Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 6, 2008
Bush is "special" this morning

NAPA - The MVP of the morning practice was running back Michael Bush.

It seems like every chance Lane Kiffin gets to mention Bush, Kiffin suggests Bush needs to be physical.

Bush was that this morning.

"Michael Bush was really special today," Kiffin said. "Boy, if he could practice like that every day, we'd really have something. Gibril Wilson came on a blitz today. He picked him up as good as you pick a guy up, put him to the ground, a couple of physical runs. If we can get him to continue to grow and continue to be that guy, we'll have a pretty special backfield."

Bush also put a nice hit on defensive end Greg Spires after he broke free.

At 246 pounds, it's clear what Kiffin wants Bush to be - the thunder to Darren McFadden's lightning the same way LenDale White complemented Reggie Bush at USC.

"It's not a problem," Bush said. "I can be a bruiser if I need to be."

Kiffin wants to see hits like that from Bush every practice.

Another big hit

Linebacker Thomas Howard flattened McFadden on a pass in the flats.

The coaches told McFadden to get up and finish the play by running down the field but Howard had already finished McFadden.

"D-Mac knows what kind of player I am," Howard said. "It was a good read by me ... I got there so fast. I wanted to be able to break down and make sure I could make the tackle in a game. ... They say speed plus mass and you get hits like that."

Still looking for more

It was expected Javon Walker would be joining the Raiders for two-a-days. Instead Walker continues to practice once on days the Raiders are on the field twice.

Walker has yet to have the dominant practice performance everyone is waiting for, especially if he supposed to be the top threat in the passing game.

Walker said his knee that was operated on is fine, but it doesn't always look that way and the team continues to monitor him.

"He did the one day of two-a-days (last Saturday) and then felt a little sore," Kiffin said. "He'll work tonight and I'd really like for after this game to get him to a two-a-day format. I believe he really needs it."

Not quite a legend

Darrick "Little Willie Brown" Brown was again being heckled for not being the second coming of the Hall of Fame cornerback.

Darrick is an undrafted rookie that is gets made fun of for getting beat in coverage.

And today the cornerbacks took on the receivers in a tackling drill. Darrick whiffed a few times.

"C'mon Little Willie," Kiffin yelled at him.

Receivers ran between cones that forced the defender to wrap up in tight space, but Darrick still managed to miss.

Brown might have a future as a practice squad player with the Raiders.

Meet the refs

The media had its time with NFL officials today to learn about rule changes and points of emphasis.

Some highlights:

Three Raiders (well two are former Raiders) were shown in the "what not to do" portion.

*There was Warren Sapp's meltdown in Jacksonville in which he had three personal fouls and was ejected was an example of not respecting officials. Stuart Schweigert standing over Tony Gonzalez after a hit was an example of taunting. Jay Richardson was caught on tape doing a throat slashing gesture as an example of a menacing gesture.

*There are no more force-outs. Unless a player is carried out of bounds after a catch, he must get two feet down inbounds.

So look for some receivers to get knocked silly.

*No more five-yard facemask penalties. Only grabbing and twisting the helmet will be called. The same goes for offensive players. If they grab the facemask and twist while running with the ball, it's a 15-yard penalty.

*The team that wins the coin toss can now defer to the second half, just like the college rule.

Practice notes

*Walker, WR Drew Carter, WR Ronald Curry, C Jake Grove, G Cooper Carlisle, OL Fred Wakefield, LB Ricky Brown, QB Andrew Waler, LB Grant Irons, CB John Bowie and S Greg Wesley did not practice in the morning.

Irons (hamstring), Bowie (knee) and Wesley (back) aren't expected to join the team for tonight's practice.

Kiffin said Walter's sore arm isn't expected to be a long-term problem and that he will practice tonight.

*DE Derrick Burgess worked with the linebackers during tackling drills.

*With the officials at practice, Hiram Eugene was called for pass interference. Robert Gallery ran a lap for a false start while Burgess and Gerard Warren had to run for being offsides.

*CB Nnamdi Asomugha returned to practice after missing two days because he was sick. He said he's only eating bananas and yogurt right now, but wanted to get on the field in case he has to play in Friday night's preseason game.

*Today's lone turnover was forced by S Rashad Baker, who picked off a Marques Tuiasosopo pass intended for WR Johnnie Lee Higgins.
--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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