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Old 08-05-2008, 12:05 AM    (permalink
locseti
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Originally Posted by doingthisinsteadofwork View Post
took this from another board.

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

its a practice video of the Raiders/niners.enjoy.
You can't even tackle the RB in practice/scrimmage?
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:35 AM    (permalink
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http://www.napavalleyregister.com/ar...b341418599.txt

heres another vid.Raiders WRs vs Niners DBs.
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:37 AM    (permalink
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looks like Stu got released again.

Quote:
Redskins released S Stu Schweigert and LB Danny Verdun-Wheeler.

Schweigert's release locks Reed Doughty in as Washington's strong safety, where Doughty could be an 80- to 90-tackle player. DVW was a camp body.
per rotoworld.
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:38 AM    (permalink
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Training camp, Day 12 (P.M. practice)

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, August 4th, 2008 at 9:43 pm in Oakland Raiders
32 Comments »

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

– Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha missed the second practice and coach Lane Kiffin said the cornerback was getting IVs and having trouble keeping down food. His status for Tuesday’s single session at 3 p.m. is uncertain.

– Stayed with the defense for most of the evening session, with the general consensus being they didn’t do quite as well under the lights as they did in the morning.

One player who did have a coming out party of sorts was defensive end Trevor Scott, the sixth-round draft pick out of Buffalo. While it’s sometimes difficult to tell because linemen must pull up before they get to a quarterback, Scott tortured 49ers reserve left tackle Joe Toledo.

With a quick first step, Scott twice got past Toledo while barely being touched for what could have been sacks of quarterbacks J.T. O’Sullivan and Alex Smith and also had a pressure which resulted in an incomplete pass.

Scott earned himself a hug from line coach Keith Millard and a pat on the back of the helmet.

Together with outside linebacker Jon Alston, Scott later forced Toledo into false start with a line stunt.

– Linebacker Robert Thomas, getting his turn for the third straight day as the first-team strong side linebacker, intercepted an O’Sullivan pass intended for Dominique Zeigler.

– Cornerback DeAngelo Hall was scorched for a pair of touchdown passes by Smith to Jason Hill, one on a corner route to the left and another on a fade pattern to the right. Later, wide receiver Robert Ortiz got open over the middle against Hall but Smith’s pass sailed high.

– Safety Tyvon Branch delivered what may have been the hit of the day, laying out De La Salle High School product Cameron Colvin at the goal line _ probably a bigger hit than coaches for both teams had in mind but one that gave a hint of the hitting ability Branch was reputed to have at UConn.

Branch also broke up a pass.

– Defensive tackle Gerard Warren came up with a juggling interception after Thomas Howard deflected a Smith pass over the middle by Smith intended for Josh Morgan. Howard also pounced on a poor throw from a pressured O’Sullivan for what was close to being a lateral.

– Wide receiver Javon Walker did not practice in the second session. Kiffin said the Raiders changed their original plan to have him practice twice Monday since he had practiced twice on Saturday. Also sitting it out were Derrick Burgess, who is having stomach issues. Others who didn’t participate were Terdell Sands, who was scheduled to be off, quarterback Andrew Walter (tired arm), cornerback John Bowie (knee), safety Greg Wesley (back) and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (scheduled day off).

– Forty-Niners tight end Vernon Davis and Raiders defensive end Kalimba Edwards got into a brief scuffle that was broken quickly broken up.

– Strong side linebacker Sam Williams collapsed his side of the 49ers line in making a stop on an attempted sweep by 49ers running back Thomas Clayton. The 49ers rested Frank Gore, their feature back, during team sessions.

Williams was running with the second team along with Edgerton Hartwell in the middle and Alston on the weak side, with Ricky Brown, who was getting first-team reps last week, running No. 3.

– Cornerback Michael Huff, who has been making more plays as a free safety than he did as as strong safety, seemed to be arriving a step late on most plays against the 49ers offense.

– Left tackle Kwame Harris pancaked former teammate Ray McDonald during team drills, while Robert Gallery was worked over on his turn by Justin Smith.

– Running back Darren McFadden broke free and pulled away from 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis on his most impressive run.

– What some sideline observers say has been a relatively calm camp for caustic offensive coordinator Mike Martz changed Tuesday night, with Martz railing at receivers who were incorrect on their reads while running their routes.

“It’s a corner (bleeping) blitz, what do you do,” Martz shrieked at Morgan.

– Wide receiver Arman Shields, who had a rough early session, caught a deep play-action pass from JaMarcus Russell over cornerback Tarrell Brown.

– Gallery, who has been virtually penalty free through training camp, was whistled for a false start. With the 49ers in town, the Raiders temporarily suspended their policy of having players run for penalties.

– Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, who held the same positon in San Francisco, was giving 49ers announcer Joe Starkey a bad time during warmups, which he took with the team.

“Out of sight, out of mind,” Knapp said. “You forgot about me, didn’t you?”

– In the A.M. blog, I referred to linebacker Edgerton Hartwell as “Hartwell Brown” for reasons I can’t begin to fathom. It has since been fixed, thanks to Raiders exec John Herrera, who was nice enough to bring it to my attention, and without the ridicule it deserved.

I have no idea who Hartwell Brown is, although I suspect I covered a sporting event which included someone named Hartwell Brown in my distant past. That’s the story I’m sticking with, anyway.
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:08 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by doingthisinsteadofwork View Post
looks like Stu got released again.

per rotoworld.
I can't believe he started for us for three yrs. I honestly can't remember him making one interception or big hit. Did he even play in that preseason game? That's what happens when you clown the nation Stuey, especially when you have no skills.
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:27 AM    (permalink
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DeAngelo Hall burned huh? Damn that sucks.
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:01 PM    (permalink
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Taking an offensive view

NAPA - With the Raiders giving several key defenders the night off I focused on the offense.

