Originally published on SBReport.net on Aug. 18, 2013
The Raiders returned to the practice field on Sunday, not wearing pads after their 28-20 loss to the Saints on Friday.
The practice was the first in which rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden was cleared for full contact, but the team being without pads will mean the young corner will have to wait another day to get his first hit.
Hayden is okay with that, staying content with just being on the field after suffering a near-death injury at the University of Houston last season.
“I’m happy to practice,” Hayden said after practice. “As long as I’m out there, I’m good.”
Hayden is expected to see his first game-time action when the Raiders host the Chicago Bears on Friday for their third week of preseason.
Starting quarterback Matt Flynn struggled for much of the day and had a string of three consecutive plays with a turnover.
Flynn threw an ugly pass that was picked off by Mike Jenkins, then on the next play, linebacker Kaelin Burnett was able to intercept Flynn’s pass. On the third play, Flynn dropped back and fumbled the ball as a defender got his hand in there to knock the ball away.
Terrelle Pryor was able to find some success on the field today and looked better than Flynn for the day. Pryor came in after Flynn’s mishaps and dropped in a perfect pass to Brice Butler who was running down the middle of the field.
Meanwhile, rookie quarterbacks Tyler Wilson and Matt McGloin didn’t see any snaps during team drills. Head coach Dennis Allen attributed this to being on a game-week schedule.
Though they were without pads, the defense was able to provide some pass rush on the quarterbacks with defensive ends Andre Carter and Lamarr Houston supplying the pressure. The Raiders will need to keep building a pass rush after seeing little of it on Friday against the Saints. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees routinely had plenty of time to locate an open receiver against the Raiders defense.
Starting running back Darren McFadden remained out with a shoulder injury after leaving Friday’s game early. Allen believes McFadden will be okay and sees the injury as minor.
“We limited him some today, but I don’t think it’s anything serious. I expect for him to be fine,” Allen said of his running back.
With Mike Brisiel still out with his ankle injury, Allen tried a combination of Lucas Nix at right guard and Tony Bergstrom at left guard. Veteran Andre Gurode was previously playing as the starting right guard, but today was working as the second-team center, replacing Alex Parsons.
Originally published on SBReport.net on Aug. 13, 2013
Dennis Allen kept his team in pads for the second straight day as the offense saw the benefit of wearing the silver jerseys under the hot Napa sun.
A couple players returned off of the injury list including defensive lineman Lamarr Houston, linebacker Billy Boyko and offensive lineman Lucas Nix. Veteran safety Charles Woodson returned from his veteran day off as well.
Unfortunately for the Raiders offensive line, starting left tackle Jared Veldheer was not present for practice and was off to get a second MRI on his injured tricep, according to head coach Dennis Allen after practice.
The Raiders need Veldheer to be healthy as he is an integral piece of the offensive line blocking Matt Flynn's blindside.
Replacing Veldheer at the starting left tackle position was veteran Alex Barron. Veteran offensive lineman Andre Gurode remained the starting right guard while incumbent Mike Brisiel remained out with his ankle injury.
In his first practice back, Boyko made his presence felt early by using his fresh legs to get around running back Darren McFadden to record the simulated sack during a pass rushing drill.
Starting quarterback Matt Flynn looked the sharpest of the four quarterbacks today, hitting wide receiver Rod Streater over the middle on consecutive plays with a pass right on the money just out of reach of the defender. He later dropped a deep ball in nicely to Brice Butler who was able to beat the defense on a deep post and haul in the pass while remaining in full stride.
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor struggled to find any rhythm today. Pryor went for a deep pass to Butler down the left sideline but put too much air under it and allowed Phillip Adams to get over and defend the ball. Pryor later made the mistake of locking in on his receiver, rookie tight end Nick Kasa, and saw Reggie Smith time his move perfectly to jump in front of Kasa and intercept the pass.
Pryor did show progress by later making the smart decision going for the easy play by dumping the ball off to Marcel Reece instead of forcing the ball downfield.
