Camp Report (817): Jackson gets raw on Raiders

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Camp Report (817): Jackson gets raw on Raiders

Aug. 17, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comPractice No. 16Summary: This was, no doubt, the saltiest rookie head coach Hue Jackson has been at a practice in front of reporters this camp. He seemed ticked from the start, stopping practice 20 minutes in to jump the players about a lack of passion. And throughout, he challenged them with a renewed vigor. Was it the heat? The dozens of fans as guests on the sidelines? The knowledge that the Raiders' injury list continues to grow? After practice, and after he had cooled down, Jackson acknowledged that cornerback Chris Johnson and receiver Louis Murphy had recently had "procedures" and that safety Mike Mitchell was getting looked at for still yet another undisclosed injury. This after center Samson Satele left practice with "a little discomfort" and was seen being driven away from the hotel. As Jackson addressed the media, a fly continually circled and dive bombed at him on the lectern. He shooed it away, but it obviously bugged him. As he gestured, drops of dried blood could be seen on his white long-sleeved shirt. Yes, it was that kind of day.

Injury report: Fourteen players sat out practice with various "nicks," including receivers Jacoby Ford (broken left hand), Louis Murphy (hamstringgroin) and Chaz Schilens (sprained knee), fullback James McCluskey, tailbacks Taiwan Jones (hamstring) and Darren McFadden (fractured eye socket), offensive linemen Stephon Heyer (strained right triceps), Lou Eliades and Alan Pelc, defensive backs Hiram Eugene (dislocated left hip), Chris Johnson, Mike Mitchell and Zac Etheridge (knee) and defensive lineman Trevor Scott (knee). Plus, center Samson Satele did not finish with an undisclosed injury.RELATED: Raiders' Johnson, Murphy undergo surgeries
Offensive play of the day: He's not a playmaker; he just makes plays. And rookie receiver Denarius Moore did it again, going horizontal in the right flat on a pass thrown slightly behind him by quarterback Jason Campbell. The completely outstretched Moore caught the ball with his fingertips. Just another highlight-reel play by Moore.Defensive play of the day: It was the final play of practice and, in a real game, a flag would have been thrown for pass interference. But it was at the tail end of the 2-minute drill and middle linebacker Rolando McClain dropped back in coverage to break up Jason Campbell's 25-yard pass to tight end Kevin Boss in the end zone. Even if McClain absolutely mugged Boss in the process. No flag, no foul.Returning to work: Offensive lineman Bruce Campbell, who reported to camp with a tweaked right knee, and linebacker Bruce Davis, who had not practiced in nearly two weeks with an undisclosed malady, were full go. Campbell saw a few snaps in team drills at right guard and held his own against Lamarr Houston in individual drills. Davis, meanwhile, worked with the first-team defense at weak-side linebacker in place of Quentin Groves for a few plays.Stock rising: Unheralded receiver Shaun Bodiford and just-as-unsung safety Jerome Boyd continue to have strong camps. Each seemingly has a nose for the ball and has been solid. They are performing as if they fully expect to make the team.Coaching moment: Hue Jackson did not like what he was seeing early in practice. So 20 minutes into the two-plus hour workout, the rookie coach called a quick end to the various position drills going on all over the field and summoned the entire team to the center of the facility. "I'm going to start this wholeu2026practice over," he threatened, not liking the energy or effort in the early going. Yes, the vibe improved.Quotable: "Dang, wish I would have known. Nobody tells me anything." - starting free safety Michael Huff after being told by a reporter that starting cornerback Chris Johnson is out for the time being following a, ahem, "procedure."Next practice: Thursday, 3:30 p.m.

Healthy Edwards, NFL Draft could help Raiders improve interior pass rush

Healthy Edwards, NFL Draft could help Raiders improve interior pass rush

The Raiders had an NFL-worst 25 sacks last season, and that’s with Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin in their employ. That duo had 18 sacks (and 11 forced fumbles) between them. That left only seven for everyone else. Stacy McGee and Denico Autry had 2.5 each, and McGee isn’t here anymore.

Mario Edwards Jr. was certainly missed last season, when he missed 14 games with a preseason hip injury. The versatile defensive lineman is a solid edge run defender and internal pass rusher in the sub package.

If he’s healthy, Edwards Jr. could pose a real threat rushing the passer next to Irvin or Mack.

“Having Mario healthy will make us a better defense, and that’s not just as a pass rusher,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said in March. “He’s a solid run player. We’ve just got to have him healthy.

“But we’ll continue to add there, too.”

