Sheppard hopes to shepherd young Raiders CBs

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Sheppard hopes to shepherd young Raiders CBs

Aug. 26, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comNAPA -- Raiders fans pining for Nnamdi Asomugha might do a double-take when they look on the field and see a familiar No. 21 out at cornerback.Except Asomugha now plies his trade in Philadelphia and the Raiders DB sporting that number is 10th-year veteran Lito Sheppard, who was signed by Oakland Friday and practiced with the team on breaking-camp day.Generously listed at 5-foot-10 and 194 pounds, Sheppard gives up four inches and 21 pounds to Asomugha. But Sheppard's 19 career interceptions are eight more than Asomugha's total.For now, though, Sheppard, 30, is looked upon to provide leadership and experience to a dinged up and relatively youthful Raiders secondary."Once I get in shape, a little game shape," Sheppard said, "I'll definitely be a big part of whatever they have planned."RELATED: Camp report (826): Raiders break camp in Napa
Meaning Sheppard is a good addition why, exactly?"Whether I can be a leader in that aspect or (whatever), I'll definitely be out there and try to lead by example, so to say," he said. "It's just, wherever I'm needed, I'm going to give it my all."Sheppard, the Eagles' first-round pick in 2002 out of Florida, was named All-Pro and to his first Pro Bowl in 2004, when he had five interceptions and returned two for touchdowns, including one for 101 yards. He was named to the Pro Bowl for the second time in 2006, with six picks and a 102-yard TD return.Chris Johnson has been out for more than a week with what he equated to an "oil change" and rookie DeMarcus Van Dyke did not practice Friday with a "nick," leaving Oakland's cornerbacks even thinner than usual."In my opinion, we would have brought him in anyway," Raiders coach Hue Jackson said of Sheppard. "What you're seeing is a guy who was sitting out there. As I keep saying, we're going to continue to improve our football team from top to bottom."The roster is still ongoing. Until we continue to turn over every rock and uncover everything we can, we're going to look for good football players and improve our team. That's all it is. Lito is a tremendous football player, and we're glad to have him."Sheppard is also comfortable playing the Raiders' noted man-to-man brand of base defense."That's what I primarily did the majority of my career," he said. "It's definitely tough on the corners but hey, that's what I do. That's what got me into this league and obviously, that's what's going to keep me around or take me out."Oakland is the former elite cornerback's fourth team in four years. He was last a full-time starter in 2007 and since 2008 Sheppard has played for the Eagles, the New York Jets and Minnesota, starting 14 of the 40 games in which he's appeared.That's why he sees this opportunity as a potential jumpstart for his career."The past couple years, I don't think I've been given a fair opportunity to do that and this is one that, hey, it's pretty open for whoever steps up," said Sheppard, who also worked out for the New York Giants this summer."I'm welcoming the challenge and, hopefully, I can make the most of it."

The next Primetime? Carr receives compliment after imitating Neon Deion

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USATSI

The next Primetime? Carr receives compliment after imitating Neon Deion

Watch out Jalen Richard. You have some competition for your punt returning job.

Okay, not really.

But quarterback Derek Carr got in on the action Tuesday. In a video posted by the Raiders on Twitter, Carr fielded a punt and ran it back to the endzone for a touchdown.

He proceeded to do Deion Sanders' touchdown dance and that elicited a response from the Pro Football Hall of Famer.

"That's 1 of the many reasons why I gots mad love for @derekcarrqb he is the #Truth," Sanders wrote in a quote tweet.

Carr has yet to respond.

Raiders place two on Non-Football Injury List

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USATI

Raiders place two on Non-Football Injury List

The Raiders placed two players on the Non-Football Injury List, the team announced on Tuesday.

Linebacker Ben Heeney and tight end Cooper Helfet both count against the 90-man roster.

The Raiders' first team practice of training camp is scheduled for Saturdya.

Heeney was selected in the 5th round of the 2015 draft out of Kansas.

After appearing in 15 games a rookie, he saw action in just four games last season.

Over 23 games for the Seahawks in 2014 and 2015, Helfet caught 25 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns.

He spent time on the Raiders' practice squad last season.