Tucked in the middle of the off-season each year is the mandatory minicamps. It is the three-day camp all the other camps have been leading up to and it's pretty much exactly what the players will be doing in training camp but a month and a half beforehand.
Here are my practice notes for the first day of the Raiders veteran minicamps:
There were no players who returned to the field from being injured in OTA's.
The others who were injured and not practicing were Josh Cribbs (knee), Isaiah Williams (unknown), Jon Hoese (calf), Nick Kasa (hamstring), Miles Burris (knee), Johnny Jones, Stacy McGee, Coye Francies (illness... still), D.J. Hayden (abdomen).
All three of the top quarterbacks had some erratic moments.
Terrelle Pryor got the ugliness started when he had two of the worst looking passes of anyone. Both were wobbly ducks, the second was a simple drop to the fullback in the flat that went right into the turf. The third pass he had batted down at the line. Later, he rolled out on a play in which Sio Moore would have destroyed him had this been contact. There was a pass later in which Pryor would have gotten David Ausberry destroyed when he overthrew him, forcing Ausberry to lay out in traffic.
In the next session, it was Matt Flynn's turn to stink it up. He got it started when he threw wide and out of reach for Denarius Moore followed shortly by a high pass to Moore which was nearly picked off by Charles Woodson. Then he threw high to Streater, who dropped it. He threw a completed pass after that to Streater but it was a wobbly pass that luckily wasn't defended because Mike Jenkins was looking underneath and was beaten anyway. Then Flynn had a pass batted down at the line too.
Later, Flynn had two wobbly passes that both led to nice catches by Marcel Reece and Denarius Moore. Great catches, not so great passes.
Overall, Wilson had the best day. Aside from the interception, he looked pretty composed. He also had the one really good pass of the day on a long sideline pass placed perfectly for Sam McGuffie to make a nice over-the-shoulder touchdown grab.
Matt McGloin received almost no reps in team sessions so it is impossible to judge his performance. I would say in three teams sessions, he got a total of maybe six snaps - some of which were handoffs.
While the offense was struggling, the defense was doing well to capitalize on some of their mistakes.
Sio Moore was all over the field. He always seemed to be around the ball and more importantly, the man who has the ball.
Kevin Burnett was getting reps as first team strong side linebacker and was also making some nice plays. He flushed Flynn out of the pocket once and later, when Flynn had tucked it to run, was there for a would-be stop right at the line.
The defensive line had six balls batted down - four on Terrelle Pryor and two on Matt Flynn. It is hard to tell sometimes who is doing the batting but with six of them, I would guess they're sharing the wealth.
While Carmona was playing target practice with the crane behind the goal posts, Sebastian Janikowski was playing target practice with the cameraman atop the crane.
Both King and Kluwe had issues today. Both dropped snaps, both were inconsistent.
The difference is the same as it always is - Kluwe's punts spiral and have lift, King's are end over end and fall out of the sky.
Denarius Moore, while he wasn't dropping passes, was also muffing punts.