a touchdown pass to Chaz Schilens to end practice.

"A year ago, we tried him out and ended up bringing him back," Kiffin said of Watkins. "The guy's made a number of plays. We were going through some lists today and some different people back in the rooms, I'm not going to tell you exactly where, but a number of guys on the staff had him extremely high on their list."

Joseph evaluation

DT William Joseph has begun to show up against the run in recent practices.

He was signed as a free agent in the offseason after an injury-filled stint with the New York Giants.

Joseph was a first-round pick in 2003 and missed all of last season with a back injury.

"He made a number of plays last night and it was good to see too because we had pads on when he was doing it and that's what matters in the end," Kiffin said. "He's got to be more consistent in his play. He is powerful and big but he gets reached and cut off too much right now for us and that's where we really need to improve him. He really needs to be a more consistent player. He's not played a lot of football since he's been in the NFL."

Henderson has "work" to do

Second-year tackle Mario Henderson said he is improving but still has room for improvement.

He's focusing on the mental side of the game and not taking plays off, he said.

"I could (start if needed) but right now I still have a lot of work to do," Henderson said. "That's why I'm just taking this training camp one day at a time."

Kiffin was blunt in his assessment of Henderson on Thursday. He said Henderson wasn't close to pushing for a starting job and his overall game needed improvement.

"I'm sure he's probably trying to fire me up because that's his job," Henderson said. "Like I said, I'm just coming out here to work every day. They're the coaches, they know a lot better than I do. I still do have a lot to work on. So, that's the one thing I got to do is just work hard."

The Raiders traded this year's third-round draft choice last year to move up to select Henderson in the third round.

That's not lost on him.

"I think about that every day and I say, 'I'm glad I'm not a first-round pick because that would be a whole bunch of pressure,'" Henderson said. "Not that it's not a lot of pressure, first of all, them just drafting me first year, no matter what round, because they believe that you can play. I just have to work hard to show them that I was worth that pick that I was picked up at

Henderson takes solace in knowing that he took time to develop in college, too. He didn't start until his senior season. But this, he admits, is different.

"When you come here, you don't have any scholarships," Henderson said. "You can't sit around for four years. You better get it now. I still can get cut, drafted or not. So, that's the one thing that I got to keep on my mind."

Camp notes

*DT Terdell Sands had his knee drained and did not practice. Kiffin said Sands would be put on a one-a-day practice schedule when there two practices in a day.

*DT Gerard Warren (thigh) is still out as are CB John Bowie (knee) and LB Grant Irons (hamstring). WR Arman Shields (knee) did not practice.

*The offense had to work from it's own end zone with loud music again.

*C Jesse Boone ran a lap after he moved the ball before snapping it causing the entire defensive line to jump.

*LB Robert Thomas was back with the first-team linebackers. He and Ricky Brown have taken turns at the strongside linebacker spot in camp.

*Kiffin said he would like to carry five receivers on the roster.


*The team didn't practice in pads after wearing full gear Thursday night. There will be two practices Saturday and the team will be off Sunday before practicing with the 49ers on Monday.

--Jason Jones
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:44 PM    (permalink
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Training camp, Day 10 (A.M. practice)
from Inside The Oakland Raiders by Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

Quick hits from Saturday’s practice:

– Not a particularly sharp practice for JaMarcus Russell, who failed to get his team in the end zone during red zone team sessions. But there was only one major mistake _ another interception by cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha which would have been taken back the other way for a touchdown.

Russell would have had one touchdown pass, making a nice reverse pivot to avoid defensive end Jay Richardson and hitting Drisan James in the back of the end zone _ but James dropped the ball.

The one turnover aside, and Asomugha has been doing it to all Raiders quarterbacks, Kiffin likes what he sees in terms of Russell’s ability to avoid mistakes.

“Yeah we’re seeing great production out of him in the checkdowns. You saw a bunch of them today in 7-on-7 red zone which is hard to do because there’s the touchdowns,” Kiffin said. “You see that little window and you want to stick it in there and you want to throw a touchdown to the guy. That’s the hardest place to be a disciplined quarterback. He had a great day of it today. He continues to
improve.”

