/Training Camp Buzz: Raiders S Abram talks too much?

Training Camp Buzz: Raiders S Abram talks too much?

The 2019 regular season is just around the corner, and NFL Network has you covered with wall-to-wall training camp coverage each day starting at 10 a.m. ET. Follow along here for some of the best sights, sounds and buzzy moments from “Inside Training Camp Live”.

» “You strike the fear in some wide receivers.”

“You say some like you wouldn’t be scared.”

“Who, me? Absolutely not.”

“If I lacerate your kidneys or bust your spleen, you wouldn’t be scared?”


Things got interesting between Raiders rookie safety Johnathan Abram and Steve Smith Sr. on Wednesday’s edition of Inside Training Camp Live. The retired receiver praised Abram’s playing style while also calling him out for hitting teammates in practice without pads, something Oakland coach Jon Gruden addressed in the season debut of HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”

“I only know to play the game one way and it’s fast, full speed,” Abram said. “It’s kind of just slowing myself down, just learning the right practice etiquette. That’s just one thing he (Gruden) harps on because he’s here for the safety. He wants to come out of camp healthy with all of our players, so he just has to slow me down at times.”

Smith clearly felt like he needed to do the same, explaining that veterans don’t care to hear much out of rookies in training camp. He then asked the zealous newcomer if he’s a talker or a listener.

“Some people say I talk too much sometimes, but that’s just me being me,” he said. “It all depends on the setting. When we’re off the field and in a playful setting, I ain’t going to lie, I’m a kid. I like to play, I like to talk, I like to have fun. But when we hit the meeting room, we hit the film, we hit the field, I’m locked in. You can talk to a lot of the older veterans and they’ll tell you, he’s a kid off the field but on the field I’m very mature. You’ve heard some coaches refer to me as a fourth-year, fifth-year guy the way I communicate, the way I go about my business on the field.”

For what it’s worth, Smith said he loves what he’s seen on film from the first-round draft pick out of Mississippi State, affectionately labeling Abram a “slobberknocker” for his hitting ability. But as a former wideout who liked to mix it up himself once upon a time, Smith reminded the first-year DB that offensive players can hit defensive players, too.

“You’re talking as a lion,” Smith said. “But sometimes what you don’t understand, though, young man, is every lion can become a gazelle.”

We’ll see who hits who when Abram and the Raiders make their preseason debut Saturday against the Los Angeles Rams. You know Smith will be watching.

» Lions coach Matt Patricia rolled up to his 1-on-1 interview with NFL Network’s Willie McGinest on an ATV. Patricia is recovering from foot surgery.

» Maybe nothing across the league has created a bigger buzz during training camp than a certain star running back who isn’t present.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones, though, attests that Ezekiel Elliott‘s absence isn’t being discussed much within the organization.

“Not at all. It’s just not a factor with our coaches and our players,” Jones said Wednesday on the Rich Eisen Show, before acknowledging the topic’s popularity among fans and media. “… It’s certainly a zero focus as far as our players and our coaches and our organization, other than what myself and our salary cap guys are doing behind the scenes.”

Those conversations are apparently missing Zeke’s presence as well. Jones said he’s “very rarely” been in contact with Elliott’s camp while Dallas has been in camp for nearly two weeks. While that didn’t exactly scream a settlement is nearing, Jones reiterated his belief that the holdout will eventually end. Complicating the equation for the Cowboys is a roster loaded with young talent that will be up for new contracts, including Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper. Jones deemed the situation “a high-class problem, a good problem to have.”

“That’s not anything we’re concerned about, it’s not anything we’re uptight about, it’s not anything we’re puzzled about. It’s just the business of football,” Jones said. “… At the end of the day, this is a distribution dilemma for us. The money’s going to go out the door. Its going to be spent across the board with our team. It’s just Jerry [Jones] and I’s job to decide how to divide the pie. Everybody wants their share and as much as they can get and rightfully so, that’s not the players’ problem.

“That’s not Dak’s issue, that’s not Zeke’s issue, that’s not Amari’s issue, is to worry about who gets what. That’s our issue.”

Jones wouldn’t disclose whether the Cowboys are fining Elliott for each day missed or plan to withhold his Week 1 game check for missing the preseason opener. But as his father has expressed, he remained confident that they’ll strike a deal with their All-Pro back.

“We’ll continue to work at it and feel comfortable that ultimately we’ll get a resolution,” Jones said.

But when? The conversation will surely continue until it does.

» Malik Henry is an undrafted rookie out of West Georgia who’s looking to latch onto the 49ers as a special teamer. A barrage of backflips can’t hurt.