Raider Saturday notebook

The Oakland Raiders' emphasis on the ground game means fewer three-receiver, one running back sets.

First-year Oakland Raiders head coach Norv Turner is a big advocate of the ground game. The Raiders have spent a lot of time in two back sets the first couple of days in training camp.

"The bulk of what we've done on offense is our two back sets and our two tight end, one back sets," Turner said. "We're going to expand here in the next couple of days to our three wide receiver, single back sets with one tight end. We want to be good enough in a variety of personnel groups and sets that we can sit in on Monday and Tuesday and see that, ‘Hey, that don't handle this formation very well.'"

So much for no-contact

So much for a no contact practice in the morning. Wide receiver Doug Gabriel ran a reverse on one play only to have the ball hit the ground. Gabriel and defensive end Grant Irons both pursued to pick up the ball. Irons, however, belted Gabriel.

"I didn't expect it," Gabriel said. "Nobody expected it. It was like two guys going for the ball."

Added Turner: "As we get going, everyone has got to understand what we're trying to get done. Everyone has to learn how we want to practice and learn what we want to try to do. I think Irons just got a little excited. We'll get those things solved."

As for what Turner said to Irons, "(Defensive coordinator) Rob (Ryan) beat me to do it. I don't want to repeat what Rob said."

No regular Joe

Special teams coach Joe Avezzano has made his presence felt. Avezzano, who led the way for outstanding special teams units for the Dallas Cowboys, is the most animated of the new coaches. He replaced Bob Casullo.

"He's just being honest," said kickoff returner Doug Gabriel. "I'm an honest person. I want somebody to be honest with me. If I'm not getting the job done, let me know. Don't just lead me on. Everybody is getting it done because he's going to let you know what's on his mind."

Sideline slants

Guards Frank Middleton (calf) and Ron Stone (hamstring) each missed practice but could return by today. Offensive tackle Joe Wong, tight end David Newman and running back J.R. Redmond each missed practice as well.

Guard Mo Collins got some work in at tackle.

The Raiders added kicker Mark Jensen to the roster. Jensen most recently played for Detroit last year.


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