ALAMEDA - The Raiders announced their first cuts today.
Colin Branch, the younger brother of Raiders scout and former safety Calvin Branch; receivers Rich Parson and Lauren Williams; offensive lineman Albert Toeaina; defensive tackle Jared Clauss; and cornerback Levonne Rowen were cut. All were absent from Sunday's practice.
In his explanation, coach Lane Kiffin again showed he is refreshingly honest.
He admitted the Raiders didn't want players to get hurt and leave the team having to pay them as a reason to cut a player before Tuesday's deadline to reduce rosters to 75.
Kiffin's honesty and non-coach talk has made him enjoyable to be around.
He added he would like to be in position to be cutting really good players, but said the Raiders aren't in that position.
If you're looking for an honest opinion on a player, Kiffin doesn't hold back.
Johnnie Lee Higgins was taken to the hospital with pain in his side he felt during a meeting before practice.
Linebacker Thomas Howard still was ticked by his "MBPO" - missed big play opportunity - when he dropped an interception against the Rams on Friday.
Kiffin wants to see the defense stop dropping picks. And even though he hasn't been plagued by dropped picks, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha already has resumed his habit of catching passes after practice to hone his ball skills.
Kiffin wouldn't mind if some of Asomugha's teammates joined him.
- Jason Jones