I have done my share of Oakland Raiders training camp reports, but they have always been second hand. It is nice to do this one from first hand knowledge. And the well reported intensity of a Hue Jackson practice was immediately apparent. The players were in full pads for the first part of practice, and in shorts and shells for the second half. Well, most of them were. Some players like Richard Seymour and Stanford Routt were in sweats, which seems crazy to me. I almost passed out from thirst as I stood on the sidelines in shorts, T, and flip flops.
Hue Jackson was not particularly impressed with this session, and the first thing he said when addressing the media afterward was, "This was not a Raiders practice. ...and I let the guys know that." To my unaccustomed eye it looked pretty intense. The coaches bring a lot of energy. Hue is amazing, and a crowd pleaser. Al Saunders is quick to run to any player when he notices a chance to coach, and Mike Waufle does not tolerate less than 100 percent effort.
The defensive team is expected to go after every ball that hits the ground if it is live or not. And if they don't, they are going to hear about it from Waufle. It's not just the players that will hear about it either. I think the entire town of Napa can hear it. Waufle is a loud dude, and his low gravelly voice would make even the most hardened drill instructor jealous.
Check out more updates after the jump....
- Kevin Boss was in for a visit. We already threw this out for discussion. Read if you dare.
Louis Murphy did not practice. Jackson said it was a "nick." I don't think it is anything serious. I saw Murphy jumping rope after practice.
- DHB practiced! Although it appeared very limited. He sat out the second half of the practice, but I did see him catch one nice deep pass over his shoulder and a little behind him. Baby steps!
- Cooper Carlisle did not practice today. No word on what the injury was. Hue described it like every other injury. It is just a "nick."
Jared Veldheer looked solid all day. He did an excellent job holding the edge against Matt Shaughnessy.
- The guard play did not look as solid. But then again, the Raiders defensive tackles make everyone look a little sub-par. Also, with Cooper on the sidelines and the new guys unable to practice until tomorrow (maybe?) there were few regulars left. Loper was beat a couple of times. I am not a big fan of Loper. He is slow, and despite his massive gerth he seems to be amazingly victim to bull rushing.
- Of the undrafted guard guys, Lamaak looked the best, but I imagine his best shot at making this team is on the practice squad.
- Joe Barksdale looked good on some plays and rough on others. On back-to-back plays Houston beat Barksdale on the inside and then on the outside. This caused Steve Wisniewski to pull him aside for some private instruction. All in all, Barksdale, showed the physical potential to play in this league, but he is going to need a few reps.
- Barksdale got exclusive look at right tackle. He is obviously going to get every chance in the world to win this position.
- The hype on Denarius Moore is justified. The guy was given a chance to shine at Wednesday's training camp and shine he did. Moore had a number of catches and I only noticed two times that he was targeted that it fell incomplete. Once was on a drop—it would've been a tough catch—over the middle, and another was on an overthrow down the sideline with Stanford Routt providing tight coverage. Other than that, Moore got the best of Routt and whoever else tried to guard him. And he catches everything with his hands. The most impressive play Moore made was about 40 yards down the sideline. Routt was with him stride for stride. Campbell lofted the ball to the inside. Moore found the ball, tracked it, got his feet caught up with Stanford as he moved inside, and still maintained his concentration. He then flat-out beat Routt to the ball while making a dynamic catch and then tumbling to the ground.
- On the flip side of that is Routt getting beat by Moore. This guy is getting going to have to be the No. 1 corner and he is getting paid handsomely to do it. Hue Jackson played it off after the practice saying that this happened after the pads were taken off and he wanted guys to slow it down a bit, and that some players were going at different speeds.
- Moore was also returning punts. He and Shaun Bodiford were the only ones I noticed returning punts today. Moore looks excellent after catching the ball. He runs low and quick. He is not a natural fielder of punts, and he muffed one, but with his hands, I would expect this to improve.
- I asked Hue Jackson about the punt return duties after practice, and he said the job is open to everyone. He specifically mentioned Moore, Jacoby Ford and Nick Miller. My early prediction? Miller doesn't make the team. Moore returns punts and Jacoby is saved for bigger things.
- Jason Campbell looked good. Seeing as how this is my first training camp practice to base it on, I have nothing to compare this with, but the guy was on the money. He had one miss throw all day and that was the overthrow to Moore with Stanford Routt blanketing him. Most of his throws were right on the right on stride.
- When we walked in the Raiders were giving the tight ends a good run on deep routes. And I didn't see on dropped pass. Richard Gordon, David Ausberry, Kevin Brock and Brandon Meyers all had at least one catch. Gordon and Brock are both big enough that you'd think they were offensive linemen.
- Darren McFadden was participating in blocking drills and stood up an on-rushing linebacker. It was an intense block and we would've been able to hear it had we not even gotten into camp. This brought on a cheer from everyone including Hue Jackson. But....
- McFadden's practice day ended right around this point. Guess what Hue Jackson called it? Yep, a nick. I saw McFadden leave the practice field at the end of the day without cast, brace, ice or limp.