Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

July 31, 2008
Russell returns to team practice

NAPA - JaMarcus Russell took part in team activities this morning for the first time since Tuesday morning when he hit his elbow on Darren McFadden's helmet.

There was a noticeable loss of velocity on Russell's passes, which Raiders coach Lane Kiffin assumes will come back pretty soon.

"I'm just trying to protect myself as much as I can," Russell said after practice. "I just wanted to get out here today just so I could get back in practice. I don't really like sitting out and watching guys bust their behinds when I can be out there doing something. Just anything out there I can help."

Russell did individual drills before having his elbow iced down in the previous two practices (Tuesday night, Wednesday afternoon).

Russell expects to practice tonight and not have to take the "mental reps" as he did prior to this morning.

"It is (good to watch) but at the same time you have to be out there," Russell said. "You have to be out there in the heat while the live bullets are going just to get a better feel for it."

Looking for more

Kiffin said some players that are practicing only once one double-practice days will be re-evaluated Monday to see if they can practice twice in a day.

One of those players is Javon Walker.

The receiver was signed to a big contract in the offseason and Kiffin is looking for ways to get more out of him.

"There's progress being made," Kiffin said. "I wouldn't say as much as I'd like at this point so we're going to continue to push them. I think pushing him back into two-a-days will help him as well."

Very little progress

The Raiders intended to give Mario Henderson every chance to win the starting right tackle job from Cornell Green.

How's the race, coach?

"It's not close right now," Kiffin said.

Green had the day off so Seth Wand was the first-team right tackle.

Henderson has struggled in camp in pass protection and has been called a player that isn't physical and struggles with his confidence by coaches.

Kiffin said there's no one area that Henderson is struggling.

"It's everything right now, unfortunately," Kiffin said.

The Raiders traded up (surrendering this year's third-round pick) last year to draft Henderson.

Right now, it looks like they moved up for a third-string offensive lineman. He didn't play in a game last year and doesn't look any better prepared to play right now.

Camp notes

*Green and right guard Cooper Carlisle were given the morning practice off.

Chris Morris took Carlisle's spot with the starting offensive line.

*DT Gerard Warren (thigh), LB Grant Irons (hamstring) and CB John Bowie (knee) did not practice. Kiffin does not believe Warren's injury will keep him out long term.

DT Tommy Kelly and Walker were given their usual one practice off.

*CB Nnamdi Asomugha came up with the lone turnover during the team session by picking off a Russell pass intended for Arman Shields

*Today's penalty runners were DE Jay Richardson, TE Chris Wagner, LG Robert Gallery, LT Kwame Harris and DE Greyson Gunheim.

Gunheim ran after Kiffin ruled his movement forced Henderson to false start.

--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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