Raiders Notebook

An undrafted free agent making a bid for a roster spot. Renewed confidence in their kicker. No place for selfish players on the Oakland roster. A veteran being displaced? A precaution is taken. All this and more...

  • Undrafted free agent tight end John Madsen, a converted wide receiver, is impressing the Raiders with his overall athletic skill. That comes as no surprise to 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, who played with Madsen at Utah and remembers watching him at 4-on-4 basketball tournaments.

    "At the end there would be a slam-dunk contest," Smith said. "Here's this guy from Utah up there doing these 360 degree windmills, throwing them down, putting on a show. To see him do that was amazing."

  • Sebastian Janikowski, having gone from 265 pounds to 249, hit his first six kicks of the pre-season, including dead-center efforts from 55, 51 and 50 yards.

    There was talk after last season, when Janikowski missed a third of his 30 field goal attempts and missed eight of 15 from 40 yards and beyond, that he could be looking for a new team.

    Instead, Shell did the opposite.

    "I told him when I first met him, `I'm going to count on you,' " Shell said. "I expect you to be a Pro Bowl kicker this year. You have the talent to do that, and I expect that will happen." Janikowski maintains he struck the ball well for the most part last season, but simply had little or no luck.

    "I thought I hit the ball good, it just didn't happen," Janikowski said. "It's like a golf swing -- you hit the ball good but it goes left and right."

    Speaking of golf, Raiders punter Shane Lechler thinks Janikowski's hot start could lead to something big.

    "He plays golf the same way," Lechler said. "If he birdies one, look out. It's going to be a long day."

  • Jerry Porter remained on the roster and was making the occasional practice, although he has stopped talking to the media since making his trade demands public at the beginning of training camp.

    Safety Jarrod Cooper, when asked if Porter's problems were a business issue as opposed to a team issue, minced no words regarding the unhappy wide receiver.

    "I've been in this league six years. I've been the third safety, the second safety, the first safety," Cooper said. "If you have someone who is upset because he's running at three, but he's still contributing to the team, you really don't want that person. You want someone who's contribute any way they're asked, no matter where it's at. That's what you want. If they're not like that, they can get out of here. It's about winning as a team, it's not what you're doing."

  • Since defensive end Bobby Hamilton has started 29 games and been a locker room leader for the past two seasons, it's hard to tell whether the Raiders are phasing him out or merely getting a look at others because they already know what he can do.

    The Raiders gave Hamilton's position to Tyler Brayton when Art Shell was hired as head coach, and there has been no indication that Hamilton has any chance of winning the job back.

    Hamilton is a stand-up, base end who comes off the field on passing downs. His play during training camp and the pre-season has largely been with the second and third teams, although he has seen time on the first team short-yardage unit.

    If the Raiders make a decided effort to go young, Hamilton could be unemployed on the final day of cuts.

  • Left guard Barry Sims missed the Raiders game against the 49ers with an inflamed elbow. Sims didn't believe the injury was serious, and the reason he was held out is because the Raiders don't appear to have much depth up front. Corey Hulsey took his place as a starter.

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