Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

May 27, 2010
Raiders want $9.55 million back from Russell? Good luck with that

Last week, coach Tom Cable said the Raiders had moved beyond the JaMarcus Russell Era and urged assembled media members to do the same.

"Let's not talk about someone who is not on our team anymore," Cable said on May 19. "It's done, it's over and we have to move forward."

Seems someone didn't get the memo.

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According to Yahoo! Sports, the Raiders have filed a grievance against Russell, seeking repayment of $9.55 million in salary.

"We have filed a grievance against JaMarcus Russell and that's all we're going to say at this time," Raiders attorney Jeff Birren told the web site.

The report said the grievance is "based on the contention by the Raiders that the contract was changed at one point" during Russell's three-year stay and, thus, is not allowed to keep all the money he had collected before being released on May 7.

As the No. 1 pick of the 2007 draft out of LSU, Russell was guaranteed $32 million in his six-year, $68-million contract. Some reports have Russell already pocketing at least $39 million.

Remember Russell's lengthy holdout that did not end until after the first game of his rookie season? It was thought at the time that the major sticking point was guaranteed money. And according to the report, a portion of the guaranteed $32 million was "originally" in salary advances for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons. Does it add up to $9.55 million?

"The money in question was fully guaranteed," Eric Metz, one of Russell's two agents, told Yahoo! "That is why JaMarcus was forced to hold out and miss all of training camp as a rookie. The Raiders know that and this is our only comment."

The NFL Players Association will represent the currently-unemployed Russell in the grievance, the report said.

Rumors have abounded on the reasons for Russell's lack of work ethic and his off-field behavior. Be sure that more fodder for the rumor mill will be spit out in the coming weeks and months, or however long this case takes. Because remember, Al Davis is still at odds over money owed with both Mike Shanahan (since 1989) and Lane Kiffin (since 2008).

The Raiders should hope this does not overshadow what has been nothing but a positive offseason.

May 26, 2010
DHB opens eyes in OTA practice, and other news and notes


Who was that "masked" man in the No. 85 jersey looking like a legit No. 1 NFL receiver at the Raiders' open OTA practice on Wednesday?

Yes, we realize it's only a non-contact OTA, with players in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts with no contact. But Darrius Heyward-Bey, last year's much-maligned first-round pick from Maryland, had the best practice of his short career.

Looking a bit thicker in the arms, and showing off his vaunted speed, DHB victimized the likes of Stanford Routt and even Nnamdi Asomugha, catching a simple out pass on the left sideline before spinning away from the prone Asomugha and up the field. Hoots, hollers and a lot of trash-talking from new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson (who I write about in tomorrow's paper as the Most Interesting Man in Raider Nation) followed.

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"That's the best practice since I've seen him here," Asomugha admitted. "Today was a good day for him to build off of and (we'll) see how he comes out tomorrow. It's days like this you want to keep stringing along. You don't want to fall back after a day like this.

"He was catching the ball, I don't know that he dropped a ball. Caught maybe eight or nine balls, so that was good for him."

In explaining DHB's success, Asomugha and coach Tom Cable both seemed to throw some salt in the direction of the long-gone JaMarcus Russell.

"I don't think it's new plays," Asomugha said. "We've always had all these plays. It's just that now they're running them. Last year they were taking more time on their basic plays whereas now he's going straight into everything and it's helping them out."

Sounds like they had to dumb some things down for Russell, no?

"When you have someone throwing the ball where you can catch it and on time and those kinds of things, it gives them a chance to have success, and build their confidence and grow as a unit," Cable said.

How much was DHB feeling it on Wednesday? He broke out some choreographed celebrations in the end zone with Louis Murphy and Tony Stewart by way of squatting and hand slaps.

"We're having fun," said DHB, who changed his jersey number from 12 to 85 for a fresh start. "We're having fun right now. We know it's OTAs, its time to learn, but it's also a time to have fun with each other, get to know each other. A lot more guys are going out to dinner with each other, spending time. We're more than just teammates, we're friends out here and we're having fun."

