Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

April 17, 2008
Chatting with Knapp

I filled up the gas tank (ouch) and headed up to Sacramento to visit the campus of Sacramento State.

There I took a tour of the soon-to-be-opened Eli and Edythe Broad Fieldhouse.

(Side note: Once we get those folks out the trees I hope to be visiting the sprawling new athletic facility at Cal in a few years. I know I just upset my friends that are into nature, but I want my new facility.)

Of greater importance to Raider fans is offensive coordinator Greg Knapp was present.

Knapp is a former Sac State quarterback, coach and contributor to the new facility. The school’ll also honor him this evening along with seven others (including former Raider and Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboy John Gesek) with Distinguished Service Awards.

But of course, you all want to know what’s going on with the Raiders. So here’s a coach that works closely with JaMarcus Russell

I’ve said all along there was no way Russell weighed 300 pounds (roughly the size of Tommy Kelly) or that he spent the offseason back in Mobile, Ala., hanging at the Waffle House.

I had on good word Russell was at least 30 pounds less than his rumored weight. But if you don’t believe me, here’s Knapp on Russell:

“He’s done a great job. He came back to camp in shape and nothing near the reported 300-pound range. He’s well away from that. But what he’s done is he’s shown a dedication to the team. He’s in meetings for an hour and 45 minutes three days a week in the classroom with myself and the quarterbacks coach, John DeFilippo. And then he goes and works with his teammates on conditioning and strength. And then after that he spends an hour a day doing footwork drills with our quarterbacks coach on the field and throwing to our receivers and tight ends and running backs. So he’s really taken the bull by the horns.”

*****

*Jarrod Cooper is officially back with the team after signing yesterday. If you want to know what he’s been up to, visit www.helpcode597.com.

*The Raiders have also added two more defensive backs this week. The first was CB Duane Starks, who is on his third trip with the Raiders. He was cut at some point in each of the previous two years.

He was a final cut out of training camp in 2006, but never moved any of his stuff out of the locker room. He was back on the team a couple of days later.

Starks made the team last year, but was let go to make room for Dominic Rhodes following his four-game suspension.

The Raiders also signed cornerback Michael Waddell, formerly of the Tennessee Titans. A fourth-round draft pick of Tennessee in 2004, Waddell missed all of last season with a knee injury.

*Lastly, I'd like to give shout out to my buddies at http://mvn.com/nfl-raiders. Thanks for showing this hack some love.

--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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