Heyward-Bey proving himself in training camp

August 5, 2009 12:13:41 PM PDT
If Darrius Heyward-Bey can catch as well as he talks, the Oakland Raiders might have an all-pro receiver on their hands. Bey is a rookie wide receiver with blazing speed who is trying to convince everybody he is not the next Edward Scissorhands.

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There is an old saying that you can't coach speed. Heyward-Bey has plenty of that, but his hands are a work in progress.

"You've got to be consistent with everything you do, lining up, going after the ball, on everything. That's the hardest part," says Heyward-Bey.

QB Jamarcus Russell has been through these rookie dog days and feels good about Heyward-Bey's development.

"Better and better, day by day," says Russell. "I think he's a bit jittery to do so good, to a point where he's making himself nervous."

Heyward-Bey is listening to everything Russell tells him.

"He's prepared and I'm just learning from him and I'm learning from Jeff and I'm learning from all the quarterbacks," he says.

According to his teammates, this kid believes in himself.

"He's a real confident guy," says cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. "He's talking a lot of trash lately, so guys are expecting a little more of him right now so that he can back up what he's saying,"

Coach Tom Cable claims they're teaching Heyward-Bey how to put the negative plays behind him.

"Much better today in terms of doing that," says Cable. "He dropped the ball on a go-route, came back and made a big catch on an out-route. So we just got to keep pushing him that way."

Heyward-Bey knows there are doubters out there.

"I got enough pressure on myself to worry about what other people have to say," he says. "But when it comes game time, I'll make sure I'm out there trying to make the plays that are necessary."

The Raider nation is counting on it.

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