It's late but never TOO late to get post my notes on the first day of Raiders 2013 Training Camp. So, here we go...
It was nice to be back in Napa for the start of another training camp. Weather wise, it was a perfect day. I don't expect too many of those as it can get pretty sweltering in Napa as August rolls around.
Practice began at 8:50am and shortly after, practice was opened up to the season ticket holders who had chosen today for their glimpse of the Raiders in training camp. They were actually on the field before we were invited in.
Once on the field, the first bit of news was that D.J. Hayden was on the field practicing in a red non-contact jersey. This less than 24 hours from when the team had placed him on the non-football injury list.
Shortly afterward, the notice was that of who was NOT on the field. Those players were Miles Burris, Pat Sims, and Menelik Watson. Watson was placed on the non-football injury list and we found out later, Burris and Sims are on the active PUP list which is essentially the same as the NFI list in many ways. The three of them were spotted on stationary bikes in the field house.
There were no pads for this practice. The first two days will be much like minicamp in which there is litter to no contact. This is per the new CBA which states pads are not allowed until the third day of camp. Thursday is technically the first day but the team was in meetings all day with no practice.
Kaluka Maiava was practicing with the team. He had been due in court in Hawaii on assault charges but was able to get here in time to not miss any camp practices.
In non-contact practices, the only players you can really get a good read on are those involved in the passing game. With that in mind, the best looking player was Matt Flynn. He didn't look rusty at all and made most of his throws with zip and accuracy. It was a good first step in a camp where he needs to show himself to be absolutely the best quarterback on this team.
There were four interceptions on the day; Mike Jenkins (Pryor), Cory Nelms (Wilson), Joselio Hanson (Wilson), and Reggie Smith (Wilson).
The catch of the day came from Rod Streater who got behind Tracy Porter and came back at the last moment to make a leaping, back-shoulder catch at the goal line on a long pass from Pryor (I mistakenly said it was Flynn initially).
The Raiders tweeted out this picture of Sebastian Janikowski hitting a tackling dummy in drills. It's awesome
Dennis Allen was asked about it afterward, to which he responded "I'd rather see him kick it." He clearly did not see the picture.
The Tracy Porter/Charles Woodson number 24 was a subject of conversation after practice. Dennis Allen said Porter's number is "the least of our worries", Woodson thanked the fans for helping him get the number, and Porter was a no-show for interviews after practice. My theory is he disguised himself as a fan and snuck out with the crowd.
Dennis Allen said quarterbacks will get a pretty even rotation for the first part of camp. We see more of Matt McGloin today which was good. He handled the extra reps very well and seemed to make all the throws with no glaring mistakes.
Near the end of practice, there was a mystery player spotted on the opposite field working out for the team. He was taking snaps which, of course, leads one to believe he was a center, but it was yet unknown. We soon learned it was free agent center Andre Gurode who was signed a few hours later.
Back tomorrow for Day 2 of training camp. Practice starts at 2:20pm. As per usual you can follow me @LeviDamien by clicking the handy little button below.