After looking miserable in the morning practice, the offense was noticeably better.

The team ran a lot early. That's probably going to be the case a lot this season. But in practices runs up the middle don't always look good.

It's tough to tell exactly how good the team is run blocking because they weren't in full pads (shoulder pads and helmets tonight) and there's no way of knowing if a back would break a tackle.

And there's a natural tendency to let up when it's not full contact.

Cut blocking also isn't allowed in practice, so the line isn't using all of its tools to open up holes.

There are times when the offensive line moved 49ers out of the way, other times where they were blown back or couldn't seal off the backside. I can only assume some of those situations Tom Cable would have them cutting the defensive linemen.

Overall, the offensive line did look better. I'll have a better assessment after Friday night.

*JaMarcus Russell's arm looked as good as it's been since he injured his elbow last Tuesday.

He made good decisions to pass the ball to outlet receivers when deep routes were taken away.

Russell also showed some zip on passes over the middle. The highlight as a laser that whizzed by the head of linebacker Jeff Ulbrich's head to tight end Zach Miller.

It probably would have been a good 30-yard touchdown, assuming Miller would have run over the DB trying to tackle him.

Russell showed good pocket awareness and knew when to step up and get rid of the ball.

Russell found Todd Watkins (who else?) for an acrobatic grab just after Watkins failed to hold on to a pass after being hit.

The one no-no of the night came when Russell was running to the right and tried to throw back to the left for Miller. The ball came so fast it was incomplete, but there were at least three red jerseys near Miller.

The offensive line looked better for the most part. Kwame Harris did a good job of riding outside rushers pass Russell and to the grass. Cornell Green looked better, too.

Harris is definitely improving with each practice.

The second-team offensive line had its moments.

Chris Morris and Seth Wand opened a huge hole on the right side on a draw play for Justin Fargas. That combination also made a pair of good blocks on a screen pass for Michael Bush during a two-minute drill.

The blocking from the running backs improved. Adimchinobe Echemandu blocked 49ers defensive end Justin Smith to give Russell time to find Chris McFoy for a touchdown.

Darrren McFadden continues to impress. He caught a wheel route during seven-on-seven and his speed left Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis chasing him.

McFadden also looked good running the ball. When there were creases to run through, he hit them with speed and looked to make moves at the second level.

Overall observations

After the first time seeing the Raiders against another opponent...

*Pass protection needs to be a high priority. Teams are going to blitz the Raiders in all kinds of ways so the offensive line and running backs need to be sound. The tackles also need to be able to block one-on-one consistently so that Miller doesn't spend too much time pass blocking.

*The three-headed monster at tailback is going to be fun to watch. Fargas, McFadden and Bush have three distinct styles that should help diversify the offense.

*Derrick Burgess needs the season to start ASAP. He looks ready to roll. And the linebackers showed progress filling holes in the run defense.

*Russell will be throwing a lot of short passes if he doesn't get better protection and his receivers don't prove they can get open against press coverage.


Night practice notes

*Russell had passes batted down by defensive linemen on consecutive plays.

*I never like seeing receivers block defensive linemen and I'm sure McFoy doesn't after tonight. Smith leveled him after McFoy went in motion and trying to seal off the backside on a run.

*The lone false start of the evening belonged to Robert Gallery.

*Two-minute drills were ended by made field goals (49, 40) by Sebastian Janikowski.

*Raiders owner Al Davis attended both practices today. He usually skips the morning practice during two-a-days.

*Burgess, DT Terdell Sands, DT Tommy Kelly, QB Andrew Walter, OL Fred Wakefield, C Jake Grove and WR Ronald Curry all had the night off.

S Greg Wesley (back), CB John Bowie (knee), LB Grant Irons (hamstring) and CB Nnamdi Asomugha (illness) did not practice.

--Jason Jones
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:09 PM    (permalink
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Harris is definitely improving with each practice.
Sounds good.
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:35 PM    (permalink
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NAPA - Ladies and gentlemen... your Raiders depth chart for this Friday's preseason game.

Offense

WR Javon Walker Johnnie Lee Higgins Chaz Schilens
LT Kwame Harris Mario Henderson
LG Robert Gallery Paul McQuistan Brandon Rodd
C Jake Grove/John Wade Chris Morris
RG Cooper Carlisle Fred Wakefield Jesse Boone
RT Cornell Green Seth Wand
TE Zach Miller John Madsen Tony Steward
WR Drew Carter/Ronald Curry Todd Watkins Arman Shileds
QB JaMarcus Russell Andrew Walter Marques Tuiasosopo
FB Justin Griffith Oren O'Neal Marcel Reece
RB–Justin Fargas, Darren McFadden, Michael Bush


Defense

DE Derrick Burgess Greg Spires Trevor Scott
DT Tommy Kelly Josh Shaw Derrick Gray
DT Gerard Warren Terdell Sands William Joseph
DE Jay Richardson Kalimba Edwards Greyson Gunheim
OLB Ricky Brown Robert Thomas Sam Williams
MLB Kirk Morrison Ed Hartwell
OLB Thomas Howard Jon Alston Isaiah Ekejiuba
CB DeAngelo Hall Stanford Routt John Bowie
CB Nnamdi Asomugha Chris Johnson Michael Waddell
FS Michael Huff Hiram Eugene Rashad Baker
SS Gibril Wilson Jarrod Cooper Tyvon Branch

KR Tyvon Branch Johnnie Lee Higgins
PR Johnnie Lee Higgins
LS Jon Condo
K Sebastian Janikowski
P Shane Lechler

Comments:

*Walker with no slash next to his name is a bit of a surprise as is the slash at center.
Grove has been the first-team center whenever he's practiced.

