Raiders Notebook

A concussion. A wide receiver worth keeping. Undrafted free agents have a shot. A Mark Gastineau sighting. Finding his legs. All this and more from the Silver and Black.

  • As if being "Mr. Irrelevant" as the last pick in the draft isn't hard enough, rookie wide receiver Kevin McMahan received a concussion and stitches in his tongue after taking a brutal three-way hit in the pre-season opener.

    McMahan bit his tongue when he was hit, and the aftermath after he regained his senses is something he'll never forget -- as he'd like to.

    "They didn't shoot me with anything," McMahan said. "They put a cotton swab with some Novocain on my tongue, and I felt every stitch. I felt the needle every time it touched me. I just kept thinking, `Hang in there, hang in there.'"

  • Wide receiver Jerry Porter, silent since making public his request for a trade on the first day of training camp, has begun to come alive in practice.

    Porter has missed several practice sessions with a calf strain, but had back-to-back days where he made a handful of catches in team sessions -- including one 40-yard touchdown strike from Marques Tuiasosopo.

  • The Raiders have 11 players in camp who spent time on the 2005 roster who were undrafted free agents -- the most recent being return specialist and defensive back Chris Carr.

    The top 2006 candidate appears to be wide receiver Will Buchanon, who was lost in a sea of talent at USC but has lit up the Raiders training camp. He caught four passes for 50 yards in the pre-season opener against Philadelphia.

    Buchanon had four career catches for 15 yards at Southern Cal, shuttling between wide receiver and cornerback.

    "At USC I had my doubts (about the NFL) because I wasn't playing as much as I wanted," Buchanon said. "It's hard to keep your confidence up. But I always knew I could perform. I'm thankful for the chance to show the world what Will Buchanon can do."

    Buchanon is the son of Willie Buchanon, a three-time Pro Bowl cornerback with Green Bay and San Diego.

  • Teammates have taken to yelling "Gastineau" when Derrick Burgess gets a strong pass rush. Mark Gastineau of the New York Jets was the NFL record-holder for sacks for 17 years with 22 in 1984 before his record was broken by Michael Strahan of the Giants in 2001.

    Burgess led the NFL with 16 last season - a team record. It was the first time a Raider led the league in sacks. But Burgess, signed as a free agent from Philadelphia, said he isn't entering 2006 with Gastineau on his mind.

    "I'm not setting any standard as far as sacks," Burgess said. "I'm just going to come out here and work hard and try to work a little harder than I did last year. Hopefully it turns out better."

  • In the aftermath of the Raiders preseason win over Philadelphia, Randy Moss broke his silence with the local media that dated back nearly 11 months, when he spoke following Oakland's season-opening loss in New England.

    He addressed the Raiders coming game in Minnesota, and talked about meeting the Hall of Fame class which included John Madden.

    He admitted to freezing when it came time to speak with Sara White, the widow of defensive end Reggie White.

    "I didn't know what to say," Moss said. "I didn't want to say the wrong thing. I didn't want to say nothing that she thought might have been bad, or got my tongue stuck. I wanted to hug her, wave at her, I didn't know what to do, so I just left her alone."

  • Cornerback Fabian Washington had an interception in the Raiders' preseason opener after having no picks in 11 starts as a rookie. The interception and 40-yard return set up the Raiders' lone touchdown in a 16-10 win.

    Washington has been a standout since camp opened, making big plays on almost a daily basis.

    "Last year I never felt like I got my legs under me," Washington said. "It was an uphill battle, and you've pretty much got to get up that hill."

    Coach Art Shell said he believes Washington can be one of the NFL's elite corners, and that his first interception in a game was a start.

    "He knows now that he can do that," Shell said. "He can go pick off a pass and return it for big yardage. I think he said last year he probably wouldn't have taken the chance to try and get to a ball. This year he's willing to do that, understanding that if you take the proper angles you can get interceptions."

  • "Too much of this era, of this age, has turned into where there are little technocrats that are out there, coaching people like they're watching some video football," - Raiders offensive coordinator Tom Walsh, who promises to put the game in the hands of his players.

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