It was a scorcher in Napa today. Not helping matters for me was my decision to wear all black. The Raiders' defense is always in black but they have pads and helmets so I can't imagine what they were going through.
But, how comfortable myself or the Raiders are in their gear quickly became a moot complaint once Mike Goodson went down after a helmet to helmet collision with linebacker Philip Wheeler. He was loaded on a stretcher and an ambulance took him to the hospital. But that didn't stop practice.
While Goodson lay on the field waiting for the ambulance, the Raiders continued to practice on the other side of the field. That may seem cold but that's just the nature of the game. They can't stop preparing this team to focus on a player injured on the field. Most times it is nothing serious. This time it appeared to be quite serious. It was a neck injury which is always scary.
But thankfully, the X-rays came back negative and Goodson was released from the hospital about three hours later and was back at the team hotel by the evening.
Another injury was to Jack Crawford's foot. He didn't finish practice and we'll know more tomorrow on its severity. He joined Shane Lechler (knee), Eddie McGee (hamstring), Denarius Moore (hamstring), Taiwan Jones (hamstring), Aaron Curry (knee), and Richard Seymour (knee).
Richard Gordon was listed as second team in the depth chart the Raiders released yesterday and he was indeed running with the second team today. He made a nice one handed grab in drills but not long after, he dropped on right on his hands at the goal line. He is a tremendous blocker but his inconsistent hands can't continue and still be a legitimate threat for this team.
Gordon being second team had Davis Ausberry working with the third team. And lately Ausberry has done nothing to earn any better. Today he dropped an easy pass from Palmer and later had a ball swatted out of his hands by Brandon Underwood.
There was some fine play by the defense in the trenches today. Lamarr Houston had a couple of really nice run stuffs today from the left side of the line. Desmond Bryant also came flying into the backfield to stuff behind the line. In pass blocking drills, Mason Brodine blew up tight end Kyle Efaw on the pass rush, lifting him completely off his feet. Like I said, Efaw has good hands but his pass blocking is seriously lacking.
Before Goodson went down with the Wheeler hit, he had been in the second scuffle of camp. He was hit late by Brandon Underwood and he took exception to it and got in his face and they had to be separated.
We nearly had another fight a few minutes later which looked to be a continuation of the very first fight a few days ago. Thomas Mayo caught a pass and after the play had just ended, Mike Mitchell came over and put a shoulder to his head which had the two jawing briefly although there was no contact after that as there had been when Tyvon Branch and Mayo had the fight last week.
The best catch of the day was by Brandon Carswell. He ran up the right sideline and Pat Lee had him in tight coverage. Matt Leinart "escaped" the pocket and saw that though Lee was on Carswell closely, he was turned around. So Leinart threw it his way and last moment Carswell reached up with one hand and pulled the ball down inbounds. It garnered an "ooooooh" from all those in attendance as well as the team on the field.
The longest gain of the day came when Darrius Heyward-Bey somehow broke wide open in the middle of the field and Palmer put it on him and he was free and clear for about a 70 yard touchdown.
Outside of the run stuffs by Houston and Bryant, the only real defensive play was Stupar nearly intercepting an ugly Terrelle Pryor pass. Stupar has been a holy terror for Pryor. He ended Pryor's day a few days ago with an interception in the endzone. Though, he is playing against the third team, Stupar has looked quite good.
As for Pryor, he had an up and down day. He threw a couple other off target passes but also had a nice long pass to Criner over the middle.
Criner had the catch of the day before Carswell stole his thunder. Criner went up to pull down a perfectly place pass in the corner of the endzone from Leinart. Chekwa was on him and but had no shot as Criner leapt up and made a really savvy hands catch. He makes a lot of catches like that. Not quite Denarius "There that man again" Moore ala 2011 camp, but close.
Palmer had one miscue on the day when he overthrew Brandon Myers and was lucky there were no defenders in the area behind him or it would surely have been intercepted. Palmer mention the bad throw in his press conference. That's a good thing when he can remember the one big mistake he had instead of the many bad mistakes. Previous days there was many more than one mistake.
Back at practice tomorrow morning 8:50 am. Keep up with my live practice tweets @LeviDamien. Perhaps this time I will steer clear of the all black wardrobe.