Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 2, 2010
Highlights from first day in pads in Napa

The first day of hitting in pads is done and I've written about that for tomorrow's paper. As such, some highlights, and lowlights, from Monday's lone practice in Napa.

- Michael Bush and Darren McFadden seem to be sharing time at running back, though Bush is getting run with the first team.

"You know, I've always been the guy that, whoever's in front of me or behind me, I want everybody to have success," Bush said. "That also comes with a good friendship as well. So I feel like, If you're confident in yourself and your game, you shouldn't worry about what the next man is doing."

Anyone following Bush (@michaelbush29) and McFadden (dmcfadden20) on Twitter knows they are roommates here in Napa, fighting over the remote control, and fast friends.


A collective gasp could be heard when first-round draft pick Rolando McClain was escorted off the field by two trainers in the middle of practice.

Everyone exhaled, though, when he was back, participating in live drills.

"Upset stomach," explained coach Tom Cable, "or restroom."

Other than that, McClain looked impressive in the middle of the Raiders' 4-3 defense. Very physically imposing.


One of the more intriguing battles in the trenches was DL Richard Seymour vs. RG Robert Gallery. Gallery won the first encounter, when Seymour slipped. Seymour stood Gallery up the second time they met. Advantage: Seymour.

"It's really a good matchup for our team because they're making each other better," Cable said. "Robert is a really fine, fine player and he's proven that. Last year the injury didn't (give him) the show it, but they go in there kind of like iron sharpens iron. They grind and they grind and they win some and they lose some. That's good football. That's how you do it."


Chaz Schilens, who walked off the field in Thursday's second practice after feeling pain his surgically repaired left foot, practiced Monday but stayed out of the contact drills.

Fellow receiver Louis Murphy (concussion) did not practice.

Al Davis watched practice from his golf cart.


New offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is a quote machine on the field.

"Get back in the huddle," he yelled at a lax offense. "We are not going to take the line of scrimmage like that."


"How can we not have the right personnel in the huddle?" he yelled at his offense. "C'mon, guys. C'mon, coaches."


Johnnie Lee Higgins, Yamon Figurs, Nick Miller and rookie Jacoby Ford fielded that order.


A position battle to watch in camp - cornerback opposite Nnamdi Asomugha.

Chris Johnson is the returning starter but Stanford Routt was given first- and third-round tenders this offseason.

"That's a pretty heated competition actually, Cable said. "What I see in (Routt) is a guy that when he's focused, he's an outstanding talent. I really felt like when he was around in the OTAs there was a much different focus about him. I see it in camp already. I think he probably feels like it's time and it's his time. I'm all for that because he's definitely a talented, talented guy that could help us."

Johnson sees himself as the incumbent.

"Last year really wasn't a season I can be proud of, but I went home and looked at some things and worked on some things," he said. "It's going to be a better year for me this year.

"I came into camp as a starter and I am going to leave as a starter. I never look behind me. If a person looks behind, then he is going to fall behind. So I always look forward, and try everyday to improve my game. I don't ever worry about the next man."

So what did he work on?

"The deep ball and being patient on the line of scrimmage," Johnson said. "I felt last year that I was impatient at the line and I am too fast not to be patient. I can run with anybody in the league."

He was a target with teams shying away from Asomugha.

"It helps get your interceptions up," he said. "I told Nnam the other day that it's boring being him, because he runs up and down the field all game and gets one ball thrown his way. With me, at least I want to work that day. I love competition, so you can call it teams picking on me - I call it working."


For more timely updates, follow me on Twitter @PaulHGutierrez

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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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