Raiders notes (830): CB Johnson returns to practice

August 30, 2011, 11:33 pm
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comALAMEDA -- Raiders fans weary of their young cornerbacks getting the Elvis "Toast" Patterson treatment this preseason might have reason to rejoice, or at least, exhale.Chris Johnson, who underwent an undisclosed surgery two weeks ago he likened to getting an "oil change," practiced Tuesday for the first time since the procedure. And while he said he is not playing in the Raiders' exhibition finale Friday in Seattle, Johnson said, "Hands down, I'll be there Monday night" in the season opener at Denver on Sept. 12."By the grace of God, I think that's why I'm back so fast," Johnson added. "He has everything in control of my body. All I can do is go out there and do what the coaches ask me to do. I don't even think about it. I've felt better the last couple weeks than I've felt in the last two years. So it's a big improvement I feel in my body. I'm just ready to go."As Johnson has been sidelined, he could only watch as rookie DeMarcus Van Dyke and second-year cornerback Walter McFadden have had their troubles. Van Dyke surrendered 73 yards on four Drew Brees passes in New Orleans' opening 80-yard drive Sunday.RECAP: Saints double up Raiders at the 40-20
"It's tough, but ... when I first came in it was the same way," Johnson said. "It just takes one or two plays for you to just knock a ball down or pick the ball off and they'll respect you. If you don't do that, they're going to continue to pick on you in this league."Our guys, they can run with anybody, so we just have to turn our heads (and look for the ball). People see we're there. All you've got to do is turn your head and it's a pick. I told the guys, 'Don't worry about it. You've got good quarterbacks in this league ... you're playing elite quarterbacks. Just don't let one game determine your season.'"I asked Johnson, a Green Bay seventh-round draft choice in 2003, if it was tough accepting that message as a youngster."It was because, as a man you always want to be able to back up your ground and back up your last name," he said. "It's kind of frustrating to the guys, but I think the young guys are are actually getting the input they need from the coaches and also some of the players."I think it's going to be a good (experience) for us once we get into the regular season."Chekwa making a switch? -- Fourth-round draft pick Chimdi Chekwa, who played cornerback at Ohio State, is close to making the full-time transition to safety after being switched last week and playing there against the Saints."I'm a rookie," Chekwa said. "I'm going to try to get on the field any way I can -- special teams, safety, corner, whatever it is. Do whatever they ask of me and see what happens."At corner, you're kind of locked into one side of the field. At safety, your eyes open up. You see a lot more than what you usually see at corner ... you've got to have eye control at any position on defense, but at the safeties, it's a lot different because you see so much more. That's something I learned in the past week."Showing his leadership skills -- Center Samson Satele said Oakland quarterbacks got hit 121 times by their count last year.Obviously, that's something they want to change. Especially with Jason Campbell exhibiting newfound leadership skills."You can see it," Satele said. "Guys used to leave the huddle last year when he's not even done with the call. This year, he's keeping them in. You can just see little things like that. You can see how comfortable he is back there, with us giving him time to throw the ball."Seymour sits out, again -- Richard Seymour (hamstring) did not practice, but coach Hue Jackson did not mind. Even if Seymour last practiced full early last week and did not dress Sunday."He's doing well," Jackson said. "He'll be fine. Richard will be fine. Again, as I tell you guys, I get to reserve the right with some of these guys, and some of these guys I like to keep under wraps and make sure they're ready to go. And Richard is one of those guys."Also, rookie left guard Stefen Wisniewski sat out practice with what Jackson described as "one of those little dings."Long time, no talk -- Jackson was asked if he had spoken to Tom Cable since he was dismissed by Al Davis and resurfaced in Seattle."Mainly, when coaches leave, you don't really talk for a while," Jackson said. "I think there needs to be some time. I'm sure we will (talk) in the future. We haven't (talked) at this point but that's part of it and I understand and respect that. I will speak to him on Friday if our paths cross. But I think it's all good."Quote of the day: "Oh wow. A lot of things have surprised me. I'm 0-3." - Hue Jackson, on his first training camp as a head coach in the NFL.