– Asomugha has been the dominant player in camp since the moment he arrived.

“He’s made so many plays, more than anybody else, maybe everybody else combined in the passing game,” Kiffin said. “Part of that is he does know our offense, he knows our audibles. He studies really hard. That’s part of that. He’s come out and hasn’t missed a beat. It doesn’t say much for really needing minicamps and OTA days really.”

It’s worth nothing that the other Raiders player who has been nearly as dominant is defensive end Derrick Burgess, who missed all voluntary sessions in the offseason to work out on his own, coming only to the mandatory minicamp.

At one point, as Johnnie Lee Higgins lined opposite Asomugha, safety Jarrod Cooper told the receiver, “He hasn’t been here all offseason, don’t be afraid of him.”

– Wide receiver Javon Walker, reportedly talked out of quitting by owner Al Davis, was a non-factor in practice. During one late route, he failed to gain separation on rookie free agent corner Darrick Brown on a pass that fell incomplete.

If the ESPN report of Walker offering to give back his signing bonus is true, and the Raiders didn’t take him up on the offer, it could be a big mistake. Walker has not shown even remotely the kind of big-play skill the Raiders expected when they signed him as a free agent.

– Wide receiver Ronald Curry made a nice catch of a Russell pass with DeAngelo Hall in coverage. Curry got up slowly but returned to action.

– Defensive tackle Gerard Warren missed practice with a thigh injury, Arman Shields was out for the second straight day with a sore knee. Also sitting it out were offensive lineman Fred Wakefield, cornerback John Bowie and linebacker Grant Irons.

– Defensive tackle Terdell Sands, who missed practice Friday after having his knee drained, returned to practice Saturday morning. He left the field house with an ice bag on his left knee.

– Sebastian Janikowski converted all three of his 38-yard field goal attempts during red zone drills.

– Safety Greg Wesley intercepted a Marques Tuiasosopo pass that glanced off the hands of tight end Darrell Strong.

– Right guard Cooper Carlisle joined Kelly as lap-runners for pre-snap violations.

– Incumbent starter Robert Thomas has been running ahead of Ricky Brown and Sam Williams at strong side linebacker for the past two practices.

– Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly ran the 100 in 47 seconds. While taking a lap after jumping offsides, I counted off the amount of time it took for Kelly to make it from goal line to goal line.

Kiffin left players on the field for 10 straight plays without a substitution, and Kelly, who the coach said weighs 330 pounds, was still feeling the strain.

“All these guys played 10 plays in a row so they could come out and say, `Boy, I’m a long ways away, or, `I’m right there,’ ” Kiffin said. “I think guys got a real good feeling for where they’re at, and for how far some guys have to go. As far as Tommy, it is a concern. He’s one of the main reasons that we’re doing that drill today.”

– Number changes: Chaz Schilens went from No. 82 to No. 81, Marcel Reece from No. 81 to No. 45 and Darrell Strong from No. 45 to No. 82. Reece has been moved from wide receiver to fullback, actually playing more in motion as an H-back.

“He’s going to be there for now, we moved him a little bit around and stuff because he does bring a lot to us and he’s a guy that, you know may have a future with us because he can do so many things,” Kiffin said.

Guessing that “future” in Reece’s case would probably be as a member of the practice squad.
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Who’s hot, who’s not

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, August 3rd, 2008 at 10:09 am in Oakland Raiders, Preseason (2005).

Thoughts on who’s leading, trailing and treading water as the Raiders take their first day off after 10 days and 15 practice sessions of training camp, keeping in mind what the coaches are seeing and what I’m seeing could be two entirely different things.

The following are in no particular order and are random observations, not an all-inclusive list . . .

LEADERS

RB Darren McFadden: There’s a good chance the three teams that passed on McFadden are going to be sorry they did. I was skeptical when Lane Kiffin said the Raiders would have traded up to get him. Now I believe it.

