Oakland Raiders Camp


Pretty much a regular
Things heat up as Raiders set to open camp
Top four draft picks sign, but Gallery and Curry are put on PUP list
By Steve Corkran
Posted on Tue, Jul. 25, 2006

NAPA - Wide receiver Randy Moss pulled up in his pickup truck, checked in with team officials, received his hotel room cardkey, complained about the heat and then scolded the media for requesting an interview.
In other words, it was business as usual as more than 80 players reported to the Raiders training camp at the Napa Valley Marriott on time and ready to put behind them last season's 4-12 campaign. Even the team's top four draft picks showed up only hours after signing contracts Monday afternoon.
Then came sobering news that Robert Gallery and Ronald Curry were placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list and won't participate in the team's first practice this morning.
That's not the way first-year coach Art Shell envisioned his first training camp in 12 years unfolding. Yet, the hope is that a little precaution is worth a ton of production down the road, Shell said.
"I take my lead from the trainer," Shell said. "If the trainer says we're going to take it easy initially, that's what we're going to do."
Shell has good reason to be cautious. Gallery is the team's starting left tackle, Curry a wide receiver rebounding from a second straight season in which he sustained a torn left Achilles tendon.
Shell knows the importance of having a healthy roster once the regular season begins Sept. 11. Also, the Raiders benefit from playing an extra exhibition game and getting an extra week of practice time this year in exchange for their playing in the Hall of Fame game Aug. 6 in Canton, Ohio.
Therefore, Gallery and Curry have plenty of time to jump into the fray and make their presence felt.
Both players are prohibited from practicing with the team as long as they are on the PUP list. Neither player should be out of action for too long, by all accounts.
Curry said Monday that he has been at 100 percent for more than a month and that he's ready to go "full-bore."
"My goal was to start camp at 100 percent, which is good," Curry said. That was before he learned of the Raiders' shutting him down for a while.
The Raiders remember all too well how Curry, the team's No. 3 receiver, came back from a similar injury last year and lasted only into the second regular-season game.
Shell characterized Gallery's injury as a strained quadriceps and didn't sound too concerned.
Gallery is entering his first season at left tackle and figures to benefit from whatever practice time he can get. He played left tackle at Iowa but moved to right tackle upon joining the Raiders as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft.
Players and coaches spent far more time talking about the heat wave that has gripped Northern California and transformed Napa from a relaxing spot for an NFL team to conduct training camp into a furnace-like setting.
"This is nice and warm for Napa," defensive tackle Warren Sapp said. "The first two years here it was like overcast, 80 (degrees) ... just a joyous time."
Shell spent part of Sunday working on an alternate schedule in case the high temperatures persist. Again, he said, he will take his cue from team trainer Rod Martin.
"If Rod says, 'Coach, hey, we need to back off because of this and that,' then I'll listen to him," Shell said.
Shell also laid down the law as far as penalties and undisciplined play are concerned, defensive end Derrick Burgess said. For instance, players who jump offsides during practice will be told to run a 100-yard sprint as punishment.
"You don't want to run gassers after all this practicing in this heat," Burgess said, "so you'll think about that before you jump offsides."
Notes: Texas safety Michael Huff, the Raiders' No. 1 draft pick, signed along with second-rounder Thomas Howard, a linebacker from UTEP, guard Paul McQuistan, a third-round choice from Weber State; and fourth-rounder Darnell Bing, a safety at USC who's been moved to outside linebacker. Huff signed a five-year deal that included $15 million in guaranteed money. .. Running back LaMont Jordan was excused from reporting on time, Shell said, so he had enough time to make it here after attending a funeral. He is expected at practice this morning. ... The Raiders cut running backs J.R. Lemon and Walter Williams, guard Shaun Rose and defensive end Javon Nanton before camp started.
Madden gives thumbs up to Shell
By Steve Corkran
Posted on Wed, Jul. 26, 2006

