Raiders safety Michael Huff arrived at training camp in Napa last July with a tight-fitting shirt, biceps exposed, chest thrust outward.

“Can you guys tell the difference?” Huff asked a group of onlookers.

Sure enough, Huff had more muscle tone, definition and a different look than he did his rookie season. Yet, the desired weight gain just wasn’t happening for Huff. Once again, he was forced to throw his 200-pound body in front of much heavier players.

Now, Huff is free. That is, free to roam the secondary at the free-safety position that had been manned by Stuart Schweigert for most of the past four seasons.

Free to use his speed and instincts to make plays, rather than relying upon his strength and determination to mix it up with tight ends and offensive tackles. Free from the down-to-down grind that comes with playing strong safety.

Huff calls the switch an easy one for him to make because he played the position at the University of Texas.

“Free safety will be natural,” Huff said Thursday at a Raiders off-season workout.

Huff’s play at strong safety the past two seasons was anything but natural. He went from covering wide receivers in college to tight ends such as Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez in the NFL.

Other times, his duties entailed taking on 300-pound-plus linemen on running plays.

That changed once the Raiders signed free agent Gibril Wilson in March.

Wilson has 15 pounds on Huff accustomed to playing near the line of scrimmage and packs a wallop. So Wilson moved to strong safety – he played free safety with the New York Giants last season – Huff moved to free safety, and Schweigert was released.

“(There’s) an awful lot of difference,” Huff said of the seemingly simple switch. Near the line of scrimmage, “I got 300-pound men kind of throwing me around, picking me up and flinging me. Back deep, hopefully, all I have to do is tackle the backs when they try to break free. It’s a lot different as far as wear and tear.”

That wear and tear tended to catch up with Huff about 10 games into the season, he said.

Enter Wilson, a former Oak Grove High standout. He played strong safety quite a bit his first three seasons with the Giants and enjoyed the constant contact.

Wilson said he wants to “bring that physical presence. Whenever I think of the Raiders, I think about a physical football team. That’s what I’m going to do my best to bring back.”

Huff already is a believer.

“He’s an animal out there,” Huff said. “We always knew he could tackle, that he was big, but I didn’t know he could cover as well as he can.”

Wilson’s coverage skills and Huff’s experience at strong safety give defensive coordinator Rob Ryan the flexibility of using both players in a variety of roles.

“Any time you have guys that can play multiple positions, it’s going to help you,” Coach Lane Kiffin said. “I like where we’re at with them, putting them in a number of positions and some that Michael’s never been in over his two years here. It’ll be fun to see how that unfolds.”

It’s a weight off Huff’s shoulders.

• The Raiders signed quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo in a move that satisfies Kiffin’s stated desire of adding an experienced player as a mentor to second-year player JaMarcus Russell. Tuiasosopo spent the first six seasons of his NFL career with the Raiders. He played for the New York Jets last season but wasn’t asked back. He and Andrew Walter are expected to compete for the backup spot.

• LaMont Jordan missed practice again. He remains a candidate to be released because of Oakland’s depth at running back and his prohibitive salary.