Not only does McFadden’s speed bring to mind Bo Jackson and Napoleon Kaufman, but he’s got better hands than either, is a quick study and does everything with a smile on his face. He is even better than they thought he was.

CB Nnamdi Asomugha: I’ve scoffed at the comparisons with Mike Haynes. Not now. He looks that good.

DE Derrick Burgess: Even allowing for the Raiders’ weakness at the tackle spots, Burgess looks terrific, and moving him around to get him singled up is the smart move.

C Jake Grove: He is bigger, stronger and has seized the opportunity to become the starter. The Raiders thought they had an elite center when the drafted him. Maybe they were right after all _ as long as his knee holds up.

WR Todd Watkins: Has caught everything in sight, and it’s not as if he’s working against chopped liver, getting his share of reps against Asomugha and DeAngelo Hall. Stands a real chance of making the team.

RB Justin Fargas: If anything, McFadden’s presence has him running even harder.

QB Andrew Walter: Rather than take a “woe is me” approach, Walter has had his best passing camp and has the upper hand against Marques Tuiasosopo to back up JaMarcus Russell.

Coach Lane Kiffin: He’s taking the perfect approach to coaching under Al Davis _ he’s doing it his own way, sticking to his belief system and assuming that if he gets fired, he will get another job. His brutal honesty is refreshing.

Receivers coach James Lofton: Whether you want to believe it or not, he was hired before Kiffin ever gave his approval. And you know what? The boss got this one right. An extremely impressive coach, and was key in recruiting Drew Carter, whose performance so far is also worthy of being a camp leader.

DE Jay Richardson: Making a case to be more than an end on first-and-10 and short-yardage. May be emerging as a pass rusher.

SS Gibril Wilson and SS Michael Huff: Forget the talk about them being interchangable. Kiffin said Wilson has been in the box 90 percent of the time and should provide the Raiders with their best true strong safety play since they returned to Oakland. And Huff, liberated, is making some plays.

TE Zach Miller: Has caught everything thrown his way, has a knack for finding open spaces. If Miller isn’t kept in to block, he should catch 60 passes. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if he made the Pro Bowl some day.

WR Ronald Curry: New body, can still make the tough catches.

TREADING WATER


QB JaMarcus Russell: Other than a fabulous Friday night, Russell has had both good moments and bad.

It’s OK that he’s treading water because that’s all Kiffin and Co. are looking for in 2008. They’re not asking Russell to win games. They’re just asking him not to lose them. Expect a lot of conservatism and checkdowns as he learns the ropes _ a solid plan.

RB Michael Bush: Kiffin talked up his goal line smash with Kirk Morrison, but there’s still a question as to whether he is more Earl Campbell or Earl Cooper. Great hands, but runs too upright. Keep in mind he’ hasn’t played for two years and by camp’s end he should be better.

DT Tommy Kelly: Needs to be in better shape, but still has a month to get there. Is working diligently on cardio machines. Noticeably gassed during Saturday practiced when forced to be on the field 10 consecutive plays.

LBs Ricky Brown, Robert Thomas and Sam Williams: Brown got first shot at strongside linebacker and did well, but not so well that they simply left him there. Now its’ Thomas turn. Williams has the ideal skill set, but is too fragile.

CB DeAngelo Hall: Probably unfair to have him in this category, but Asomugha looks so good Hall will get plenty of work this year. And he will give up a lot of completions, if the early part of camp is any indication. The key will be if he makes so many plays it doesn’t matter.

LT Kwame Harris: Every time someone gets by him it will be magnified. Showing signs of improvement as a pass blocker. Shows signs of being able to do some real damage downfield in zone blocking scheme. Harris’ advantage lies in the fact that line coach Tom Cable is one of the best around.

TRAILERS

WR Javon Walker: The whole “retirement” thing is troubling, but let’s face it, erratic behavior often comes with the position. The bigger concern is whether Walker can still play at anything approaching the level the Raiders expected.