NAPA - Former longtime Raiders coach John Madden got a first-hand look at the 2006 team during an unannounced visit to the team's training facility Tuesday. Already, he sees the ingredients for the kind of success that was a staple of his 10-year tenure and that has been missing of late.
Madden's view from afar doesn't guarantee success for first-year coach Art Shell's troops, but it differs from the one he has had in recent seasons of a franchise that combined for only 13 victories the past three seasons.
"They're on the right track," Madden said, only 11 days before his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his success as the Raiders coach from 1969-78.
Tom Flores inherited Madden's job and held the post through 1987. Mike Shanahan, Shell, Mike White, Joe Bugel, Jon Gruden, Bill Callahan and Norv Turner followed, with none lasting for as long as six seasons.
None of the coaches after Flores guided the Raiders to a Super Bowl victory or posted winning records in each of his seasons at the helm. All 10 of Madden's teams won more games than they lost. Eight of those teams qualified for the AFC Playoffs.
It's not difficult to understand why the Raiders won only four games in 2003, five in '04 and four last season, Madden said.
"They haven't been good blockers and they haven't been good tacklers," among other things, Madden said in a matter-of-fact tone.
Those are some of the things that Shell has stressed in the five-plus months since he replaced Turner. Discipline, fundamentals and accountability.
To Madden's delight, he said, he sees a Raiders coach stressing the proper things and making sure his players do more than pay lip service to the things essential to winning games.
In the past, "Maybe they became more talkers than doers," Madden said. "They have to get back to doing it. You're not tough if you say you're tough. You're tough if you play tough. You're fundamental if you play fundamental, not say it."
For years, the Raiders have said that they have as much talent as any team in the league. Madden said the problem runs deeper than that talent not being realized or maximized.
Like many teams, he said, the Raiders have been too concerned with taking it easy on their players during practices and exhibition games for fear of sustaining injuries at key positions.
"That's giving guys an excuse not to do the things that have to be done," Madden said. "Someone has to get up and say, 'This is a violent game.' You got to hit and you're going to be hit."
As a result, the starters don't get enough time to practice the very things that they need to do once the regular season starts, he said.
"I don't think they're ready," Madden said. "You have to get ready for the second half of a game, which is where games are won and lost. You have to get ready for the fourth quarter. You have to get ready for short-yardage and goal-line in the fourth quarter. And they don't."
Madden had a reputation for being a player's coach. That is, he let them behave in the manner they preferred so long as they performed as expected in games.
Still, he said, players still yearn for discipline as long as it's not misguided or too overbearing. For instance, he added, he didn't care about his players' weight as long as they did their jobs in games. But players were held accountable when it came to things such as their committing "stupid penalties."
"I just hated those," Madden said.
Shell has said that he intends to let his players do their jobs without his imposing too many restrictions. Be on time, respect others, listen to the coaches and do your job. Plain and simple.
He said he has seen ample evidence that his players are willing to do whatever it takes to get the Raiders back to respectability, if not the Super Bowl, this season.
"They want to get better and they're willing to pay the price to do it," Shell said. "We talked (Monday) night about how it's going to hurt, how you're going to get tired, it's going to get hot out here, but you've got to push yourself through. Good football teams, great football teams, do that, and our guys will do that."
Madden is watching.
Disgruntled Porter demands trade

Wide receiver and Shell haven't seen eye-to-eye since Shell was hired

Posted on Thu, Jul. 27, 2006

NAPA -- Raiders wide receiver Jerry Porter is demanding a trade. Yet again. This time, he wants out only 17 months after signing a five-year contract that could net him as much as $15 million.
Porter's latest trade demand stems from a falling out he had with coach Art Shell in a get-to-know-you meeting soon after the Raiders hired Shell to replace Norv Turner on Feb. 13, according to people close to Shell and Porter.
Shell took exception to Porter's stance in response to Shell outlining what he expected of his players. From there, the two exchanged heated words, with Shell getting the last word and booting Porter from his office.
The Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle reported Porter's unhappiness with the Raiders on Tuesday, though he declined to speak with several other reporters.
"There's guys every year that might not want to be on a team," Shell said Wednesday, "but, hey, part of this business is you play with who you've got. If we have somebody on this team that's here, said he wants to be here or not, if he's doing what he's supposed to do, then we'll go to work."
Porter, 28, joined the Raiders in 2000, with a Hummer-sized chip on his shoulder that oftentimes has overshadowed his immense talent and potential.
He took exception to the Raiders drafting kicker Sebastian Janikowski in the first round and waiting until the second round to select him out of West Virginia. He showed his discontent by holding out of training camp and finally arriving with a jersey emblazoned with the No. 1.
When asked the significance of the number, Porter said it was to show that he should have been a first-round selection. That, among other things, landed him in then-coach Jon Gruden's doghouse.
Porter requested a trade at the end of his rookie season. No go. He stewed over his having to wait his turn behind the likes of veterans Andre Rison, Tim Brown and Jerry Rice his first five seasons.
Midway through the 2004 season, Porter said he wouldn't play for the Raiders again upon hearing a rumor that the team was interested in trading him before the trade deadline. That never happened.
All appeared well in Jerry's world after Brown retired before the 2004 season and Rice got traded two months or so later. So, Porter signed a five-year extension in February 2005.
A week or so later, the Raiders traded for receiver Randy Moss. Again, Porter found himself out of the spotlight. Six seasons, not so much as one 1,000-yard season to his resume and a career of being a complementary player.
Porter sounded resigned to playing for the Raiders the next two seasons -- he can void the deal after three years. Shell said it's a "nonissue."
When asked for an interview Wednesday, Porter again declined. He spent the day working out on his own, while he recovers from a calf strain.
Shell said he's eager to see Porter back on the field, so long as Porter's heart is into the task at hand.
"I want anybody that can help us win football games," Shell said. "I can live with anybody that can help us win football games."

