July 28, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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CSNCalifornia.comPractice No. 1Summary: On a day when the Raiders could have had as many as 90 players on the field for the first practice of training camp, Oakland had 65 players practicing. Such is the norm around the league with free agents not able to sign until Friday and veterans who sign their contracts after the lockout not permitted to practice until Aug. 4. Still, the physicality of the practice, even if the Raiders were in helmets and shorts, no pads, was a far cry from the previous two years' four straight days of two-a-day "teaching sessions." This looked like a midseason, mid-week practice, not the first practice of a training camp. The passing game seemed to click, with Jason Campbell connecting with Jacoby Ford on a couple of downfield passes that beat Stanford Routt. The defensive line seemed downright ferocious and penetrated the backfield with aplomb. Again, for a first practice.
Injury report: Defensive tackle John Henderson, who suffered a stress fracture to his right foot last year, limped off the field with what appeared to be an injured left foot. "Oh, man, it's locking up a little bit," he said as he walked off the field following practice. Also, defensive end Trevor Scott (knee) is still recuperating from last season's knee surgery and guard Bruce Campbell and receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey were out with undisclosed injuries. Coach Hue Jackson said Scott and Campbell were on the Physically Unable to Perform list, but that Heyward-Bey should practice soon.Eye on reps: No real surprises. Everything was as a depth chart could be expected. Was interesting to see Travis Goethel, though, filling in as the second-team middle linebacker, when he is expected to be the team's starting weak-side linebacker. Stock rising: Jackson pointed out rookie running back Taiwan Jones as someone who "flashed" during the nearly two-hour practice. He also praised the efforts of rookie center Stefen Wisniewski and rookie cornerback DeMarcus Van Dykes hips.Stock falling: With so many rumblings that the Raiders wanted Bruce Campbell to compete for the starting right guard position in this, his second season, an injury is a huge setback. Especially when you consider all of the missed OTA's, mini-camp and classroom time due to the lockout.Notable: Running back Michael Bennett looks as though he's put on many pounds of muscle -- an audition to be the team's fullback? -- but it did not help him when Richard Seymour crashed through the line and bounced him with ease. It was about as hard as you could hit someone without pads on.Quotable:Nervous? Me? I dont know about that. I dont get nervous about much. What I was probably most nervous about is just making sure I was out here on time. Theres so much stuff going on across the league. I was checking this, checking that. Thats about it. No, this was fun. This was the day I always dreamed of. So, there wasnt any nerves or anything like that. It was just exciting. It was fun. But now we go on to Day 2 and as this thing goes, we got to continue to push and keep getting better. - First-year coach Hue JacksonOn the sideline: Interesting to watch Heyward-Bey coaching up the young receivers during scrimmages. Also, rookie offensive tackle Joseph Barksdale showed up late but did not suit up for practice after becoming the eighth and final Raiders draftee to sign his contract, earlier in the day.To clarify: The earliest long-snapper Jon Condo and defensive end Jarvis Moss, both of whom have reportedly re-signed with Oakland, can practice is Aug. 4. Same goes for any of the Raiders' free agents, including restricted free agent running back Michael Bush, and their three "exclusive rights free agents," fullback Marcel Reece, defensive tackle Desmond Bryant and linebacker Bruce Davis. Bryant and Davis are both in Napa. Free agents can begin officially signing contracts with teams at 3 p.m. Pacific Time Friday.Next practice: Friday, 3:30 p.m.