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Training Camp: Day 126 or Thereabouts

The Raiders underwent two fairly uneventful practices on Monday. At this point, that is probably a good thing. Most of the news that would be noteworthy would be of the "suck" nature. In that regard, there was some such news. Chris Johnson left practice with a tight hamstring.

Given the Raiders treatment of similar tight spots, CJ will probably not see the field on Saturday. With the youth in the secondary this may not be a bad thing. Let's see what the fresh meat has to offer.

Also, put Routt out there against the team's number one. Let him get burned, because it seems like he and the team live in a delusional fantasy land in regards to the lad's talent.

My guess is that Cable understands Routt's limitations, but is pressured to play him. When asked about it, Cable had this to say:

I think there’s been a change in Stan in terms of how he works at it and the intensity that he’s working at it with. It’s just like everybody, you want to see it carry over to the game, but I’ve been very pleased with him thus far.

Yes, we do want to see it carry over to the game Tom. I am not sure why Cable just doesn't come out and say, "You know what? Routt kind of blows. He is making good money and he isn't worth it. He had one good game last year and he was sitting back in a zone, but we are a man team and he has all the skills to succeed in man. I don't get it. In fact, if I was Stan I'd just quit, since I really wasn't getting any better."

Okay, he didn't say that, but we can read between the lines. For what it's worth, the comment confounded Routt and Routt's comment incensed me. He just doesn't seem to get it, nor does he seem to care much. Routt:

I appreciate the kind words, but in my opinion, my approach hasn’t changed. I just go out every day to get better, and whatever happens, happens.

Um...Stan, maybe something should change, because when whatever happens, happens it is usually only good for the team playing your team. Or your pocket book. To my surprise, Routt was not surprised about the tender he received this offseason. Routt:

I really wasn’t surprised, based on the longterm deal we were negotiating at the time.

I am glad they didn't get that long-term deal done. Also, what the hell were he and his agent thinking turning down any deals in the neighborhood of the yearly salary he is going to receive this year?

Routt is climbing up the public enemy list. Easing down that list a bit may be Tommy Kelly. Kelly offered some candid comments about his huge contract and his expectations and evaluation of his play. When asked about signing his deal, Kelly had this to say:

Oh, I felt the pressure the night my agent called me. I was like, What the fuck? It was a surprise to me, but you just got take on the challenge. But ... can't let no pressure get (to you). With this game, as long as you put in your work in the offseason, and get yourself ready for the season, it going to give back to you what you put into it.

Ha! You were not alone in that sentiment TK. Still, it is nice to see an athlete admit such things. It does raise the question as to what the hell the Raiders were doing in those negotiations. It seems like they may have been able to sign him for 10 million less or so. Running Backs through the hole in the bridge at this point, however.

For his part, Kelly admitted that last year, he was like a good player only opposite. This is not surprising given his revelation that he was playing while pregnant. Kelly:

Yeah, I had a baby in this stomach last year. So, I kind of had my baby. When I came in for OTA, I was about 315. Last year, I was about 350.

To everyone's joy, Kelly gave birth to a wonderful 35 pound baby in the offseason. He showed up at this camp weighing 315 and he is confident his play will improve because of it. Kelly:

You got to know your own skill-set. It’s kind of obvious after last year that I can’t play with that much weight and be the best kind of player I can be. You got to do what’s best and what fits you. I’m strong enough and tough enough to play the nose, so I’m not even worried about it.

Kelly's teammates realized he was carrying a little extra last year. They had made a joke out of guessing what weight he'd report to camp at this year. Khalif Barnes:

Some guys were like, `He might be 345 or 350, somewhere around there.' But when he came in, the guy looked great . . . he’s looking slimmer, still strong and has that get-off.

Kelly has been seen putting in extra training in this years camp. Even going so far to do boxing drills to help fight off the hands of the offensive lineman.

The season will tell if this pays off for him and consequently the team, but just the fact that he is trying helps start to change my opinion on him. It also solidifies the thoughts that the culture of this team has changed. The slackers are a dying breed. Which makes comments like Samson Satele's stick out. When asked about the play he forgot to block that resulted in a sack, Satele had this to say:

Just go off of what you saw. If it’s me it’s me. It is what it is. It’s preseason.

In all fairness, it was a gang rape of the QB on that play and had Samson blocked a guy, Campbell still would've been sacked, but if you are going to bother to take the blame, do it all the way. This just displays the kind of victim attitude I am tired of.

Samson, everyone in the world saw you whiff and it may be preseason, but your new QB got hit just like it was the regular season. Is it really that hard to take more accountability than that? Is it that hard to say, "Boy, I was bad on that play and I am going to work to fix those kinds of horrible plays." Get with the program Samson, this line needs you.

It also needs Mario Henderson. Cable knows this and he knows Mario is the kind of guy that needs extra incentives to get his maximum effort. Hence extra push-ups for Henderson when he messes up. 50 per mistake to be exact. Henderson on the results:

It gets you into good habits, and when you are playing tackle, playing well has to become a habit. I have to not even think about it, to get to a certain spot with my hands in the right place.

Cable did go on to point out after practice that Henderson does a nice job in the running game, both frontside and backside, and that he looks good on play-action plays. He also said:

The other things I like. I'm talking specifically about being a dropback pass protector in that one-on-one game.

Well, that pretty much covers it, doesn't it Tom? What's that leave? So, Henderson is not good at pass blocking two defenders or pass plays where the QB doesn't drop back? I think I can live with that. I wonder what all the push-ups are for then?

Other notable notes:

  • Take Zach Miller in your fantasy leagues. The one thing holding him from the upper tier of TE's was his lack of TD's. If practices are any indication, he is going to get his this year. Campbell seems to be looking for him first and last in the redzone and pretty much everywhere else on the field. Campbell on Z-Mill:

    You have to have a guy who creates space on the inside. Zach is a guy that creates that space for us and helps draw some of that attention away from those guys on the outside.

  • Cable has noticed who is buttering his bread. Cable on the aforementioned chemistry:

I like it. I really like it with that whole group, but those two guys are really starting to develop something, for sure. You take him in the red zone; you need a touchdown in that situation. You saw who he went to.

  • Ro was back. He didn't not comment on his absence. It's good to have you back Ro. He was mentioned as providing solid pass D today except for getting torched by Z. Miller on one play. No worries on that. I don't expect any MLB to cover Miller.
  • There was not much mention of dropped passes today and Murphy was mentioned as having a good hands day. When is team good hands day?
  • Ford was back at practice in a limited role and worked on fielding punts.
  • Cartwright and Figurs took turns on kick-off returns. I don't really like this. Figurs seems like a long-shot to make the team and Cartwright as a return man excites me as much as a bowl of creamed corn.
  • Jay Richardson is going to see a specialist about his knee on Tuesday. Needless to say, this is not a good sign for his knee. Good luck J-Rich.
  • Out today were: DHB, Stewart, Seymour, Waters, Frye, Hubbard, DMcFadden, Thomas, Williams, Carlisle, Gallery. Only the general reason of soreness was given for most of these guys.
  • The preceding info was provided by: Tafur and McDonald and Corkran and Dubow