It's the rubber practice for the Raiders mandatory minicamp. And it was time to see what new developments occur or if any trends are developing from yesterday's practice. There was much to be discovered in today's practice and much to be learned about the direction of this team.
On offense, two tight end sets were the order of the day. It is a big part of Greg Knapp's offense to deploy two tight end sets and it was on full display today.
The defense picked it up a little bit but as expected with no real pass rush or contact, the offense still dominated things.
Denarius Moore was not practicing after going down with a right hamstring injury yesterday. He was walking with a slight limp but the mere fact that he was there and walking was a good sign. Dennis Allen said it is not serious and he will be back full by training camp.
Mike Mitchell and Manase Tonga were still not in attendance with their respective knee injuries. Dave Tollefson (calf) and Stefen Wisniewski (shoulder) were in attendance but still not practicing.
Aaron Curry and Travis Ivey were both not practicing. Curry was out with what was referred to as sore knees. Ivey's injury is a concussion. How does a guy get a concussion with no contact, you ask? He got it lifting weights. How does a guy get a concussion lifting weights, you ask? Allen says he was hit with a weight bar. That is all we know. He was in attendance but didn't practice.
The story of today was Rod Streater who was running with the first team in place of Denarius Moore. He has played well thus far in camp and continued to do so catching balls versus the first team defense. Read more about Streater's day here.
Richard Gordon was making some nice catches through the first part of practice. He had a couple of miscues and drops later on but he is firmly in the tight end competition mostly for his blocking skills.
The best hands in camp continue to be those of Juron Criner, David Ausberry, and Streater.
Owen Schmitt looks good as a receiving fullback. He is very smooth catch balls out of the backfield.
Taking a step back was Eddie McGee. He misread a pass from Leinart and came down awkwardly. He later had ball bounce off his hands where it was intercepted by Rolando McClain. The next pass he saw, was low and he laid out for it and came up lame. He was taken off the field and into the facility just prior to the end of practice. He missed most of OTA's with a hamstring tweak and this could be yet another setback.
Darrius Heyward-Bey had an up and down day. He started out making several nice comeback completions on timing routes from Palmer. Then later he and Palmer had a miscommunication on a route and a few plays later he dropped a pass right in his hands on a crossing route.
Chaz Powell has been returning punts and has been having a lot of trouble fielding them. He will need to prove he can be versatile and play special teams if he hopes to make this team. He definitely has speed though. He caught up to Taiwan Jones on one play which is quite an accomplishment.
The best defense of the day was played by Kaelin Burnett. He was in the backfield all day. He had a would be sack on Terrelle Pryor and was in had the running back dead to rights for a loss on several occasions as well. It is nice to see some play from the defense. Granted he is rushing against the third team offensive line but if he keeps this up, he could get a shot at the second team at some point.
Michael Huff stripped DHB for fumble on a short catch and Bryan McCann caught up to a floating Terrelle Pryor long ball to knock it down. Those were the only two plays by the defensive backfield on the day.
As usual, I will be back at practice tomorrow and will be live tweeting so follow me @LeviDamien.