Questions Raised at Oakland Raiders Mini Camp

Ramone BrownSenior Writer IMay 9, 2009

ALAMEDA, CA - MAY 08:  Darrius Heyward-Bey #12 of the Oakland Raiders jokes with Robert Gallery #76 in the huddle during the Raiders minicamp at the team's permanent training facility on May 8, 2009 in Alameda, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The Raiders are having their mini camp this weekend.  Here alot of questions will be answered but even more may be raised.  Here are some questions the Raiders mini camp left me wondering.

1.  Why another punter? Undrafted rookie Ricky Schmitt is working out with the Raiders on a tryout bases.  The Raiders just resigned the best punter in the league Shane Lechlar.  I wonder if this kid knows he has no chance of making the Team.

2.  The Raiders defense is blitzing,  really?  The Raiders showed alot of blitz packages often including Thomas Howard.  Does this mean the Raiders defense will actually blitz this year or is it just to test the o-line blitz pickup.

3.  How is Oren O'neal Doing?  Though he didn't participate in team drills he was on a side field making hard cuts,  running rope drills and other workouts.  All this and no sign of a limp or pain.

4.  Changes at linebacker.  Ricky Brown who last started on the Strong side is currently working with the second team at middle linebacker.  Why?  Is it possible this is to prepare for Kirk Morrisons Transition back outside?  Have they found someone else to play the Srtong side. 

Also on the second Team Slade Norris worked out on the strong side.

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5.  Is JaMarcus Russell overweight?  Once again reports of JaMarcus's weight are floating around.  Though he wears baggy clothes and there is no accurate way to estimate his actual weight.  Most likely it is complete BS like last year.

6.  Can DHB contribute to special Teams?  The Raiders first round draft pick has been seen fielding punts though it is likely nothing will come of this. 

7.  Do we have room for Gary Russell?  At 5'11 220 he recorded 28 carries for 77 yards and three TDs last year for the Steelers he also scored the Steelers first TD in the SuperBowl. 

Tom Cable says he has value because he can play both FB and HB.  But are backfield is very talented and crowded with Macfadden,  Fargas and Bush at HB while Lorenzo Neal,  Oren Oneal and Luke Lawton are all looking for a spot at FB.

8.What is Javon Walker thinking?  He hasn't participated in mini-camp following a clean up surgery on his knee.  Problem is though he had the surgery a month ago he waited til a few days before the mini camp to tell anyone within the Raiders Organization. 

He also claims he played all last season in pain and is looking forward to a pain free year.  Hey maybe we can put him on IR to start the season.

9.  Where does Tyvon Branch fit in.  He is currently penciled in as starting SS and practicing with the first team,  but he is facing fierce competition from 2nd round pick Michael Mitchell.  Branch can also play FS.

10.  Who will be the starting receivers.  Currently the 1st team offense has seen a alot of variety at WR.  But of all the receiver Chaz Schilens is said to look the most impressive.  Javon Walker and Arman Shields both sat out with knee injuries.

11.  This one is more of an observation than a question.  I believe DHB may be smaller than advertised.  DHB is labeled at 6'2'' 210 while Macfadden is 6'2'' 215.  In the picture above though they are the same height Macfadden seems to have a good deal more mass, though it is possible Macfadden put on some muscle this offseason.

For all these questions I would like to know what everyone else thinks and even questions I didn't write down.  Like Jon Condo?  Do we really need a long snapper.