Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

July 28, 2008
Position change (again)

NAPA - Welcome to the wonderful world of Fred Wakefield.

He was signed last year as a tight end.

He played tight end and defensive during offseason workouts this year.

Wakefield had spent training camp as a defensive end.

Today, Wakefield was playing right guard.

One thing is certain. Wakefield won't be moving to quarterback.

"My wife throws better than I do so that won't happen," Wakefield said.

Wakefield's NFL career has been one of constant change. He started 10 games on the offensive line in 2005 in Arizona after being a starter on the defensive line.

He moved to tight end in 2006 when the team needed another blocker at the position before joining the Raiders.

Wakefield missed last season with a torn ACL.

So where is Wakefield comfortable?

"Guard or tackle on the offensive side just because that's what I've done more recently," he said. "It doesn't really bother me. I want to play. If I can keep bouncing around wherever they need me to do to help us win some games, I'll do it."

Wakefield weighs 285 pounds and figures he needs to add another 10-15 pounds or so to play offensive line.

He better be careful. He could be playing linebacker next week. Wakefield took reps at right guard Monday, including a few with the starting offensive line.

Weighty matters

One player told me the food being cooked for the Raiders was "on some bull..."

In other words, strength and conditioning coach Brad Roll and Lane Kiffin didn't put in for orders of pizza, burgers and ice cream when they met with chef at the Napa Valley Marriott.

"We kind of changed of the menu a lot," Kiffin said. "It's wearing on them. It's extremely healthy, whole wheat pasta and they're getting a little worn out by it."

So at the end of practice, Sebastian Janikowski made a 43-yard field goal that won the team the right to be treated to dinner by their position coaches.

Kiffin credits Roll with the improved health of several Raiders, citing a somewhat slimmer Terdell Sands as an example of Roll's work.

SeaBass missed a 57-yard kick Sunday night that would have freed the Raiders of healthy eating.

"So they had to eat the whole wheat again," Kiffin said.

Defensive end Jay Richardson plans to hit defensive line coach Keith Millard's pocket hard.

"Filet, 10 ounces, medium," is what Richardson said he plans to order.

Today's random thing overheard at practice

Wide receivers are stereotyped as vain and Javon Walker played the part with a photographer.

"Are you gonna get my picture in the magazine," Walker asked.

The response wasn't audible. But Walker expressed his preference.

"Get my left side, the good side."

Another random thing:

"Have you caught anything today, Shields?"

Safety Jarrod Cooper to rookie receiver Arman Shields, who hadn't caught a pass during team drills.

Camp notes

*Kiffin is serious about making JaMarcus Russell think fast.

When Russell was calling an audible, Kiffin yelled at him "There's a play clock!"

*Russell was seen shaking his left hand, but Kiffin said it was no big deal. Russell continued practicing.

*Ricky Brown was taking reps with the first team as the strongside linebacker. Robert Thomas had been in that spot recently.

*Nnamdi Asomugha attended a funeral earlier today and was not at practice.

*Tackle Mario Henderson had to run a lap for another false start. He was the only player punished for a penalty today.

*Russell had a great fake handoff on a playaction pass. But the interception by Rashad Baker on the play was better.

*Derrick Burgess did some work with the linebackers during seven-on-seven drills. He stood up occasionally last season.

*Offensive lineman Mark Wilson suffered a broken leg and sprained ankle last night during practice.

"Mark's probably done," Kiffin said. "Bad deal."

*Rookie tight end Darrell Strong had the catch of a day. He made a one-handed grab in which he tapped the ball to himself while being hit by Hiram Eugene.

In spite of the hard hit, Strong kept his balance and ran to the end zone.

*The other highlight catch came for Todd Watkins (again). He made a leaping grab over the head of cornerback Michael Waddell.

*Owner Al Davis was at practice for a second consecutive day.

*Defensive tackle Gerard Warren was a force as a pass rusher today.

*Safety Greg Wesley (back) and linebacker Grant Irons (hamstring) did not practice.

--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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