The hope is Walker can get his legs under him and regain his form. Right now, he’s not close. Perhaps patience will pay off and giving Walker time to work things out could prove beneficial, and Al Davis looks like a genius for signing him and urging him not to retire. Or perhaps Walker gives it a few more weeks and retires if he doesn’t have it in him before Week 1.

If that were to occur, and Walker repays the bonus, it will be credited to the Raiders cap in the 2009 league year and they’re off the hook.

If he stays on the team and plays as has, this is the worst free agent signing since Larry Brown.

DT Terdell Sands: Is professing a new attitude and dedication, but still isn’t in top condition and has had his left knee drained. Already. With a player his size, it could be a maintenance issue all year.

T Mario Henderson: The hope was he would challenge Cornell Green and become a starter. It isn’t happening.

G Paul McQuistan: Has taken more laps than Jeff Gordon at the Daytona 500 because of repeated false starts.

CB Michael Waddell: There was a cornerback named Levon Rowan last season who was scorched daily by virtually every receiver. Waddell is this year’s Rowan, but in his defense, receivers have made a number of great catches against him.

WR Arman Shields: Has had some excellent practice sessions but because of knee problems could wind up on I.R. if he can’t put practices together.

DE Trevor Scott: Listed at 255 pounds, you see him out of uniform and he doesn’t look that big. Having problems disengaging from linemen _ even Henderson.

S Greg Wesley, DE Greg Spires and C John Wade: Three thirty-something veterans who won’t be retained unless they play fairly prominent roles. Wesley has missed considerable time with back spasms, Spires is 34 and not making many plays, and Wade might be out if he can’t beat out Grove because Chris Morris can play both guard and tackle.

CB John Bowie: The guy they got for Randy Moss was doing little of note and then injured a knee.

LB Grant Irons: Comeback bid may be derailed by hamstring which has kept him off the field.
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NAPA, Calif. -- The gentle blue skies above and majestic mountains in the distance belie what lies beneath them.

Here, an NFL team is practicing. This isn't just any practice, either. This one looks like it's being held on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

The minute a play ends, the chaos starts. Coaches in every direction blowing their whistles, signaling in calls, pulling players, or even entire units, on and off at a moment's notice, doing everything to keep the players from being comfortable.

Eighteen months into his tenure as an NFL head coach, this is what Lane Kiffin, still just 33, has identified as his style of team. His training camp isn't some kind of 12-round bout, with players in full pads all the time. Nor is it common to see a player getting dressed down by a coach, be it Kiffin or one of his assistants.

But don't confuse things. Things aren't breezy around here. They're moving fast and, just as important, players are forced to think fast along the way.

"Football's about adversity," Kiffin said, referencing what he's trying to simulate. "You have to deal with things. They're not going to go well for you at times."

There were, certainly, those times last year. After a 2-2 start, Oakland lost six straight, then dropped four in a row to end the season. And in the following months, reports surfaced that Raiders owner Al Davis was asking Kiffin to resign, something to which the coach said at the owners' meetings: "Where there's smoke, there's fire."

What has perhaps been most impressive is how, through all the tumult, Kiffin has kept his team's collective head pointed forward and its eyes on improvement. That never really has changed.

"He got his point across about how he wanted things to be (right away)," said quarterback JaMarcus Russell, one of the keys to the coach's future. "That's just one of the things we can do to help him out, executing what he says."

Read Russell's quote back -- "The things we can do to help him out" -- and you start to get a sense of how this club has stuck by Kiffin's side, even when it would've been easy to abandon ship.

And why? Because they feel, for better or worse, that Kiffin is as much in the trenches as they are and because, in a very 21st century way, he doesn't emit an air of having the whole thing figured out.

"I passed him in the hallway the other day, and he said, 'I want you to come past my office and tell me what I can do better, what I'm not doing as good,' " DeAngelo Hall said. "He's just open, and that's how you have to be. ... The more personable and human you are, the more these guys are going to lay it on the line for you. Lane fully understands that."