*The receivers are still interchangeable at this point so expect to see a variety of combinations in this group.

*Don't be surprised to see Wade and Morris playing either guard spot on Friday.
*Overall, the first-team offense looks pretty set.

*Wand and Henderson have played left and right tackle. When Harris was out with a bad back, Wand was the starting left tackle and Henderson remained a backup.
*The defense has no real surprises unless Ricky Brown being on the first team counts. He's split time with Robert Thomas during camp and that position might not be decided until the first game of the regular season.

*Oft-injured safety Greg Wesley isn't listed at all. There's no room on a roster for seven safeties and Wesley is No. 7 right now.

*Alston has looked good backing up Thomas Howard lately.

*Edwards is the nickel pass rusher right now, replacing Richardson in those situations.

--Jason Jones
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:55 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by doingthisinsteadofwork View Post
NAPA - Ladies and gentlemen... your Raiders depth chart for this Friday's preseason game.

Offense

WR Javon Walker Johnnie Lee Higgins Chaz Schilens
LT Kwame Harris Mario Henderson
LG Robert Gallery Paul McQuistan Brandon Rodd
C Jake Grove/John Wade Chris Morris
RG Cooper Carlisle Fred Wakefield Jesse Boone
RT Cornell Green Seth Wand
TE Zach Miller John Madsen Tony Steward
WR Drew Carter/Ronald Curry Todd Watkins Arman Shileds
QB JaMarcus Russell Andrew Walter Marques Tuiasosopo
FB Justin Griffith Oren O'Neal Marcel Reece
RB–Justin Fargas, Darren McFadden, Michael Bush


Defense

DE Derrick Burgess Greg Spires Trevor Scott
DT Tommy Kelly Josh Shaw Derrick Gray
DT Gerard Warren Terdell Sands William Joseph
DE Jay Richardson Kalimba Edwards Greyson Gunheim
OLB Ricky Brown Robert Thomas Sam Williams
MLB Kirk Morrison Ed Hartwell
OLB Thomas Howard Jon Alston Isaiah Ekejiuba
CB DeAngelo Hall Stanford Routt John Bowie
CB Nnamdi Asomugha Chris Johnson Michael Waddell
FS Michael Huff Hiram Eugene Rashad Baker
SS Gibril Wilson Jarrod Cooper Tyvon Branch

KR Tyvon Branch Johnnie Lee Higgins
PR Johnnie Lee Higgins
LS Jon Condo
K Sebastian Janikowski
P Shane Lechler

Comments:

*Walker with no slash next to his name is a bit of a surprise as is the slash at center.
Grove has been the first-team center whenever he's practiced.

*The receivers are still interchangeable at this point so expect to see a variety of combinations in this group.

*Don't be surprised to see Wade and Morris playing either guard spot on Friday.
*Overall, the first-team offense looks pretty set.

*Wand and Henderson have played left and right tackle. When Harris was out with a bad back, Wand was the starting left tackle and Henderson remained a backup.
*The defense has no real surprises unless Ricky Brown being on the first team counts. He's split time with Robert Thomas during camp and that position might not be decided until the first game of the regular season.

*Oft-injured safety Greg Wesley isn't listed at all. There's no room on a roster for seven safeties and Wesley is No. 7 right now.

*Alston has looked good backing up Thomas Howard lately.

*Edwards is the nickel pass rusher right now, replacing Richardson in those situations.

--Jason Jones
Im also surprised wade gets a slash with grove. Hes had alot of mis-snaps during training camp so far
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:58 PM    (permalink
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Javon Walker is going to make me look like a genius for drafting him in my fantasy league. :D
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:08 PM    (permalink
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I'm very glad to see Drew Carter get the slash. Maybe I'd rather see it happen with Walker than Curry but nonetheless he currently has an excellent chance to become one of our team's primary offensive threats. His tremendous skill was never doubted so let's hope he can put it all together now here in Oakland.
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:27 AM    (permalink
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Training camp, Day 13

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, August 5th, 2008 at 7:29 pm in Oakland Raiders
8 Comments »

Quick hits from Tuesday’s Raiders practice:

– Whatever is ailing Nnamdi Asomugha is also ailing Jarrod Cooper, as both missed practice. Asomugha, according to Lane Kiffin, has been treated with IVs and is expected back Wednesday morning.

– JaMarcus Russell continued to spend much of his time in seven-on-sevens and team sessions playing it safe, throwing to backs swinging out of the backfield or over the middle.

He may be making Rich Gannon seem like a mad bomber, but it is what Kiffin and the offensive staff want as part of Russell’s development. Still, it is at least a little disturbing that few wide receivers seem to be breaking into the clear.

There doesn’t appear to be a clear No. 1 receiver on the roster after 13 days of camp, meaning the Raiders _ and big-bucks free agent signee Javon Walker in particular _ have time to get better with the first preseason game coming up Friday night against San Francisco.

When asked about the dearth of open receivers, Kiffin noted that the Raiders have a good coverage secondary as well as Walker’s one-practice-a-day schedule. It didn’t help that Drew Carter, who looked terrific in early practices but seems to have slowed lately, was given practice off to get his legs back under him.

“I think the quarterback is doing exactly what we want and we’d like to get open more often for him,” Kiffin said.

