ALAMEDA, Calif. (April 29, 2005) -- Randy Moss stopped briefly to answer to coach Norv Turner.
"How was it?" the Oakland Raiders coach asked his new star receiver after the team's first minicamp practice.
Moss just smiled and gave the thumbs up sign as he walked off the field, his long braids swinging and shining in the California sunshine.
Acquired last month in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings, Moss looked sharp in a short practice in his new No. 18 uniform and oversized gray shorts.
"I thought Randy was outstanding," Turner said after the afternoon practice. "He got in yesterday afternoon late and we put a lot of offense in today and we have a lot going in this weekend.
"He handled it extremely well. It's a whole different system than he's been around. He went out and relaxed and obviously he can run and catch and do those things. He looked very comfortable to me."
With no defenders on the field, he caught a 15-yard out from quarterback Kerry Collins, tiptoeing the right sideline before going out of bounds. Moss and fellow receiver Jerry Porter, re-signed to a five-year deal in February, squatted together on the field and motioned with their hands to diagram plays.
"It was cool," Porter said on his way to the locker room.
The Raiders didn't make any veteran players available to reporters, opting to formally introduce their new draft picks instead.
"The organization wanted to present its rookies," senior administrator Artie Gigantino said, "because during draft day we didn't have them in and we had minicamp right after the draft. Why bring them in twice? That's always been the policy."
Four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Woodson, whom the Raiders still are seeking to trade, practiced and socialized with teammates all while spitting sunflower seeds.
Woodson is the Raiders' franchise player for the second successive season. He signed a tender in February that was a 20 percent raise over his 2004 salary. So far, the Raiders haven't found a team willing to give Woodson the lucrative long-term contract he wants.
"Charles was in when we had the press conference for Randy and I had a good talk with him then," Turner said. "Our conversation then was, 'Hey, nobody knows what's going to happen. There's going to be speculation, there'll be people saying things. Whatever it might be, just get ready to go and we'll see what happens.' Charles is here and I'm glad he's here. We're off to a good start."
Woodson spent the session providing advice to two rookie cornerbacks, first-round pick Fabian Washington out of Nebraska and second-rounder Stanford Routt from Houston.
Washington, who ran a 4.29 40-yard dash at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, wasn't ready to call himself the fastest player on the Raiders just yet.
"I don't know if I'm the fastest guy on this squad," he said. " Randy Moss is on this squad. That's a pretty fast guy."
Moss' arrival was minus the fanfare surrounding him last month for his introductory news conference. He showed up at team headquarters that day in a stretch limousine escorted by seven police officers on motorcycles.
Then Moss was greeted by fans and the franchise's three Super Bowl trophies.
The Associated Press News Service
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