Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Derrick Burgess is the only player on the Raiders training camp roster who hasn't reported to Napa. All indications are that he and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, are seeking a trade, though neither has spoken publicly on the matter.
Oakland head coach Tom Cable has kept his answers brief when discussing Burgess and maintained that stance Saturday.
The situation, according to the head coach, has not changed. Asked if Burgess was being fined for his unexcused absences, Cable declined to comment. "Not gonna talk about any of that."
Cable did say, however, that the Raiders aren't holding their breath waiting around for Burgess to come waltzing through the door.
"We're moving forward right now," he said.
Other news and notes from Saturday:
-- The major theme from the morning practice was working in the red zone, though the players continued to practice at less than half speed. It's all part of the ongoing learning process Cable has emphasized since camp began, though it's increasingly apparent the players are getting anxious to hit in full pads.
Cable also said he will likely take the same approach in 2010 – if he's still the head coach.
"I think you want to carry it on, because remember, every year there's 14 new guys out here," Cable said. "It's gonna benefit everybody. As I just talked about with ‘em, you want to stay the course and let it serve its purpose. They're getting so much done. They're actually conditioning, they just don't know it, because of the continued repetition and all that. Getting, again, all the reps, because starting Monday the reps aren't near as much."
"There are, yeah," Cable said. "^‘Come on coach, let's go play.'^"
The team will practice in pads for the first time on Monday.
-- Reserve defensive tackle William Joseph took reps with the starting defense but it's still too early to read anything into that. Joseph is battling a weight issue and will be hard-pressed to break into the rotation that includes Tommy Kelly, Gerard Warren and Terdell Sands.
-- In that same vein, Bruce Gradkowski quarterbacked the starting offense for a handful of plays while JaMarcus Russell and Jeff Garcia looked on.
-- Fullback Lorenzo Neal was limping noticeably following one offensive play but downplayed the injury later, saying someone had stepped on his foot.
-- As part of the slow-pace workouts, the team even had kicker Sebastian Janikowski purposely not kick the ball during a special teams kickoff drill. Instead he simulated the kick, whiffing his leg over the ball as his teammates on the coverage team took off running.
-- Cable expects to have his starting offensive line in place, at least on paper, by next weekend. That excludes left guard Robert Gallery, who is not practicing after undergoing an emergency appendectomy in the offseason.
-- Quarterback JaMarcus Russell is being given more freedom to audible in and out of plays at the line of scrimmage this season.
"That was the next phase," Cable said. "We keep talking about him taking steps and all that, and the next phase was for him to take care of his team in those pressure situations or getting us in the right play. He's had one yesterday and one today where I probably would have went somewhere different but he went to the right place, whether it was a protection or a run, or maybe a better run he could have gone to or a better route he called, but yes he's managing that much better. I feel good about it because now at least I know if we get out there in a situation he's going to get us in the right play."
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