The Raiders secondary was without Asomugha, Cooper and starting strong safety Gibril Wilson, who is resting a sore knee which Kiffin said is not serious. Wilson probably won’t see much time against San Francisco, Kiffin said.

– When Russell plays, Kiffin said he would be careful to make sure he has the best possible supporting cast in terms of pass protection. The best pass blockers are likely to play as long as Russell does.

– Wide receivers coach James Lofton continued to school his young receivers, hoping to get more consistency. A drop by Drisan James, who turned late and let a Marques Tuiasosopo pass glance off his hands, caused Lofton to bellow, “Make the play, make the play, make the play!”

When cornerback Darrick Brown made a more aggressive play on a corner route than wide receiver Chaz Schilens, with Brown knocking it away, Lofton yelled, “Be aggressive! You have to go up and get it. You wait for it, you get nothing.”

Arman Shields was lectured for catching a pass and leaving the ball where it could be knocked loose by a defender.

“You’ve got no chance with that ball in the inside arm. No chance,” Lofton said.

Shields also dropped one of Russell’s few deep throws after getting behind Stanford Routt.

– Defensive end Greg Spires has come on of late and made a nice play when he blew up a pitch to Louis Rankin the backfield.

– Some of the day’s best intermediate throws were not made by Russell, but by Tuiasosopo, particularly a sharp, perfectly-timed 20-yard out to Todd Watkins in front of DeAngelo Hall.

– Watkins later dropped a pass _ on a Tuiasosopo throw which as slightly behind him. It was one of his few drops since camp opened.

– Quarterback Andrew Walter rested a sore arm again but Kiffin said he expected him to play against San Francisco.

– Kiffin said running back Darren McFadden will get enough preseason time to determine how well he takes a hit and to prove his ball-security issues while at Arkansas are behind him. He will not return kickoffs against the 49ers.

– The mission for Michael Bush Friday night couldn’t be more clear. Kiffin wants a hammer.

“Run physical, run hard,” Kiffin said. “He’s 246 pounds _ don’t run like a 200-pounder . . . he’s the one big guy we have, and if he can what we hope he can do I think we’re in a real good position there.”

– Robert Thomas has been running with the first team at strong side linebacker for three days, but apparently that has more to do with a previously undisclosed injury to Ricky Brown than it does with Brown moving on to the first team.

“Ricky being banged up and not out there is a big reason for that,” Kiffin said. “Robert is playing `Mike’ and `Sam’ for us. Robert’s got to play special teams and I’ve talked to him about that, and he’s going to have to do it all to make the team.”

Kiffin said of the linebacker position: “There are only two guys that I know are going to make this team and the rest of the guys had better play special teams and contribute.”

Brown, Kiffin said, has knee and back issues but should play against the 49ers.

– NFL officials are on hand at practice and will go over rules changes with players, coaches and the media. It was amusing to watch an official throw a flag on Hall for pass interference against Arman Shields, only to get an earful from Hall of Fame corner and secondary coach Willie Brown.

“He doesn’t have the right of way. Don’t let him tell you that `right of way’ stuff,” Brown said to Sheilds before a brief debate with the official about what constitutes legal and illegal contact.

– Jack Tatum attended his first practice of the season and was signing autographs for fans who were invited guests, as the Raiders hosted radio advertisers. Tatum said he hadn’t yet seen Wilson play at safety with the Giants but was encouraged to hear about his hitting and tackling with the Giants.

“Good, that’s what we need,” Tatum said.

– All eyes were in the south end zone when Russell was stretched out on the ground, with trainer Rod Martin working on his knee. No worries. Russell got back up and rejoined drills.
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:44 AM    (permalink
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Man. I can't wait til I see Darren McFadden play. He is going to be so good with the ZBS!

His acceleration through the hole is probably the best in the NFL huh?
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:52 PM    (permalink
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I have nothing useful to add to this thread other than say you guys kick ass! Thanks a bunch for all the updates.
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:05 PM    (permalink
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Is anybody going to the monday night opener against the Donkeys? I'll see you there.
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:19 PM    (permalink
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heres a chat with jerry mac about the Raiders.

http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_1...nclick_check=1

he says McFadden is the best rookie hes seen in Oakland since 95 and is also the best player on offense.
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:21 PM    (permalink
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By MARTY JAMES
Executive Sports Editor
Oakland Raiders
August 6th, 2008


Gore, the San Francisco 49ers’ top running back, had limited reps. But Howard had his eye on him during the Oakland Raiders’ joint practices against the 49ers at Redwood Middle School.
“Having somebody else to come out here to bang on and just compete with, it’s good for you,” Howard said following an afternoon practice at training camp Tuesday. “To get some fresh blood out there, it felt good.”

Howard, a third-year linebacker who is coming off a very good 2007 season, was pleased with the way he covered Gore on one particular play: a long pass route in which Gore ran 50-plus yards after the Niners motioned him.
“He covered Frank about 60 yards downfield — that was pretty impressive,” said Raiders coach Lane Kiffin.

The ball was overthrown, but Howard said there was no way Gore was going to catch it.
“That’s just man on man — who’s going to go up there and get it,” said Howard, noting that the Raiders’ defense was in a cover-2 at the time. “It was good defense by me. It was more of a competitive type play.
“I said I’m just going to lock him down man to man. It was just more me competing against Frank. We just competed and it was fun. He has that low center of gravity and good leg strength for a running back and he’s fast. The biggest thing about him is that he’s a competitor. The best players in this league are competitors and they want to win every time they go out on the field. We mesh a little bit — we’re both competitors.”

Selected by the Raiders in the second round (38th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft, Howard has played in all 32 league games with 31 starts during his first two professional seasons.

