Originally published on SBReport.net on July 27, 2013
The Raiders continued their training camp practices on Saturday, again without pads due to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that requires a two-day “acclimation” period for teams beginning camp.
Offensive tackle Menelik Watson, linebacker Miles Burris and defensive tackle Pat Sims remained out of practice and a few more joined them by the end of Saturday’s practice. Wide receiver Greg Jenkins and linebackers Kaluka Maiava, Billy Boyko and Sio Moore all left practice early with undisclosed injuries. Head coach Dennis Allen does not believe the injuries to be serious.
Roughly 1,000 fans joined the fun as the team hosted season ticket holders to watch practice from the sideline bleachers.
Allen was pleased with the performance from his team on just the second day of training camp, but not surprisingly, he still knows that there’s a lot of work to do.
“I thought the execution was better, but I still think we’ve got to catch the ball better,” Allen said. “We had way too many drops today, and that’s something we’ve got to continue to improve on. ”
Though the receivers may have had a rough day hauling in the passes, Allen saw an improvement in his quarterbacks.
“I thought our quarterbacks were a lot more crisp. I thought they did an outstanding job,” Allen said after practice.
Quarterback Matt Flynn had a solid day by not throwing any interceptions, though a pass to fullback Marcel Reece was almost picked by safety Tyvon Branch, who played the ball perfectly. Flynn’s play has impressed his new head coach thus far.
“I’ve been very impressed with Matt Flynn,” Allen said of his starting quarterback. “I’ve been impressed with his demeanor. He’s made some nice throws; some nice reads. I think he’s done a nice job with the first offense.”
Terrelle Pryor had another good day and kept the ball out of the defense’s hands while throwing nice deep passes. Though there was only defender on the field, Pryor put together back-to-back deep touchdown passes – the first to Denarius Moore and the second to Jacoby Ford.
Pryor has looked comfortable with deep balls during the two days of camp but it is the short and intermediate routes that Pryor has been known to struggle with his footwork.
Rookie Tyler Wilson was able to bounce back from a tough first day by making solid reads and also keeping the ball out of the defense’s hands. Wilson certainly does have a rocket arm and showed it off with a laser across the middle that hit his wide receiver right in stride.
Flynn believes that the chemistry and timing with his offense is not quite there, but he sees the potential for it to be explosive.
“I think it’s coming. It’s not there yet, but one thing I do know is that we have a very talented offense,” Flynn said of his offense. “Very talented – we have a lot of guys out there that can make plays; run routes. Now, it’s all about getting all of that to come together.”
One key piece of talent that Flynn will need to remain healthy is wide receiver Jacoby Ford, and Flynn knows how dangerous he can be if he’s healthy.
“Jacoby is explosive, fast and extremely talented and he’s a weapon, when healthy, that we’ve got to find a way to utilize, in whatever way we can,” Flynn said of his oft-injured wide receiver. “Whether it’s running routes, handoffs, whatever. We’ve got to find a way to utilize that speed and his quickness.”
Overall, though it’s just the second day of camp, Allen has been pleased with the performance of his team so early in training camp and how they’ve reacted to the challenge.
“At the end of the day we’re trying to create as much competition as we can on this football team and our guys are responding and they’re competing.”
Some notes from today’s practice: