Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

May 7, 2007
Kiffin's work is from ground up

Lane Kiffin knows there's a lot of work to do and he's focusing on the basics.

That was illustrated Sunday morning during the last minicamp practice.

Tight end John Madsen caught a pass during a period emphasizing red-zone plays.

For those of you who forgot after watching the Raiders' offense last season, that's the area from the opponent's 20-yard line to the goal line.

But I digress. Madsen caught the ball and secured it with his left arm as he crossed the goal line running toward the right front corner of the end zone.

That when offensive coordinator Greg Knapp stepped in to inform Madsen the ball should be in his right arm.

The ball would be closer to the end zone and cross the plane easier.

You have to forgive Madsen for the mistake. The Raiders had only 12 offensive touchdowns in 2006, so the red-zone offense was used about as often as Oscar De La Hoya's jab against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

But Madsen was one of the lucky Raiders to score a touchdown, having scored at San Diego last year.

Other minicamp observations:

• I like JaMarcus Russell's confidence. That Brady Quinn got a haircut and apologized just because Joe Theismann didn't like his hair or gum chewing was proof enough for me the Raiders made the right choice. You don't want a quarterback that worried about what others think of him.

• Warren Sapp is a lot smaller. It'll be interesting to see if he drops below the 285 pounds he checked in at last week.

• LaMont Jordan ran hard. His knee must be feeling better, but will it hold up once he starts taking hits in training camp?

• Kiffin said he hadn't spoken to Al Davis during minicamp, but would give his assesment after practices were over. Art Shell said he spoke with Davis regulary.

• Though allowed at practice, senior personnel executive Mike Lombardi wasn't visible over the weekend. Director of football operations Mark Jackson, however, was present.

-Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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