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News » Oakland Raiders Notes, Quotes 2009-05-08


Oakland Raiders Notes, Quotes 2009-05-08


Oakland Raiders Notes, Quotes 2009-05-08
--If Raiders coach Tom Cable is bothered by the criticism coming Oakland's way following the drafting of wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey at No. 7 and safety Mike Mitchell at No. 47, it doesn't show.


Oakland continued to get hammered by pundits and analysts, with Cable seeming to realize it's all a factor of a won-loss record and that things can turn around quickly.

"Everybody's going to question you, but the minute those guys start making plays, they're going to say, 'Man those guys were geniuses and they were right all along,' " Cable said.

--Heyward-Bey never envisioned himself a football player -- he loved basketball and even thought about playing hockey -- until high school coach Dom D'Amico coaxed him to the field at McDonogh School, a boarding school in a Baltimore suburb.

Heyward-Bey's mother had sent him to the school because she was concerned about his environment in Silver Spring, Mary.

"He was as raw as you could get," D'Amico said.

Things changed as Heyward-Bey worked on his game, and he's now to the point where Lee Hull, his receivers coach at Maryland, scoffs at the notion that his pupil is simply another miscast track star the Raiders are putting at wide receiver.

"The big thing with Darrius is, he's a football player who ran track at high school," Hull said. "As evidence, he didn't run track at Maryland. Darrius wants to succeed. He doesn't want to let down the Raiders.

--The Raiders will wear "retro" uniforms as part of the league's "legacy games" series which mark the 50th anniversary of the American Football League.

Which is at least a little surprising because the Raiders, stanch traditionalists, have made only small changes to their uniforms since Al Davis came to the club in 1963.

The original Raiders had brown jerseys, with Davis changing the look upon his arrival from the San Diego Chargers.

The main changes are to the helmets, which have a silver field behind the pirate and eye-patch emblem, as opposed to the current black. Oakland's white road jerseys, instead of having black numbers, will have silver numbers outlined in black.

The last time Oakland had silver numbers outlined in black was in 1970, George Blanda's miracle season.

--When Raiders safety Mike Mitchell, the surprising second-round draft pick out of Ohio University, talked with Bay Area reporters by conference call, he talked of his love for hitting and admiration for players such as Jack Tatum and Ronnie Lott.

In a phone interview a few days before heading to Oakland for his first minicamp, Mitchell said he was looking forward to making his presence felt on the practice field.

He was then disappointed to learn there is no hitting in minicamps, which are more about execution and choreography than tests of manhood.

"Really?," Mitchell said. "I was really looking forward to getting out there and mixing it up."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We had a three-time All-MAC wideout who was 6-5, 210 pounds, and he knocked the absolute (bleep) out of him. I thought he killed him on the sideline." -- Central Michigan wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni on the hitting ability of Raiders second-round draft pick Mike Mitchell.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 8, 2009

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