Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

June 9, 2010
"Chaz-zilla" is back, and other OTA rumblings

Bigger San Diego State debut for 2010 - Stephen Strasburg, or Chaz Schilens?

As far as Raider Nation is concerned, Strasburg can take his 14 strikeouts, no walks and jump into the Potomac River. Schilens is the man of the moment in Silver and Blackdom and his return to the practice field during this week's OTA's has not only Raiders fans excited, but the receiver himself.

chaz.jpg

"I'll do what the trainers tell me but I'd like to run as many routes as possible," said Schilens, who underwent offseason surgery on the left foot he initially broke in training camp last August.

"I'll try to get more reps. Right now it's just taking it slow. I'm happy with how I feel, so that's what's most important."

Schilens had some rust on him during practice but still looked smooth.

"He's going, oh, not full speed but limited," said coach Tom Cable, "and doing well."

Schilens admitted he was never at full strength last season, despite missing the first half of the season. Hence his desire to have surgery.

"It was kind of something I knew by the way I felt," Schilens said. "I gave myself some time off after the season. I didn't get surgery then I kind of thought about it and talked to them and we made the decision to go ahead with it. I think it was the right one because I feel good now, better than last year.

"They fixed it. They fixed it. They did some stuff in there. They put another screw in there, a different one, and did some other stuff. The important thing is I had more time to heal. I didn't have the pressure of trying to get back in a game situation. I've just been taking it pretty slow."

After one of the deposed JaMarcus Russell's many brutal games last season, the usually talkative Schilens offered a terse "no comment" about the former quarterback's play. His silence spoke volumes. Schilens, though, had nothing but praise for new guy Jason Campbell.

"He's a good quarterback," Schilens said of Campbell. "He's smart, intelligent, throws a good ball. He works hard at learning the offense. I'm happy. I'm happy with him."

As Schilens conducted his interview, fellow receiver Louis Murphy walked by.

"Look at Chaz-zilla," Murphy yelled. "Chaz-zilla's back. Chaz-zilla's back."

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The Raiders passing game abused the Raiders defense. Granted, the secondary was without cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Chris Johnson, both of whom skipped the voluntary workout, and Stanford Routt, who experienced tightness in his back and sat out.

That left rookies Walter McFadden and Jeremy Ware to play the part of Elvis "Toast" Patterson. Repeatedly.

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One of the more comical scenes was rookie defensive end Lamarr Houston verbally assaulting fourth-year center Samson Satele. Methinks Houston is going to be in a lot of training camp scraps, especially when they go with full pads and not just in helmets.

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Darrius Heyward-Bey continues to impress with his growth and resemblance of a legit NFL receiver. I'm writing about DHB for Friday's paper so be on the lookout for it.

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Michael Bush, on if he gets the sense the Raiders want either him or Darren McFadden to grab that starting running back position: "Actually I have no idea what's going on, but I know we're going to come out and fight for the job. (Cable) told us earlier this year it's an open competition. We both believe that because in the past...you've seen we've been rotating guys in, starting and stuff like that.

"At the same time, we're still two different guys, two different running backs, two different type of players. Hopefully they just use us the best that they can."

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Veterans skipping the voluntary workouts and "excused" by the Raiders besides Asomugha and Johnson, DE Richard Seymour, LB Ike Ekejiuba, LB Sam Williams, DT Tommy Kelly, P Shane Lechler and PK Sebastian Janikowski.

QB Bruce Gradkowski is still out with his pectoral injury and RT Langston Walker recently underwent "elbow clean-up surgery" to remove "some loose bodies," Cable said.

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The Raiders also signed a pair of offensive linemen in Allen Smith, an undrafted rookie from Stanford, and Elliott Vallejo, a former Raiders practice squad player from UC Davis.

Earlier, the Raiders announced on their web site the signings of DB Joe Porter and WR Damola Adeniji.

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PSA time: LG Robert Gallery is holding his second annual "Cruisin' For Our Community" event this weekend as a fundraiser for military families.

Following is the release:

"Oakland Raiders Guard Robert Gallery is using his passion for hot rods and classic cars to give back to the community, in particular to four local military families who have lost a parent fighting to protect our country. The cruise will be held Saturday, June 12 and will take participants on a cruise throughout the Tri-Valley area starting in Dublin at 4120 Koll Center Dr. (Corner of Tassajara Rd and 580) before ending at Revolution Rod & Kustom, 3737 First St. in Livermore for a car show. Gallery will be leading the cruise in his customized 1954 Cadillac Coup de Ville.

Hundreds of classic 1970 and earlier American classics and motorcycles are expected to join the cruise as well as participate in a silent auction and raffle to be held at Revolution Rod & Kustom at approximately 2 p.m. All money raised will go directly to the families.

All Bay Area classic car and hot rod owners are invited to take part in Cruisin' for the Community. Entry fee is a $30 donation per car. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the cruise will start at 10:30 a.m. All entrants will be given cruise directions to follow the route.

The general public is invited to the car show, auction/raffle, and Fuddruckers catering at Revolution Rod & Kustom in Livermore, which begins at 11 a.m."

Also, the Raiders 10th annual two-day youth skills camp is scheduled for this weekend at the team's Alameda compound and is open for boys and girls ages 8 to 14. For more information, go to www.raiders.com.

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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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