Extra points
Receiver Carlos Francis sustained a left hamstring injury at the end of a pass play Wednesday afternoon and missed the rest of practice. "It was an unfortunate thing ... " Shell said. "Hopefully, it's not too serious." Francis was taken for an MRI on Wednesday night. He had a similar injury during camp last year and missed considerable time. Francis declined comment. ... The Raiders signed exclusive rights to free agents Tommy Kelly and Anttaj Hawthorne. Both are defensive tackles who have yet to accrue enough years to reach unrestricted free agency. Kelly is in his third season, Hawthorne his second. Therefore, the Raiders had the right to sign them without competition from any of the league's 31 other teams. ... Offensive tackle Brad Lekkerkerker retired after spending the past two seasons with the Raiders, either on their practice squad or active roster. He was viewed as a long shot to make the opening-day roster. ... Cornerback Stanford Routt made his training camp debut one day after recovering from a bout with strep throat that caused him to lose 5 pounds or so in one day, he said. He participated in both practices and showed no lingering effects from the ailment that hit him hardest Monday. ... Tight end Marcellus Rivers (fever) was excused from practice, Shell said.
Voila! Fargas has a role
Little-used Raiders running back getting chance to 'carry the load' under new coach Shell
By Jerry McDonald, STAFF WRITER
Article Last Updated: 07/28/2006 06:31:01 AM PDT

JUSTIN FARGAS, slowed by injuries, has spent more time watching than playing while with the Raiders. (Ray Chavez - Staff file)

NAPA — From the first carry in the first drill of training camp, the Oakland Raiders running game had a different look.
Quarterback Aaron Brooks took the snap, and handed the ball to Justin Fargas.
Then he handed it Fargas again.
And again.
No one knows whether Fargas, in his fourth year with the Raiders, will become a viable option in what coach Art Shell promises will be a much-improved running game.
It is clear the Raiders intend on finding out.
"It's important that we have more than just LaMont Jordan carrying the ball," Shell said Thursday. "Justin is a guy we're looking at to see if he can carry the load."
So far, so good. Fargas is healthy, with no sign of knee, hamstring or toe injuries which slowed his progress for three years.from Sports 1
He is running hard, flashing a good burst of speed and securing the ball tightly to his body.
The first few days of camp brought at least one Raider, wide receiver Jerry Porter, who was displeased with the new regime. Fargas, by contrast, is delighted.
"Mentally, and physically, this is the best I've felt in a long time," Fargas said. "I'm looking forward to an opportunity to play in games to show the organization and myself what I can do in this league."
The wait has tested the patience of not only Fargas, but of the Raiders and their fans. Much of the Raider Nation was aghast that there was no attempt to either draft a backup running back or acquire one through trade or free agency
Jordan, with 1,025 yards last season in 14 games, accounted for 81.5 percent of Oakland's rushing yards in the games he played. No other team relied so heavily on a single runner.
The Raiders, 32nd in rushing in 2004, moved up to 29th in 2005.
Former coach Norv Turner had the workhorse runner he coveted, and it didn't make much difference to the bottom line. Fargas carried only five times for 28 yards — his third straight season of declining numbers.
About the only time Fargas was in the spotlight came when he was leveled on an incomplete sideline pass by Eagles cornerback Sheldon Brown in a Week 3 loss to Philadelphia.
As a rookie, Fargas had 216 yards in the preseason, the second highest total in the NFL. He rushed for 203 yards as a rookie, but only 126 in his second season.
He understands there are skeptics in the media and in the stands.
"I can assume what people believe about me just from the way the last three years have gone," Fargas said. "I can't worry about that stuff. I know the best is yet to come from me and for this team."
Fargas' outlook brightened the moment Shell called him into his office and promised him chance to prove himself.
"It feels good to know you're a part of the plan," Fargas said.
Running backs coach Skip Peete told Shell during minicamps and off-season workouts that Fargas looked like a new man.
"He's made vast improvement from a year ago, and it's almost like he's a different guy," Peete said. "He's different in his demeanor, in everything he does. He's a lot more confident."
Running back Zack Crockett thinks Fargas has grown into an NFL player.
"His maturity is taking over right now," Crockett said. "When you first come in, you're young, you've got money in your pocket, and you're at the highest level. You think you've arrived. Then you learn it's your job and you need to study your craft and be a pro. He knows what he needs to do, and he's doing exceptionally well out there."
Jordan, who supplied valuable supplemental yardage to Curtis Martin as a member of the New York Jets, said getting Fargas going could result in a 1-2 punch similar to Pittsburgh's use of Willie Parker and Jerome Bettis.
He also had a different slant on Crockett's "money in the pocket" theory.
"I think Justin realizes that it's time," Jordan said. "When you get to the end of your contract, you want to get out and have your best season. Justin has looked good. He's looked very good."
During Thursday's second session, the need for a second threat was driven home when Jordan went knee-to-knee with linebacker Thomas Howard in pass protection.
"The training staff said he's fine, so that's what I'm going by," Shell said afterward.
While Jordan was on his back, being examined by a trainer, Fargas, as if on cue, took the next handoff and broke free up the middle.

