Raiders checking in for training camp

Players and coaches began trickling in to the Raiders' training camp headquarters in Napa on Wednesday afternoon. Find out who showed up, who didn't and what else was going on in Mike Wagaman's daily camp update.

· Cornerback DeAngelo Hall was among the first players checking in and sounded anxious for practice to begin in Napa after spending the first four seasons of his career in Atlanta. Temperatures in Napa ran in the mid-80s on Wednesday and generally stay that way throughout camp, something Hall embraced.

"It's definitely going to be a lot easier," Hall said of camp. "There ain't nothing like that humidity down south."

Hall is in his first training camp with the Raiders and is expected to pair with Nnamdi Asomugha to form what many believe is the top cornerback tandem in the NFL. But Asomugha has yet to sign his franchise tender and was among those players who did not report for the start of camp.

Hall said he and Asomugha have been in communication with one another but isn't sure when the veteran cornerback will show up.

"We've played a little phone tag over the last couple of weeks," Hall said. "I don't know when he's going to come in. It's a business thing between he and the organization."

· Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Derrick Burgess was the first player to check in, a good sign for a player who missed nearly all of the team's offseason workouts.

· Darren McFadden was the Raiders' first-round draft pick but the rookie running back apparently doesn't have the star power in California that he did in Arkansas. After stepping off the team bus he rode to Napa from Oakland, McFadden had his picture taken by an unknowing photographer who then asked who McFadden was. "Darren McFadden," McFadden replied before having to spell his last name.

· No word on whether wide receiver Javon Walker was in camp. Walker, who was attacked and beaten in Las Vegas about three weeks ago, suffered serious injuries in the incident but team officials said they expected him to show up.

Because the team doesn't hold its first meeting until Thursday morning and won't practice until 3 p.m., Walker and any other players who had yet to check in won't be considered missing until then.

· Sixth-round draft pick Trevor Scott signed a contract with the Raiders early Wednesday and checked in to camp. No terms were released but Scott is expected to battle for playing time at defensive end along with Jay Richardson, Kalimba Edwards and Greg Spires.

A team spokesman said he was unsure if the team had signed fourth-round pick Arman Shields, Oakland's only draft pick without a deal.

· Former Raiders assistant and ex-NFL head coach Jim Fassel was in attendance at the invitation of head coach Lane Kiffin. Fassel's son, John, is an assistant under Kiffin and handles quality control for special teams.

Fassel, who is coming off knee replacement surgery on both legs, said he is anxious to get back into coaching but shot down any suggestions that it might be in Oakland.

"Please don't even bring that up," Fassel said politely. "Quite honestly, sometimes you just stay away because you don't want that (speculation). I really came here because Lane invited me to come. It was very nice of him, I appreciate that."

Fassel has a history of working with quarterbacks in the NFL and says he likes what he sees out of Oakland starter JaMarcus Russell.

"The biggest thing is they handled it right, trying to get him in," Fassel said. "I really feel sorry for the guys that got to get thrown into it right now. It's a tough deal; they lose their confidence and things. But we'll see. This will be a good year for him, coming back his second year and being here and getting all of training camp in I'm sure is going to be good for him."

· No announcement was made but Paul Hackett has been hired as a consultant. Hackett was seen at the Mariott Hotel the Raiders call home during training camp and was wearing team clothes. Hackett's job will be to tutor and mentor quarterback JaMarcus Russell.

· Jake Grove believes he has the inside track for the starting center job. While John Wade and Chris Morris split reps in the offseason workouts, a healthy Grove -- who had knee surgery in the offseason -- thinks the job is his to lose.

"I plan on starting," Grove said. "We'll see what happens. I feel if I can go out there and do what I can do, it won't be a problem."

Grove did not practice during the offseason workouts while recovering from the surgery but expects to be at full strength for camp, though he is uncertain what type of schedule the Raiders will put him on.

One observation of Grove: The man looks much bigger than he has in the past, particularly his lower legs. Not sure what it all means but in theory it seems it would help him gain leverage against defensive linemen.

· Newly signed Greg Wesley didn't seem too concerned that the Raiders already have their starting secondary set and isn't worried what his role will be.

"I came to play, plain and simple," Wesley said. "I'll let them make those decisions, man, I'm just gonna do my part and try to be the best player I can be. I bring the physical part, the tough part, everything. I'm just gonna try to help make this an intimidating defense and just see if we can't get that defense in the top."

Having an opportunity to face his former team, the Kansas City Chiefs, twice also factored into Wesley's decision to sign with the Raiders.

"Oh no doubt," Wesley said. "That was one of my reasons for making the choice of the Raiders. And I also think with some of the transactions they made this year and some of the players they got coming back, I feel like they're gonna be a pretty good team this year. But definitely, the AFC West was a reason for picking the Raiders."

SB Report Top Stories