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You have to wonder why so many of the rookies missed practice because
of hamstring cramps. I guess they just weren't used to the rigors of
It is concerning, but we know nothing was major. Were the Raiders
playing it extremely safe? Or, were the Raiders trying to alleviate
some of the media scrutiny on the young guys?
Whatever the reason practice was sloppy with many non-contibutors.
Because of the sloppiness and with so many guys sitting out it was a
difficult day to gauge.
I hope the coaches are truly making strides with these guys' mental
game and fundamentals.
Neal is already looking like a great pickup. He is older than a normal
FB but he still has game and is in shape. Provided he stays healthy he
is just the right kind of FB to complement O'Neal and improve the run
game and pass protection.
Most impressive camp: TE Chris Oneil. Everyone was raving about this
Least impressed: WR Lious Murphy because he couldn't stay on the field
Cramps are easily avoidable with proper hydration and vitamin levels.
This is one of those things that irk me. Pro athletes should be versed
in proper nutrition so these problems can be avoided. I know that bad
cramps can actually create a strained feeling in that muscle, so that
could be why these guys couldn't practice. Why not avoid this by
drinking some water eatig a banana and popping a Men's multi-vitamin?
I digress. I think the real practice goes on behind closed doors. The
media friendly practices are more of a show and tell / meet and greet
than anything. Not that things aren't happening, they are, but this is
more of an evaluation period for the coaches. After OTAs and as
Training camp arrives, playbooks will be memorized and players will
know each other. The coaches will know what they have and the battle
is on. Win or die.
I came down with the Derrick Burgess flu (Chipotle), so I missed the afternoon practice. Also, because I was sick, I’m not going to do a full rundown of the morning practice.
Instead, I’ll post some links. I’ll continue to post on Twitter @Raidersblog and do recaps on the blog.
Jerry McDonald’s Blog Recap
Steve Corkran Article – DHB needs STM and TLC
David White Article – Garcia as a Mentor
Washington Post Mother’s Day Article about DHB and his mother.
Phil Barber - Garcia article
DHB had a tough practice so tomorrow will be important to see how he bounces back. Hopefully being held out of the evening practice was a precaution and that he will be fine.
Russell has been streaky. Inconsistent might be another word, but so far no one seems to be worried.
I like the calmer atmosphere of this coaching staff as opposed to others. It isn’t like Art Shell, who forbade talking or Kiffin who was constantly running his mouth in camp. Cable is even-keeled, calm, cool, collected, confident. Everything you want in a coach if you are a player.
Hopefully two days and four practices will be enough learning to see some improvement on Sunday. It will take time, I believe Cable wanted to get this new group of players together early and that is why he had the mandatory mini-camp be the first one. He wanted the vets to get assimilated with the new guys. He also might be hoping to get the vets to stay around for voluntary activities.
If you haven’t been following @Raidersblog on Twitter, you need to start. There is just too much good stuff on Twitter not to join and I’m posting mini-camp practice updates in real-time. I’ll only be posting a wrap-up here tomorrow and the rest of the weekend. This is a compilation of the posts today, wrapped into one post.
Lorenzo Neal is a Raider – Welcome aboard. Happy to have you!
Derrick Burgess is not practicing for unknown reasons – Holdout? Injury?
Zach Miller not practicing – unknown injury
Oren O’Neal – dressed, but not practicing
Arman Shields – dressed, but not practicing
Gary Russell – RB – signs with the Raiders.
Javon Walker watching without a helmet.
Derrick Burgess is now on the field.
Andrew Walter is not getting snaps at QB.
Samson Satele not practicing – pre-existing knee injury
Gallery and McQuistan sit out for no reason at all.
Depth Chart Watch:
Wide Receiver: Heyward-Bey and Schilens
Running Back: McFadden
Offensive Line: Henderson, Gallery, Wade, Carlisle, Green Left to Right.
Starting Safeties: Eugene and Branch
Starting SLB: Jon Alston
Running Back: Fargas and McFadden splitting snaps
Linebacker: Ricky Brown playing backup MLB, Alson first team SLB.
Super Mario 1st Team LT all practice – Tom Cable said it was just because they needed a place to start and that is how he finished the year (Same goes for Green at RT)
DHB praised by Ted Tollner.
WRs catching the ball well.
Drills are lacking defense. Offense looking good against ghosts.
Tommy Kelly stops McFadden twice at the line
Nnamdi drops Russell pick – Asomugha was covering DHB
Morrison swats Russell pass on stunt blitz – DC John Marshall adding wrinkles already
Gradkowski dropping center snaps – Still no Walter.
Thomas Howard with an INT
Defense tipping lots of passes
Mishandled snaps seemed to be theme of the day.
Chaz Schilens had a nice day catching the ball
QBs are inconsistent, but it is VERY early.
Stanford Routt is faster than DHB, by .03 seconds over a 40 yard span. He made it known.
Michael Bush is still a load to bring down.
Mike Mitchell was told to take it easy on teammates. You think the coaches are trying to get him to play more in control?
Javon Walker had surgery the team didn’t know about. I smell injury settlement coming.
Raiders sign Sammie Parker. Walker headed out?
The rookies look like they will get plenty of chances to prove they can play before the season starts.
Neal is talking like a true mentor. I think this is a very good signing, he brings a strong leadership quality lacking since Gannon left.
Passing game was spotty and running game looked crisp by most accounts, but it can be hard to tell without full contact.
Veteran back Michael Pittman is also drawing interest from the Raiders according to David White @bydavidwhite (For you twitter users). On the heels of the news that Lorenzo Neal could be brought in, this isn’t a surprise. It appears the Raiders are seriously considering every available veteran Fullback. Pittman comes with a history of problems, but knows the scheme and would be a capable weapon out of the backfield. Neal is more of a bulldozer than a receiving FB.
Don’t be surprised if the Raiders bring in both the veteran backs. Fullbacks don’t typically cost much to sign and we would have both in case O’Neal isn’t healthy. If O’Neal is healthy, we can easily keep the better of the two and cut the other.
Don’t forget to vote in the new poll. Who is the Worst Raiders Draft Pick since 2000?
When it comes to the draft, what is the worst Raiders draft pick in recent memory?
Well recent events would tell you it must be Darius Heyward-Bey or Mike Mitchell. It is hard to argue this point, because these players haven’t played a snap in the NFL yet. People will do it anyway, even if it is unfair.
If you want to be a critic of the Raiders drafting, wouldn’t criticizing the pick of Michael Huff or Seabass be wiser? You know, with undrafted kickers performing just as well or better than Seabass and Michael Huff getting benched behind a rookie and Hiram Eugene?
We make fun of teams taking kickers and punters before the seventh round and the Raiders took Seabass in round one. Isn’t that the biggest draft blunder in NFL history? I think it could be. Lechler was worth it, but he was drafted much later.
The Raiders have a history of taking who they want despite what others think. The Raiders did it again this year. You could argue that this method hasn’t produced so why do the same thing expecting different results? That is true, except the players and positions are different every season. Not to mention different coaches.
Russell needs to take a step forward, but he started looking good late last season. McFadden is a football player judging from his tenacity anytime he has a chance to lay a hat on someone. Howard, Morrison, Branch, Miller, Asomugha, Henderson, etc. Overall, not bad drafting recently. So give the scouting department the benefit of the doubt and give DHB and MM a chance.