Closing time for camp

The 2004 edition of the Oakland Raiders training camp in Napa, CA, ended Wednesday the same way it began -- without cornerback Charles Woodson.

Oakland Raiders senior personnel executive Mike Lombardi said there is nothing "new to report" on the status of Woodson's contractual holdout. The Raiders, who travel to Arizona for an exhibition game Saturday, tagged him as the franchise player earlier in February.

The Raiders made an offer to Woodson exceeding the seven- year, $63 million contract signed by Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey. The Collective Bargaining Agreement dictates that Woodson cannot accept a long- term deal until he first signs his one-year, $8.7 million tender offer.

Lombardi added that he and Woodson's agent, Carl Poston, have had regular dialogue but there is no way of knowing when or if Woodson will report as the team returns to its team headquarters in Alameda.

"Carl has not said that to me," Lombardi said of Woodson reporting. "I can't really say what's going to happen. It's all hypothetical."

Compounding the problem is the fact that the Raiders have a new scheme for Woodson to learn under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, who replaced Chuck Bresnahan. Woodson could not get a head start by learning the playbook because, Lombardi said, they are issued in training camp. Therefore, the longer Woodson is out, it becomes more difficult to seamlessly mix with a Raider defense that has been revamped.

First-year head coach Norv Turner, however, remained optimistic that Woodson will report sooner rather than later. When asked if he expected Woodson by the final exhibition game, Turner said, "Yeah, I do."

The basis of Turner's optimism, however, is open for anyone to wonder.

Gallery on guard

The Raiders drafted offensive tackle Robert Gallery with the second overall pick in the 2004 draft from the University of Iowa to replace Barry Sims at left tackle. Sims, however, has played well enough to force the Raiders hand by moving Gallery to guard, where Sims was projected to move.

Gallery has been touted as the best pass-protecting tackle to emerge from the draft since the Rams selected Orlando Pace in 1997. Gallery, however, missed three days of practice and the Raiders' second exhibition game after hyper-extending his right elbow in a drill last week. Turner said that injury had no influence on the change.

Gallery never played at guard before in his career. Therefore, it's easy to wonder whether or not this move is experimental or long term. Turner added that Gallery would play about 30 snaps Saturday, seeing time at both tackle and guard.

"The biggest thing is that things happen much faster," Turner said. "There's different stunts."

Sims has seen his career rise from undrafted free agent from Utah in 1999 to starting all 16 games at left tackle in 2003. He was the only Raider offensive lineman not to miss a game last season because of injury.

He has played both guard and tackle during his Raiders career. Sims is used to having to beat out highly touted rookies. Sims has started at left tackle since late in 1999 despite the fact that the Raiders drafted two players, Matt Stinchcomb and Mo Collins, to play that position.


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