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Thursday, July 30, 2009
Raiders camp notes

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

NAPA, Calif. -- Thoughts from the Raiders' first training camp practice:

The pace was slow. The whistle blew shortly after the snap on plays. Coach Tom Cable said the first four days of practice will be about learning. The team will practice for the first time in pads on Monday.

Amid reports that Darrius Heyward-Bey has signed a contract including more than $23 million in guarantees, the San Francisco Chronicle thinks the receiver could be at the afternoon practice, which starts at 4:20 p.m. PT. I will keep you posted.

Many in Oakland are perplexed by Derrick Burgess' holdout. The backup defensive end wants a pay raise. But he has lost his starting job to newly signed Greg Ellis. He has little leverage. If Oakland gets a chance to trade Burgess, it likely will. New England had previously shown interest.

Speaking of Ellis, he said one of Al Davis' selling points he used on Ellis before he signed in June was that the Raiders go to Dallas for a Thanksgiving Day game. Ellis was cut by the Cowboys this offseason.

Quarterback JaMarcus Russell said four receivers -- Louis Murphy, Will Franklin, Todd Watkins and Jonathan Holland -- worked out with him during a recent "passing camp" Russell organized.
Potential starter Chaz Schilens said he worked out some with backup Jeff Garcia in San Diego.

Both Russell and Garcia spoke highly of the other and both said they would support the other in any role. Garcia has often said he believes he is still a starting-quality player.

Rookie Chris O'Neill has been converted froma tight end to a middle linebacker.