In addition to registering 95 tackles, Howard also intercepted six passes last year. He has 191 tackles in two years.

“Whenever I go out there, I’m talking — you’ve got to be able to back up what you say,” said Howard.

He intercepted a Jay Cutler pass and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown to give the Raiders an 18-17 fourth quarter lead on Sept. 16 at Denver. He intercepted a pass for the fourth consecutive game and returned it 66 yards for a touchdown on Oct. 14 at San Diego.

“We’re trying to take Thomas to the next level in the run game,” said Kiffin. “He’s great in the pass game. He can cover anybody.

“Thomas has to be more physical at the point, take on fullbacks more aggressively and not play so high. He’ll be looking at the Pro Bowl if he can do that.”

Howard wants to have an even bigger year than last season. He also wants to win.

“I want to do whatever it takes for us to win games each and every Sunday. I feel like we’re that much better on both sides of the ball. I think we’re jelling right now on the defense. We’re communicating well. It’s a good defense. We’re going to go out there and turn some heads this year.”

Raiders Notes

• The team’s 18th practice of training camp Tuesday afternoon drew one of the largest groups of fans, most of whom were seated in bleachers on the west side of the Redwood Middle School complex.

• Looking on was Jim Sochor, the former UC Davis head football coach, who had a streak of 18 consecutive conference championships, from 1971 to 1988. This is more than any other football program on any level in NCAA history. His overall record between 1970 and 1988 was 156-41-5, a winning percentage of .785.

In conference games under Sochor, the Aggies were 92-5. He had winning streaks of 41 and 38 in conference games. He was named national coach of the year in NCAA Division II in 1983 and was also the coach of future NFL quarterbacks Mike Moroski and Ken O’Brien and kicker Rolf Benirschke.

He was also a mentor to several future head coaches, including Dan Hawkins, Paul Hackett, Mike Bellotti, Chris Petersen and Bob Biggs. Many athletes from Napa Valley schools played for Sochor in the Aggies program over the years.

“We had some real good ones,” Sochor said.

• NFL officials worked the Raiders’ practice yesterday.

• Also on hand was John Clayton, a reporter for ESPN and a senior writer for ESPN.com.

• The Raiders have two practices today (9-11 a.m. and 7-9 p.m.) and they have a single practice Thursday (3-5 p.m.). They open the NFL preseason Friday against the San Francisco 49ers at 7 p.m. at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland.

• Wide receiver Drisan James had one of the biggest catches yesterday, pulling in a long pass from Marques Tuiasosopo in the end zone. James got past defenders and caught the ball in stride.

• The Raiders are on a camp schedule that calls for two-a-days every other day, but Kiffin pointed out that some of the practices have been shorter. Yesterday’s ended at 4:30 p.m. “We know so much more about guys than we did a year ago,” the coach said. “There’s not as much competition as there was a year ago as far as for the last spots and the depth chart moving. We’re in a different place this year than last year.”

• The Raiders rested Andrew Walter, whose throwing arm is sore and tired. Most likely, he’ll get substantial time in Friday’s game, said Kiffin. “We want to make sure that he’s fresh for that.”
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:42 PM    (permalink
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NAPA, Calif. — Terdell Sands was supposed to be the anchor of the Oakland Raiders run defence a year ago, a gigantic tackle expected to stuff holes in the middle of the field and disrupt the opposition.

Instead, Sands was one of the biggest problems on a defence that was unable to stop the run all season. Sands was out of shape and too often out of position leading to countless big plays that helped doom the Raiders all season.

After reviewing his play last season, Sands acknowledges that he must do much better this season in order to validate the US$17-million, four-year contract the Raiders gave him a year ago and reverse five years of losing in Oakland.

"I take it all, because they look for me to be a big part of it," Sands said. "I wasn't mentally in it, so I did lose 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 has an explanation for his poor play even if he's not making excuses. His mother died in February 2007 and he spent more time mourning than he did preparing for the season.

He was not a regular participant in off-season workouts, missing lots of time in the spring and then arrived at training camp out of shape. He never was able to catch up and struggled all season long.

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

Sands, who is listed at six-foot-seven, 335 pounds but appears even heavier, has lost weight this season but wouldn't say how much or what he weighs currently.

Coach Lane Kiffin has seen improvement but is still concerned about Sands' conditioning, especially after a left knee injury that has limited Sands' practice time.

"Terdell two years ago, before I was here, had a good year and did some really good things and his weight was down and he was going the right direction and he was rewarded with a big contract," Kiffin said. "Last year he went through some family issues and didn't deal with them very well and his weight went as high as it has ever been and he did not have a very good year at all."

Sands began his off-season training much earlier this year and was a regular participant in sessions at the team's training facility with new strength and conditioning coach Brad Roll this spring.

Sands has altered his diet and says he has noticed the difference on the field as he can get to the ball quicker than he did a year ago. Kiffin has also noticed a marked difference in Sands' play.

"His weight is down as low as it's been since I've been here, not as low as it was two years ago," Kiffin said. "But he has a good bounce to his step and he's practising harder and I just think he feels healthier. He has some issues in his family behind him, and he's moving forward and he's focused on football. We need him to help because he's a dominant run player at times. If we could get him to ever do that at a consistent level it would be an exciting thing."

The Raiders allowed a league-worst 4.8 yards per carry last season, as teams easily ran through big holes all year long. Oakland allowed 18 runs of 20 or more yards last season, tied with Denver for most in the NFL.

Kiffin is counting on better tackling at safety with the addition of free agent Gibril Wilson to improve that this season. But it all starts with improved play from defensive tackles Sands and Tommy Kelly on the inside.

