Raiders minicamp day three recap

Levi Damien

The final minicamp practice is done. Here is what went down.

The injuries piled up during minicamp but that was more because at this time of the off-season, even a little injury is not worth taking a chance on so players will just be sat down once they get nicked up.

Those who didn't practice today were Antonio Smith, Lucas Nix, D.J. Hayden, Kevin Burnett, Carlos Rogers, James Jones, Nick Kasa, Austin Howard, and Emmett Cleary.

The new names here are Emmett Cleary and Austin Howard. Cleary was just signed yesterday morning and was not deemed ready to practice yet. Howard suffered a finger injury on day two and Dennis Allen said he was being held out mostly as a precaution.

The only player whose status is in doubt for the start of training camp is Lucas Nix who had a procedure done recently on his knee.

From my vantage point the best looking player on the field today was Denarius Moore. He was doing what he is known to do from time to time which is make tough catches look routine while showing rare body control and hands to pluck passes out of the air and away from defenders.

Moore had two nice catches today including one in which he looked to be covered by the 6-3 Keith McGill but just as the ball arrived, he leapt up and plucked the ball away for a fantastic catch along the left sideline.

Interestingly enough, that was not the catch of the day. That honor goes to Mychal Rivera who reached up with one hand to pull down a tough high ball from Derek Carr. Not sure I saw the ball ever even touch his other hand as he came down with it.

Honorable mention goes to Juron Criner who continued to show perfect form in his pass catching. Anything anywhere near him, he was catching without breaking stride. He also showed some good route running on a comebacker that complete shook Tarell Brown.

Andre Holmes has had a problem with drops over these three days and that continued today. He had a sure touchdown pass bounce off his fingertips. That's not what is expected of him at all. Others to have drops include Rod Streater and Brice Butler. But overall, the receivers continued to play well.

There wasn't great play overall from the quarterbacks. Matt Schaub looked the best and Derek Carr continues to show his deficiencies in the short passing game. While he throws a beautiful ball on intermediate and long passes, he has struggled with dump-offs to running backs. Most passes are low and hard to handle and often fall incomplete.

The best defender today was safety Jonathan Dowling who on one play intercepted a Derek Carr pass over the middle and on the very next play, showed his range to fly over to the right sideline to knock down a Matt McGloin pass.

The other interception of the day came from Taiwan Jones who had Rahsaan Vaughn well-covered on a Matt McGloin pass.

Though McGill and Brown were both victims of great catches by Denarius Moore and Juron Criner respectively, they both made plays as well. McGill had a near interception on Criner from Derek Carr and Brown knocked down a pass from Schaub intended for Rod Streater.

From the trenches, the news comes with the offensive line alignment. Austin Howard was out with an injured finger and so they moved some pieces around. Khalif Barnes shifted from left guard to right guard and Gabe Jackson came it to play at left guard. Matt McCants also got reps with the first team at right tackle with Menelik Watson running with the second team.

This is the last recap for a month at which point training camp starts and you can expect one of these pretty much every day. Until then, chew on the news we have so far.

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