Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

June 14, 2010
Sorry, no Raiders OTA access this week, so see ya in Napa

We have seen the last of the Raiders...at least until they report to Napa for training camp on July 28.

With the NFL docking the Raiders two OTA workout days for apparent violations - the Raiders have not issued a comment - tomorrow (Tuesday) is the only remaining OTA on their calendar. As such, the Raiders have decided against opening it up for the media. In their previous three OTA weeks, Wednesday had been the lone access day.

Now, we won't get another look at the team and post reports for you until training camp commences in Napa on July 28.

Just as well, safety Michael Huff tweeted last week: "the media was at practice so we kept it vanilla today."

June 9, 2010
Raiders docked two days of OTA workouts

The Raiders have been docked two days of OTA workouts - next Wednesday and Thursday - for apparent violations, which can range from too much physicality in practice to unauthorized practice sessions. It is the second time since 2007 the Raiders have been penalized for such matters. The last time was in Lane Kiffin's first season as head coach and it was for too much contact in what is supposed to be a non-contact offseason.

The Raiders have not responded to an inquiry for a comment but with as much contact as has been seen by these eyes on the one-day-a-week availability, it would not be a surprise if they were dinged for too much contact.

Following then, the joint statement just issued by the NFL and NFL Players Association: "The NFL Management Council and the NFL Players Association have resolved a dispute concerning the Oakland Raiders' off-season workout program.

"As a result, the parties have agreed to cancel two days of the Raiders' off-season program (next Wednesday and Thursday, June 16 and 17) which had previously been designated as OTA days. Raiders' players are not permitted to be at the facility on those days, but will be paid for the sessions. The club cannot reschedule the cancelled OTA days."

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.

June 9, 2010
OTA access resumes Wednesday

The Raiders have resumed OTA's and Wednesday is the lone media access day in Alameda. As such, I will be Tweeting from their practice, between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Follow me on Twitter @PaulHGutierrez

June 1, 2010
Time to update your Raiders blog bookmark

If you're using a bookmark to get to the Raiders blog, you'll want to update it to: http://blogs.sacbee.com/raiders/

We recently made some back-end improvements, and updating the bookmark will allow you the speediest access to new posts.

If you don't care to update the bookmark, you'll still be able to read the blog just as you always have.



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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