ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Observation from the Raiders’ OTA day on Tuesday:
Oakland is opening up its OTA days with a four-man defensive front. New coach Dennis Allen is adamant the Raiders will use multiple sets and we will see some 3-4 sets.
Running back Darren McFadden practiced fully for the first time since last October. He missed the final nine games of the season with a foot injury. He looked good. Allen said McFadden is at full speed.
Even if the Raiders sign fullback Owen Schmitt (who is here on a tryout basis), don’t expect Marcel Reece to be moved to tight end on a permanent basis. Reece is versatile and he will line up at tight end in some packages, but I expect him to stay a fullback.
Reece has not signed his restricted free-agent tender and he was among the players who were not at the voluntary camp Tuesday. Defensive lineman Richard Seymour was not at this camp. Allen said Seymour was at a previous camp and he has been in contact with the coaching staff. Allen called missing this session a “tradition” for Seymour. Middle linebacker Rolando McClain also was absent from the session, instead dealing with legal issues in Alabama.
Safety Mike Mitchell has a knee injury and was not practicing. Among the other injured players are defensive end Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder), center Stefen Wisniewski (he had a minor shoulder procedure this offseason) and guard Mike Brisiel (hamstring). None of the injuries appear serious and Allen said Shaughnessy is doing well in his rehabilitation from the injury that prematurely ended his 2011 season.
Allen said he likes his stable of running backs, but he is on the lookout (like at all positions) for more help if the situation is right.
Receiver-turned-tight end David Ausberry has bulked up to help him as a blocker. Allen said he still sees Ausberry as a pass-catching tight end.
Allen said the emphasis to cut down on penalties -- the Raiders set a record for penalties last season -- has begun in the meeting room and will continue to evolve.
The Raiders are one of six NFL teams to participate in the launching of a new helmet for youth football programs to promote increased safety.