SAPP ON PORTER: Jerry Porter missed both practices Thursday with a calf strain, at one point running sprints with no sign of a limp ahead of injured left tackle Robert Gallery.
In an interview on Sirius Satellite Radio with Jerry Rice and host Tim Ryan, Sapp, in his typically blunt, stream-of-consciousness
fashion, had a few things to say about Porter's desire to be traded and unhappiness with the new Raiders coaching staff:
- "I think we all just kind of said, 'Let Jerry do his thing.' Because one guy don't make a football team. No matter how good, how great ... you think you are, one guy is not going to break down what we got going right now. And we're going to go on, and if he don't want to come with us then so be it."
- "People talk about football being a family. It's not a family. It's a brotherhood of men. Because in a family, if the baby is lagging behind, everybody stops and waits for the baby to catch up. We can't wait for the baby to catch up. We've got to go ... if he's not going to be a part of what we got going some kind of way we've got to find a way to make him happy. Trade him or whatever he wants because you can't have a malcontent on a team where on Sunday we're going to be looking for you to make plays."
-"I mean, he just got a brand new contract from us, didn't he? Let's go perform for the money that you got. Give me the Jerry Porter from the last six weeks of last year, the dude was out catching balls, catching touchdowns, making a difference on the field. All this riff-raff and this talking, that's not going to get anything done for anybody."
EXTRA POINTS: RB LaMont Jordan banged his right knee against the knee of Thomas Howard and missed the last session of Thursday afternoon's practice, but Shell said Jordan appears to be fine. ... C Jake Grove was down briefly but returned to action. ... FB Zack Crockett did not practice because of a lower back problem. ... WR Carlos Francis, out with a left hamstring injury, described it as "Grade 2," which according to an on-line sports medical journal is a partial tear. ... TE Randal Williams, who missed the first practice session with a sore back, returned for the afternoon practice. ... NFL officials worked both practices, and will do so through Saturday.
Shell brushes off comments from receiver Porter
By Bill Soliday,, STAFF WRITER
NAPA — Raiders coach Art Shell pushed aside remarks from disgruntled receiver Jerry Porter that he wants out of Oakland. "That's not an issue as far as I'm concerned," Shell said to reporters Wednesday. "I'm not even going to discuss that." During an NFL Network interview, Shell said "what I've tried to do is ignore it. It's a non-issue ... I've got a whole football team I've got to get ready to play. "What has to happen from any player's standpoint is as long as you come out and work on the football field then we'll be OK. I can work with you. We don't have to like each other to get things done." Porter indicated to the San Francisco Chronicle that his relationship with Shell and receivers coach Fred Biletnikoff was strained ever since his first meeting when he told the two coaches he would be working out in Florida instead of religiously training in Oakland. Shell reportedly became so upset with Porter's attitude he threw him out of his office. Shell told the Chronicle that although he could still work with Porter, "you can't have inmates running the asylum ... a couple of the inmates have been trying to run the doggone culture around here. That's not going to be any more. I'm the head coach. I'm the guy in charge." Porter said he had asked to be traded, but acknowledged he doubted a trade would happen. Some reports indicated there were as many as five teams making inquiries for Porter, who has 140 catches for 1,940 yards and 14 touchdowns the past two seasons. Porter told the Chronicle the Raiders were asking for two first-round picks in return.

