Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 5, 2010
Raiders go bowling, and other Thursday training camp notes

Niggling injuries here and there are taking their toll on the Raiders young receiving corps.

Darrius Heyward-Bey was limited in Thursday's morning practice due to general soreness. Jacoby Ford had a sore quad. Paul Hubbard had a sore hamstring. Louis Murphy did not practice with a bruise on a foot after being stepped on the day before. Jonathan Holland had to be carted off the field with what was described as a sprained ankle.

So, does this mean the Raiders have to go out and get another pass catcher?

"I don't know about that," coach Tom Cable said. "Nothing major here thus far, just soreness more than anything, and I'm probably leaning toward protecting them a little more than maybe in the past. I just want to not push it any further than we have to and lose somebody and now we have to go find people."


Left guard Robert Gallery twisted his left foot at the bottom of a pile during live tackling drills and yelped in pain.

"Walk it off, Gallery," new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson instructed.

After getting the foot taped heavily, Gallery returned to drills.


Strange Scene of the Day - a pair of defensive linemen barking at each other after a "live" play in Trevor Scott and Alex Daniels. Turns out Daniels was in as a fullback on the play.

Strange Scene of the Day II - Quarterback Jason Campbell turning and making like he was going to fire the football at safety Mike Mitchell after Mitchell pushed Campbell out of bounds...hard. That's why the QB's wear those red jerseys, after all.


Add safety Michael Huff to the Darrius Heyward-Bey Fan Club. Asked if DHB looks different this season, as everyone has said, Huff was quick to answer.

"Oh, definitely," Huff said. "I've been there, so I know it's tough being the high draft pick, you come in and put all kinds of unwanted pressure on yourself. I came out here and expected to get 10 picks my first year. You feel a ton of pressure. Then, you sit down and watch the film from the season and you realize that you should have just calmed down, played ball and let things come to you."

Huff also said he has talked with the second-year receiver.

"Me, Nnam (Asomugha) and him have the same agent, so we've all sat down and talked," he said. "I took Nnam's lead. It took me four years until I settled in. Hopefully, it takes him a lot less time than me. We're trying to help him get his head right, get him to focus and let everything come, don't force or rush anything."


New defensive tackle John Henderson is a run-stuffing specialist.

"No pressure, I love stopping the run," he said. "I take a lot of pride in it. That's something we gotta get better at. I live for it. You can take me out on third-and-long. Just put me in on short yardage and all that good stuff."

So who would he rather hit, a running or a quarterback?

"Nailing the running back," he said. "That's weird, ain't it? Think who talks the most - running backs. I want to shut them up. Quarterbacks, he's down there, looking like...running backs talk, I want to shut them up."


Call it a bonding experience. It was also the payoff of a bet between Cable and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.

Cable picked the Boston Celtics to beat the Lakers in the NBA finals. Asomugha had the Lakers. As such, Cable had to take the entire team out bowling in Napa Wednesday night. And Asomugha's team of Daniel Loper, John Owens and receivers coach Sanjay Lal won.

"It was huge (for team morale)," Asomugha said. "I had never spoken to Loper or Owens, didn't know anything about them, and now we're rooting for each other. We're on the same team, high-fiving. It was great."

Said defensive end Jay Richardson: "Somehow, Nnamdi just keeps on getting money. The rich just get richer, huh?"

Left tackle Mario Henderson, all 6-feet-7, 300 pounds of him, was an individual ringer.

"I don't want to toot my horn, but I had a 204, a 194 and a 175," Henderson said with a devilish grin.

"It was actually pretty much below my standards. First of all, we had practice earlier that day. I had a house (bowling) ball, I didn't have my balls, didn't have my bowling shoes. So I was fighting all odds yesterday but still managed to squeeze out a pretty good game."

Henderson said his favorite PBA bowler is Parker Bohn III.

"I used to bowl in leagues when I was little; I was too big to play in Pop Warner football so I bowled," Henderson said. "So that's what I dominated at while other guys played Pop Warner."

Added Asomugha: "Mario's a monster. He and (Michael) Bush."

Bush, though, was not feeling it.

"My high was about 185, but I was like on the first lane," he said. "First lane is the worst lane to be on because of how the oil is set up. When they put the machine on it's like the first lane that's going on so there's oil. That was my high last night, the highest I (ever) got to was like a 289."


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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