Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

July 24, 2008
Javon doesn't know what you're talking about

NAPA - Javon Walker talked about being robbed in Las Vegas last month.

Well, he didn't.

Those injuries in the police report (fractured jaw, orbital) were news to him.

"Ya'll telling me something new for the first time," Walker said. "... I haven't really seen nothing about it. I just let everybody go into speculations of what they heard and what they think they know, to when I get ready to come out and tell what really happened, I'll clear it up then."

Today was not the day to clear things up.

Walker practiced today and said he is about 15 pounds later than he was at the start of the offseason program.

He said his weight fluctuates, but he'll be fine now that camp has started.

And the notoriety that comes with this big contract and being a professional athlete that was a victim of violent crime doesn't bother Walker.

"I'm not afraid of the spotlight, the spotlight is always good depending on how you look at it," he said "People that already got a different spotlight of me is based on really what I've done in football. But if people want a real respect of light of me, just tell them to go look at my record. I don't have a record. I don't have a rap sheet.

"You don't hear about Javon Walker getting arrested. People's light of me is like, hmm, he just leaves different teams because he's not happy. Well, like any other American, that's my right if I don't like a job. That's people's perspective of me. But, outside the field, I mean, you talk to people anywhere around this country, they say I'm the nicest person off the field."

Believe it or not
Tommy Kelly has always been a nice guy.

He just hasn't been talkative.

So it was a bit shocking when Kelly consented to be interviewed by a group of reporters, admitting he had been told he "had" to finally talk.

It's part of the responsibility of being a leader, he admitted. And it also comes when you sign a seven-year deal worth up to $50.5 million.

"I understand a lot of things come with being a professional athlete,
but I just like to play," Kelly said. "I don't like to be bothered with all the other stuff. I'm not saying the media is a nuisance or anything. I just like to go to work and come home. Now you know you have to be a leader and everything, you got to take on stuff you probably don't want to do in the past but you have to do it."

More Kelly

He admitted he was "surprised" by the contract he received from the Raiders.

"It makes you feel like you're wanted," he said. "Somebody really wants you as a player and thinks a lot of you and that type of player you can become for them."

He'll be asked to fill at Warren Sapp's old spot. Kelly is glad to be playing one spot after moving around and said he prefers defensive tackle to defensive end.

Kelly said he's more of an aggressive player whereas Sapp was more about finesse.

"Me and Sapp, we cool," Kelly said. "I learned a lot from. He's got his way, but he's a legend in the game so you can't do nothing but learn from him."

And it turns out the day Kelly tore his ACL was one of the best days of his life.

His son, Jamison, was born at 8 a.m. that morning.

"It was disappointment," Kelly said of the injury. "It was 50-50 disappointed but I was happy I got a new baby."

Just like old times

Nnamdi Asomugha had one pass thrown his way today in practice.

He intercepted the pass from Andrew Walter intended for Walker.

"It was good to make the most of it and that's what we're hoping for this year," Asomugha said. "A few more passing and a few more plays made, on both ends."

Asomugha said he decided to report to camp Monday night and officially signed the one-year franchise tender for $9.765 million around midnight after arriving late yesterday.

He considered holding out in protest.

"I had a lot of people saying don't show up and I had enough people saying show it up so it helped me out," Asomugha said. "I sought out the counsel that was needed in this situation and I was able to come and be here."

Among those he spoke to was Charles Woodson.

It's obvious he didn't take Woodson's advice.

"I'm not going to tell you what he said, but you can probably figure it out," Asomugha said. "But yeah, I didn't speak to him as of late. He just said let him know what was going to happen and I spoke to him afterward."

In the end, Asomugha's desire to be with his teammates and try to win games outweighed sitting out part of camp, unhappy about being franchised.

Asomugha said he'd heard "apocryphal stories" of how bad negotiations were going, but said talks were never antagonistic.

He admitted he was initially taken aback by the amount of the money the Raiders spent in the offseason while he had no deal, but in the end decided to put everything behind him and join his teammates.

"It's actually signed so there's nothing you can say about it," Asomugha said. "You don't want to keep bringing it up. So it was like it's definitely over and done now."

Camp notes

*JaMarcus Russell said he weighed 269 points. He joked that he was 300 at the end of last season, but said he was really 276.

*Darren McFadden's speed stood out in practice. If he was going half speed, his half speed is faster than most everyone's top speed. Kiffin praised McFadden for showing explosive-play ability.

*The first-team linebackers were Thomas Howard, Kirk Morrison and ... Ricky Brown today.

*Fred Wakefield worked at defensive end, but will still work at tight end, too.

*Backup tackle Mario Henderson played left and right tackle today.

*Jake Grove began the day as the starting center. The other centers, John Wade and Chris Morris, took a few snaps at right guard with the second team during practice.

*The starting defensive line was Kelly, and Gerard Warren at DT with Jay Richardson and Derrick Burgess at the end spots.

*Michael Huff's range is evident at free safety. He made what would have been a good play in a game on a lob pass by Russell for tight end Tony Stewart.

I joked with Huff about his picture with Vince Young that caused a stir (for Young) and he had a laugh about no one recognizing him.

"Nobody knew and I'm glad," he said.

*Rookie defensive end Trevor Scott showed some good pass rush skills in drills against the offense.

*Burgess was pretty much unblockable no matter who was against him. Kiffin said Burgess is about eight pounds heavier. Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan wanted Burgess to add some weight.

*Defensive end Greg Spires (hamstring) didn't practice. LB Grant Irons (hamstring) left practice early.

--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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