Raiders notebook


The Oakland Raiders held starting weakside linebacker Eric Barton out of practice Wednesday morning because of a groin injury before returning for the afternoon practice.

            "He could have gone today but we didn't want to take any unnecessary risks," Raiders head coach Bill Callahan said. "We were precautionary. We hope to have him back tomorrow."

Rookie cuts

            Various rookies were sporting new haircuts courtesy of the veterans. Linebackers Sam Williams (third-round, Fresno State) and David Moretti (undrafted, Oregon) were among those with new looks.

For Williams, only the left side of his head was clean-shaven while Moretti donned a Mr. T like Mohawk.

            "I don't know if the haircut fairy is going to come back or not," Williams quipped.

Plays (and dunks) of the Day

            Quarterback Rich Gannon completed a touchdown pass to wide receiver Jerry Porter in a seven-on-seven drill in the back of the end zone. Porter then went up for a powerful right-handed dunk over the crossbar.

            Free safety Rod Woodson intercepted a tipped Gannon pass but when he ran toward the sideline, there was 330-pound offensive guard Frank Middleton. Woodson, who weighs 205, ran into Middleton but got up immediately.


            Callahan said the Raiders would go through a more modified practice that is oriented more toward teaching than contact in the morning. The afternoon practice is for special teams. … TEs Mondriel Fulcher (abdomen), Roland Williams (knee/toe) and Marcus Williams (personal) continue to be out of action along with LB Donny Green (calf), CBs Nnamdi Asomugha (shoulder) and Phillip Buchanon (hamstring). … No. 3 QB Rick Mirer, who had been slowed by an Achilles injury, continues to work back into the mix slowly. Mirer's work is geared more toward individual sessions for now. … The Raiders released QB Bret Engeman and signed S Calvin Branch, who played for Oakland from 1997-2000.

 Vince D'Adamo can be reached via e-mail at

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