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New linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, acquired in a March 14 trade with Cleveland, is not only running with the first-team defense, but also as a pass rusher in nickel packages.

"We're trying out a lot of stuff," he said. "Obviously, this is early and as we wind down these OTAs and (head) into training camp we'll probably solidify some more things.

"Right now I'm getting good work off the ball in the 'over' situation and then when we go 'under'...I get up on the line and get work, similar to what I was doing in Cleveland. And then in the nickel, hand down. I'm doing a lot of different things here. I think playing in the scheme that I came from definitely helps to come out here and do some of the things they're asking me to do."

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Fourth-round draft pick Bruce Campbell's transition from left tackle to right guard continues.

"It's a totally different experience," he said. "I'm used to space on the outside. Now I'm on the inside with a lot of help. People would say it's easier, but I don't see it being easier right now.

"It's also different playing against 'D' tackles rather than going against defensive ends because they're a lot bigger. The game inside is about leverage."

Still, Campbell insists his head is not spinning.

"I'm hanging in there," he said. "It's just a matter of getting used to the speed. I'm handling the playbook really well. It's just a matter of getting used to the game speed at the guard position."

He also expects to return to his natural position...at some point.

"They're going to use me (as) a guard and then (after) I learn guard...they're going to start putting me at tackle," he said. "I'm going to be a versatile offensive lineman."

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Those in attendance but not practicing due to injury or illness - LB Ike Ekejiuba, QB Bruce Gradkowski, WR Phil Hubbard, WR Chaz Schilens and DE Matt Shaughnessy.

Undrafted rookie DE Alex Daniels is still in school at Cincinnati.

Cable said DT Tommy Kelly was "excused," as was CB Chris Johnson, though OTA's are voluntary.

That also explains the absences of punter Shane Lechler and placekicker Sebastian Janikowski.

DE Richard Seymour still has yet to sign his franchise tender and was a no-show.

May 26, 2010
Raider make a wish come true for 10 year old

Perhaps Raiders Chief Executive Amy Trask expressed it best.

"There were a lot of lumps in a lot of throats," she said. And nary a dry eye.

The Raiders played host to Jailen Cooper, an energetic 10-year-old from Farmville, N.C., on Wednesday at the team's Alameda compound as part of the Make a Wish Foundation's mission. Jailen has undergone brain surgery to remove a tumor from his pituitary gland.

As part of his day visiting the Raiders, Jailen, who was joined by his mother, grandmother and 7-year-old sister, spent part of practice at coach Tom Cable's side, was given a tour of the facility, was shown his own makeshift locker in the team's locker room and presented to reporters for a makeshift media conference.

His biggest wish? To tackle running back Darren McFadden.

As soon as practice ended, the team made a semi-circle around Jailen and McFadden, who stood about 10 yards apart. The players started chanting, "JAI-LEN, JAI-LEN, JAI-LEN."

The two ran at each other and as soon as they met, the gracious McFadden went down in a heap as the team surrounded Jailen and lifted him on their shoulders.

"Hi, everybody, does anybody have any questions?" Jailen asked the gathered media from the dais as laughter erupted.

How'd the Raiders look today?
"They were O.K.," he said. "But they can work on some stuff."

Did you hurt McFadden?
"I don't think I did," Jailen said, laughing. "He might be a little bruised but I don't think I hit him that bad."

How did you help the Raiders today on the field?
"By cheering them on," Jailen said. "I think every game, they'll remember me and probably do their best to win."

Jailen's mother said the most recent MRI was clean.

Jailen's story and visit to the Raiders will air during ESPN's "Wish" series July 18-22.

More to come later on the Raiders open OTA practice....

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

So there you go.

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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."

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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."

May 17, 2010
Raiders begin OTA's Tuesday, JaMarcus a sympathetic figure and Kiffin speaks out

The Raiders begin the first of four, three-day voluntary OTA workouts at their Alameda complex tomorrow, running through Thursday. But only one day will be open to the media - Wednesday.

There's sure to be a lot of media attention on the team's reaction to the May 6 release of JaMarcus Russell so that should make for some interesting fodder.

