8/10 Raiders notebook

Oakland Raiders cornerback Fabian Washington has yet to make a breakthrough but head coach Norv Turner, however, is not concerned about the first-round pick from Nebraska.

Washington bypassed his senior year to enter the draft and his sub-4.3 40-yard dash time at the scouting combine improved his stock from potential third-round draft pick to the No. 23 overall pick in the draft.

Washington is vying for the starting right cornerback job with third-year veteran Nnamdi Asomugha. Washington, who is also vying for the No. 1 punt return job, however, has not been taking reps on a regular basis with the top seven defensive backs.

"I'm playing it by ear and doing what the coaches want me to do," Washington said. "Nnamdi's the starter but I'm competing just like everyone else."

Added Oakland Raiders head coach Norv Turner: "We have a lot of decisions to make. We would feel very comfortable with playing Fabian if Nnamdi had to come out. We wouldn't hesitate with Fabian."

Receivers still mending

Wide receivers Jerry Porter and Carlos Francis continue to heal from their hamstring injuries. Neither one will play in Saturday's exhibition game on the road against the San Francisco 49ers.

Turner added that Porter would probably practice next week while Francis could take slightly longer.

"We rely on the players and trainers," Turner said. "We have a good understanding. We're not going to rush it."

Meanwhile, Ronald Curry has increased his practice time. Curry is trying to rebound from a season-ending Achilles tendon injury last season. Curry started the first two weeks of practice by suiting up every other day but Turner said he plans to practice once every day next week.

Hawthorne impressing the coaches

Sixth-round draft pick Anttaj Hawthorne (Wisconsin) continues to impress the coaching staff. Normally someone taken that late would be in a steep battle to earn a roster spot.

Hawthorne, however, was at one time projected to get drafted as high as the second round but he fell out of favor with the Badgers coaching staff and tested positive for marijuana, which raised a red flag for several teams.

"He does a good job on the nose in our four-man line," Turner said. "Anttaj could be a good change of pace for us."

Guest sightings

For the second consecutive day, Turner's longtime friend and coaching colleague John Robinson was a guest at Tuesday's practice. Turner served as an assistant coach under Robinson with the then-Los Angeles Rams, Oregon, UCLA and USC.

Former Raiders Greg Biekert (linebacker) and Steve Wisniewski (guard) were also guests at practice. Wisniewski, who was a Raider for 13 seasons, retired after the 2001 season. Biekert, who is an assistant coach at nearby Las Lomas High School, played eight seasons for the Raiders. Oakland released him days before the 2002 season before Biekert played his final two years for the Minnesota Vikings.

Quick hits

?

The Raiders worked on the two-minute drill in the morning practice.

?

Running back Lamont Jordan missed Wednesday's practices due to attending a family funeral. Jordan is expected to return to the practice field Thursday afternoon.

Vince D'Adamo can be reached at vdad7@yahoo.com


SB Report Top Stories