Shell pleased with cornerbacks

How did Art Shell reward the Raiders for winning their preseason-opener against Philadelphia? By having them run six 100-yard gassers at the end of practice. Even 52-year-old assistant coach Jackie Slater got into the act, running down the sidelines alongside Oakland's players.

''I said we've got to pull him out of retirement,'' Shell said with a laugh before turning serious. ''We haven't done anything since Sunday night (so) we needed to get them loose a little bit. You've got to do some conditioning when you think the time is right and I thought the time was right today.''

The Raiders returned to practice for the first time since beating the Eagles 16-10 in the Hall of Fame game Sunday. Shell limited the team to an afternoon workout, with the schedule going back to two-a-days on Wednesday.

Oakland was greeted at practice with the return of disgruntled wide receiver Jerry Porter. Porter, who has asked to be traded, has been nursing a calf injury that has forced him to miss several days of practice.

Porter did not accompany the team on its trip to Canton, a circumstance made more intriguing by the fact that the Raiders did take along receiver Ronald Curry even though Curry is on the physically unable to perform list.

Porter took part in all of the individual drills Tuesday but did not practice with the first-team offense during scrimmage drills. Instead he was relegated to working with the backups.

Was his omission from the trip -- and his apparent demotion to second-string -- a sign of Porter's standing with Shell, with whom he has not spoken to since March?

Shell wasn't saying but he did say he was happy to have the receiver back on the practice field.

''Sure, it's good to see him out here,'' Shell said. ''If we can get anybody out here working, that makes our team better when we don't have to tax any one position.''

Shell also continued to speak glowingly of the Raiders' defense which forced five turnovers against Philadelphia. In particular, the head coach praised second-year cornerback Fabian Washington, who intercepted a Jeff Garcia pass late in the first quarter against the Eagles.

Washington, who started 11 games as a rookie in 2005, is taking a more aggressive approach this season and has Shell's blessing to do so.

''Cornerbacks have to be daring,'' Shell said. ''They can't be afraid. We always said a scared man can't win. You can't get on an island out there and play against guys in this league and be afraid, because if you're afraid you're not going to win the battle. Yeah, (Washington) can gamble as long as he's right.''

* Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who has yet to make an interception in a regular season game, stepped in front of receiver Doug Gabriel to pick off a Marques Tuiasosopo pass.


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