Pryor wasn't the only quarterback who struggled, as Matt McGloin should have had his own interception. McGloin attempted to drop the ball off short to his tight end but cornerback Cory Nelms jumped the route and should have had a pick-six but saw the ball drop through his hands instead. McGloin was able to bounce back on the next throw by finding wide receiver Isaiah Williams for a deep completion down the right sideline.
Rookie quarterback Tyler Wilson continues to see limited snaps in practice, often getting just one repetition per 11-on-11 session. Wilson's first attempt was thrown behind his intended receiver and Nick Kasa could not come up with the sliding catch. Wilson did however show off his cannon later in the day by throwing a fastball to Isaiah Williams in traffic for the short completion. Wilson's arm strength hasn't been the question, but him using it correctly has.
One player that continues to stand out is cornerback Chance Casey. Casey has shown his ability to be around the ball and did so once again on Tuesday.
Casey saw time with the second team on Tuesday and proved he belonged there by making a nice play by jumping in on a pass by Pryor to Butler. Casey stuck with Butler and timed his move quickly to get his hand in the way of Butler and knock the ball harmlessly down to the ground.
Casey is making a strong case for making the final 53-man roster and very well may if he keeps his high level of play going.
The Raiders return to the practice field at 9:20 a.m. on Wednesday morning, their last full practice before they head to New Orleans to take on the Saints on Friday.
Originally published on SBReport.net on Aug. 12, 2013
The Raiders put the pads back on as they returned to the field for their morning practice on Monday.
Returning to practice was linebacker Sio Moore and cornerback D.J. Hayden, though Hayden was still wearing his red "no contact" jersey.
Raiders head coach Dennis Allen believes that his young cornerback should be out of the red jersey and returning to contact shortly.
He won't play this week. He should be cleared for contact on... really Friday is when he should be cleared for contact. We'll re-evaluate that with the doctors after that but the plan going forward I would anticipate is that he would be up and going for the Chicago game."
Cornerback Tracy Porter was the only player that left practice early with what coach is referring to as an injury that's just a product of training camp. Veteran Charles Woodson was given the day off, according to Allen.
With Porter out, Hayden spent much of the time with the first team getting reps opposite of Mike Jenkins. Hayden also worked with the second team, increasing the amount of time he was on the field. Hayden can use as many reps as he can get after missing much of the Offseason Team Activities after his surgery to remove scar tissue in his abdomen.
The team worked on their special teams quite a bit on Monday, especially their punting units. One interesting note is that offensive lineman and current starting center Stefen Wisniewski was getting reps as the second-team long snapper. Wide receiver and kick returner Josh Cribbs was also getting tries at long snapping, moving up from being the personal punt protector.
You can't blame Allen and the coaching staff for making sure they have a backup plan after the debacle that occurred week one of last season. Pro Bowl long snapper Jon Condo went down with a head injury during the game and was replaced with backup linebacker Travis Goethel, who had a hard time getting the ball back to the punter.
Veteran offensive lineman Andre Gurode saw time as the starting right tackle with Mike Brisiel still out with a nagging injury.
Sio Moore made his return to the field noticeable early on in team drills as he got around right tackle Khalif Barnes to apply pressure to Matt Flynn. Moore spends part of each practice working with the linebackers and working with the defensive lineman since the coaches intend on using the versatile rookie in a variety of positions.
The defense did a nice job forcing throws underneath today once again, though the offense were able to get a few more deeper down the field. Matt McGloin had a couple of nice throws to Andre Holmes and Greg Jenkins for sizable gains.
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor had a pass intercepted with tight end Brian Leonhardt reached back to try and catch a ball thrown slightly behind him and it was tipped up and intercepted by the defender.
A similar situation happened to starting quarterback Matt Flynn as he tried to throw it to Denarius Moore, though it wasn't as far behind his intended receiver. Moore reached back and tried to make the catch but couldn't haul it in.
The Raiders return to the field on Tuesday for an afternoon session beginning at 2:50 p.m.