With no tackling at training camp, it's too early to tell how much improvement there has been. The first test comes Friday night in the exhibition opener against the San Francisco 49ers.

"We've got to be real sound inside and we've got a ways to go," Kiffin said.

http://canadianpress.google.com/arti...BN0CTW9tXB3z7g
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:30 PM    (permalink
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Training camp Day 14 (A.M. practice)
By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, August 6th, 2008 at 2:57 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Quick hits from Wednesday’s practice:

– Lots of people out of the padded workout, with a lighter session to follow this evening. Those who didn’t participate included quarterback Andrew Walter, wide receivers Ronald Curry, Javon Walker and Drew Carter, center Jake Grove, guard Cooper Carlisle, tackle Mark Wilson, guard-tackle Fred Wakefield, safety Greg Wesley, linebacker Grant Irons, linebacker Ricky Brown and cornerback John Bowie.

“We’re going to push as many as we can to get out here here tonight,” Kiffin said, noting they would be preparing specifically for Friday night’s game against the 49ers.

– It was the second straight absence for Walter, Walker and Carter _ none of whom have serious injuries but are simply sore.

The Raiders had originally hoped to get Walker back on a two-a-day program starting Monday, but instead, Walker practiced twice Saturday, took Sunday off with the rest of the team, and has made two of four practices since.

“We’re still monitoring,” Kiffin said. “He did the one day of two-a-days and then felt a little sore. He’ll work tonight and I’d really like for after this game to get him to a two-a-day format. I believe he really needs it.”

Said Kiffin of Walter’s second straight absence: “We can’t figure out anything except that he’s tired from too much throwing.”

– Keeping in mind the Raiders were without the three men expected to be their top receivers _ Curry, Walker and Carter _ wideouts found it difficult to find open spaces against the defense, even during seven-on-seven drills.

On two passes Russell made throws a good 50 yards downfield. The first, a perfect rainbow, was dropped by Jonathan Holland with Stanford Routt trailing in coverage. The second was an underthrown wobbler toward Drisan James which was batted down by Hiram Eugene.

Russell continued his practice of checking down, flooding the field with short passes to running backs and tight ends when his outside reads were closed off by defenders.

“Chaz, you’re open _ break on the ball,” Kiffin yelled at one point on a play in which Russell instead threw short to tight end Zach Miller.

During one seven-on-seven sequence, Russell and Tuiasosopo combined to throw eight passes before one was caught by a wide receiver, with the others going to running backs and tight ends or falling incomplete.

Kiffin said he was pleased with the competition at wide receiver and thought the reduced workload heading into the 49ers game would be beneficial.

“I’ll be interested to see them get their legs back for this game,”’ Kiffin said. “Going light tonight and obviously tomorrow being light. They’re so worn down now and it’ll be good to see them get their juice back.”

– Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and safety Jarrod Cooper were back after being ill. Asomugha, who needed IVs and missed two days of practice, said he was still subsisting on bananas and yogurt. His work was limited.

“I wanted to go out and get a couple of plays in,” Asomugha said.

– Defensive end Greg Spires showed some spring at age 34 when he made a tackle from behind against Darren McFadden as the rookie was picking his way through the first line of defense.

– Kiffin continues to talk up running back Michael Bush, who flattened a blitzing Gibril Wilson and also stood up Spires. Included in the assessment was a message _ bring it to practice every day.

“Boy, if he could practice like that every day, we’d really have something,” Kiffin said. “Gibril Wilson came on a blitz . . .he picked him up as good as you pick a guy up, put him to the ground. A couple of physical runs. If we can get him to continue to grow and continue to be that guy, we’ll have a pretty special backfield.”

– An example of what the Raiders may face if defenses close down on their check down routes and they can’t get receivers downfield: McFadden circled out of the backfield to his right, Russell threw it his way, and the rookie was met with a perfectly timed hit by linebacker Thomas Howard.

McFadden went sprawling, and the only reason it wasn’t a knockout hit was that Howard didn’t accelerate into the tackle, keeping with training camp protocol.

“You’d best stop running that (bleep), man,” Howard said.

Howard later had a nasty lick on running back Louis Rankin.

– Defensive tackle William Joseph stuffed Justin Griffith in the backfield on a running play.

– Included Wednesday was a drill as close to a legitimate tackling drill as you’ll see in an NFL practice. Runners attempted to get past defenders through a lane marked by cones about five yards wide.

Defenders attempted to square up and strike runners before disengaging.

Cornerback Michael Waddell whiffed on a spin move by wide receiver Arman Shields, while Malik Jackson was critiqued for not coming hard enough on Schilens.

“Run your feet and then explode,” linebackers coach Don Martindale said.

Jackson was much more sudden in a subsequent hit on tight end Chris Wagner.

“Much better,” Martindale said.

– Tight end Tony Stewart, not exactly an elusive target, managed to get by Derrick Burgess with very little contact.

– Lap runners for pre-snap violations included Burgess, Gerard Warren and Robert Gallery.

– With Grove and Carlisle sitting it out, John Wade worked with the first team at center and Chris Morris at right guard.

– McFadden had a custom ride in the back parking lot _ a 1996 Chevy Impala in Arkansas colors with a Razorback painted along the side.

– Post ran late today because of live chat at noon. Thanks
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:54 PM    (permalink
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NAPA - The MVP of the morning practice was running back Michael Bush.

It seems like every chance Lane Kiffin gets to mention Bush, Kiffin suggests Bush needs to be physical.

Bush was that this morning.