A pre-OTA sampling of the Raiders in the national news...

The New Orleans Times-Picayune wrote a somewhat sympathetic story on Russell and his hometown's heartbreak over his being released and being labeled a bust of epic proportions. It might not sit well with Raiders fans here, but it's always interesting to see the other side of perception.

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Also, the National Football Post is reporting that "several teams are exploring the possibility of Russell playing another position."

If that's not mind-blowing, I don't know what is...

And finally, Lance, er, Lane Kiffin is the subject of an HBO "Real Sports" segment premiering Tuesday on the cable network. A sampling from the sitdown interview with the former Raiders coach:

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ANDREA KREMER: "What did you do to Al Davis that made him look like he wanted to wring your neck in that press conference?"

LANE KIFFIN: "Yeah, I don't know. I guess that would explain it, not agreeing with him, you know, and not winning enough games in his mind."

ANDREA KREMER: "Were you insubordinate in Oakland?"

LANE KIFFIN: "Absolutely not, unless being insubordinate is making every decision that you make and fighting for what you believe, will help your team win. If that's insubordinate, then I was insubordinate."

ANDREA KREMER: "Why did it have to end so badly?"

LANE KIFFIN: "Well, let's go with the law of averages. How many Raiders coaches ended real great? It's All Davis. He's gonna run the whole thing. What's going to happen is whatever he feels like that day."

May 12, 2010
Revote for Cushing my vote of protest, so to speak

While I appreciate the Associated Press granting me the opportunity to make like Dr. Sam Beckett in "Quantum Leap" and make right what once went wrong, in the end, it didn't really matter.

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Yup, as one of the 50 A.P. voters charged with selecting the annual NFL All-Pro team and individual winners, I cast my ballot for Brian Cushing for defensive rookie of the year back in January. I held my nose and voted for the Houston outside linebacker again early Wednesday morning. Call it a "protest vote," of sorts. As I opined in the paper today, Cushing being crowned the winner again, despite testing positive for a banned substance early in the season, is a justifiable stain on the league, the players union and the appeals process itself.

Because really, if Cushing tested positive in September for the banned female fertility drug hCG, a purported masking agent for steroids, what in the name of Kate Gosselin, Octomom and Manny Ramirez was Cushing doing still playing? Why was he not suspended immediately, thus news of his positive test flowing freely, damn the inevitable appeal? At least then the voters would have had all the necessary information at hand when casting their original votes.

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Because it took the appeals process so long to work itself out, thus, allowing a cheat to play on, news of his positive test did not leak out until last week, prompting A.P. to enact the slippery slope revote.

Still, Cushing will miss the first four games of the 2010 season, including the Texans' Oct. 3 game at the Coliseum against the Raiders. He was an absolute beast in Houston's 29-6 defeat of the Raiders at Reliant Stadium last Oct. 4. His third-quarter safety, a smothering tackle of Justin Fargas in the end zone, preceded Jacoby Jones' 95-yard free-kick return that iced the game.

I'm not endorsing a steroid user, far from it. It should also be noted that Cushing was reportedly tested randomly the rest of the season and passed them all. In fact, I'm of the mind he should have been suspended immediately. He was not, so here we are. To think he is the only guy in the NFL "juicing" would be naïve. He just got caught, so to speak.

So go ahead, call my vote an endorsement of a cheater; I'm calling it a vote of protest against a system in need of some serious tweaking.

May 12, 2010
Ice Cube's "Straight Outta L.A." a drive down memory lane

Night had fallen on Los Angeles on Dec. 18, 1988 and I had attended my first Raiders game on a media credential (old school-style, stringing for the Barstow Desert Dispatch). The Raiders had just dropped an uninspiring 43-37 game to the Seattle Seahawks at the Coliseum. A victory, and the Raiders would have won the AFC West at just 8-8 and returned to the playoffs for the first time in three years.

My dad came to the game with me and as we sat on Figueroa Street, in stereotypical bumper-to-bumper post-game traffic, we grew bored of dissecting the game. So I pulled out my newest cassette tape - NWA's "Straight Outta Compton" - and threw it in the deck (no, not an 8-track; not even an Alpine tape deck).