Originally published on SBReport.net on Aug. 11, 2013
The Raiders returned to the practice field for the first time following their 19-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys On Friday.
The team did not wear pads on Sunday which won't hurt the chances of getting some of their players back off of the injured list, a list that seems to keep growing.
Added to the long list were a couple of players that saw snaps in the game against the Cowboys: wide receiver Juron Criner, linebacker Keenan Clayton and running back Latavius Murray who never dressed up for Sunday's practice.
Running back Taiwan Jones was able to begin practice but was escorted off of the field and into the field house after sustaining an injury early on. Jones was unable to return to the practice field.
The same goes for linebacker Sio Moore who was on the field and doing drills at the beginning of camp but then was seen being taken off of the field and never returned.
Though head coach Dennis Allen doesn't see them as "serious" injuries, he knows that players with injuries are missing precious time on the practice field that can't be made up.
"Nothing season-threatening or anything like that," Allen said of the injuries. "I don't expect the guys to miss a lot of times, but we've got to get the guys healthy. We've got to get guys back out here. Those guys are missing a lot of time and they're falling behind, the more practices they miss, especially the young guys."
The defense wore the silver jerseys today as part of the inter-squad competition and will most likely be wearing them again tomorrow after the offense struggled to get the ball downfield. The offense was often forced to dump the ball off short as a result of good coverage deep.
Cornerback Tracy Porter was a defensive standout today, breaking on multiple routes by Denarius Moore and getting his hand in to defend the pass. During a red-zone drill, Porter timed a leap perfectly to get up and knock a pass down harmlessly to the ground in the back of the end zone in front of Matt Flynn's intended receiver, Rod Streater.
Prior to that, Streater was able to get open in the middle of the field and haul in a nice intermediate pass from Flynn.
The offense's biggest play of the game occurred when quarterback Terrelle Pryor threw a ball deep down the left sideline that rookie wide receiver Brice Butler hauled in the for the touchdown. Butler did a nice job adjusting on the ball to make the tough catch.
Butler continues to impress during camp after making the great touchdown catch during Friday's game against the Cowboys, the team's lone touchdown.
Allen attributes Butler's success in camp to the improvement in his routes, but at the same time, he wants to make sure that his young wide receiver stays hungry to improve each day he is on the field.
"I think his route running has gotten much-improved as he's been out here working," Allen said of Butler's biggest improvement.
Allen has been pleased with Butler's development but wants to make sure that his young wide receiver stays hungry to improve each day he's on the field.
"Listen, make no mistake, he's been a nice surprise," Allen said of Butler. "When you get a seventh-round draft choice like that who's really developed, that's nice to have. But at the same time, I don't want him reading too much of his press clippings and start feeling too good about himself. He's still a rookie, he's still got a long way to go, but he's off to a nice start."
The Raiders return to the practice field on Monday morning, beginning at 9:20 a.m.
Originally published by SBReport.net on Aug. 5, 2013
The Oakland Raiders put the pads back on Monday after having an unexpected day without them the day before.
Head coach Dennis Allen had previously scheduled Sunday to be a padded practice but decided against it due to the injury bug that has hit his team.
Rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden seems to have joined the injury list after going out with a hamstring injury, according to Allen. Allen stated after the game that Hayden was going to sit out of Friday’s game against the Cowboys even if he did not get injured in practice Monday. The young cornerback has been wearing a red “no contact” jersey for all of training camp after an offseason surgery to remove scar tissue in his abdomen.
“D.J. Hayden has a little bit of a hamstring,” Allen said of Hayden’s injury. “We’ll see where he’s at when we come back to work on Wednesday, players are off tomorrow for the mandatory day off. So we’ll see where he’s at on Wednesday. D.J. won’t play in the game against Dallas, then we’ll kind of reevaluate where we’re at with him after that.”
Hayden made a couple of nice plays in practice before pulling up lame. On consecutive turns in coverage, Hayden cut underneath wide receivers Juron Criner’s route and got his hand in there to knock the ball away.
