NFL: Some Raiders’ players against new NFL edict about knee and thigh pads

News that the NFL had adopted a rule change that requires all players to wear knee and thigh pads in 2013 was not received favorably Tuesday by some Raiders players.
“Personally, I won’t be wearing them,” cornerback Ron Bartell said. “So I’d better put some fine money away.”
The issue among many players is it cuts down on their most important commodity.
“It takes away from the speed of the game,” Bartell said. “Hip pads, knee pads, thigh pads. They’re not going to stop you from tearing an ACL. It may stop a couple of soft-tissue injuries, but a knee pad isn’t going to stop a guy from blowing out a knee.”
Safety Michael Huff said at college in Texas, he doctored the pads to make it look like he was wearing them when he actually wasn’t.
“We cut ’em out and just had a little foam, a little piece of paper there,” Huff said. “But we never really wore ’em.”
Linebacker Travis Goethel, who plays a position where extra padding would seem like a good idea, wants no part of the rule.
“I hate that. I don’t want that at all,” Goethel said. “I don’t like having anything restricting my movement in my legs. If you get hit in the thigh it really doesn’t do too much to help you out.”
The closest thing to a “yes” vote came from safety Matt Giordano, who allowed that he doesn’t wear a lot of padding but said, “If that’s the rule, we’re going to abide by them and wear them and probably wake up a little less sore on Monday morning.”
The league still must work with the player’s union before the rule is implemented since it wasn’t accounted for in collective bargaining.
• It was a big day for tight end David Ausberry, who was drafted in the seventh round as a wide receiver last year but now is a full-blown tight end at 265 pounds. Ausberry caught several passes, including one medium-deep route over middle linebacker Rolando McClain.
“I was doing a lot of the same things last year, but now it’s pretty much hand in the dirt,” Ausberry said. “There were a lot of formations where I am split out wide, but now it’s more about being a real tight end. It feels pretty good.”
• Darren McFadden, Taiwan Jones and Mike Goodson all looked comfortable during a run-heavy team session where the Raiders worked on their zone scheme.
“I love it. It’s fast, it’s open, we’ve got the zone working,” Goodson said. “It’s kind of like a one-cut-and-go deal. I think it plays to my advantages. Get in there and make one move and get up field, use your speed.”
• Defensive end Matt Shaughnessy did not practice as he rehabs his surgically repaired shoulder. Allen said Shaughnessy probably won’t practice until training camp, but should be at full strength then.
Others who were on site rehabbing injuries were center Stefen Wisniewski and safety Mike Mitchell. Fullback Manase Tonga is also rehabbing from minor knee surgery.
• Fullback Marcel Reece continued to stay out of OTAs, looking for a new contract and declining to sign his tender as an exclusive rights free agent.
“He needs to get in here pretty soon,” Allen said. “He needs to get caught up to what we’re doing.”
• Players who didn’t practice with “soft tissue” injuries included tackle Zach Hurd and wide receivers Denarius Moore, Louis Murphy, Thomas Mayo, Eddie McGee and Brandon Carswell.
Those who were not present Tuesday included defensive tackle Richard Seymour, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (personal matter), punter Shane Lechler and kicker Sebastian Janikowski.
• Safety Curtis Taylor, who spent time with the 49ers, ended a two-minute drill sequence with an interception of quarterback Matt Leinart.
“It’s always good to end with a pick, especially in a two-minute drill,” Taylor said.

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