Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

June 17, 2009
More OTA updates

Players who were not at the voluntary OTA workouts included Nnamdi Asomugha, who was here last week, Derrick Burgess, Andrew Walter, Chris Johnson, Tommy Kelly and Michael Huff. Jeff Garcia returned after the birth of his son

Players nursing injuries included Jay Richardson (knee), second-round draft choice Mike Mitchell (hamstring), Oren O'Neal (knee), John Foschi (chest), Javon Walker (knee), Arman Shields (knee), Chaz Schillens (hamstring), Will Franklin (hamstring). First-round draft choice Darrius Heyward-Bey limped off the field during practice with a still-sore hamstring originally tweaked in mini-camp in May.

As I wrote before, we did not get a chance to speak with Greg Ellis to give you his side of things but he did look fit and sleek while working exclusively on the left side of the line as a defensive end with the first-team's 4-3 defense.

In Dallas, he played as a blitzing outside linebacker in the Cowboys' 3-4 alignment.
So I asked coach Tom Cable what he's seen from Ellis, given the small sample size.

"Well, he's been here the last couple of days," Cable said. "The quickness, power, the things you saw on film, are the reason you signed him in the first place. A good football player, that's what you see."

So could he be an every down player, even as the 6-feet-6, 262-pounder turns 34 in Aug. 14?

"I think he can be," Cable said. "You look at the film and he's been doing that, albeit in a different position, this is a guy you would rely on to come in and compete to be a starter and all that. He's got so much left in terms of where he's at physically, in terms of his body, his production, so again, just a positive for our team."

JaMarcus Russell's final throw of the day was a 90-mph fastball that missed everybody and landed about 30 yards upfield. He threw a strike, though, after practice when he revealed he planned on organizing a summer get-together with the receivers and tight ends.

"Just go along by ourselves and accomplish something that would make us a lot better during the year," Russell said. "Just work on our own, with nobody out there but us. Get ready for camp. Get ready for a new year."

After Thursday's final OTA workout, the team is off until July 29, when the Raiders report to Napa for training camp, with the first practice the next day. Until then, the players are on virtual radio silence from the tea,.

"You have a plan, and we've kind of given each guy things to be thinking about when they go, but you really can't do a lot with them based on the rules," Cable said. "(You want to) get them rested up, get them rested up mentally, more mentally than physically, for when they go to camp in July."

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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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