With seven defensive lineman out after Sunday’s practice, the Raiders brought in defensive tackle Ryan Baker to compete on the team.
“I bring leadership. I bring high intensity. I’m a blue-collar kind of guy that just come out here and basically hits somebody in the face and gets practice going,” Baker said.
Monday marked Baker’s first appearance wearing the Silver & Black number 60 jersey, and he got thrown right into the fire in his first practice. Baker knows there’s no time to get acclimated with a game coming up this week.
“We have a game this Friday,” Baker said. “It’s time to get going, I’m glad they just threw me in there.”
Baker even got some chances as a long-snapper during special teams drills, but I wouldn’t expect him to be taking Pro Bowler Jon Condo’s job anytime soon. Baker short hopped some of the snaps but he stated afterwards that he’s here to help the defensive line, not snap to the punter.
“Actually, that was a mistake,” Baker said while laughing. “They said to switch the punt team and they turned me around and handed me the ball. So I’m not going to argue so I got down there and snapped the ball. I should’ve taken my gloves off, but I’m curious to see the film on that. But to answer the question, no, I’m not a long snapper.”
The defense seemed to have the upper hand on practice today and should be wearing the silver jerseys during next practice.
Defensive end Jason Hunter had a solid practice getting into the backfield and disrupting pass plays. Hunter was able to bullrush the right side of the offensive line and knock down the pass from quarterback Matt Flynn. On the next play, Hunter got around right tackle Khalif Barnes and Barnes was forced to hold Hunter to keep him away from the quarterback.
Young defensive end David Bass also had another nice practice. Bass used a good move to get to quarterback Terrelle Pryor for what would have been a sack.
The Raiders will need Hunter and Bass to help improve a defensive line that finished with just 25 sacks last season.
The return of right guard Mike Brisiel meant that Barnes was pushed back to his starting right tackle position while Alex Barron moved to the second-team left tackle position.
The Raiders wide receivers once again suffered from drops, this time from guys that have been catching everything during camp.
Tight end David Ausberry had a couple of drops you wouldn’t expect, and wide receiver Rod Streater had one clank off of his hands in the end zone. Wide receiver Denarius Moore also had two drops in a row, one of which went right through his hands and another one that was low but still catchable.
With the wide receivers struggling, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the quarterbacks didn’t have an especially great day as well. Flynn did complete a nice ball deep to Moore who beat his man easily for what would have been a touchdown.
After the team had so many drops in practice, it wasn’t surprising when practice ended with a ball going through Greg Jenkins’ hands on a quick pass from Matt McGloin.
Allen gave his players the night off away from meetings and the team doesn’t have to report back until 11 p.m. tomorrow night after the mandatory day off.
“I gave them the night off as far as meetings are concerned tonight,” Allen said. “The next thing they have is an 11 o-clock curfew tomorrow.”
Photo by Bob Carr
Originally published on SBReport.net on Aug. 4, 2013
Raiders head coach Dennis Allen had anticipated having his team practice in pads on Sunday but decided against it due to the ever-growing injury list.
“The anticipation was to be in pads today, but with the injury situation the way it is, we had seven defensive linemen that couldn’t practice today,” Allen said. “It’s hard to get multiple groups of a defensive front out there when you only have seven guys that are able to go. We took the pads off, we slowed the tempo down there at the end in hopes that we can keep some of these guys who have to take extra reps as fresh as we can.”
Included on Sunday’s list of non-participants was offensive lineman Mike Brisiel, wide receiver Josh Cribbs, cornerbacks Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter. But Allen stated that the injuries were minor and all were believed to be back soon.
“Sio Moore, Mike Jenkins, Tracy Porter, we held them out,” Allen stated. “Again, none of those are major injuries. Obviously they’re part of camp, part of things you have to deal with, so hopefully we’ll get those guys back sooner rather than later. We held out [Josh] Cribbs and Mike Brisiel.”
With Brisiel out, Allen pushed starting right tackle Khalif Barnes into the right guard position with Alex Barron stepping into the starting right tackle spot.
