As practice began Friday, it appeared as if the usual rust the quarterbacks had been feeling in OTA's and minicamps was not there. And just about the time that thought crossed my mind, it left the way it came.
That's when rookie Tyler Wilson threw three interceptions on four passes with the fourth being nearly intercepted. The first interception looked to be a nice play by Cory Nelms on a long ball intended for Conner Vernon. Then the second interception came courtesy of Joselio Hanson and the third by Reggie Smith all came pouring in and you suddenly wonder what is going on with the Raiders normally unshakeable rookie quarterback.
"I think I threw three in a row that were just, I'd like to have back," said Wilson. "It wasn't necessarily they were really bad throws... there was one ball down the sideline, we had a hitch-go and I thought it was the right read, right projection of the ball. The guy (Nelms) made a really good play. I might have lowered the flight on the ball a little bit. Then there's another throw, high/low in the corner, the corner (Hanson) baited me into the throw and then made another good play."
"Well, I think it's one of those deals where you throw the first one and... I was done, I'd forgot about that one, and you come back and you force another ball and they make a good play on it so," said Wilson. "It's one of those things."
It's one of those things that has been happening to most all of the Raiders quarterbacks throughout their off-season practices. For each of their OTA practices, after a week away, the quarterbacks had a rough day. Those days were also the days media was typically in attendance and it was cause for a lot of bad press about the Raiders quarterbacks.
"That first day is always trying to get things accomplished and knock that little bit of rust off," said Wilson. "There's jitters, everybody's amped up and excited so it's not your crisp day the majority of the time. I thought we did a pretty good job of approaching practice today and executing, but always room for improvement and a lot more things we can do."
"We got a bunch of practices before the first game so there's a lot of good plays out there. It's like playing golf. You double bogey the first hole, you still got 16 more of them. You find ways to make a lot of strides from here on out."
To his credit, that rough patch was just that - a patch. Whatever happened in that stretch didn't follow him the rest of the day.
"I thought I had a really good practice today except for one period. And it was about five minutes worth of throwing," said Wilson. "You have to understand though, you're trying to get completions in 7-on-7 and kind of my mindset is to keep going after them and I have to kinda tame that sometimes and say, ‘hey, let's get completions and get first downs and be conservative with the football'. I think that got me there for a quick period that day and came back and hit four of five in a row the next period and had a team period to finish practice."
The quarterbacks as a whole didn't look near as bad as they had in those first practices of OTA's and minicamp which is a credit to their familiarity with the offense.
Terrelle Pryor had some poorly thrown balls and also threw an interception in Mike Jenkins who read him and stepped in front of a pass intended for Jacoby Ford. He also had some nice throws including following up his interception by dropping in a long ball to Andre Holmes.
Overall, they had a good day, even with the rough spot by Wilson, especially considering it was the first day of camp. And Wilson's ability to shake it off and put that stretch behind him, even with bleachers filled with fans in attendance speaks well of him.