ALAMEDA - Here's Lane Kiffin's explanation as to why LaMont Jordan wasn't on the practice field this morning even though he is under contract:
"We released LaMont from ... on the field activities. We're pursuing some other options with him."
More on why he wasn't on the field. Kiffin said he was the one to tell Jordan he wouldn't be allowed to practice:
"LaMont hasn't been here in our offseason program and the last thing we want to do for him or
ourselves is for LaMont to come out here and get hurt today."
Sounds like the Raiders are holding out hope someone will trade for a running back they have no use for that also carries a $4.7 million salary for 2008.
Good luck with the one.
Right now, Jordan would be behind Justin Fargas, Michael Bush, Darren McFadden, Adimchinobe Echemandu and Louis Rankin on the depth chart.
No general manager that values a draft pick would give one up for Jordan because it would make sense that the Raiders would have to release him at some point, right?
Kiffin said the team is "exploring a couple of different options" with Jordan. Trading or releasing Jordan are the only options at this point, especially if the team doesn't even want him to practice.
The market for veteran running backs looking for redemption already has Shaun Alexander. Travis Henry joined the mix yesterday.
A team looking for another running back could sign one of them and pay them a lot less than what Jordan would earn this year.
And if a team just needs a back for training camp, it would opt for one of many unsigned rookies looking for a chance.
But I never claimed to understand what was going on. I just report on it.
Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha wasn't at practice and can't practice until he signs his franchise tender.
"Maybe he'll show up the next couple of days," Kiffin said. "Obviously he's not under contract here, not on the roster. That happens to be how it works with a franchise player unfortunately. "
Stanford Routt is working in Asomugha's spot in the starting lineup opposite DeAngelo Hall.
DE Derrick Burgess is back in comedic form. Here's his take on defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's new appearance:
"Oh, you talking about the new haircut. Ahh, look like a cockatoo."
Burgess has been working out at Ole Miss and looks in good shape. He ran around Mario Henderson at the end of practice for what would have been a sack in a real game. The explosion and quickness were evident from Burgess.
Here are some tidbits from practice:
The first-team offense:
QB: JaMarcus Russell
RB: Justin Fargas
FB: Justin Griffith
WR: Drew Carter
WR: Javon Walkere
TE: Zach Miller
LT: Kwame Harris
LG: Robert Gallery
C: Chris Morris
RG: Cooper Carlisle
RT: Cornell Green
No surprises with this group.
DT: Josh Shaw
DT: Gerard Warren
DE: Jay Richardson
LB: Thomas Howard
LB: Kirk Morrison
LB: Sam Williams
S: Michael Huff
S: Gibril Wilson
Huff played a lot of free safety and had an interception on a deflected pass intended for TE Tony Stewart.
*Russell looked sharp and seemed to be making the right reads. He even practiced looking off receivers when there were no defenders in drills.
*Carter continues to look impressive in drills. He was able to get open with a nice stiff arm of Hall in a one-on-one drill.
*Fargas looks good catching the ball. So does McFadden.
*WR Johnnie Lee Higgins had a good practice, beating CB John Bowie for a couple of nice catches, including a diving grab over the middle.
DB Rashad Baker intercepted a pass that was deflected off Higgins' hands, but Higgins rebounded to strip Baker of the ball and recover the ball.
*Kiffin is trying to be careful and not let things become too physical this year. The NFL docked the Raiders by taking away offseason practices because they were too physical last year.
"That's a pretty hard thing for me, because I really don't know that way of doing things, to really slow them down in those instances," Kiffin said. "We're trying to do everything within the rules as best as we can, but you know, this team needs to be a physical team. I think we made some strides with that last year. We need to continue to make strides that way. We need to be physical. We need to run the ball better, we need to stop the run better. I think that comes with being physical and I really don't know how to back people off to do that."
*QB Marques Tuiasosopo had a few reps. He spent last week (the player's week off) getting acclimated with the terminology after a year in New York.
He doesn't expect that to be too hard since the concepts are similar to what he learned under Jon Gruden.
"It's a lot different," Tuiasosopo said. "It's a great vibe. Guys are into it, fired up. There's a lot of new faces from when I was here before. But it's a good thing.
"There's a buzz here, and guys want to win and turn things around. It's fun. It's a totally different feel-- totally."
*Injured players not practicing were C Jake Grove, WR Ronald Curry, DT Tommy Kelly and DB Jarrod Cooper. All except Grove worked out on a field away from the team.
*The two-hour afternoon practice is slated to start at 4:30 p.m.