- Feb 2, 2006
- Reaction score
Here is a story on Hawthorne...not much info on it though...
Lineman tackles European league
By Jason Jones
Published 12:01 am PDT Saturday, June 3, 2006
Anttaj Hawthorne took a call from the Raiders in March, when they inquired about what day he would be back at the team facility in Alameda.
Two days later, Hawthorne was notified he would be reporting to another continent. He was on his way to NFL Europe to play for the Frankfurt Galaxy.
Having returned to California on Thursday, the 6-foot-2, 310-pound defensive tackle said the experience was positive and he's looking forward to using the time overseas to crack the Raiders' defensive-line rotation.
With the release of Ted Washington and Ed Jasper signing with Philadelphia, Hawthorne knows he has a greater opportunity to play and said playing for the Galaxy will benefit him as training camp approaches.
The Galaxy won its fourth World Bowl title last Saturday, beating the Amsterdam Admirals 22-7. Hawthorne, a 2005 sixth-round draft pick from Wisconsin, had four tackles and a sack.
The assignment to Frankfurt surprised Hawthorne because it came in March -- during the first week of the NFL Europe season.
"I was definitely shocked because one of my buddies called me and said the NFL Europe season's going to start," Hawthorne said. "And I was like, Yeah, I'm going to check out some games because some of the guys I was on the practice squad with the Raiders are playing over there.
"All of a sudden I get a call that I was going over there."
He arrived in time for the first game and learned enough German to gather basic information and tell a cab driver his destination.
Hawthorne had left America once before, on a trip to Venezuela when he was 18.
NFL Europe provided Hawthorne the opportunity to make friends and play. He had 28 tackles and two sacks for the Galaxy despite the late start.
After sitting most of last season, Hawthorne relished the opportunity to get on the field and learned the closeness a championship team can have.
"If (the Raiders) come together like that, the bounds are limitless," Hawthorne said.
Hawthorne was on the Raiders' practice squad most of last season. He was activated for the final two games of the season and made two assisted tackles.
"I love playing football," Hawthorne said. "Just getting the chance to put on the pads and play again was great, especially since we were winning a lot."
The Raiders are scheduled to hold their third offseason minicamp next week. It has not been announced if the session will be open to the media.
• Second-year quarterback Andrew Walter could play with the first team, as Marques Tuiasosopo and Aaron Brooks had been first-team quarterbacks in the first two minicamps.
• The Raiders will hold their sixth annual Youth Skills Camp on June 10-11 at their training facility for youths age 8-14. For more information, go to www.raiders.com.