Culpepper's first practice goes smooth

The Raiders aren't expecting Daunte Culpepper to stick around town long. Even Culpepper realizes his stay in Oakland is only a short-term thing. But for both sides, it's a union that should work out just fine.

Daunte Culpepper took part in his first training camp practice with his new team Wednesday morning and spent most of the day trying to learn the Raiders' offense, one Culpepper said was similar in theory to the one he ran at Central Florida.

His right knee, which underwent two surgeries in the past two seasons, looked fine. The 30-year-old quarterback didn't even need to wear a brace as he dropped back to pass and fired throws downfield, an indication his arm is just as fine as ever.

"The guy jumped right in," Raiders coach Lane Kiffin said. "He was in the front row of the meeting room, took notes. He was not a guy who was coming in (to) just go through the motions. This is a guy who does not want to be sitting on the bench. He wants to play and has great confidence in himself, and that's what we're looking for."

Culpepper worked primarily with Oakland's backups while Josh McCown and Andrew Walter continued to split reps with the starting offense. But on the day the Raiders were celebrating signing Culpepper to a one-year contract, McCown and Walter suffered through their roughest practice of training camp.

McCown threw two interceptions during team drills and was yanked out of another drill by Kiffin when he and center Jake Grove bobbled the snap exchange.

Walter had an even rougher go of things. He was picked off four times during the morning practice, once on a screen pass that linebacker Robert Thomas intercepted in the backfield and would have taken back for a touchdown had it been a game.

Culpepper, meanwhile, worked on his drops and timing with the receivers. His passes were tight and sharp, though more than a few missed their intended mark. On one play, receiver Mike Williams cut inside on a pattern while Culpepper threw to the outside.

Afterward, the 6-foot-4, 265-pound veteran quarterback talked about his new team.

"It's very refreshing to know that I got a chance to come in and play and contribute to a great team," Culpepper said. "This team is not very far away. I know last year was last year, but now coach Kiffin and his staff are very, very keen on being successful and they let me know that off the top."

Culpepper also said he relishes the opportunity to mentor JaMarcus Russell, Oakland's first-round draft pick who has yet to sign a contract.

"He's obviously the quarterback of this team in the future," Culpepper said. "I feel that I'm here for a reason. Number one, to help this team, help myself and also help him any way I can."

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