And as the title track bumped, my dad, his head bobbing, looked at me.

"Mijo," he said, "this music makes me want to fight. This is fightin' music."

He had barely finished talking when the two cars ahead of us started blaring their horns at each other. The guy in the forward car jumped out of his ride and walked to the rear. The guy in the back car got out, too, and they approached each other, yelling. One quick punch later, one dude went down like a sack of New Mexico green chiles. Out cold. On the street.

My dad made a quick U-turn and we were out. No need sticking around to see how things escalated, right? Besides, taquitos on Olvera Street beckoned.

So with that memory seared in my cortex, I anxiously awaited Ice Cube's ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Tuesday on the connection between the rise of gangsta rap in Los Angeles and the Raiders' Southland arrival in 1982. "Straight Outta L.A." did not disappoint, even if it felt like I was watching some sort of cross between VH1's "Behind the Music" and an NFL Films production. In fact, it made the show all the more enjoyable, though I certainly understand how it could turn off others.

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"The Autumn Wind" blending into "Express Yourself" to open the show? Ice Cube, who grew up a Raiders fan in South Central L.A., strolling into the Coliseum with Long Beach's Snoop Dogg, who was rocking a Bo Jackson jersey, talking about their childhood in the 'hood, while rooting for the Silver and Black? Talk about worlds and cultures colliding. Then again, that's what the ultra-inclusive Raider Nation is all about, right?

Ice Cube had interviews with such former players as Marcus Allen, Howie Long, Todd Christensen and Rod Martin. Conspicuous by their absence, though, were Tom Flores and Jim Plunkett.

At one point, Ice Cube even looked a bit intimidated by Al Davis in an interview Davis barely granted.

I Tweeted throughout - @paulhgutierrez - so a sampling, then, of some of the more telling and noteworthy quotes from the 60-minute show:

"If you look at an NFL stadium before the boom of hip-hop, and look at it afterwards, you see the difference." - Ice Cube, on how the Raiders, through their image, colors and history, appealed to a certain segment of society.

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"The black kids needed something to hold their hat to. It brought fans. It brought people to love the Raiders. It was great." - Al Davis.

Al Davis admitted he did not like the L.A. Kings hockey team, upon the arrival of Wayne Gretzky in 1988, switching their colors from purple and gold to silver and black: "They did have beautiful uniforms," Davis allowed. "It was classy."

"After Tom Flores retired, we brought in Mike Shanahan, who tried to just destroy the Raider organization." - former linebacker Rod Martin.

"We slipped tremendously and it's my fault. I'm the custodian. I'm the Raiders. At least the face of it." - Al Davis, on the team's fall in the late-1980's.

Ice Cube even delved into the Al Davis-Marcus Allen Feud and asked Davis if Allen was a "true Raider" in his mind. "At one time. Yeah, he was," Davis said. So Ice Cube pressed and asked what exactly happened. "I'm not going to tell you," Davis said, before cryptically adding, "it's a deeper story than you even dreamed that I was well aware of and I've just got a certain approach to life."

"I really believe that Pete (Rozelle) wanted the (Los Angeles) franchise for himself. Yeah. And he wasn't going to get it from me." - Al Davis, on his feud with the longtime NFL commissioner.

To his credit, Ice Cube did not run from his belittling lyric toward the Raiders and Al Davis, rapped on his second solo album, Death Certificate, in 1991: "I stopped giving juice to the Raiders, 'cause Al Davis, never paid us." I asked Ice Cube about that lyric on opening night this past season and he laughed it off then, saying it was "squashed."

"I think after that (Rodney King) Riot, Al just wanted to pack up and leave...I don't know if anybody in L.A. cared at the time. I know I didn't." - Ice Cube, on the Raiders' decline in popularity in the wake of the 1992 riots.

"As L.A. knows, if they can get a stadium (pregnant pause) they can knock on the door." - Al Davis, refusing to shut the door in a return to the Southland.

