Camp Report (826): Raiders break camp

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Camp Report (826): Raiders break camp

Aug. 26, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comPractice No. 22Summary: For their final practice of training camp in Napa, the Raiders went long and hard and fully-padded, though they did not tackle to the ground. After taking Thursday off, and before a walk-through Saturday at their Alameda compound, the Raiders spent most of the final full practice in front of the media working on special teams and red-zone offense. Plus, there were a couple of new faces in camp in quarterback Terrelle Pryor and cornerback Lito Sheppard. There were some light-hearted moments, as when receiver Chad Jackson was flagged for lining up offsides and Jackson pleaded his case to the rent-a-ref, going so far as to spike his mouthpiece. And when placekicker Sebastian Janikowski nearly took out the Raiders' camera atop the hydraulic lift behind the south goal posts on a 39-yard field goal. But especially when assistant coach, safeties, Kevin Ross berated Jeremy Ware after he dropped an interception in position drills, saying, "JuJu, you spiked it. This ain't volleyball." For a Raiders camp, it was particularly, well, staid. "That's the way it should be," said rookie head coach Hue Jackson. "I don't want drama. It's hard to become a good football team when there's a bunch of drama surrounding your team. We head into this season on a clean slate when it starts."
RELATED: Sheppard hopes to shepherd young Raiders CBs
Injury report: Defensive tackle Richard Seymour started practice but did not feel comfortable and took the rest of the afternoon off. As such, 16 players sat out practice with various "nicks," including receivers Louis Murphy (hamstringgroin), Chaz Schilens (sprained right knee) and Shawn Bayes, tight end Kevin Boss (left knee sprain), fullback James McCluskey, offensive linemen Lou Eliades, Ben Lamaak and Roy Schuening (left hand), linebacker Travis Goethel (knee), defensive backs Hiram Eugene (dislocated left hip), Chris Johnson (oil change, yes, he said oil change), Mike Mitchell (left knee), Zac Etheridge (knee) and DeMarcus Van Dyke and defensive tackle John Henderson. Offensive play of the day: Is there a better way to end practice for the offense than with a touchdown? Rolling out to his right, Kyle Boller found Rock Cartwright underneath and dumped a pass to him underneath. Cartwright cruised into the end zone untouched and three horns signified the end of practice and thus, the end of camp in Napa.Defensive play of the day: Minutes before the touchdown, though, the defense got the best of the offense. Boller was rolling right and saw receiver Damola Adeniji flash open in the back of the end zone. Boller, though, did not see safety Jerome Boyd spying the play. Boyd jumped the pass and came up with the end zone interception.Returning to work: Middle linebacker Rolando McClain was back on the field after sitting out the previous two practices and enjoying the team's off day on Thursday. Same with rookie tight end David Ausberry. Cornerback Chris Johnson, meanwhile, was working on agility drills on the side.Eye on reps: In his first time under center in his first NFL camp, Terrelle Pryor took 16 snaps as the fourth-string quarterback. He completed four of nine passes, though many of his throws looked like wounded ducks, and fumbled two of his first six snaps from third-string center Alex Parsons, while handing off or pitching the ball on five running plays.Personnel report: Terrelle Pryor got in his first practice less than 24 hours after the third-round supplemental draft pick signed his contract. Also, the Raiders signed 10th-year cornerback Lito Sheppard to provide leadership and depth to the dinged-up and youthful secondary. The Raiders also released undrafted rookie free agent quarterback Jordan La Secla as well as waivedinjured undrafted rookie free agent guard Alan Pelc. The Raiders are at 89 players on their roster -- the max is 90 -- but have to be down to 80 by Tuesday at 1 p.m. PT, and at 53 by 1 p.m. PT on Sept. 3. Also, Ricky Hunley has appeared on the team's Web Site as the team's assistant linebacker coach.Quotable: "Coach won't let me wear No. 2. Why? I don't know. You tell me. He won't let me wear No. 2. I'm just going off what coach tells me." Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, on why he's wearing No. 6, rather than the number he wore in college. As an aside, the last Raiders QB to sport No. 2 was JaMarcus Russell.Next practice: Saturday, closed walk-through in Alameda.

Raiders OC Todd Downing: New weapons will 'make me look good'

Raiders OC Todd Downing: New weapons will 'make me look good'

STANFORD – Todd Downing has long been responsible for intently analyzing college quarterbacks entering the NFL Draft. He certainly did so during two seasons as Raiders quarterbacks coach, adding input to personnel department evaluations on young signal callers.

This offseason, he’s using a wide-angle lens. Downing is the Raiders offensive coordinator now, promoted to the position after Bill Musgrave was allowed to leave on an expired contract.

Coaches enter the draft evaluation process relatively late – they have a season to coach, after all – but Downing prides himself on working hard in evaluating talent. Working with general manager Reggie McKenzie’s staff, coaches feel like their voice is being heard.

That’s important to a coordinator especially, who must make a scheme work with talent around him.

“Reggie and his staff have always done a tremendous job of listening to our vision for the offense or the defense,” Downing said Thursday at Stanford’s pro day. “It’s been a joy to work with those guys over the past three years.

“(Head coach Jack Del Rio) really expects us to be accountable for our position group. Now that I’m the coordinator, there’s more of a broad scope when looking at offensive talent in the draft. When you work that hard (evaluating players), I think the scouts know that your opinion is well grounded, and that validates it a little bit.”

Downing is always on the lookout for weapons, especially while making tweaks to the Raiders offense. The Silver and Black found a few, adding tight end Jared Cook, receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, offensive lineman Marshal Newhouse and quarterback EJ Manuel.

Quarterback Derek Carr helped him get some. The full-time East Bay resident has been active recruiting free agents, trying to improve an already strong Raiders offense.

“You guys know how passionate he is about this game, and about this team and backing up this franchise,” Downing said. “(His involvement in recruiting) didn’t surprise any of us. He’s pretty hands on when it comes to football. He lives in the area, so he hopped in when we needed it and it paid off.”

Cook and Patterson especially could add dimensions to a well-rounded Raiders attack. Cook has made some big plays in the past, and should be a reliable receiving tight end the Raiders have lacked in recent seasons.

“He has a skill set that will be fun to play with (schematically),” Downing said. “We’re excited to see what he can do, and I know Derek is excited to add him. He has a history of making plays in this league, and that’s something we’re excited to have.”

Patterson’s primarily known as a kick returner – he’s a two-time All Pro on special teams – but the Raiders hope he’ll be active on offense.

“With guys like that, you just find a way to get them the rock and let them do the rest of the work,” Downing said. “They make me look good. I can call a simple play and he takes it the distance and it looks like I designed something special.”

Week after signing with Vikings, ex-Raiders RB Murray undergoes surgery

Week after signing with Vikings, ex-Raiders RB Murray undergoes surgery

A week after signing a deal with the Vikings, former Raiders running back Latavius Murray has undergone ankle surgery.

The Vikings made the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

Minnesota issued the following statement regarding the surgery:

"Vikings RB Latavius Murray had successful ankle surgery today. The surgery was performed by Dr. Bob Anderson in Charlotte, North Carolina. We were aware of the required surgery prior to signing Latavius on March 16. Latavius is expected to fully recover and be available for training camp."

Murray's deal with the Vikings is reported worth $15 million over three years, but can reportedly be voied after the first year.

Drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Murray became the Raiders' primary running back midway through the 2015 season. In his three years in Oakland, Murray carried the ball 543 times for 2,278 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2015.