Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 11, 2008
They don't roll deep

NAPA - Lane Kiffin believes the Raiders roster is more talented than a year ago but he's still looking for a deeper team.

And he'd like to have a problem of needing to hide players at the end of the exhibition season so they aren't picked up after they are released and can be quickly added to the practice squad.

"We don't worry too much about it because we've got to figure out our team," Kiffin said. "To hold a guy back and try to save him so someone else doesn't see him, we're a long ways from getting to that position. Our roster's not deep enough to worry about that. We've got to find who can play for us. Maybe someday we'll worry about that."

That said, the Raiders haven't brought in a lot of players during camp. The only player released since practices began was injured offensive lineman Mark Wilson.

That's not Kiffin's call.

"It's been a situation that unfortunately, we haven't brought guys in," Kiffin said. "I control what I can control, come out every day and get our guys as good as we can. I'm pleased with the top of our roster but we need to add to the bottom of our roster. We need more competition."

The areas lack depth the most are cornerback and the offensive line. With a rash of injuries in the secondary, the Raiders had only four corners.

Safety Hiram Eugene helped fill in for some drills.

"Yeah, it's hard," Kiffin said. "You don't get many one-on-ones so our receivers end up going on air. We put Hiram down there today in slot a little bit to help us out but it's a situation we've been in now for awhile. It is what it is."

Speaking of guys that need a break, the Raiders don't have an extra punter and didn't have an extra kicker until signing Aaron Elling to fill-in for injured kicker Sebastian Janikowski.

"You know we talk about that every time," Janikowski. "That's between me and Shane what we talk about, I couldn't tell you. It would help but it's not my decision."

Janikowski said his injured hamstring is progressing fine. He hurt it on a kickoff in practice last Wednesday.

He's not expected to play until Aug. 23 when the Raiders host Arizona.

Janikowski did some light jogging, something he said wasn't possible two days ago. If it weren't the preseason, he said he'd be available.

"Yeah, if I had to I probably could," Janikowski said. "Just make sure it's going to be healthy."

Kirk Morrison is one of two Raider defenders that will wear the helmet that will allow communication from the sidelines via a headphone inside.

The team can have two players wear it, but hasn't decided who the other player will be. Only one player can wear the headset on the field for defense.

The teams went light in practice today and will wear pads tonight.

There were a few fumbles today. Darren McFadden had two fumbles and Zach Miller fumbled, too.

Not exactly the way to follow up a turnover-free exhibition debut.

Here's the injury report

*TE Darrell Strong left practice with what the Raiders believe might be a separated right shoulder.

*LB Ricky Brown(knee, back) is probable for Friday's game. He moved well in some individual drills.

*TE Tony Stewart (toe), CB Michael Waddell (back) CB John Bowie (knee) and CB DeAngelo Hall (hand) all missed practice. Hall had an MRI on his hand after X-rays were negative.

"We just have to be real safe with it because obviously that's a big part of him is how well he can play the ball," Kiffin said. "We took it to the best guy we could find and he'll be back in a minute."

*Funny moment of practice: Rob Ryan singing "Teddy's Jam" in honor of Chris Johnson jamming Johnathan Holland at the line of scrimmage.

For those that don't know what I'm talking about, enjoy some New Jack Swing:

--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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