If the Raiders either released or traded Porter, it would cost them $6.45 million in cap space due to acceleration of $13 million in bonus money he collected when he signed a restructured four-year deal.
Wednesday morning, Porter was absent from practice for a second day with what was characterized as a strained calf. Shell said he hoped Porter would be well enough to work with the team in the afternoon, but once again, he was absent.
"I had hoped he'd be back," Shell said. "I can only go by what my trainer says. He wasn't out there so we move forward. I'll get another report (today). If he says he goes, he goes."
Shell said he could live with unhappy players.
"I can live with anybody that can help us win football games," he said. "There's guys every year that might not want to be on a team, but, hey, part of this business is you play with who you've got."
FRANCIS INJURED: Reserve receiver Carlos Francis left the field and was taken to a Napa hospital for an MRI after injuring a hamstring trying to make a diving catch Wednesday.
The severity of the injury was unknown immediately, but the situation took on an ominous air when, on his way to the hospital, Francis indicated he was too upset to talk about it.
"It was an unfortunate thing," Shell said. "Carlos has worked hard this off-season and the last couple of days. Hopefully it's not too serious."
Meanwhile, tight end Randal Williams has been restricted to one practice a day due to a sore back.
Upshaw gushes over 'his Raiders'
Union leader, though, was in camp on business, meeting with Porter
By Bill Soliday, STAFF WRITER

NAPA — The parade of Raiders alumni to visit and praise Art Shell's first training camp in 12 years continued Friday when players' union executive director Gene Upshaw arrived in Napa.
While he gushed over what he saw of "his Raiders," Upshaw had to perform a union duty — holding a meeting with disgruntled Raiders wide receiver Jerry Porter that had curious onlookers craning their necks, wondering what was being said.
As it turned out, it was union business, not Jerry Porter business.
"Jerry wanted to know how and why did we agree to a holdout fine going from $5,000 to $14,000," Upshaw revealed. "He said he thought that was a lot."
Along with Zack Crockett, Porter is the Raiders player union representative. So there is clearly more on his mind than a trade.
The topic of Porter's dissatisfaction did come up, however. After Upshaw commented on how impressed he was that this year's Raiders seemed determined to sweat to return to their winning ways, he revealed part of his conversation with the wide receiver.
"I come to training camp and look at these guys every year," Upshaw said. "When I walked out on this field, I noticed the atmosphere here this year is completely different than it was when I was here a year ago." Upshaw said he didn't know if it is Shell, the structure, the players buying into the program or the enthusiasm of the coaches, but it's different.
"But you see these guys working," Upshaw said. "No one is running out of here to get to the chow hall or go lay down and rest. They are all working out, and that says a lot. It makes me feel good to see it because everybody else in the league is doing it. The Raiders didn't do this a year ago.
"Even Jerry Porter was just telling me, 'I do ab(dominal) work after every practice. I am going to go do some now. Whatever issues I have, I am here to play football, and I am going to play. I have a contract. Shell and I have had some issues, but I am here to play. It's not about money.'"
That said, Upshaw praised the return of Shell, who lined up on Upshaw's left for more than a decade. Even though he represents all NFL players, Upshaw has never hidden his affection for his former team.
"I am hoping it (the hiring of Shell) takes this franchise back to the glory days," he said. "It's sort of been wandering around in the wilderness the last few years."
He also expressed delight in the selection of his former coach, John Madden, to the Hall of Fame.
"We're all pleased," he said. "I didn't know what he was going to have to do to get there. I thought he was going to have to come back and coach and win some more games.
"Here is a guy who got to 100 wins faster than anyone in NFL history, had great success, brought the Raiders their first Super Bowl they ever won. No one deserves it more than John. I am so pleased for him."
On the topic of union business, Upshaw also revealed that he would not follow commissioner Paul Tagliabue into retirement as had been speculated following the adoption of a new collective bargaining agreement this spring.
"I will be there," he said. "I could not leave the same time Paul left. It wouldn't be fair to either side. I put it in place that you have to be out of there (the union) by the age of 65, and I am 60. So I will stay. And don't forget, they have an opening in this deal in 2008. They can decide if they want the (agreement) to end 11/2 or 2 years sooner."
Now the NFL must choose Tagliabue's successor. Upshaw said he heard from players who feared he might be thinking of vaulting to the other side and making a bid for commissioner himself.
"I am not," Upshaw said. "I told (players) that their voting procedure is too hard for me. When you have to have three-fourths vote to get anything done, that makes it very difficult. At least with this one, they only need 22 votes (to elect a commissioner)."
Upshaw said he had been asked to help put together specifications for the job. He also said he expected the list of finalists to consist of an outsider and a minority in addition to the usual league insiders.
"That said, I don't know who the guy is going to be," Upshaw said while noting that he thinks Roger Goodell would make an ideal commissioner. He is currently NFL executive vice president and chief operating officer.
"He was involved in (the CBA talks) and we have a great relationship. He knows how to get things done."