"I've been a Raider fan for most of my life and my career in music will always be linked...to the Raiders and their era...in Los Angeles." - Ice Cube

"You can get mad at Al Davis. You can curse the NFL. Or you could blame it on gangsta rap. But one thing I know for sure, the Silver and Black might call another place home, but the Raiders will always belong to L.A." - Ice Cube's closing soliloquy.

May 6, 2010
Russell a Raider no more

By Associated Press...

ALAMEDA, Calif. - The Oakland Raiders released former No. 1

overall pick JaMarcus Russell on Thursday, ending a three-year

tenure marked by his high salary and unproductive play on the

field.

Senior executive John Herrera told The Associated Press about

the move and said that "we wish him well."

The decision came less than two weeks after Oakland acquired

Jason Campbell from Washington to take over at quarterback and

signifies that owner Al Davis finally lost patience with the

immensely talented but unproductive player he drafted first overall

in 2007 against the wishes of former coach Lane Kiffin.

Russell will now likely be considered one of the biggest draft

busts in NFL history, joining Ryan Leaf, Ki-Jana Carter, Akili

Smith and others on that list. He will have been paid more than $39

million by the Raiders, while producing only seven wins as a

starter.

Russell showed up at last week's minicamp, saying he would keep

coming to work until told otherwise. He looked decent in the first

of five practices last weekend but got less work as the weekend

went on and the decision to cut ties was finally made.

The Raiders paid Russell more than $36 million through last

season. They still owe him $3 million more but saved $6.45 million

by not having him on the roster in 2010.

Since the start of the common draft in 1967, only one other No.

1 pick was released this quickly in his NFL career. Indianapolis

cut 1992 top pick Steve Emtman after three seasons but that was

more because of injuries than production.

Emtman played three more seasons for Miami and Washington. It

remains to be seen whether any team will give Russell another shot.

Davis believed Russell could turn the fortunes of his struggling

franchise when he drafted him. He stood by him during his

struggles, revealing when he fired Kiffin in 2008 that the coach

did not want him.

"He is a great player. Get over it and coach this team on the

field," Davis read from a letter he sent Kiffin before the firing.

"That is what you were hired to do. We can win with this team."

But the Raiders were unable to win with Russell at the helm and

Davis allowed Cable to bench Russell midway through last season.

The move was popular in the locker room and gave the team a spark

on the field as Bruce Gradkowski led comeback wins over Cincinnati

and Pittsburgh.

Davis was not satisfied with Gradkowski as his standard bearer

and the Raiders were linked to possible offseason deals for Donovan

McNabb and Ben Roethlisberger. While the Raiders downplayed how

serious those talks ever got, they did make the move for another

quarterback when they acquired Campbell from Washington for a 2012

fourth-round draft pick.

The team showed confidence in Campbell by extending his contract

through 2011, giving him a $4.5 million deal that season on top of

the $3.14 million he is owed this season.

Russell won only seven of his 25 starts as the Raiders extended

an NFL-worst streak to seven straight seasons with at least 11

losses. He completed just 52.1 percent of his passes in his career

with 18 touchdowns, 23 interceptions, 15 lost fumbles and a passer

rating of 65.2.

That means Russell has been paid more than $5 million per win,

more than $2 million per touchdown pass and more than $100,000 per

completion.

While Russell's numbers are superior to Leaf's, he was paid

considerably more money to do it and was picked first instead of

second. Leaf's rookie contract guaranteed him only $11.25 million.

Russell's tenure in Oakland got off to a rough start and never

got much better. He held out his first season, not signing a

contract until after the first game of the regular season. That

made his rookie season almost a complete loss, as he started only

one game.

He showed some signs of progress in his second season,

especially in winning the final two games of the year against

Houston and Tampa Bay. But the problems of work ethic and his

weight never disappeared and his third season was an utter

disaster.

He was fined for being overweight when he showed up at training

camp. He then put together one of the worst seasons in recent

memory for an NFL quarterback. He completed 48.8 percent of his

passes, with three touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 50.0 passer

rating that was the lowest since Leaf, Bobby Hoying and Craig

Whelihan all finished below 50 in 1998.

