Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 12, 2008
Hall practicing with broken bone in his hand

NAPA - DeAngelo Hall intercepted another pass in practice this afternoon while wearing a cast on his right hand.

He hurt the hand several practices ago and banged it up some more in the Raiders exhibition season opener last Friday.

Hall said the injury the team said was a sprain is worse than reported and that the injury "affects everything."

"I've got a little broken bone in there," Hall said. "It affects everything. I don't even feel like I should be out here practicing or going into the preseason but it's something nobody else feels like its affecting anything so I'm out there practicing and playing games."

Raiders coach Lane Kiffin has already said he is powerless in adding players to the roster, which means Hall might have to stay on the field.

The team has been dealing with injuries at cornerback lately. To make it worse, Nnamdi Asomugha left practice have on his foot prove to be a serious injury.

Hall said he is practicing because he is being told to. He didn't practice Monday morning while getting an MRI on his hand, but returned for the night practice.

"No, it ain't my choice," Hall said. "But I'm employee 23. I do what I'm told."

I will update later with more on the practice and coach Lane Kiffin saying this team isn't very good right now and needs as much practice as possible.


The Raiders' next exhibition game is Friday. Kiffin has already said the team needs to get tough and could use more practice.

"I wish we had more time," Kiffin said. "The reality is I don't think we're very good right now as a team. Whatever that first game was, I think we're going to have a big test going into Tennessee against that team. If we don't have our stuff right and our guys aren't right we'll get run out of that stadium real quick."

Hall wasn't bothered by Kiffin's assessment.

"Any coach is going to say that but I think we're ready," Hall said. "A lot of guys aren't ready to do things in life until they're thrown in the fire. Then you've either got to man up or bitch up. I think we're ready to man up."

And as Hall is showing, just because the team signs you to a deal worth up to $70 million, doesn't mean you don't have to "man up" in practice with an injury.

Today's practice wasn't exactly a display in the excellent execution.

"I didn't think we were very crisp, especially early," Kiffin said. "A number of penalties early. We restarted the whole 9-on-7 down there due to that. I didn't think we were very crisp in the passing game until we got to 7 on 7. Lot of incompletions, lot of poor timing so that's continuing to be disappointing."

The passing game continues to raggedy, as Kiffin noted with his comment about the timing being off.

Kiffin won't allow the fact that the Raiders' secondary has two Pro Bowl cornerbacks to be a reason to continue to struggle.

"That's part of it but that's no excuse," Kiffin said. "We have to improve our timing, consistency. It's going to continue to hurt us until we have all of our receivers practicing every day with our quarterback and we're in good enough shape that they can do that."

If you take that as Kiffin reminding Javon Walker to be on the field as much as possible, you're probably on the right track.

JaMarcus Russell would appear to have a rapport with his running backs and tight ends because they haven't missed nearly as many practices.

Russell is often throwing check downs to them rather than going deep, especially during seven-on-seven drills.

"JaMarcus went 5-for-5 and a number of those were check downs but that's what was there," Kiffin said. "In that drill our linebackers play really deep in general in zone coverage so you're going to deal with a lot of check downs versus our defense. And when you're in 7 on 7 you're going to deal with check downs."


Just because the Raiders are closing up camp doesn't mean two-a-days are over.

So perhaps Kiffin's declaration that practices would be so hard that games would be easy could come true in Alameda.

"It's going to be how they respond," Kiffin said. "If we go down there and we're not practicing the way we need to be, if we go out in Tennessee and get our butts kicked and come back and don't practice the way we need to then we can always go back to that format."

*With cornerbacks playing hurt and getting hurt, the Raiders signed rookie CB Nick Sanchez and cut LB Malik Jackson.

*Sanchez, Hall, Thomas Howard and Michael Huff had interceptions for the defense.

*LB Grant Irons is called "Game Ready" but he won't be playing in any games if he does what he did today and tackle starting running back Justin Fargas when players aren't supposed to be tackling.

"Irons stay the (expletive) up," defensive coordinator Rob Ryan yelled at him.

*Kiffin said Walker's practice today was probably his second best of camp without having reviewed the film. Walker looked like the best receiver on the field today.

"I thought he had a really good (practice) against San Francisco," Kiffin said. "But I thought he did some things today."

*TE Darrell Strong (shoulder), K Sebastian Janikowski (hamstring) and CB John Bowie (knee) won't play in Tennessee. TE Tony Stewart (toe) is expected to play.

S Tyvon Branch (thumb) had surgery today but will play with a cast on it.

WR Johnnie Lee Higgins is the favorite to return kickoffs in place of Branch.

*Actor Antonio Fargas of "Huggy Bear" fame attended practice to watch his son, Justin.

Kiffin said Fargas is the most game ready of all the players on offense and will likely play the least on Friday.

--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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