Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 1, 2012
McFadden welcomes Burris to the NFL, Moore sits out, Crawford flashes as Raiders don pads

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- The Raiders practiced in pads for the first time Wednesday, which paved the way for a little welcome-to-the-NFL moment for rookie linebacker Miles Burris.

Burris, the Granite Bay High product, was on the receiving end of a lowered shoulder from running back Darren McFadden that knocked him backward and off his feet. To his credit, Burris was a good sport when asked afterward if it was a wake-up call of sorts.

"Yeah, a little bit," Burris said, grinning. "I was a little tentative on, 'Do I hit (No. 20) or not? How does this go?' But yeah, he's a load, he's a good player, and we're lucky to have him on the team."

The knee injury that Aaron Curry is battling right now has allowed Burris to get plenty of snaps with the first-team defense this week. Burris said the experience, along with some instruction from Curry, is speeding his development.

"He's been helping me out a lot, even though I'm the same position," Burris said. "He's been giving me tips and encouragement and all that kind of stuff. So it's been a great deal so far. But I've got a lot of mistakes to shore up being a rookie, just trying not to make the same mistakes twice."

Burris said he's finding the rigors of NFL camp comparable to college. One perk is that instead of going home to homework every evening, he is able to immerse himself in game film and the playbook.

"It was a little different today with the pads on, seeing everything, adjusting to shifts and just being mentally there as well," Burris said. "It was a little tough, but it's getting there, and I'm getting better every day. That's what I'm trying to focus on. That's what (head coach Dennis Allen) harps on all the time."

Allen was asked on Monday about his two rookie linebackers, Burris and Nate Stupar, and said he finds both of them "instinctive football players. They're smart and they've done a nice job of picking up the scheme. They're still rookies and they make some rookie mistakes, but as far as the level of commitment, I've been real pleased with that."

As for his run-in with McFadden, Burris said, game circumstances may have made for a different result.

"Yeah, I would like to think that anybody with a ball in their hands, I would get him down," Burris said.

* Receiver Denarius Moore was held out of practice Wednesday with a hamstring injury. Allen didn't go into detail about the injury, but said it is the same issue that sidelined Moore during mini-camp in June. Moore was out walking around the practice field.

Tight end Richard Gordon did not practice with a hip flexor. Neither did punter Shane Lechler (knee), cornerback Ron Bartell (hamstring), linebacker Aaron Curry (knee) or defensive tackle Travis Ivey (conditioning), who have been out all week.

* Curry said Wednesday he is "getting better every day," but that he doesn't have a target date for his return to the field. He said the unspecified knee injury "came from the middle of nowhere in OTAs and stuff. I tried to play tough guy and fight through it, which might not have been the best idea. I'm on the right track now."

He also said he is not frustrated at missing time, as he's doing his best to coach up players on the field, which in turn keeps him studying the position.

* Among the players who stood out Wednesday was running back Mike Goodson, who made a couple of sharp cuts upfield in team drills. Goodson is battling Taiwan Jones for the backup role to McFadden.

Rookie defensive end Jack Crawford had two sacks in the span of three plays in a team scrimmage. Allen described Crawford, the fifth-round draft pick out of Penn State who didn't play football until he was a high school junior, as "willing to pay the price to be good."

Linebacker Rolando McClain dove to break up a pass intended for tight end Tory Humphrey. Cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, who has been playing with the first-team defense in Bartell's absence, had another strong showing, at one point breaking up a deep ball from Carson Palmer intended for Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Tight end David Ausberry made a couple of nice catches, as did undrafted rookie receiver Rod Streater, who had worked his way into the first-team offense when Moore went down in mini-camp.

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

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.

Raiders stories on

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31