Originally published on SBReport.net on July 30, 2012
The Oakland Raiders opened up their training camp in Napa, Calif. on Monday morning with nearly everybody healthy.
The lone injuries were to punter Shane Lechler (knee), cornerback Ron Bartell (hamstring), defensive tackle Travis Ivey (conditioning) and linebacker Aaron Curry. With the exception to Curry, everyone is day-to-day according to head coach Dennis Allen. Curry is currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list, but can be activated at anytime.
The PUP list is for any players that cannot practice at the start of training camp. Should he remain on the PUP list when the season starts, he will be forced to sit out of practice and games for the first six weeks of the season.
The players remained out of pads but will put them on for the first time when they practice on Wednesday.
Quarterback Carson Palmer looked solid in practice, with the exception of two throws: a comeback route to wide receiver Denarius Moore that cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke undercut and nearly picked; as well as another throw underneath that Van Dyke also missed by less than inches.
While much has been made about Palmer when in reference to new Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp's west coast styled offense, Palmer looked very comfortable throwing while on the run in many rollout situations.
As witnessed during OTAs and minicamp earlier this offseason, backup quarterback Matt Leinart has no problem extending a helping had to the starting quarterback. Leinart, who came from Houston with Knapp, has often been seen offering advice to Palmer should he make a mistake.
Running back Darren McFadden looks to be fully healthy from the foot injury he suffered in week seven last season. He looks just as quick as ever, making speedy cuts through the Raiders defense.
Second-year player Taiwan Jones and veteran running back Mike Goodson shared a lot of second-team snaps once again. Jones had some explosive plays when bouncing outside, while Goodson ran well also and even displayed his own speed when being split out wide before burning backup middle linebacker Travis Goethel.
Many believe that second-year player Joseph Barksdale has a chance of beating out Khalif Barnes for the starting right tackle spot. Although it was just the first day of training camp, Barksdale was seen primarily on the second-team offensive line at the left tackle position with Barnes remaining at his starting right tackle position. It will be interesting to see if Barksdale applies pressure on Barnes for his spot as camp proceeds.
One spot that will be interesting all training camp is the wide receiver position. With so many solid wide receiver prospects, some believe the Raiders may keep six on the 53-man roster. Should they only keep five, the fifth spot is most likely the only one available with Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore, Jacoby Ford, and Juron Criner most likely earning roster spots. Criner remained relatively quiet though the first day during team drills, but demonstrated his hands by catching everything thrown his way in position drills.
Both wide receiver Eddie McGee and Rod Streater had good practices today, each getting by double coverage to haul in deep balls along the sidelines. Thomas Mayo also hauled in a deep ball for a touchdown on what appeared to be a mistake in the secondary. It will be a good camp battle throughout their time in Napa for the remaining wide receiver spot(s) but Streater looks to be currently in the lead with his solid play throughout the offseason as a whole.
Third-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor had a poor day, ending the practice with a missed wide-open receiver, following an intercepted screen pass for a touchdown. The missed pass looked like Pryor was trying to aim the ball as opposed to trusting his instincts and just throwing the ball. Pryor has recently had to endure the pain of losing his father and his mentor in the span of just four days, a situation that anybody would struggle with.
Wide receiver Jacoby Ford went down during the first 11-on-11 drill when his footing slipped on an end around. Ford remained on the grass grabbing his left knee for a while before walking to the north endzone with the trainer. Ford put his helmet back on shortly after and joined Denarius Moore receiving punts.
The Raiders will return to the practice field tomorrow at 2:20 p.m. PST, with SBReport.net in attendance.