Raiders' Practice Too Violent for NFL

By Joe Kukura
|  Thursday, Jun 10, 2010  |  Updated 1:15 PM PDT
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Everyone's talking about how much leaner and meaner the Oakland Raiders look in the first off-season practices of the post-JaMarcus Russell era.

"You want to come out here and practice. It's not a time to goof off," new QB Jason Campbell told NBC Bay Area's Laurence Scott. "You want a competitive environment. You want it to be as close to game-like as possible."

But maybe people are talking too much. The NFL has docked the Raiders two practices because of an NFL Players Union complaint that the Raiders' off-season practices have been too demanding, the Oakland Tribune reports.

It's only June, and already the Raiders are getting penalties.

No one's talking about what actual infraction brought on the complaint. The NFL's statement, reprinted in full by the Tribune, simply calls it "a dispute concerning the Oakland Raiders’ off-season workout program." The Raiders had no comment.

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But the hardest-working Raiders writer in the Bay, Jerry McDonald at the Oakland Tribune, breaks out the rulebook to try to figure out just where the Raiders got doinked. The rules specify that June practices should have no pads, no contact, and a maximum of two hours per day on the field.

"The Raiders have been pushing the two-hour limit in most of their offseason practices," McDonald observed.

McDonald also observed that a Raiders player laughed in his face when he called it a "no contact" practice. Make of that what you will.

Someone complained, but not everyone is complaining. Some Raiders appreciate that this is not beanbag, and winning in a contact sport requires the more demanding practices the team is running this off-season.

"You can feel the intensity," running back Michael Bush told Scott. "Guys busting their butt, talking trash, coaches getting into it, it's just a different atmosphere."

But as a result of the complaint, the Raiders have been forced to cancel this coming Wednesday and Thursday's practices.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who would tell the Raiders players that it could be worse. They could play for coach Eric Mangini and have to listen to Bon Jovi during practice.

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