EXTRA POINTS: Porter participated in his first on-field practice session, his sore calf having been cleared by the team medical staff ... RB LaMont Jordan has a bruised quad and did not practice because, as Shell said, "we didn't want to push anything" ... Rookie DB Michael Huff practiced with the first team at SS when Derrick Gibson was sidelined by an illness ... TE Randal Williams hyperextended a knee but is expected to return today ... After a particularly hard hit, RB Justin Fargas fired the football at LB Danny Clark, sparking some pushing and shoving. "It's about that time," Shell said. "Upshaw used to fight on the fourth day. It wasted energy."

jimmyd: This camp is all screwed up. Lost time because of the union boss, and we don't want to push things. What the hell is camp for?
Sapp sounds off on Porter's gripes

DT says disgruntled wide receiver will not become a distraction

Raiders notebook
NAPA -- Disgruntled wide receiver Jerry Porter is back on the field after missing a couple of days with a strained calf. He returned after receiving treatment from team trainers but without an ego massage from teammate Warren Sapp.
Sapp said in an interview with former Raiders receiver Jerry Rice that Porter's trade demand and disagreement with coach Art Shell won't get in the way of what the Raiders are trying to accomplish this season.
"We all kind of just said, 'Let Jerry do his thing,' " Sapp told Rice in an interview with Sirius NFL Radio. "Because one guy don't make a football team. No matter how good, how great, whatever you think you are, one guy is not going to break down what we got going right now. And we're just going to go on. If he don't want to come with us, then so be it."
Sapp added that Porter signed a contract extension before last season, so Porter is obligated to fulfill his contract without being a distraction.
Porter declined an interview request Saturday, as he has done every day since the Raiders reported to training camp Monday. He and Shell got into a shouting match during an offseason meeting, at which time Porter decided it was time to move on.
"People talk about football being a family," Sapp said. "It's not a family. It's a brotherhood of men. Because in a family, if the baby is lagging behind everybody stops and waits for the baby to catch up. We can't wait for the baby to catch up. We got to go."
There isn't any time to deal with Porter and whatever issues he has with Shell and the Raiders, Sapp said.
"This thing's coming, and when it's coming it is coming full speed ahead, and we want to be ready to go with what we got," Sapp said. "And if (Porter's) not going to be a part of what we got going, then some kind of way we've got to find a way to make him happy. Trade him or whatever he wants because you can't have a malcontent on a team, where on Sunday we're going be looking for you to make plays."
Porter told an ESPN reporter earlier this month that part of his discontent stems from the Raiders hiring Shell and not former St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz, who was interviewed by the Raiders for the vacancy created by the firing of Norv Turner in January.
"I'm furious," Porter told ESPN. "They might as well trade me. I wanted Mike Martz as my coach and a real offense that's proven in today's NFL. Not something dusted off from a bed and breakfast in God knows where." jimmyd: Ohh, ya gotta love that. New OC Tom was running a B & B in Idaho for the last 5 yrs.

Tui plus Tui equals six
Backup quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo faked a hand-off, rolled to his right and lofted a pass to fullback Zach Tuiasosopo for a touchdown in a full-squad drill. It was one of the few successful plays for the offense Saturday.
"I am pleased with the defense and disappointed with the offense," Shell said. "If the offense was scoring all the time, I'd be disappointed with the defense and pleased with the offense. ... I'm just happy the defense is getting done what they need to get done. Now the offense has to start taking it upon themselves to get done what needs to get done." jimmyd: Important to note. And 1st game next Sun nite. This offense ain't gonna get it together in in a week.

Extra points
Defensive end Lance Johnstone was excused from practice for personal reasons, Shell said. He is expected back today. Running backs LaMont Jordan (quadriceps) and Zack Crockett (back), receivers Carlos Francis (hamstring) and Ronald Curry (Achilles), offensive linemen Robert Gallery (quad), Kelvin Garmon (back) and Jabari Levey (heat exhaustion), tight ends Randal Williams (back) and Derek Miller (elbow), safety Derrick Gibson (flu) and cornerback Raymond Washington (hamstring) missed practice. Shell said Levey spent two days in the hospital for his ailment. ... Four league officials worked practice for the second straight day.
-- Steve Corkran
Walsh's path leads him back to football

By Steve Corkran



Dan Honda/Contra Costa Times
Tom Walsh, right, returns to the Raiders after serving as the mayor of Swan Valley, Idaho, and running a bed-and-breakfast.

