- Feb 2, 2006
- Reaction score
Some more from camp....
Shell envisions good things in Raiders' future
Michelle Smith, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, May 6, 2006
The Raiders' second mini-camp of the offseason, which began Friday, was the first public sign of Oakland's new direction since Art Shell was rehired as the head coach in February.
The Raiders' first mini-camp was held in seclusion, without the intrusion of the media. This camp, a mandatory three-day affair, revealed much on its first day, including rookie arrivals, position changes and a quarterback competition. Shell said Friday he's already preparing his team for success and talking in terms of championships.
"I said to them ... it doesn't matter what anyone thinks outside these walls. It's what we believe in. That's what counts," Shell said. "We believe we can win if you prepare. I keep saying it. If you visualize being successful, we can get it done."
The day marked the debut of three Oakland draft picks -- Michael Huff, Thomas Howard and Darnell Bing. First-round choice Huff, a defensive back from Texas, worked with the first team on his first day and cemented his status as the team's great hope by assuming both the jersey number and locker of former star Charles Woodson.
Huff said he got Woodson's permission to wear No. 24. Huff said lining up against Randy Moss for the first time was a heady moment.
"It was my first experience and he scored on me," Huff said. "But that's kind of part of the territory, so I've got to go out there and get better every day."
Moss, meanwhile, caught his first passes from quarterback Aaron Brooks after missing the first camp with an excused absence.
"Being a quarterback and being on the same team and in the same offense as he is, it just brings a smile to your face, because he can make the weakest quarterback the best," Brooks said. "To have an opportunity to play with a receiver who's as talented as he is, you've just got to embrace it and try to do everything you can to get him the ball, but not try to overdo it."
Brooks worked with the No. 1 offense in the morning practice, but finds himself in an open quarterback competition with backups Marcus Tuiasosopo and Andrew Walter, who took snaps in that order Friday.
"That's the way we are today," Shell said. "The last camp was different. It might be different next time."
Shell said he would like the position settled before training camp.
"But if it's not, we'll go to camp and try and find that guy," Shell said.
Shell is also shuffling the offensive line, moving Barry Sims to left guard as Robert Gallery moves to left tackle. Sims has been the Raiders' starter at left tackle since 1999, but is resigned to the change.
"It's learning a new position, even though they're side by side," Sims said. "There's a lot of different aspects to it, but things are going pretty good so far. It's a process that takes time."
The adjustment to a new coaching staff has been easier.
"It feels good. It feels like we're on the right path, everybody's doing the right thing. Everybody's held accountable for our actions and what we do," Sims said. "The only way you'll be successful is to have that accountability and this coaching staff is different than the last couple where everybody gets held accountable and we are doing the right things. It takes me back a little bit to my first couple of years with Gruden. It's a lot like that. Everybody's in charge of what they're supposed to be doing. If they don't do it, then put someone else in there to do it."
Sims said that was not always the case.
"The last few years, it seemed a little too loose, like we didn't really have the leadership that we have now," he said.
Camp notes: Defensive tackle Warren Sapp, who missed the final month and a half of last season, said he's ready to play after months of rehabbing his surgically repaired rotator cuff. Sapp was in uniform Friday, but saw limited action. ... Still healing is wide receiver Ronald Curry, who will be inactive this weekend. ... Tyrone Poole, the former Patriots cornerback who signed as a free agent in March, was given an excused absence.