Nick Miller went speeding past a pair of defensive backs in Oakland's secondary, then jumped and turned to catch a long pass from quarterback JaMarcus Russell near the sideline as several teammates roared with approval.

It's a scene that has played out several times in the Raiders' training camp this season, with Miller the unlikeliest of participants.

The 5-foot-9, 180-pound wide receiver is the smallest player on Oakland's roster yet has some of the biggest plays through the first 10 days of training camp.

"Nick is a guy (we) knew about, that's why we signed him," Raiders coach Tom Cable said Saturday. "Guys like that, particularly with his size, you've got to see what they can do. Will they go in the middle? Can they get open in those windows? Can you find him in those windows? So far, we've been able to do that."

Miller has had to find a way to stand out in his first NFL training camp, and not just because of his size.

The Raiders have plenty of wide receivers in camp and will likely only carry five or six into the regular season. Javon Walker, who had offseason knee surgery and has yet to practice in camp, is the projected No. 1 receiver for Russell and the only receiver with extended experience in the NFL.

Chaz Schilens and Johnnie Lee Higgins were the team's top two receivers a year ago but have only nine starts between them. Oakland also used two of its first four draft picks on wide receivers, including first-round selection Darrius Heyward-Bey.

That leaves little room for Miller but that's nothing new for the Southern Utah player, who has beaten long odds on the football field for years.

He started his collegiate career at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona then transferred to Southern Utah where he led the nation in all-purpose yards among Football Championship Subdivision schools while being selected the Great West Conference's special teams player of the year.

Miller has sub-4.3 speed so Oakland signed him as an undrafted free agent to back up punt returner Johnnie Lee Higgins and kickoff returner Justin Miller.

Through the first 10 days of camp, Nick Miller has had more of an impact on offense than on the Raiders' special teams.

"For me, it's whatever they want me to do," Miller said. "There's 70 other guys here they could have doing returns so to come in as a rookie and be second string behind those big names and to learn from them is big. They're not going to take most of the reps in the preseason so for me I'll get to show people what I have."

He's done that, making a believer out of Oakland's secondary on a daily basis.

Miller has also convinced Russell that he has the tangibles to be an NFL receiver _ even at his size.

"Oh man, we have some guys that aren't so tall, I would say," Russell joked early in camp when asked about Miller. "That's why you call him a professional. You put the ball in places where they can make plays or you lead them in the right direction. Hopefully it will work out for him. It has so far."

Notes: Starting cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha (hip) and Chris Johnson (back) returned to practice after sitting out the previous two days. ... Cable said that the knee surgery Walker had in the offseason was "a major deal" after downplaying it earlier in camp. Walker has yet to practice and will sit out the team's preseason opener.