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Raider Mini Camp Report, First Practice: DHB vs Aso

Darrius Heyward-Bey’s first class with professor Asomugha

The first practice of the Raider mini camps happened in Alameda Friday morning and that meant our first looks at DHB in the Raiders offense. But more importantly it was HIS first look at the best corner in the game- Nnamdi Asoumugha.

“About six times we went up against each other. Ball came to me twice, two incompletes. One ball got to me the other one (he) broke up.”

That pass that was broken up was quite an eye opener for Darrius. On the play Aso read the play perfectly and cut off the pass intended for Darrius, nearly picking it off.

“It was an in route. He’s a good player. So every down I’m going to have to learn a lot more so I can make sure I make that play. I came back and I just said ‘Alright, I’m not in college any more’.”


There will no doubt be many more experiences like that and it will only serve to make Heyward-Bey that much better a player. Practicing against is going to the right school.

“(Asomugha) makes you realize that this aint college. That’s the first thing. I’m just looking for the next part to learn from him now. He’s a student of the game and if I can learn like he did I think I’ll be good.”

“Too bad you can’t red shirt here (jokingly). It’s no pressure. Football’s football. It’s just the best level. Now You just gotta go out here and perform. You just hope you get on the field and make plays. And if that’s year one or year two, you just hope it happens. I feel comfortable. Going to Maryland… prepared me for this. I feel like I am ahead of the curve.”

But for right now, it is all about getting better each and every day of practice.

“It was a good solid practice. I didn’t pass out so that was good (laugh). Always room for improvement. Second practice I’m going to try and do better than the first practice. That’s all you can hope for.”

Darrius Heyward-Bey was brought to you by the number 12

So DHB wants to wear the number 12 on his jersey. Which seems a little odd at the receiver position where most have numbers somewhere in the eighties. The number 12 for the Raiders is most associated with quarterbacks (ie Rich Gannon, Ken Stabler). So why does DHB want to have a qb number?

“One of my close friends, his father died not too long ago. He was a father figure to me since I was seven years old. His high school and college and number was 12. (His name was) Richard Woodlee.

That is a pretty good reason from what I can tell. And hey, the Raiders don’t retire numbers and receivers are allowed to don numbers in the teens so why not?

Slade Norris likes the home cooking

Slade Norris went to Oregon State and his family lives in Eugene Oregon so the Raiders are one of just the three closest teams to where he is from. And that means more to him than anything.

“I’m a big family guy. So for me having only an hour and a half flight for my family to come down and watch my games it’s great. I Couldn’t be more happy that it worked out that way. Especially from Eugene, found some cheap flights fly my little brother down to see me so yeah I’m really excited I was a Seahawks guy (growing up). A couple of my Cousins are enormous Raider fans so it’s in my family. They were all real excited to have me go down here.”

Brandon Myers knows his teammates

Brandon Myers spent his college years at Iowa and while there he had a chance to meet Zach Miller…unfortunately for the Hawkeyes.

“My red shirt freshman year we played Arizona State down there and he whooped us pretty good. So I know he’s a good player.”

Don’t worry Brandon, there are plenty of NFL teams that are well aware just how good Zach Miller is too.

Myers is also pretty familiar with another teammate he will be spending some time with. Fellow Iowa Alum LG Robert Gallery.

“He comes back and works out at Iowa. So I’ve got to know him a little bit there. I’ve talked to him a little bit today. He’s a small town Iowa kid, works hard, all-around good player. Everyone looks up to him back there. He went high in the draft and at Iowa there’s not too many people that do that so everyone looks up to him.”