Since he grew up at the heel of an NFL coach -- his dad is venerable Bucs defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin -- he carries an encyclopedic knowledge of football. Yet, for the younger Kiffin, there's always more to learn. About the game. About his team.

And so you find him so intimately involved in practice that there are times when it's hard to tell where the head coach is. This is not, in any way, Bear Bryant standing atop a tower overlooking the fields.

"I like to learn about our team, I like to be in the middle of it, I like to learn about our players, especially at this time of year," he said. "What are they like inside the huddle? How are they talking? How are they communicating? I think it's just too valuable to miss."

He's looking, he says, for competitive players, just like Pete Carroll, for whom Kiffin worked at Southern California, does. He's looking for guys to get after each other, going so far as to give veiled approval to a fight in practice last week. He wants it all to be fast and furious, because that's the way it'll be on Sunday.

"That's going to make us better," he said. "If we've got a right end that's going to compete every single day, and he's going all out and not going through the motions, that left tackle is going to be that much better."

Now, this is a team that still has issues. The club's enormous defensive tackles -- Terdell Sands (6-7, 335), Gerard Warren (6-4, 325) and Tommy Kelly (6-6, 300) -- have to stay healthy and shore up the sieve of a run defense. Issues at offensive tackle and receiver could hold back Russell.

But there's no question who's in charge here. The players are behind Kiffin and, after enduring a 4-12 season in his first season in the NFL, that's important.

"We've made a lot of changes to the culture, we've got a number of new people, our coaches have a year together now and understand what our goals are, how we're supposed to be, how we're supposed to coach, how everything's supposed to be," Kiffin said. "And we're better at it. Just like players, coaches have gotten better at it, and it's just trickled downhill."

After Saturday's practice, Russell described his feelings like this: "I know (Kiffin) is not going to tell me anything that's wrong."

After all that's happened, that's probably pretty good for the coach to hear.

Staff writer Albert Breer covers the NFL for Sporting News.
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took this from another board.

http://www.napavalleyregister.com/ar...6935256185.txt

its a practice video of the Raiders/niners.enjoy.
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Training camp, Day 12 (A.M. practice)
By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, August 4th, 2008 at 1:11 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Quick hits from Monday’s joint practice with the Raiders and 49ers:

– There was a scuffle here and there and the kind of intensity that comes from unfamiliarity, but the meeting of the Raiders and 49ers was pretty much as Lane Kiffin promised it would be.

It was simply practice, with the same team sessions (11-on-11), drills and seven-on-seven activity that took place the first 10 days of camp. Defenses from both sides ruled the day, with the Raiders getting the better of the 49ers’ fledgling Mike Martz offense and the 49ers’ 3-4 defense leaving Oakland wondering where they next pass rusher was coming from.

“I think any time you come together for the first time, not knowing what they’re going to do, that’s the advantage for the defense,” coach Lane Kiffin said.

(I spent the session walking the Raiders offense against the 49ers defense, so I’ll take the word of Kiffin as well as some colleagues who were watching the 49ers offense struggle on the other field).

Practices were scripted only in terms of the personnel used, so defensive calls came as a surprise.

– Linebacker Hartwell Brown got into a fight with 49ers running back Moran Norris and defensive tackle William Joseph tussled with 49ers rookie guard Chilo Raschal, with neither of the altercations getting very far before they were broken up.

“`I wasn’t trying to take him to the ground,” Hartwell said of the blow which preceeded his dust-up with Norris. “It was just that when I hit him it kind of lifted him up. I guess it was kind of too hard for him. I didn’t really hit him that hard but he got kind of upset. I can understand that if you don’t like contact.”

One of the first people to get to Hartwell was Nolan, his former defensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens.

“That’s my buddy right there. We were just talking,” Hartwell said. “Mike was like, ‘Come on Ed’ and I said, ‘Come on Mike, you know how we do it.’ We were in Baltimore together, you know how we thud up.’ . . . He knows in practice back in Baltimore that’s how we do it. You catch the ball across the middle we give you a nice tap just letting you know we’re there.”

