Raiders Notebook: Healthy Strides in Alameda

Raiders Notebook: Healthy Strides in Alameda

Nov. 19, 2010
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.com

ALAMEDA -- There was a familiar jersey No. 81 running routes and catching passes at the start of the Raiders' light practice Friday morning.Chaz Schilens' addition, along with the inclusion of fellow walking wounded Raiders Nnamdi Asomugha, Zach Miller and John Henderson, marked the first time this season Oakland had everyone on the 53-man roster on the practice field at the same time.Still, Schilens' presence was more to gauge his progress from knee surgery in training camp. He has not played since the season began, let alone practiced, and will be inactive for Sunday's game at Pittsburgh."It was both positive and negative," coach Tom Cable said of Schilens' work.Tight end Miller (foot) said he would play while Cable said cornerback Asomugha (ankle) and defensive tackle Henderson (foot) would be gametime decisions. Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring) was also limited."We're fortunate," Cable said. "We've had a good deal of taking care of our bodies the right way, and that's the players' responsibility, and we've avoided those big issues. So, good for us."Officially, all except for Schilens are listed as "questionable" for the game, giving Cable and his staff more need for pause when figuring out the active 45 come Sunday."It's a good problem to have," he said.Henderson has not played since the home opener against St. Louis on Sept. 19 while Asomugha and Miller both missed the pre-bye overtime victory against Kansas City on Nov. 7."I feel good," Miller said after practice. "I got a chance to run a lot of routes today, catching the ball. Jason (Campbell) was throwing it to me. It feels good. It feels good to be healthy again."Miller initially tweaked what was described as an arch strain in his right foot at Denver on Oct. 24. He played through it but came off the field for several plays against Seattle a week later."Yeah, I was definitely worried about it," he said. "The timing of the bye week was great because it allowed me to get a ton of treatment and really help me recover."
Pittsburgh awaits.
"It's going to be fun," he said. "You know, this is what you get to play in when you're winning. You get to play in important games. Everyone's excited to get over there and take care of business."

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”