"Michael Bush was really special today," Kiffin said. "Boy, if he could practice like that every day, we'd really have something. Gibril Wilson came on a blitz today. He picked him up as good as you pick a guy up, put him to the ground, a couple of physical runs. If we can get him to continue to grow and continue to be that guy, we'll have a pretty special backfield."

Bush also put a nice hit on defensive end Greg Spires after he broke free.

At 246 pounds, it's clear what Kiffin wants Bush to be - the thunder to Darren McFadden's lightning the same way LenDale White complemented Reggie Bush at USC.

"It's not a problem," Bush said. "I can be a bruiser if I need to be."

Kiffin wants to see hits like that from Bush every practice.

Another big hit

Linebacker Thomas Howard flattened McFadden on a pass in the flats.

The coaches told McFadden to get up and finish the play by running down the field but Howard had already finished McFadden.

"D-Mac knows what kind of player I am," Howard said. "It was a good read by me ... I got there so fast. I wanted to be able to break down and make sure I could make the tackle in a game. ... They say speed plus mass and you get hits like that."

Still looking for more

It was expected Javon Walker would be joining the Raiders for two-a-days. Instead Walker continues to practice once on days the Raiders are on the field twice.

Walker has yet to have the dominant practice performance everyone is waiting for, especially if he supposed to be the top threat in the passing game.

Walker said his knee that was operated on is fine, but it doesn't always look that way and the team continues to monitor him.

"He did the one day of two-a-days (last Saturday) and then felt a little sore," Kiffin said. "He'll work tonight and I'd really like for after this game to get him to a two-a-day format. I believe he really needs it."

Not quite a legend

Darrick "Little Willie Brown" Brown was again being heckled for not being the second coming of the Hall of Fame cornerback.

Darrick is an undrafted rookie that is gets made fun of for getting beat in coverage.

And today the cornerbacks took on the receivers in a tackling drill. Darrick whiffed a few times.

"C'mon Little Willie," Kiffin yelled at him.

Receivers ran between cones that forced the defender to wrap up in tight space, but Darrick still managed to miss.

Brown might have a future as a practice squad player with the Raiders.

Meet the refs

The media had its time with NFL officials today to learn about rule changes and points of emphasis.

Some highlights:

Three Raiders (well two are former Raiders) were shown in the "what not to do" portion.

*There was Warren Sapp's meltdown in Jacksonville in which he had three personal fouls and was ejected was an example of not respecting officials. Stuart Schweigert standing over Tony Gonzalez after a hit was an example of taunting. Jay Richardson was caught on tape doing a throat slashing gesture as an example of a menacing gesture.

*There are no more force-outs. Unless a player is carried out of bounds after a catch, he must get two feet down inbounds.

So look for some receivers to get knocked silly.

*No more five-yard facemask penalties. Only grabbing and twisting the helmet will be called. The same goes for offensive players. If they grab the facemask and twist while running with the ball, it's a 15-yard penalty. (looks like Tomlinson might see some penalties this season)

*The team that wins the coin toss can now defer to the second half, just like the college rule.

Practice notes

*Walker, WR Drew Carter, WR Ronald Curry, C Jake Grove, G Cooper Carlisle, OL Fred Wakefield, LB Ricky Brown, QB Andrew Waler, LB Grant Irons, CB John Bowie and S Greg Wesley did not practice in the morning.

Irons (hamstring), Bowie (knee) and Wesley (back) aren't expected to join the team for tonight's practice.

Kiffin said Walter's sore arm isn't expected to be a long-term problem and that he will practice tonight.

*DE Derrick Burgess worked with the linebackers during tackling drills.

*With the officials at practice, Hiram Eugene was called for pass interference. Robert Gallery ran a lap for a false start while Burgess and Gerard Warren had to run for being offsides.

*CB Nnamdi Asomugha returned to practice after missing two days because he was sick. He said he's only eating bananas and yogurt right now, but wanted to get on the field in case he has to play in Friday night's preseason game.

*Today's lone turnover was forced by S Rashad Baker, who picked off a Marques Tuiasosopo pass intended for WR Johnnie Lee Higgins.
--Jason Jones
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:17 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
– Kiffin continues to talk up running back Michael Bush, who flattened a blitzing Gibril Wilson and also stood up Spires. Included in the assessment was a message _ bring it to practice every day.
Awesome!

Also, the stuff about Sands is encouraging...I hope he brings it, he is a really big key to our d.
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:43 PM    (permalink
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Raiders' Grove is hungry to start
By Jerry McDonald

Staff writer
Article Last Updated: 08/06/2008 07:04:20 AM PDT


NAPA — Jake Grove is hungry again.

He has recovered from knee surgery, changed his body, improved his attitude and looks to be the clear leader in the race to be the Raiders' starting center.

The Raiders' first depth chart Tuesday listed Grove as a co-leader with veteran John Wade, acquired during free agency in the offseason. But Grove has run with the first team in every practice in which he was a participant, giving way to Wade when he sits out a session during two-a-days.

Wade, 33, is an 11-year veteran with 126 games and 106 starts, including the past three full seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Grove lost a similar competition to Jeremy Newberry last year, starting twice when Newberry got hurt but playing in only seven games before Grove's season ended with a knee injury.

That didn't prevent Grove from announcing the day camp opened he intended on being the starter. More importantly, he has played with the same confidence on the field.

"He's stronger, he's quicker than he's ever been," coach Lane Kiffin said. "We're real excited about Jake right now."

The rumbling in Grove's stomach is a reminder of the sacrifices he made to get where he is, a byproduct of the dietary changes instituted by strength and conditioning coach Brad Roll.