Allen says the move is all part of the evaluation process that takes place during training camp.
“The guy is a big, powerful man, and he’s played guard before,” Allen said of Barnes. “I mean it’s not like it’s a totally new position to him. Putting him in there, giving him a look, at the end of the day, we’re trying to find out what’s the best combination of five guys to put out on the field that’s going to give our offense the best chance for success.”
Taiwan Jones, who converted to cornerback in the offseason, has benefited from the time missed by fellow cornerbacks ahead of him in the depth chart. Jones had another solid practice defending passes on multiple occasions.
Jones attributes his recent play in the defensive backfield to his quick reactions.
“On defense it’s all about reacting and that’s one thing I’m pretty good at,” Jones said following Sunday’s practice. “It’s coming pretty easy… I’ve still got a lot of work to do though.”
It’s not often that a player makes such a drastic switch after entering the NFL, but Jones is accepting of the challenge and is having fun with it.
“It’s coming pretty good and I’ve been having fun and that’s what’s important,” Jones said. “The guys have welcomed me and I’m learning a lot from everybody so it’s been fun.”
Wide receiver Jacoby Ford was on the field again after missing time with an undisclosed injury. Ford made his presence on the field felt by catching virtually anything that was thrown his way. The Raiders will certainly need Ford to be healthy as they need production from their wide receiving corps.
The Raiders will need to get some players back quickly as they head into their first game on Friday, hosting the Dallas Cowboys.
The Raiders return to the practice field on Monday at 2:50 p.m.
Originally published on SBReport.net on Aug. 1, 2013
The Oakland Raiders returned to their Napa, Calif. practice field without pads for their first practice after having the day off on Wednesday.
Many of the players injured during the last week have yet to return to the field, with the exception of defensive tackle Vance Walker who was back on Thursday. Joining the injury list was defensive back Brandian Ross and defensive end Lamarr Houston. Head coach Dennis Allen says these injuries occur but stressed the importance to get his team healthy and back practicing.
“It’s part of training camp,” Allen said of the injuries. “But anytime you have injuries there’s a concern because this is the time that you develop your football team. So, we need these guys out here and we need them to get rehabbed and get out here as soon as possible.”
Tight end David Ausberry continues to have a nice camp and has been able to create separation on a variety of defenders. The third-year tight end used a nice double move on veteran safety Charles Woodson to get separation and haul in a deep pass that was placed nicely by Terrelle Pryor.
Another tight end that impressed today was rookie tight end Mychal Rivera. Rivera used a nice move on a deep post route that shook safety Usama Young and left him wide open for the deep reception. When drafting him, Allen knew Rivera could catch but the second-year coach has been pleased with what he has seen in the blocking game thus far.
“Rivera’s one guy as a rookie that’s come in and done a nice job,” Allen said. “He’s got a great feel for the passing game. One of the question marks of him coming in is ‘how well is he going to do as a blocker?’ and he’s really responded and done a nice job as far as that’s concerned.”
After losing Brandon Myers in the offseason, Allen is looking for a new starting tight and knows the team is better off when a player can haul in passes and block at the position.
“The more versatile they can be, the better off we’re going to be,” Allen said. “The tight end position is one of those which you’re part offensive lineman and you’re part wide receiver. So, they’re ability to be versatile for us when we need to run the ball and when we need them in pass protection they’ve got to be able to step up and do their job. And when we get a chance to throw the ball down the field to them, they’ve got to go make plays for us.”
Just a day after Allen stated that the team didn’t have any clear-cut number one receiver, Denarius Moore had a great practice, catching everything thrown his way. Moore made a great play leaping up and attacking the ball at the highest point to haul in a ball by Matt Flynn over Woodson and cornerback Tracy Porter. Allen had previously said that this is one thing he would like to see from Moore.
“I thought Denarius Moore made a great play down at the boundary,” Allen said of the play. “Those are the types fo plays that we expect out of him. I think he’s responding to the challenge.”
The Raiders would like to see Moore return to the play he provided at the beginning of last season before having a rough second half.