NAPA - Tom Walsh resurfaced with the Raiders in February after an 11-year hiatus from the NFL. During that time, he and Raiders coach Art Shell traveled divergent paths since their first stint together as coach and offensive coordinator.
Yet, it was understood that if Shell ever got another shot at an NFL coaching job, Walsh would be asked to be his offensive coordinator once again.
Both have more gray hair, a few more wrinkles and more mileage on their engines than they did back then, yet it's as if nothing has changed now that they are reunited with the Raiders.
"It's not like I ever went away," Walsh said.
No, Walsh said, his mind has been on football since he and Shell were fired by the Raiders after the 1994 season. All he needed was a phone call.
Never mind that he got the call from Shell in Swan Valley, Idaho, where he was the mayor and ran the Hansen Guest Ranch. The two had a pact. Done deal. Next plane out.
Walsh's wife is serving out his mayoral term and others are picking up his chores at his "horse-friendly" bed-and-breakfast these days. Walsh, a Martinez native, is working on injecting life into an offense that sputtered last season despite the addition of wide receiver Randy Moss and running back LaMont Jordan.
Don't read too much into Walsh's absence from the NFL, he said. Once a coach, always a coach. Sure, there might be a little catching up to do but not anywhere near as much as one might suspect.
"I could be mayor, on the governor's board for tourism council in Idaho or whatever, that doesn't mean that my brain was erased," Walsh said. "If you're out there bucking hay, you're still going to think about (football)."
Shell said his list of candidates for offensive coordinator started and ended with Walsh.
Walsh's lack of on-field experience since he was the coach and director of football operations for the Regional Football League's Mobile Admirals in 1999 didn't play into Shell's decision-making process. Neither did Walsh's being asked to resign at Idaho State in 1998 after his teams combined for a 6-18 record.
"Tom Walsh (was) first because he knows the system that I love," said Shell, who will allow Walsh to call all the plays. "He knows the system and he knows how to implement it. ... That was no big decision for me."
Shell and Walsh agree that the system in question is one devised by former San Diego Chargers coach Sid Gillman and modified by Raiders managing general partner Al Davis, who coached under Gillman from 1960-62 before joining the Raiders.
In short, Shell and Walsh promise a return to a brand of offense that features straight-ahead running and downfield throws. No more variations of the West Coast offense.
"I still have the same aspirations and the beliefs, in terms that you have to run the football and you've got to run and make it physical and you've got to throw the ball down the field," Walsh said. "You can't sit there and be content to nickel-and-dime yourself up and down the field. It just doesn't work that way."
What works, Walsh said, are the same things that worked for the Raiders in the 1960s, '70s, '80s and early '90s.
"We have to get back to that," Walsh said. "There's no fancy way about it. We're not going to come out and finesse people. It's about being physical, it's about dominating, it's about imposing your will on your opponent."
That plays well to a group of players on an offense that struggled scoring points last season and lacked consistency overall.
"If coach Shell hired him, he hired him for a reason," left offensive tackle Robert Gallery said. "I'm totally on board."

jimmyd: Now this is going to be interesting. Retro Raiders.
Discipline is priority for Shell

Coach expects the Raiders to be sharp in their exhibition opener

Raiders notebook
NAPA -- Coach Art Shell said Tuesday that he still isn't ready to divulge his approach to Sunday's exhibition opener against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio.
Not even the players know what to expect in terms of playing time and who's starting. One thing is clear, according to running back LaMont Jordan: Shell expects his players to be crisp, detailed and disciplined.
"(Shell) already said, 'You can't beat yourself with penalties,'" Jordan said. "We lost some games last year on penalties. ... What that is, that's just a lack of effort, that's just a lack of concentration."
That lack of discipline pervaded the team, Jordan said, and it's something that won't be tolerated on Shell's watch.
"I look at last year, we weren't a very disciplined team, and it hurt us," Jordan said. "Whether it was coming to meetings late, guys coming out to practice late, it hurt us on the field. We weren't a disciplined team."
Players who commit offsides or false-start penalties at training camp are made to take a lap around one of the fields after practice, while the rest of the team jeers them.

Extra points
Rookie defensive back Michael Huff continues to show his versatility. He is the team's projected starter at strong safety, but he has played both cornerback positions, both safety positions and been used as a blitzer. ... Cornerback Duane Starks returned to practice one day after he sustained a back injury. He intercepted a Marques Tuiasosopo pass intended for wide receiver Will Buchanon during the morning practice and returned it for a touchdown. ... Free safety Stuart Schweigert (groin), tight end Courtney Anderson (shoulder) and linebacker Kirk Morrison (hamstring), all projected starters, were among the dozen players who missed practice. Long-snapper Adam Treu (back) sat out for the second straight day. Rookie Chris Morris replaced Treu on snapping duties. Tight end James Adkisson sustained a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee Monday and is out for an undetermined amount of time, Shell said.

