NAPA -- The jersey color needs some work, but Raiders cornerback D.J. Hayden was happy simply to be on the field with his teammates Friday.

"If I've got to have a red jersey on, that's what it is," Hayden said after the Raiders' first practice of training camp. "I'm cool with it."

Red jerseys are worn by quarterbacks and kickers as a symbol of being off-limits in terms of contact. Coach Dennis Allen said he wasn't sure how long the Raiders' first-round draft pick would be in red.

It was a minor surprise Hayden was on the field at all, considering he was placed on the non-football injury list Thursday after signing a contract reported at four years with a $5.88 million signing bonus.

Hayden was cleared by the medical staff Friday morning, but the Raiders will take their time with a player who underwent major surgery in November for a ruptured blood vessel leading to his heart and then had a related abdominal procedure to remove scar tissue in late May.

"It's been nine, 10 months since he's actually really played football," Allen said. "We're not just going to throw him in to the fire right away."

Hayden shrugged off the May abdominal surgery, saying, "It was hurting and was something I needed to get taken care of. Stuff happens all the time. I just had to deal with it, and I'm here now."

Hayden's work in limited reps was mostly with the second team, with Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins working with the first team.


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As the No. 12 pick in the draft, and a player general manager Reggie McKenzie said he would have taken at No. 3 had the Raiders not traded down, the reasonable expectation would be for Hayden to be an immediate starter.

The recovery from two surgeries could change that, and the former University of Houston star said he'll do whatever is asked of him.

"Whatever the coaches decide is best for the team, then I'm cool with it," Hayden said. "I just want to go out there and just be me."

  • Matt Flynn was easily the sharpest of the quarterbacks on Day 1.

    With Flynn working with the first team, Terrelle Pryor with the second and rookie Tyler Wilson with the third team, the three quarterbacks got an equal amount of snaps.

    "I think Matt made some nice reads and made some really nice throws," Allen said.

    Pryor was hit and miss, while Wilson had one horrendous sequence with three interceptions in four throws.

  • Allen praised the Raiders' run execution following the first practice, and Darren McFadden was delighted to be back in a gap-power scheme.

    "It feels great. I feel like I'm a downhill runner, and that's something the coaches see also," McFadden said.

  • Free safety Charles Woodson, having played on some poor defenses with the Raiders and at a championship level in Green Bay, likes what he sees of his scheme and supporting cast.

    "When I look at the way we move around, I think we're going to be a fast-flowing defense," Woodson said. "I think that if you can have that on any team -- a team that's willing to sell out every play and get to the ball -- you're going to be in ballgames."

  • Linebacker Miles Burris (knee) and defensive tackle Pat Sims (undisclosed) began camp on the active Physically Unable to Perform list. They count toward the 90-man limit and can be activated once they pass a physical. Tackle Menelik Watson is on the non-football related injury list with an undisclosed injury and is not practicing.

    Allen had no timetable for their return.

  • The team signed five-time Pro Bowler Andre Gurode, who has played guard and center. He worked out in front of Raiders coaches and scouts after practice. Gurode, 34, played center with the Dallas Cowboys and converted to guard with the Baltimore Ravens.

    The Raiders opened camp with Lucas Nix as the starting left guard, with Tony Bergstrom running with the second team. Mike Brisiel is currently the starter on the right side.

  • For the first time in memory, specialists participated in drills with a tackling dummy. Even Sebastian Janikowski delivered a lumbering blow. Asked about Janikowski's form, Allen said, "I'd rather see him kick it."

    For more on the Raiders, visit the Inside the Oakland Raiders blog at ibabuzz.com/oaklandraiders. Follow Jerry McDonald on Twitter at Twitter.com/Jerrymcd.