Though it is early in camp and his team hasn’t hit the field for even an exhibition game, Allen likes the way his team is developing.
“I said it before: I like this team,” Allen said. “I like their mindset. I like their mentality – they way they go about their business. We’re going to be a tough, physical football team and we’re going to be a mentally-tough team. That’s the challenge I’ve put forth to this team and they’ve responded.”
A couple things of note:
Originally published on SBReport.net on July 30, 2013
The Raiders returned to the practice field in Napa, Calif. for just one more day before their first scheduled day off on Wednesday.
With nearly one week down, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen is pleased with what his team has been able to accomplish in camp so far.
"I think overall, it's been a good week," Allen said. "When you start training camp you're trying to develop a culture of the team. You're trying to develop a a foundation of what you want to be as a football team. I think we're playing a physical brand of football and we're working that way and we're going to continue to do that."
Another day on the field meant another day for the quarterback competition to take place. Flynn had a solid day going for him until he attempted a throw to tight end David Ausberry that was intercepted by safety Tyvon Branch for what would have been a 99-year return for a touchdown. A couple plays before, Flynn found Ausberry streaking down the middle for a big gain.
Pryor was able to lead his team down the field during his turn, finishing the drive off by keeping the ball and taking it into the end zone himself. Pryor has improved on the field but needs to become more consistent as he still has errant throws and some poor technique at times.
"I think it's kind of playing out the way I expected," Allen said of the quarterback competition. "I think Matt Flynn has been pretty consistent. Terrelle Pryor does some really nice things at times. I think he's improved as a football player and as a passer. As well as Tyler Wilson and Matt McGloin's made some plays. I think those guys are doing exactly what we want them to do: just keep competing and keep playing. Don't worry about the depth chart, just worry about getting yourself better."
Tight end David Ausberry was standout player for another practice, showing off his receiving ability on multiple occasions. The Raiders would like to find a reliable tight end heading into the regular season just as they did with Brandon Myers last training camp.
Linebacker Sio Moore was energetic from the very beginning of practice. Moore would had two consecutive plays in which he would have had the tackle of the ball carrier. A couple of plays later, the young linebacker made a nice stunt underneath and would have had the sack on Flynn. Moore did a little dance after the simulated sack.
The Raiders would love to have Moore assist in pass rushing duties as the team lacked a consistent pass rush last season.
The wide receivers built on Monday's practice by having a day with fairly limited drops once again after the drops plagued the receiving squad early on in camp.
Rookie running back Latavius Murray did not practice today but was seen carrying his helmet and pads after practice. Offensive lineman Alex Parsons, defensive tackle Stacy McGee and wide receiver Conner Vernon were unable to finish today's practice due to injury. With injuries building up on the team, the day off will be welcomed. That said, Allen hopes players stay studious.
"I hope they rest and recover their bodies but I hope they stay in the playbook and pay attention to what we're doing," Allen said. "I know we get off a day from practice but really in the National Football League, there are no days off."
An interesting note is the offense was wearing silver jerseys today as opposed to the white ones they were wearing for the first couple of days. Allen has preached "competition" and has used the silver jerseys as another incentive.
"We talk a lot about competition and we're going to compete," Allen said. "There will be practices throughout training camp where we put the [silver] jersey up for grabs. The side of the ball that competes the best, the side of the ball that wins [gets the jersey] - because at the end of the day, we're judged on winning and losing. We had a competition day the other day, the offense won the jersey and the defense is trying to get it back."
Originally published on SBReport.net on July 29, 2013
The Oakland Raiders put pads on the for the second-straight day, and in the beginning it looked as if rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden was going to get his first day of physical play as he stretched without the red “no-contact” jersey. As it turned out, Hayden was still required to wear the jersey as he put it on shortly after the team was done stretching.
There’s no question that Hayden himself appears ready take the jersey off and get back to playing physical football, but head coach Dennis Allen wants to take it easier with his young corner.
