Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

June 3, 2008
Afternoon practice notes

ALAMEDA - I finally had a close-up look at RB Darren McFadden vs. LB Thomas Howard.

It was fun watching them in a couple of seven-on-seven drills in which McFadden lined up at receiver and Howard covered him.

McFadden ran a go route on the first play and Howard ran with him stride-for-stride and nearly picked of JaMarcus Russell's pass.

McFadden ran the same route again and Howard was able to keep pace with him.

Howard's athleticism matched against McFadden is something that should be a highlight of every practice.

New receivers coach James Lofton had an interesting drill he put the receivers through.

He had them lay on their backs while Jeff Otis threw them passes.

I've never seen a drill like that before. But the receivers seem to like Lofton. He's very hands-on in his approach and explains everything.

It doesn't hurt that he throws a nice ball during drills, either.

WR Johnnie Lee Higgins followed up a good morning practice with another strong showing. He did drop what would have been a spectacular grab on a sideline route, but he's looked as good as I've ever seen him.

There were some formations with McFadden and Justin Fargas on the field together, as promised by Lane Kiffin.

Michael Huff stayed at free safety where his speed is evident. He's quickly looking comfortable and jumping on routes.

DE/TE Fred Wakefield, WR Javon Walker and WR Arman Shields didn't practice in the afternoon. All had knee injuries last year.

Rookie TE Marcel Reece isn't practicing because of a rule that doesn't allow college players to come to minicamp if their class hasn't graduated.

QB Brian White, an undrafted rookie, wasn't at practice is expected to be let go in the near future.

--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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