Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

June 11, 2007
Slimmer Russell cools concerns

ALAMEDA - Four pounds.

That's how much weight Lane Kiffin today said JaMarcus Russell has lost since his first minicamp last month with the Raiders.

As the late, great Richard Pryor might so say, "Who you going to believe, him or my lying eyes?"

I know I've used that line in print one other time, but it definitely applies here.

Russell looks a lot slimmer at this minicamp than he did when he arrived after the draft. If all he has lost is four pounds, those are four big pounds.

One of the knocks on Russell before the draft was he might end up looking more like a tackle than a quarterback if he wasn't up on his conditioning. He doesn't appear headed down that road.

Russell did have his wisdom teeth pulled a couple of weeks back, but I doubt he's on a liquid diet now.

Unless he binges on Everett and Jones barbecue before training camp, I think there's a good chance Russell will be considerably lighter than the 255 pounds he is listed at on the Raiders' roster.

Other minicamp observations:

• One rookie to watch will be linebacker Kurt Shotwell.

He was the Division I-AA Defensive Player of the Year for Cal Poly but went undrafted. The Raiders picked him up, and he has a real chance of making the team, especially if he can play special teams.

He intercepted a pass, which allowed him to show off his athleticism and his sense of humor. After the play, he pretended to sign the ball before handing it to defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who loudly declared "He's putting it on the mantle."

• Ready for your weekly offensive line shuffle update?

Today's first team o-line was Barry Sims at left tackle, McQuistan at left guard, Jake Grove at center, Carlisle at right guard and Robert Gallery at right tackle.

Carlisle played right tackle when Jeremy Newberry took reps at right guard. Gallery played left guard, too. McQuistan was a right tackle last week - or was that two weeks ago?

The constant has been Jake Grove at center, which means tomorrow he'll be playing guard. Sims hasn't moved from left tackle in a while, which means he'll trade places with Grove for the fun of it.

• Receiver Mike Williams (hamstring) worked out with the training staff today. It's looking as if the next chance to see the "dominant" Williams of his first (and only) practice as a Raider will be in training camp.

• Rookie tailback Michael Bush and offensive lineman Adam Treu joined Williams with the training staff.

- 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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