McKenzie subtracted one Tuesday, releasing Dan Williams to free salary cap space. He hasn’t yet added a defensive tackle in free agency, but could certainly do so in next week’s NFL draft.

There’s some quality interior pass rushers in this class. Let’s take a look at some options the Raiders could select and when:

Good fits: The Raiders select 24th overall in this draft, far lower than years past. Some quality defensive tackles might be a proper fit there, especially with depth at positions of need.

They could use some versatility, players like Edwards Jr. who can play multiple techniques. Michigan State’s Malik McDowell is an strong, athletic freak who analysts believe needs to improve his effort and technique. McDowell could develop into a top talent and be viewed as a steal at No. 24, or not realize full potential.

Michigan’s Chris Wormley is a versatile player in the Edwards Jr. mold, a player who seems to fit Raiders needs. Analysts says inconsistency is troubling but has the leadership quality and character the Raiders love. He can be a base end and move inside when required. He also has the size at 6-foot-5, 298 pounds and could develop well at the NFL level while making an immediate impact.

Florida’s Caleb Brantley is also an intriguing prospect adept at reaching the offensive backfield. Analysts say he’s a powerful player with quickness and an ability to work through blocks despite being slightly undersized. Brantley is potential to be a quality NFL pass rusher, and is confident in his ability. He didn’t play a high snap count at Florida, but the Raiders might use him in sub packages as a rookie and fill an important role right away. He’s viewed as a second round pick, and the Silver and Black might cross fingers he’s available at No. 56.

Auburn’s Montravius Adams could help if the Raiders are looking for more of a run stuffer. Clemson’s Carlos Watkins could also play multiple spots and could be available later in the middle rounds. Old Dominion’s Rashaad Coward also fits that mold and would be available in later rounds, though he hasn’t had much pass-rush production.

Controversial RB Joe Mixon impressed Raiders during pre-draft visit

Controversial RB Joe Mixon impressed Raiders during pre-draft visit

ALAMEDA – The Raiders visited with former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon at the team’s Alameda facility on March 21.

General manager Reggie McKenzie came away impressed by the controversial figure notorious for punching a female in 2014 while at Oklahoma, who has spent significant portions of the pre-NFL draft process trying to show that violent incident caught on video doesn't define him.

“We thought he was a really good kid. He came off very well and explained each and everything, the questions that we had,” McKenzie said Friday in a pre-draft press conference. “He had an explanation and he was up front about everything. The kid really came across as a good kid.”

Mixon is also a premiere talent going pro, but there’s no telling how far his off-field issues will drop him in next week’s NFL draft. There’s debate where he’ll be taken, though many expect Mixon to go in the first two rounds.

He was not invited to the NFL scouting combine due to an incident where he punched victim Amelia Molitor and fractured several bones in her face. Mixon has made several pre-draft visits and meet with dozens at Oklahoma’s pro day trying to explain his actions and why he’s a safe pick in this year’s NFL draft.

Mixon and Molitor released a joint statement on Friday announcing the settlement of a civil suit, with both parties hoping to move on from an ugly incident after which the victim spoke out about being harassed.

“I am happy we were able to bring the lawsuit to an end,” Molitor said in a statement. “Joe and I were able to meet privately, without any attorneys, and talk about our experiences since that night. I am encouraged that we will both be able to move forward from here with our lives. From our private discussions I am satisfied that we are going to put this behind us and work towards helping others who may have found themselves in similar circumstances. I greatly appreciate his apology and I think the feelings he expressed were sincere. We both could have handled things differently. I believe if we had a chance to go back to that moment in time, the situation would not have ended the way it did.”

The running back is obviously a polarizing public figure, and the team that drafts him could take flak for selecting him.

“When stuff like this happens, whether it’s domestic violence or drunken driving, whatever issue that comes up, we’ll be prepared to answer questions,” McKenzie said. “We’ll do our research and if we make a decision, we’re going to prepare to have answers for each and every decision that we make.”

Raiders owner Mark Davis has taken a hardline stance against players involved in domestic violence incidents – this was technically assault of a man on a woman, as Mixon and Molitor were not in a relationship -- and he would have to okay a Mixon selection. The Raiders put considerable thought and research into select players with character concerns.

“What we do, we research everything. We get all of the information. We will not make a decision until all the information is in front of us,” McKenzie said. “With certain issues, like domestic violence, we consider that and we really look into everything that is surrounding that. Every decision will be well-researched so if it’s one way or the other, we are going to make it where that decision is based on all the facts, all the research and on the kid moving forward. But yes, we hold that very dear to what we do, as far as who we bring in, absolutely. We will not tolerate that at all.”