Originally published on SBReport.net on Aug. 1, 2012
The Oakland Raiders put on the pads for the first time this offseason as they held practice Wednesday in Napa, Calif.
With a chance to be physical on the field, the players appeared lively from the beginning.
Wide receiver Denarius Moore sat out of practice as a precautionary measure for his hamstring injury, according to head coach Dennis Allen. Other injuries include Aaron Curry (knee), Ron Bartell (hamstring), Richard Gordon (hip flexor), Travis Ivey (conditioning) and Shane Lechler (knee). All players are considered day-to-day except for Curry, who remains on the PUP list.
Rookie wide receiver Rod Streater saw an increase in snaps due to Moore's injury and took advantage of the opportunity. Streater made nice catches in traffic and looked to create plays upfield after the reception. With Streater's performance he appears to be the favorite to take the Raiders' fifth wide receiver roster slot.
Running back Darren McFadden continued to look explosive when carrying the ball, finding running room on numerous occasions, including one play when he welcomed rookie linebacker Miles Burris to the NFL. After getting past the defensive line, Burris came up to tackle McFadden when McFadden lowered his shoulder and ran through the rookie linebacker. Burris said McFadden was "a specimen" following practice.
Burris is receiving an increase in snaps with the injury to Aaron Curry and is trying to take full advantage of it. Burris says that although they play the same position, Curry has been a great mentor towards him throughout the offseason.
Backup running back Mike Goodson returned to practice after leaving Tuesday's practice with an injury. Goodson appeared to be at full health, displaying his power and quickness. Second-year running back Taiwan Jones had a solid practice, getting to the edge as well as running between the tackles.
Quarterback Carson Palmer put together another nice practice, showing his ability to throw on the run. Palmer has been put on the run with a lot of rollouts in Knapp's offense and has consistently put the ball right on target.
Third-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor progressed from his last two practices, finding wide receiver Juron Criner with a nice pass for a sizable gain down the middle. Pryor followed it up with another nice ball while on the run to wide receiver Duke Calhoun on the sideline that should have been caught.
Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey made plays once again, but did drop one ball that was defended nicely by cornerback Shawntae Spencer. Other than the one drop, Heyward-Bey has caught the ball with his hands and made tough catches while looking to take the ball upfield after the catch.
Second-year cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke once again took advantage of veteran cornerback Ron Bartell's hamstring injury by making nice plays on the ball. DVD stayed step for step with Heyward-Bey down the sideline and turned his head to make a play at the ball and break up Palmer's pass. Turning his head is one thing that Van Dyke had problems with last season.
Practice concluded with little problems except for a late altercation between safety Tyvon Branch and rookie wide receiver Thomas Mayo. Mayo and Branch wrestled briefly before players separated him. Branch referred to it as a "camp squabble" following practice.
The team has Thursday off per the new CBA but will return to practice Friday afternoon to the Raider Nation in attendance. Raider fans will be in attendance for the three practices this weekend.
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