Raiders training camp notebook (7/24/08)
NAPA, Calif. — On the second day of training camp for the Oakland Raiders, much more action was seen as many of the key players on this years roster got in on some action and looked to be in solid form in their preparations for the upcoming pre-season games.
- Greg Spires did not participate today because of a hamstring injury. He is expected to work out tomorrow (Friday).
- Grant Irons, who was looking to get back to his high-octane level of activity, aggravated a hamstring injury that took him out halfway through today’s practice.
- Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly was a “beast” inside. He routinely pushed whoever matched-up against him, tossing his counterpart routinely deep into the backfield causing all sorts of disruptions. Kelly also spoke to the media for the first time in several years. He opened up and gave some insight on a man that seems to have come full circle with the birth of his son on the day he got injured last year. The 27-year-old is a well grounded blue-collar workhorse that should be a one man wrecking crew now that he is focused at playing one position (three-technique tackle).
- Wide receiver Arman Shields is drawing attention early in camp with a lot of positives on the practice field. He has come a long way and has looked as advertised on his college game films.
- Wide receiver Todd Watkins continues to looked very polished and a viable candidate for third in the depth chart behind Javon Walker and Ronald Curry.
- Johnnie Lee Higgins has managed to hang on to the ball more consistently (unlike at the OTA’s where he was inconsistent).
- Marcel Reece, who played wide receiver at the University of Washington, was working out with the running backs today. It will be interesting to see if he can convert that explosive play-making ability at wideout to the backfield.
- Nnamdi Asomugha worked out with the team and even snatched an interception on an Andrew Walter pass or what would have been a simulated touchdown.
- Jake Grove was in pads and worked out with the team. He looked fit and was seen bouncing around and moving quickly between drill rotations.
- Chaz Schilens has cleaned up his fundamental mistakes that were noticed at the last OTA’s.
- Darren McFadden and Justin Fargas looked very good and fast against the defense, but what stood out to me was the hard running by Michael Bush. His power run game was impressive and looked like he wanted to bring the wood on several plays. I feel that he will have the better success individually compared to the others early on in camp.
- Rusher Louis Rankin also looked impressive. He is a shifty back with decent size.
- Michael Huff is making great breaks on the ball and is only inches away from making HUGE plays. He looks so much more comfortable at free safety.
- Gibril Wilson was seen chomping at the bit; wanting to lay some serious wood on some receivers.
- Trevor Scott completely owned Kwame Harris on a line drill. Scott has very good speed off the edge. On the flip side, it’s also a strike against Harris who came to this team with the dark cloud of pass protection woes hanging over his head.
- Derrick Burgess could NOT BE STOPPED regardless of who he was matched up against. He easily could have had several simulated sacks today.
- Kalimba Edwards was also a force on the edge.
- Kirk Morrison almost blew apart Higgins on a slant pass that the slender receiver wisely dropped as the captain peeled off to avoid the would-be snott bubbler!