WR Randy Moss Alvis Whitted Carlos Francis LT Robert Gallery Chad Slaughter Jabari Levey LG Barry Sims Corey Hulsey Kelvin Garmon C Jake Grove Adam Treu Chris Morris RG Paul McQuistan Kevin Boothe Roderick Green RT Langston Walker Brad Badger William Obeng TE Courtney Anderson Randal Williams James Adkisson WR Doug Gabriel Jerry Porter Johnnie Morant QB Aaron Brooks Andrew Walter Marques Tuiasosopo FB Zack Crockett John Paul Foschi ReShard Lee RB LaMont Jordan Justin Fargas Rod Smart

Defense DE Tyler Brayton Bobby Hamilton Lance Johnstone NT Warren Sapp Anttaj Hawthorne Donnell Washington DT Tommy Kelly Terdell Sands Rashad Moore DE Derrick Burgess Kevin Huntley Bryant McNeal OLB Sam Williams Grant Irons Darnell Bing MLB Kirk Morrison Danny Clark Ryan Riddle OLB Thomas Howard Robert Thomas Isaiah Ekejiuba LCB Nnamdi Asomugha Tyrone Poole Chris Carr RCB Fabian Washington Stanford Routt Duane Starks SS Derrick Gibson Michael Huff Alvin Nnabuife FS Stuart Schweigert Jarrod Cooper Hiram Eugene

Special Teams PK Sebastian Janikowski Tim Duncan David Kimball P Shane Lechler Glenn Pakulak KO Sebastian Janikowski Tim Duncan David Kimball H Shane Lechler Marques Tuiasosopo PR Chris Carr Doug Gabriel KOR Chris Carr Doug Gabriel Alvis Whitted PC Adam Treu Jake Grove KC Adam Treu Jake Grove
Shell takes practical approach

Posted on Fri, Aug. 04, 2006

NAPA - With the Raiders' first exhibition game a little more than 72 hours away, coach Art Shell was asked if he was ready.
"Not yet," the coach said matter-of-factly after the Raiders' Thursday morning walk-through. "We still have a few days to go."
The Raiders fly out at 2 p.m. today en route to Canton, Ohio, where they'll play the Hall Of Fame game on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.
"This is just an opportunity to see where we are as far as the plan is concerned," Shell said. "We want to see if we are where we need to be at this point in training camp."
Sunday's contest will be the first of five preseason games for the Raiders. As a result, Shell plans to take a broad scope in his player evaluation.
"I'm focusing on every single player," Shell said. "I basically just encouraged everybody to go out and give their best, play hard, and we can see where they are technique-wise.
"I'm excited. I'm looking forward to seeing them go against a good football team."
In a regular-season meeting at Philadelphia last year, the Eagles defeated the Raiders 23-20 on a 23-yard David Akers field goal with nine seconds left in the game. Philadelphia finished the season a disappointing 6-10.
Several players have battled injuries over the first two weeks of training camp, but Shell said the team hasn't settled on who will be sitting out Sunday.
"The only thing we know right now is that there are some guys who haven't been working that might play on Sunday," Shell said. "But we won't know that until tomorrow. Even if (trainer Rod Martin) says he can play, I might still hold out a guy here or there."
In the end, Shell maintains he has only one concern regarding the upcoming game.
"Play well," Shell said. "That's what I'm concerned about. If you play well, the rest will take care of itself."
Itching for action
Few Raiders may be looking forward to Sunday more than quarterback Aaron Brooks.
After being benched by the New Orleans Saints for the final three games of 2005, this weekend will mark the first game action for Brooks since he threw for 219 yards and a touchdown in a 36-17 loss at Atlanta on Dec. 12.
"It's been awhile, man," Brooks said. "For some strange reason, I was sat down the last three games. It's going to feel good to get back into the flow of things, back into a real, live game situation and getting that contact and anticipation. It's basically a test for us, particularly for me."
Brooks was asked Thursday if he expected to start the game and how many snaps he expected.
"I don't ask and (Coach Shell) hasn't said anything," Brooks said. "I'm just here to work, not to find out where I'm going to be seated or what situation I'm in."
Shell hasn't made any decisions on what his depth chart will look like come Sunday.
"I have until Sunday to make a final decision," Shell said. "Have I gone through a list and thought about that stuff? Yes, but I haven't finalized anything."
Extra points
In lieu of a morning practice, the defense and offense carried out separate walk-throughs for a little less than an hour. The team had a regular workout in the afternoon. ... Quarterback Reggie Robertson missed the afternoon workout after becoming the fifth player this camp to be stricken with flu-like symptoms. Free safety Stuart Schweigert returned to the field after missing three days with a groin strain. Center and long snapper Adam Treu (back) participated only in individual drills, Shell said. Cornerback Duane Starks (back), linebacker Robert Thomas (groin) and wide receiver Jerry Porter (calf) remained sidelined.
-- Chace Bryson