May 2, 2010
Raiders conclude mandatory mini-camp

With Justin Fargas cut in March, the Raiders' running game is all about Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. Perhaps now they will use Run DMC to the best of his talents - out in space - and have Bush pound between the tackles?

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But I digress. McFadden spoke to reporters Sunday at the conclusion of the Raiders' three-day mandatory mini-camp in Alameda and was asked about Fargas being gone and how that changes the dynamic.

"It was great having him around," McFadden said of Fargas. "Me and Michael learned a lot from Justin. We're just going to take the torch from him and just try to keep it going and get better every year."

He was also asked about the ridiculous rumors that had him on the trading block on Draft Day.

"When draft day comes, it gets weird," McFadden said. "A lot of rumors go around. It's something I just tru not to pay attention to. I talked to coach (Tom) Cable about it. He let me know everything is fine, (that) it wasn't any big deal.

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Cable was asked what grade he'd give the team after three days and five practices.

"I'd give us a B-plus," he said. "Again, I would be more satisfied if there were less balls on the ground and yet, at the same time, the defense takes it away a few more times. It's kind of a tough one to answer but that is it. Everything else I like. I like what we taught, I like what we got installed, the work effort was very good. So it was very good that way."

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First-round draft pick Rolando McClain as held back Sunday as the middle linebacker was noticeably stretching his hamstring the afternoon before.

"He was a little tight," Cable said. "And, you know, I think, one of the things I'm probably most pleased about, last year we came out of minicamp with some hamstring issues, pulls and strains, things like that, we don't seem to have near those things this year."

A year ago, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Mike Mitchell seemed to carry those hammy issues throughout the season.

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Cable also said the Raiders are still working on a long-term deal with Richard Seymour, who has yet to sign his "franchise-player tender" and missed the mini-camp.

"I know both sides are working on it," he said. "I think that's the most important thing this early. Hopefully things will get done and everybody will be happy about it."

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And finally, Cable's final thoughts on the mini-camp: "I think, talk about what the plan is moving forward and tomorrow we'll start back into offseason program. On May 18, we'll start with OTAs, and we'll have four weeks of that and just kind of give an idea of what those will entail, a little bit more situational football, and really, just staying the course now. There's been a lot of work, it was obviously a productive minicamp, and yet, there's a ton of work to do."

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To get more of a "live" sense of the camp, check out my Twitter page and follow me on twitter @paulhgutierrez

May 1, 2010
Schilens still slowed by foot, Cable highlights of Day 2

Receiver Chaz Schilens, who missed half of last season after breaking his left foot in training camp, has yet to practice in this mandatory mini-camp. It all lends to speculation that Schilens underwent some sort of follow-up surgery this offseason. Or maybe he just visited Javon Walker's top-secret doctor in Israel?

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"There was some follow-up work done," coach Tom Cable said slyly. "And (not practicing) is just really taking care of it, so that everything is fine and he is doing great. Probably could have (practiced), but chose not to do it. I think this team is going to need that guy."

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Schilens (foot) WR Nick Miller (shins) and QB Bruce Gradkowski (left pectoral) did not practice in the morning session. Also, WR Louis Murphy (ankle), LB Trevor Scott (trap cramp) and CB Chris Johnson (lower back cramp) sat out practice.

"Nothing serious," Cable said. "I think it's just a matter of the volume of the body of work we're doing and they haven't been doing much for a while."

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Cable, on the notion that Al Davis has been more open to suggestions: "I think he has been good to work with. I feel like when I first got this job, one of things I asked him to do was teach me that part of it. He's doing that. We're connecting that way, and it's a good thing."

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And what did Cable mean by "that" part of it?
"Just the business side of it. Free agency, putting a team together from that part through the draft. The field stuff, the coaching, all that is easy for me. That's what I've always done. But there's another whole side of this that's just as important. That's where as an organization, we're able to do it together."

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Cable, on if he thinks OT Langston Walker can compete for a starting job: "I do. Langston has done a lot to kind of rework himself physically, and has done a lot of work since the end of the season. I think he has a freshness about him, kind of a new start if you will. He's going after it."



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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October 2013

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