Training Camp News & Notes from Saturday

The Raiders held two practices on Saturday, and the day was not without some drama. A fight breaks out in the morning session, and later in the day, the Raiders announced the signing of a new quarterback, who made an appearance in the afternoon session.

-To close out the morning session of practice, a fight broke out between linebacker Quentin Groves and defensive end-turned-part time fullback Alex Daniels. Daniels is the undrafted rookie free agent out of Cincinnati who is being tried out as a short yardage fullback because of the injuries that have befallen the fullback corps. Groves is also among the new Raiders, having been acquired in an offseason trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Small fights are expected over the course of training camp, but this scuffle was a bit unfortunate because of an errant kick from the heated Groves. Head Coach Tom Cable was displeased by Groves' actions, but Groves wasn't as apologetic as one would expect.

"I'm not going to be a pushover. [Daniels] is an undrafted free agent trying to make the team, I'm a traded guy trying to make the roster. Either I'm going to eat or you're going to eat. One of us has to win." Groves went on to add, "Growing up in the streets of Mississippi, that's what you do. By any means necessary, you get the job done."

Daniels, on the other hand, was a bit more prudent in his response, saying, "It's cool. It doesn't matter. I'm a big boy […] it was a scuffle and that was it and then that was it […] we shook hands, hugged, talked in the locker room."

-In addition to the fight, Groves spoke on the Raiders' linebackers and how they will look this season, and also spoke about rookie linebacker Rolando McClain.

On the unit, Groves hinted to the possibilities of a 3-4 defensive front, something fans have been guessing at considering the moves the Raiders have made.

"If you look at our backers and our corps, we have three guys over 265, the rest are like 245, 250. That's kind of big for a linebacker in the NFL," said Groves. "So one moment, you might see us in a 3-4, the next you could see us in a 4-3, the next one you could see us in the 5-2, maybe even the 4-6. We just have to tune in the game plan and that keeps teams on edge."

On his new teammate Rolando McClain, Groves said that he wasn't surprised at all that the rookie has adjusted to a professional setting so quickly. Groves called McClain "seasoned" for a rookie and, "that's what separates him, and I think that's why Mr. Davis and the guys, Coach Cable, they made the pick. Because in the interviews he was a cool, calm, poised guy, and he plays the same way on the field."

-Another rookie who has turned some heads has been seventh round pick Stevie Brown. Brown was the Raiders' second seventh round selection and final pick overall, so the odds are definitely stacked against him to make the roster.

However, Brown has impressed the past couple days in practice, making some great plays in the defensive backfield. On Friday, Brown picked off a pass from Bruce Gradkowski, and today, he made a beautiful diving catch for an interception of a Kyle Boller pass.

"You definitely have to do something to stick out from the rest," said Brown. "Whenever you're breaking into a new scene, you have to do something that makes you stand out from the pack, so that's what I keep trying to do."

Brown is currently listed as a safety, but while at Michigan, he switched from safety to weakside linebacker for his senior season. He played well enough to earn an award for the team's best linebacker.

-Do-it-all back Marcel Reece returned to action after being out for a few days with a sore foot. For the most part, the injuries remain the same with Charlie Frye (wrist), Luke Lawton (concussion), Jacoby Ford (quad), Jonathan Holland (ankle), Robert Gallery (ankle) and Richard Seymour (back spasms). Also added to that list was Bruce Gradkowski with a strained groin. Darren McFadden sat out to rest a sore hamstring, and Hiram Eugene was excused from practice because of a dental situation.

-The Raiders also announced today that they have signed former Washington Redskins quarterback Colt Brennan. Brennan, a former teammate of current Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell, was released by the Redskins on August 2nd. Of course, Brennan is most known for his prolific playing days at the University of Hawai'i, where he threw for an NCAA Division I single season record 58 touchdown passes.

Brennan was at the afternoon session of practice, and was seen speaking with passing game coordinator Ted Tollner.
With Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye both out with relatively minor injuries, the team wanted to add depth at the quarterback position before their first preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys on August 12th. Before signing Brennan, the team also looked at for Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead. Snead went undrafted this year after leaving school with one season of eligibility remaining.

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