· Fred Wakefield has been taking reps at tight end, defensive end and at the three-technique spot. Now he's adding right guard. With Mark Wilson done for the year after suffering a broken leg in Sunday night's practice, the Raiders were short-handed at guard and decided to give the versatile Wakefield a look. He played on the offensive line early in his career before moving to tight end so it's not as if he's going in blind.
"It's not that bad because once you've been in one system, you kind of know how it all works, what the concepts are and how things are supposed to go," Wakefield said. "It's just a matter of learning terminology more than anything. Once you pick up the terminology, it's not that bad."
· Rookie Arman Shields had a rough afternoon. He dropped several passes, including two during a drill in which receivers caught a pass from coach James Lofton then ran under a crossbar before zig-zagging through four sets of orange cones.
Lofton repeatedly reminded the fourth-round draft pick that "this is a catching drill" but safety Jarrod Cooper gave it to the youngster the best when he questioned, "Shields, have you caught a pass today?"
· During the same drill fellow rookie Chaz Schillens dropped the throw from Lofton then crashed into the crossbar. On his second go-round, Schillens again dropped the ball but managed to avoid the crossbar.
· Quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo had JaMarcus Russell, Andrew Walter and Marques Tuiasosopo work on fielding bad snaps from the shotgun. DeFilippo rolled the ball on the ground, flipped it hard into the quarterback's chest and sent another high over their heads.
That was a problem at times for the offense last season and with questions about the pass protection, it's probably a wise issue to address.
· Running backs coach Tom Rathman worked with Michael Bush on keeping his shoulders ahead of him while running pass routes. Bush, along with McFadden, has great hands and is a threat coming out of the backfield so the Raiders want him to be as fundamentally sound as possible.
· Todd Watkins made his daily highlight-reel catch when he leaped high over two defenders, including Michael Waddell. The BYU product is making it difficult for the coaching staff to ignore him and will be intriguing to watch once the preseason games begin.
· Quarterback JaMarcus Russell apparently was taking too much time audibling out of a play at the line during a team scrimmage, raising the ire of head coach Lane Kiffin who shouted, "Keep the tempo! There's a play clock out there!"
The Raiders intend on giving Russell some limited freedom to audible at the line of scrimmage but says it's more according to the situations than Russell's inexperience.
"There are certain things that have to be checked because there are certain things that we can't run against certain fronts and certain alignments, so we have to get out of those," Kiffin said. "So it's not ‘You're young, you're not checking out,' it's how many of those do we give him and it's going to be how much he can take. It's completely different in games, and that's why we're trying to always speed up in terms of the play clock because it's just too easy of a tempo otherwise, it's like a walkthrough."
Later Russell made a great play-fake that fooled the defense but he overthrew his intended receiver and the ball was intercepted by Rashad Baker.
· Zach Miller made Michael Huff look silly during a passing drill matching tight ends against defensive backs, turning the former first-round draft pick around with a double move that left Huff grabbing at air.
· Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Derrick Burgess spent part of the practice working out with the linebackers instead of the defensive linemen. It came as part of a drill near the goal line where Burgess lined up as an outside linebacker on the left side and dropped into coverage.
Not sure if this means Oakland is planning on using a 3-4 at some point but it's worth noting.
· The team got a scare when defensive lineman Tommy Kelly lingered on the ground after a pileup and didn't get to his feet for some time. Players and coaches nervously watched as trainers rushed to Kelly's side and breathed a sigh of relief when he stood up and went back to the defensive huddle.
· Looks like defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is loosening the restraints around his linebackers and having them blitz more. That's been evident during the first week of camp and Kirk Morrison showed it again Monday when he came in uncontested for what would have been a sack of JaMarcus Russell.
· Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was given the day off to attend a funeral. He's expected back at camp Monday night and will be at practice Tuesday morning. Stanford Routt worked with the starting defense at right cornerback in Asomugha's absence.
· Kicker Sebastian Janikowski ended practice with a 43-yard field goal that earned all his teammates a free dinner. Lane Kiffin challenged Janikowski that if he made the kick, the players would all get taken out to dinner by their position coaches.
"We kind of changed of the menu a lot and it's wearing on them," Kiffin said.
"It's extremely healthy, whole wheat pasta and they're getting a little worn out by it. It's helped our guys and we're in the best shape we've ever been. But they needed a little break and we're hoping he could make it. So their position coach has to take them out to dinner wherever the group wants to go."
Kiffin gave Janikowski the same challenge on Sunday night but he missed a 57-yard attempt.
Training camp notebook, July 28
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