Russell told reporters yesterday that this off-season he's arranging private, players-only extracurricular practices sometime in the six weeks between the end of OTA's and the beginning of training camp.
These private practices will take place at a top-secret, undiclosed location with a level of secrecy befitting a former sitting U.S. Vice President.
"We're going to get the receivers and tight ends a week away from everything, just go along by ourselves and accomplish something that would make us a lot better during the year," Russell told the San Jose Mercury News. "Just work on our own, with nobody out there but us, get ready for camp, get ready for a new year."
This is above-and-beyond-call-of-duty stuff, for which Russell has not normally been known. And it's a good thing, because some of these receivers really need it. Darrius Heyward-Bey pulled a hamstring yesterday. Again. On the very first route he attempted to run. Russell may be noting that some of the receiving corps aren't ready to play and make decision at game speed.
Russell told Scott Ostler of the Chronicle that "Everybody that plays receiver and wears the (Raider) uniform" will be invited to said secret practices. Russell wasn't sure if other quarterbacks would attend. "Jeff just had a newborn, and Bruce and Frye, we're working on that."
But extracurricular practice is always a great idea, particularly for new players just getting up to speed. And the secrecy is called for, because some of those reporters could have been Bronco spies.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer and swears he's not a Bronco spy.