NAPA -- Aside from one embarrassing moment during the first padded practice, Miles Burris has acquitted himself well running with the first team as the starting weak side linebacker.
And Aaron Curry has been one of his biggest cheerleaders.
Burris, a rookie out of San Diego State, has worked with the first team as Curry rehabs a knee injury and is on the physically unable to perform list.
"I'm the best coach on the field," Curry said. "Guys can feel comfortable to come to me to ask questions, which requires me to do all my homework on defense. ... I can coach everything about linebackers in this defense. I'm trying to out-coach (defensive coordinator Jason) Tarver, I'm trying to out-coach (linebackers coach) Johnnie Holland."
The Raiders hold the first of three practices consecutive practices in front of 1,000 to 1,200 fans Friday, starting at 2:20 p.m. Tickets were free at Raider Image stores and are no longer available.
Fans started to arrive at the Napa Valley Marriott before noon. Additional bleachers have been installed on both sides of the field.
During the first padded practice Wednesday, Burris, 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, got himself flattened by running back Darren McFadden, whose drove through an attempted hit on the rookie and knocked him over.
"I was a little tentative on, 'Do I hit (No.) 20, or not?,' " Burris said. "How does this go. But yeah, he's a load."
Curry, who arrived by trade last year from
Burris, in the meantime, is getting an opportunity to gain ground.
"That's bring me along a lot quicker than it would otherwise, getting all the reps I have been," Burris said. "Curry will be back soon. He's a great player but he's also a great teacher, too. He's been helping me out a lot, even though (we play) the same position."