Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 27, 2009
Raiders break camp in Napa with a flourish

The Raiders broke camp Thursday morning and the final play put an exclamation point to the month-plus long affair. Running the second-team offense's 2-minute drill to perfection against the second-team defense, Jeff Garcia led his squad 80 yards in nine plays, culminating with a 26-yard TD pass to Todd Watkins on third-and-nine. The big play of the drive was a 34-yard pass to Jonathon Holland two snaps into the drill.

Earlier, the first team offense went against the first-team defense and JaMarcus Russell moved the team past midfield before the drive stalled. It should be noted, however, that Russell had one of his best practices of camp passing the ball.

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The battle for third-string quarterback between journeyman Bruce Gradkowski and former Cleveland starter Charlie Frye has been a nip-and-tuck affair. Thursday, Frye appeared to gain the upper hand, though.

Frye consistently found seams with his passes and was much better at threading the needle between defenders in the red zone. Gradkowski, meanwhile, threw at least two interceptions and had a ball batted down at the line.

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Funny scene - As Nnamdi Asomugha was surrounded by cameras, microphones and notepads, offensive lineman Khalif Barnes limped by and shouted at the highest-paid Raiders player, "Hey, Nnam, buy me a car."

Barnes, who broke his left ankle early in camp, was walking without crutches or a boot on the foot.

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Coach Tom Cable was asked what kind of identity his team forged in Napa.

"The biggest thing we had to do, leaving this place, is be more like a team, more like a team that plays the game for each other, they work at practice for each other, they care about each other," Cable said. "Scheme isn't going to matter We'e got good players, like everybody else in the NFL. Scheme is scheme. Everybody's got a good one. It's just a matter of doing it right, for each other with the right purpose. I think we accomplished that."

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And today's daily Cable comment on his alleged incident with assistant Randy Hanson: "I haven't even thought about it," when asked if he had any thoughts on a report that Napa police want to speak with him.

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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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