Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

May 19, 2010
Raiders open up OTAs with great attendance, without Russell and Cable shoots down T.O. rumors while Gradkowski and Campbell speak out

Here's the thing about OTA's - they're voluntary. And the Raiders only allow media access one day during the three-day session.

Tom Cable.jpg

Sure, you'd love for everyone of your guys to be there but some vets pull the veteran move and sit it out for a myriad of reasons. Score one, then for punter Shane Lechler and placekicker Sebastian Janikowski. Richard Seymour, meanwhile, still has yet to sign his franchise player tag - the Raiders claim they are still working on a long-term deal with his agent.

Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski was again a spectator, after tearing his left pectoral muscle in a weight-lifting accident in April, as was second-year defensive end Matt Shaughnessy, who strained a hamstring on Tuesday. Receiver Chaz Schilens might not practice until training camp.

Schilens broke his left foot in a non-contact drill during training camp last year and had an offseason procedure that is keeping him sidelined.

The other players absent Wednesday - rookies Bruce Campbell, Lamarr Houston and Alex Daniels - are all still in school.

A bright spot - receiver Nick Miller practiced. His shin and leg issues had kept him off the field since last training camp.


There was a different vibe to the Raiders compound with it being the first time the team had opened themselves up since releasing JaMarcus Russell. I have written about that for tomorrow's paper.


Coach Tom Cable has heard the Terrell Owens rumors. He was quick to squash them.

Terrell Owens.jpg

"I got asked that the other day," Cable said. "We haven't had any discussions whatsoever about that."

So there you go.

Bruce Gradkowski.jpg

Gradkowski, on if it was disappointing to see the Raiders trade for Jason Campell: "Yeah, there's no question about it. This is a business. Teams are going to do what they feel they need to do and with bringing in another quarterback, hey, that's good for us. It's just going to make the competition better and make the guys around us better. That's what we're looking forward to. I'm just looking forward to getting back and competing and knowing the games we had last year, we were fired up and we did some really good things last year. I'm excited to build on that and start out from the beginning."

Campbell, on if it feels like he's been given the keys to a real expensive car since coming to the Raiders: "I don't know about that. Each and every day - it felt like a draft day all over again when I was traded here. You knew something was going to happen, you just didn't know where. You kind of had the nervous feeling all over again, just like sitting at home wondering what was going to happen. But when it happened, it gives you a breath of fresh air because now you know where you'll be playing at and you move on to the next phase and come here in the summer and get prepared for the season."

Gradkowski, on new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson: "I love the way coach Hue Jackson gets after it. He's disciplined, he's hard-nosed and he's going to get after the guys. That's what we need. He's come in and done a great job, along with the rest of the coaches, collaborating, putting a plan together. Now we're just working on that plan and trying to get better each day."

Jason Campbell.jpg

Campbell, on Jackson and his fast work rate: "He's very energetic. He talks a lot of smack. That's his whole goal during practice is make someone mad on defense. It excites everyone around us. There's not going to be a quiet practice here, I know. As long as he's here, it's going to be rowdy.

"It's almost times you say 'on one' or something, he wants to play snap. It's just pushing us faster. It puts pressure on the defense. You've got to take it as it comes because he's pushing us, we're pushing each other. It's only going to make you better. If you can't stand it or anything, then you don't need to be in there."

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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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