– The best part of JaMarcus Russell’s practice may have been getting to chat with Daryle “The Mad Bomber” Lamonica. The Raiders had some running plays which looked as if they would get somewhere in a real game, but for the most part the passing completions came on the type of dumpoffs and screen passes Lamonica seldom threw in when Oakland made the vertical game famous in the AFL.

“They’re pretty good. They had some good schemes today,” Russelll said. “As a whole, as far as out there on offense we just remained focused on our plays.”

During one sequence, 49ers linebackers came free unblocked and were on Russell before he could react, politely backing away and letting him throw the pass. The first was Jay Moore, the second Tully Banta-Cain.

A screen pass from Russell to Justin Fargas was poorly executed and his throw sailed well past the running back with 49ers pressure ruining the play.

– The only Raiders deep strike during 11-on-11 sessions came when Andrew Walter found Jonathan Holland down the right sideline against Donald Strickland.

– The good news is Russell’s elbow, injured six days ago when it hit the helmet of teammate Darren McFadden, is becoming less and less of an issue.

“I think he’s very close. I think (Saturday) he made some throws that looked like he did at the beginning of camp,” Kiffin said. “I think he’ll be fine by game time.”

– Center Jake Grove liked playing against something completely different.

“It’s a totally different defense, different angles, different blocks, against people you don’t know,” Grove said. “It’s like the first preseason game, you don’t really see film on the guys and they’ve got some new people. It’s kind of a challenge, especially the first few plays bedcause you don’t know what the guy is going to do.”

– Another tough day for fourth-round draft pick Arman Shields, ordered off the field by Kiffin for not knowing the formation, and later dropping two passes against 49ers defenders during drills.

“That’s why you’ve got two hands _ catch the ball,” wide receivers coach James Lofton said. On the second one, Lofton said, “Finish with a catch!”

– Javon Walker got open twice and quick slants and made receptions _ two of the better plays he has made in days. His situation bears watching, because Kiffin doesn’t sound as if he has any intention using a patient and understanding approach. He wants production and effort.

When asked if he wanted to see how Walker responded to the double session, Kiffin said, “I’m more concerned to see just to push him as hard as we can, make him work as long as he’s physically ready to go. From a training-room standpoint, we need to continue to push him. I’m not into the whole `Well, when the lights go on, they play well.’ That’s not my deal. I’m trying to work him out of that mentality.”

Kiffin also questioned Walker’s effort level Saturday night when talking about the receiver’s thoughts of retirement.

– Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha missed practice due to illness. Kiffin said Asomugha was sick to his stomach when he awoke and will be checked by a doctor. Others who missed practice were Greg Wesley (back), John Bowie (knee) and Grant Irons (hamstring). Mark Wilson remains on the roster with a broken leg.

– For those interested in hearing about all the hatred between two bitter rivals, sorry. For the most part, players and coaches renewed acquaintances and engaged in friendly competition. Al Davis made it to his first morning session of camp _ his other appearances have been at either 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. _ and chatted with Nolan before practice began.

Barry Sims and Kwame Harris, who switched sides in the offseason to play across the bay, spent a good amount of time following the practice shaking hands and catching up on news with old friends.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect seeing my old teammates. As soon as I walked in the gate I saw everybody and it was like I never left, guys coming up and saying, ‘What’s up?,” Sims said. “That was cool. It’s good to see those guys and see what they’re about. I still stay in touch with a lot of them and so it’s good to see them in person.”

Said Harris: “I was with most of those guys for five years, so there’s history, those are the guys that brought me into this league, like family in a sense. There wasn’t a sense of vindictiveness as much as it’s like playing against your sibling, you know? If you’ve had a sibling that compete against you kind of bring it a little more. In that sense, it was exciting.”

– The 49ers wasted no time in marking their territory. One of the oddities of training camp is, well, public urination. With no facilities on the field, players find a fence away from any invited guests to relieve themselves. Less than 20 minutes into the practice, defensive lineman Ray McDonald became the first 49er player to do so at a Raiders practice.
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