Wednesday nights practice notes.
– So much for the theory of Edgerton Hartwell providing a run-defending presence inside. Hartwell was released to make room for punter Glenn Pakulak, who will punt against the Tennessee Titans Friday night after a quad injury suffered by Shane Lechler.
Pakulak boomed several punts inside the 5-yard line, with impressive hang time and distance. Johnnie Lee Higgins dropped one punt, which likely owed to Pakulak’s being a left-footed punter and the ball rotating differently than those from Lechler.
At one point, safety Jarrod Cooper yelled: “Hey, we got ourselves a punter.”
– Cornerback Michael Waddell, defensive tackles Terdell Sands and Tommy Kelly, center Jake Grove and right offensive tackle Cornell Green returned to practice
– The following players missed practice: running back Justin Fargas, safety Tyvon Branch, tight ends Darrell Strong and Tony Stewart, wide receivers Javon Walker, Ronald Curry and Arman Shields, cornerback John Bowie, kicker Sebastian Janikowski and running back Adimchinobe Echemandu.
Kiffin said Echemandu was in Los Angeles to take his citizenship test and will meet the team in Nashville.
– The final play of camp was one the Raiders would rather forget. Fourth-string quarterback Jeff Otis turned to his left, pitched the ball in the general vicinity of running back Louis Rankin and watched as the ball sailed well behind and past Rankin. Seconds later, three horns sounded, Kiffin huddled his players and declared camp over.
– JaMarcus Russell connected with wide receiver Drew Carter on back-to-back touchdown passes in full-team drills.
– On one play, running back Darren McFadden, left guard Robert Gallery and left offensive tackle Kwame Harris moved before the snap. McFadden jumped first and was ordered to take a lap.
– Defensive back Nick Sanchez intercepted a Russell pass that hit off Carter’s hands and returned it for a touchdown. This marked Sanchez’s second interception in two days since joining the Raiders.
– DeAngelo Hall practiced without a cast on his injured right hand. He avoided contact, for the most part, and didn’t catch any balls during individual drills. At one point, he appeared to aggravate his injury by bumping into a receiver. He remained on the field, however, and didn’t require treatment.
– John Wade and Jake Grove split time with the first-team offense at center. Kiffin said after the morning session that Wade would start against Tennessee.
– Higgins and Carter spent most of the time working with the first-team offense in Curry’s and Walker’s absence.
– Tight end Tony Stewart’s left foot was in a protective boot.
The Raiders offense looked much sharper in 7-on-7 and full-team drills than it did either of the past two days. The quarterbacks completed numerous passes to wide receivers and didn’t rely as much on checkdowns to running backs.