On the calendar, Wednesday was the third day of full contact drills for the Oakland Raiders but on the field it looks likes things are just getting started.
Michael Mitchell’s first big hit was the highlight of Tuesday’s session, but it was just a warning shot for what would follow today.
The team got word today that Khalif Barnes has suffered the first serious injury of training camp. The MRI revealed a broken fubula suffered on Tuesday. Mario Henderson’s name can be written in ink for the starting left tackle job now that Barnes is out 6-8 weeks with a broken ankle. Now the attention turns to the battle for right tackle where Cornell Green appears to be in line to be the worst starting tackle in the NFL, again.
Jon Alston and Darren McFadden were in the middle of another first for the Raider camp in Napa. The two mixed it up in the first serious scrum of the pre-season.
McFadden took a shot from Alston but continued to fight for yards. RUN-DMC tossed the ball at the linebacker after Alston ripped his helmet off. Naturally shoving ensued with Justin Fargas rushing in to give Kirk Morrison a push.
Later on, Tyvon Branch put McFadden on the spot again. The second year safety continued his impressive play by stripping the rock from McFadden, causing the first fumble of camp.
A day of firsts can only mean that the competition is getting fierce as the first pre-season game with the Dallas Cowboys is only a week away. Tom Cable’s plan to keep it competitive is going according to plan.
Position battles are plenty and no job is safe (except your job, Nnamdi). Kirk Morrison, the NFL’s fifth leading tackler in ’08 and incumbent starter since his rookie year in 2005, is even feeling the pressure at middle linebacker from Ricky Brown. Brown again got reps with the first team defense over Morrison and McFadden got in more work with the wide receivers as well.
Despite getting into a fight and being the first to cough up the pill, McFadden was pleased with his performance today but still thinks the team can do better. After practice he Tweeted the following:
was tha best practice for me…had a ball on tha ground but overall tha team was ok
I’d just advise the Raider players to steer clear of saying anything negative about the food they’re eating. Oops! Too late for that. Thomas Howard had better hope that Al Davis doesn’t drop a Cromartie on him and make the speedy linebacker the first Raider fined for Tweeting.
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Tags: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured Cornell Green Darren McFadden Jon Alston Justin Fargas Khalif Barnes Kirk Morrison Mario Henderson Michael Mitchell Ricky Brown Thomas Howard Tyvon Branch