"Coach Roll has made a big difference in me, just harping on the diet and getting my body fat down. I'm actually lighter than I've ever been since I've been
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here. I'm at 296 today. And I feel like I'm stronger.''

Grove said that by Roll's calculations, he lost 12 pounds of fat and put on 10 pounds of muscle in the past month for a net loss of two pounds.

Not that junking the pizzas and fries Grove consumed on a whim has been easy. Grove has learned to load up instead on grilled chicken, grilled fish, whole wheat pasta and an occasional steak.

"Basically, you don't eat anything you want," Grove said. "If you want it, you can't eat it. ''

Great Scott


The day after his coming out party following a strong evening session against the 49ers, defensive end Trevor Scott had another solid practice rushing the passer.

A sixth-round draft pick out of Buffalo, Scott, who looks more slender than his listed weight of 255 pounds, spent many of his early practices having trouble disengaging from linemen who outweighed him by 50 pounds and were quicker than anything he saw in college.

Scott had spent days methodically going over everything in his head taught him by defensive line coach Keith Millard. Against 49ers left tackle Joe Toledo, Scott turned it loose. He had two would-be sacks (quarterbacks aren't taken to the ground in practice) and one pressure.

"I sort of just stopped thinking about it and started playing. Things were clicking, and Coach Millard told me I could beat these guys with a quick hitter right up the field by the way they were setting," Scott said. "I just did the best I could, as soon as I saw that ball flinch, that's when I took off and sort of beat him around the corner."

Extra points

Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha missed another practice and was recovering from a stomach ailment that required him to get two IVs, Kiffin said. Safety Jarrod Cooper was also ill and missed practice. Quarterback Andrew Walter missed his second straight practice with a sore arm, but Kiffin expected him to play against the 49ers on Friday. Strongside linebacker Robert Thomas continued to run with the first team, but Kiffin indicated that was due to minor back and knee injuries to Ricky Brown, who opened camp as the starter. ... Safety Gibril Wilson missed practice with a sore knee. Kiffin said Wilson should play Friday, but probably not for long. ... Kiffin said he had not determined how long quarterback JaMarcus Russell would play against the 49ers, with the quarterback's time based on making sure he has front-line protection along the offensive line and in the backfield. ... An NFL official threw a flag against DeAngelo Hall for pass interference against rookie wide receiver Arman Shields and immediately was challenged by Hall of Fame cornerback and secondary coach Willie Brown. "He doesn't have the right of way. Don't let them give you that right of way stuff," Brown said to Hall before good-naturedly challenging the official.

— Jerry McDonald
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Training camp, Day 14 (P.M. practice)

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, August 6th, 2008 at 9:15 pm in Oakland Raiders
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Quick hits from Wednesday night’s practice:

– Virtually everyone who missed the morning session returned for the evening, meaning the Raiders should be near full strength to face the 49ers Friday night.

Those who returned after missing the morning session were defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, wide receiver Drew Carter, wide receiver Javon Walker, wide receiver Ronald Curry, guard Cooper Carlisle, center Jake Grove, guard-tackle Fred Wakefield, linebacker Ricky Brown and quarterback Andrew Walter.

Those who did not practice and aren’t likely to face the 49ers are linebacker Grant Irons, safety Greg Wesley and cornerback John Bowie. The Raiders have yet to make a move with the roster spot of lineman Mark Wilson, who suffered a broken leg early in camp.

– During the evening practice, the Raiders put together “service” teams to simulate the offense and defense of the 49ers.

With Raiders reserves running a defenses they were unfamiliar with, the Raiders offensive units had their cleanest passing practice in days.

During one seven-on-seven session, starting quarterback JaMarcus Russell, Walter and Marques Tuiasosopo all went through their six-pass sessions without an incomplete pass.

Walker, who missed the morning session looked crisp during evening drills and caught one slant from Russell during a team session that he ran all the way into the end zone, bluffing a goal-post dunk at the end.

Carter also looked fresh after missing his previous two workouts. Walker and Carter were running with the first team offense, Curry and Johnnie Lee Higgins with the first team defense.

The only drops during the practice were one by Todd Watkins on a deep pass from Russell, and another by Drisan James.

– A special teams session included the terrifying sight of Mario Henderson being asked to fair catch a pooch kickoff at the 30-yard line. Henderson made the catch rather awkardly, even leaving the ground to get the ball.

“Why did you jump in the air?,” screeched defensive end Jay Richardson.

Moments later, Richardson was asked to do the same thing, but forgot to call for the fair catch.

– Look for Johnnie Lee Higgins (punts) and Tyvon Branch (kickoffs) to get a long look as return specialists.

– The 80-man roster limit with no World League exemptions means space is at a premium and carrying more than four quarterbacks is a luxury.

Wide receivers coach James Lofton throws his own passes during drills with the touch and accuracy of a quarterback. Lofton threw fades, comebacks and fly patterns, and at one point completed at a good 15 passes in a row before misfiring _ and that one was to assistant coach John Fassel, who jumped into a drill and couldn’t hang on to a pass.

– Missed a presentation from NFL officials during the afternoon to participate in an on-line chat, but was told the film put together to demonstrate some rules issues had Raiders representation.

An item on taunting included film of Stuart Schweigert standing and glowering over Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez (yes, it actually happened) after a big hit.

When discussing personal conduct, there was the image of Warren Sapp, melting down and getting ejected in Jacksonville.

Jay Richardson was shown giving a throat slash during the portion on “menacing gestures.”

– Thursday’s practice will be a 20-minute walkthrough with players wearing tennis shoes and leaving their helmets in their lockers. Most reporters will not be attending _ including this one.
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