“He wants to go, he wants to go. I think that’s a great thing about him,” Allen said of the first-round draft pick. “That really speaks to the type of guys that we’re trying to bring in here: guys that love football; they want to practice.
“I’m excited about the fact that he’s ready. Mentally and physically, he’s ready. But we’re going to take a little bit more of a cautious side on that and make sure that he’s totally ready before we put him into contact drills.”
Hayden attempted to participate in a tackling drill on Sunday but was pulled by secondary coach Clayton Lopez just before his turn.
Coaches also had a new, but also familiar, face on the field for them for the first time on Monday: linebacker Omar Gaither.
Gaither originally joined the Raiders towards the end of last season and appeared in seven games, including four starts while disgruntled linebacker Rolando McClain remained off of the field.
With the injury to second-year linebacker Miles Burris, Allen felt it was necessary to get some more depth at the linebacker position.
He was a guy that we felt good about the way that he played for us last year, coming in towards the middle end of the year. At the end of the year, he started some games for us.
“I think his versatility is good for us. He spent a lot of time at Mike linebacker and that’s where we played him today and that’s where we’ll start him out, but he’s a smart enough player and versatile enough player that he can play a couple of positions for us.”
It didn’t take long for Gaither to get thrown right back into the mix as he took plenty of snaps at the middle linebacker position. It also didn’t take long for him to get physical with his fellow teammates.
The linebackers were working on getting off the block and getting to the ball carrier when Gaither gave the ball carrier, who was fellow linebacker Kevin Burnett this time, a nice crack. Just like a typical linebacker’s mentality, Gaither welcomed getting back to the physicality of football.
“It’s just always good to get the pads on after so long. You know, you’re running around with jerseys and pants and all offsesaon you’re working out in the gym and that’s not really playing football, so it’s finally good to get out here.”
The quarterbacks were inconsistent on the field today, missing their mark on numerous occasions. Starting quarterback Matt Flynn threw a couple of balls low while Terrelle Pryor overthrew his target.
On one occasion, Flynn hit second-year wide receiver Juron Criner but the ball was low and Criner had to dive for it, not allowing any run after the catch. Criner had beaten Hayden on a short curl route.
Flynn did later have a good session in the red zone finding his tight ends Richard Gordon and David Ausberry for touchdown passes.
Pryor overthrew one receiver and should have been intercepted by safety Usama Young, but he let the ball hit the ground. Pryor then had wide receiver Brice Butler wide open deep down the field but he overthrew him as well.
Though Pryor was able to bounce back during the last drills of practice to find tight end David Ausberry in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.
All of the quarterbacks had their ups and downs today and will need to become more consistent on the field.
After struggling with drops for the first couple of practices, Oakland’s wide receivers had a better day holding on to the football. Quarterback-turned-wide receiver Greg Jenkins has been one of the players that has struggled with drops at times, but that was not the case on Monday. Jenkins made a couple of nice catches in the end zone towards the end of practice, but he will need to become more consistent.
After losing wide receiver Jacoby Ford to injury yesterday, the Raiders lost four more players on Monday. Offensive lineman Lucas Nix, nose tackle Johnny Jones, defensive tackle Vance Walker, and defensive lineman Brandon Bair were unable to finish practice.
“At the end of the day, it’s really the normal bumps and bruises that you get in training camp and we’ll see how long it takes them to get back,” Allen said of the injuries. “It’s day 2 in pads, so some of those things you’ve got to be able to deal with. And it’s a next-man-up philosophy; get the next man ready.”
The Raiders return to the practice field on Tuesday at 9:20 a.m.
Photo by Bob Carr
Originally published on SBReport.net on July 28, 2013
The Raiders returned to the practice field for day three of training camp, but this time wearing pads for the first time of camp.
“Finally we didn’t have to let off the gas and we could just go how we wanted. It felt pretty good,” rookie defensive tackle Stacy McGee said.
Cornerback Mike Jenkins was able to return from yesterday’s injury but replacing him was wide receiver Jacoby Ford. Ford was unable to finish Sunday’s practice but his injury is not believed to be serious, according to head coach Dennis Allen.
