Raiders notes: Setting body clocks for Denver

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Raiders notes: Setting body clocks for Denver

Sept. 7, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comALAMEDA -- In an attempt to set their body clocks for Monday night's season opener at Denver, the Raiders began practice this evening at 7:05 p.m. under a pair of temporary light standards.The Raiders also imported the faux crowd noise to simulate the pending environment. And the weather might have cooperated as well, since a brisk cold breeze blew across the field.Guess who's back -- Receiver Chaz Schilens, who suffered a sprained knee in the Raiders' exhibition opener against Arizona on an end-around run to the left, was again on the field to start practice. He appeared to be a full-go as he was running patterns and catching passes from quarterbacks Jason Campbell and Kyle Boller.Guess who's No. 3 -- Terrelle Pryor's suspension is still in effect so punter Shane Lechler is, in effect, the No. 3 quarterback. Lechler was throwing pretty spirals to the defensive backs on the opposite end of the field in a "pick" drill.It got us thinking in the media box -- did Ray Guy ever get close to entering a game as an emergency quarterback? The Raiders' game at Chicago on Nov. 4, 1984 might have been the one as the Bears knocked out Marc Wilson then David Humm, forcing Wilson back into the game for the defending Super Bowl champs.Guess who's missing -- As practice started, there was no sign of receiver Louis Murphy (groinhamstring), tight end Kevin Boss (knee) or safety Mike Mitchell (left leg).

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.”