It was Youth Appreciation day at Raiders camp today. Nearly 900 youngsters from local high schools and Pop Warner teams filled the stands in their football jerseys. They got a ‘chalk talk' from Charles Woodson and Maurice Jones-Drew and former Raiders players players Sam Williams and Courtney Anderson.
For just the second time since they could first sport pads, the Raiders were having a light day in just shells. It was a technical day as they prepare to face the Vikings on Friday in Minnesota. The offense is really hoping they look better against another team than they did Tuesday against their own defense.
The ironic thing is today is after seven padded practices and ten days of camp, we had our first scuffle today while the players were in shells, working mostly half speed. It was Austin Howard and Justin Ellis got into some hand fighting and it was broken up pretty quickly. It wasn't much but at least the Raiders didn't have to trade for Martellus Bennett to get some scrapping around here.
The Raiders announced just prior to practice they had signed undrafted free agent linebacker, Spencer Hadley. He was suited up and on the field wearing his new number 51 jersey.
Working out on the side was Kaluka Maiva, Usama Young, Neiko Thorpe, and Keith McGill. The fact that all have leg injuries and all were doing running and jumping drills would suggest they should all be coming back relatively soon.
There wasn't a lot of full on 11 on 11 team sessions today, so there wasn't a lot of offense to talk about.
Matt Schaub found Mychal Rivera early on a long post pattern. He aired it out and Rivera layed out to pull it in inside the five yard line. Good pass, better catch.
Derek Carr had a few rough passes. Chimdi Chekwa was locked up on Juron Criner and nearly picked off Carr. A bit later he threw well out of bounds to Greg Jenkins who was wide open on an out route.
To break the huddle today, eight-year-old Charlie DeGrange broke the huddle. He has an inoperable brain tumor and begins treatment at UCSF medical center next week.
Dennis Allen said all players finished practice. Tomorrow is a travel day and then these guys who have been going at each other for the past two weeks and the entire off-season before that will finally get to test their skills against another team.
After the game, there is a travel day back and two more practices before they break camp. Then they head to Oxnard for a couple of days on the 12th and 13th before their preseason home opener against the Lions.