The Raiders wide receivers continued to have difficulty hauling in the ball and completing passes as their were numerous drops once again. The drops came from unlikely sources for much of practice as fullback Marcel Reece dropped a couple, as well as Ford before he left with his undisclosed injury. One of the passes Ford dropped was a perfectly placed ball by Terrelle Pryor that would have gone for a touchdown.
“It was better today than it was yesterday,” Allen said after practice. “It’s going to be a continual process and really, at the end of the day what it comes down to is concentration. Focus in on the football; make the plays when you get the opportunity. That’s what players in the National Football League do.”
One wide receiver that has continued to impress is second-year wide receiver Rod Streater. Streater made a handful of nice catches including one in which he elevated above Jenkins on the sideline and managing to get his toes inbounds.
The young wide receiver has impressed his head coach with his play on the field so far.
“I think he’s a little more confident,” Allen said of his young wide receiver. “I think he’s got a little bit better understanding of how the NFL game is played. He’s playing a little bit more physical and that’s one of the qualities we like about him. He’s improved his route running. And again like I talked about before: you’ve got a guy that’s got some talent and the guy works extremely hard, he’s going to continue to get better.”
Though the team was in pads, rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden was still wearing his red “no contact” jersey. Hayden did participate in most drills but when the defensive backs were working on tackling, Hayden was pulled out of line by secondary coach Clayton Lopez pulled him out and didn’t allow him to participate.
Hayden made some nice plays when he was on the field. In a one-on-one drill, Hayden lost a step to wide receiver Travionte Session on a double move but was able to recover nicely and use his hands to knock the ball down to the grass before Session could secure it. Hayden has used his hands on multiple occasions to knock the ball out already.
Cornerback Taiwan Jones, who has been converted from running back, made a cle of nice plays during today’s practice. Jones was able to jump up and intercept a poorly thrown pass from Matt McGloin. Jones also held his ground during a blocking drill pushing his defender back on one occasion. Jones’ blocking ability has been a problem for him in the past.
The quarterbacks once again were able to limit turnovers for the most part, though safety Charles Woodson did almost make a nice one-handed interception on a ball from starting quarterback Matt Flynn to Streater.
Pryor continues to throw a consisten deep ball but did have a couple of balls batted down on shorter attempts. Pryor has had a problem of getting balls batted down throughout the offseason. One play of note for the third-year quarterback was a pass to wide receiver Juron Criner over the middle where he had to put some touch on the ball to get it over linebacker Keenan Clayton’s reach. Such types of throws have often been difficult for Pryor.
Rookie Tyler Wilson did throw an interception during drills where he needed to put more distance on the ball, but then bounced back nicely with the long pass to Streater that was right on the money.
One competition that will continue throughout camp is for the starting tight end position. Third-year man David Ausberry has had a solid camp so far but knows he needs to continue to work hard if he wants to get the nod come opening day.
“You’ve got to be prepared and you’ve got to be willing to do whatever they ask of you and play to the best of your ability. That’s the only thing you can do,” Ausberry said of his mentality coming into camp with an open competition.
Defensive end David Bass had a solid practice while getting around the third-string offensive linemen and applying pressure on the quarterback. Bass got to Wilson two times in a row for what would have been a sack and then forcing Wilson to throw the ball down.
Fans in attendance also were graced with the first scuffle between players of this year’s camp. Players and coaches didn’t say who it was, but acknowledged that it did occur and it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“It happens. It’s football, okay. It’s football,” Allen said of the scrum. “At the end of the day we’ve got to understand that we can’t hurt our team. We need everybody out there, but you’ve got to practice football and you’ve practice it tough; you have to practice it physical. You’re never going to be able to run the ball if you don’t come off the ball and try to knock the heck out of people, so that’s what we did. First day of practice you get pads on, everybody’s a little jacked up. It got a little fiesty in there, but you know what, that’s alright.”
Practice resumes tomorrow starting at 2:50 p.m