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Raiders minicamp day 1 wrap: Derek Carr throws to Amari Cooper for first time

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The final portion of the Raiders offseason practices got underway today. It was the first of three days of mandatory minicamp and there was a lot going on. Here are my practice notes for the day.

The construction continues at Raiders headquarters in Alameda. Each time we arrive, the makeover gets more and more widespread. As I walked from my car to the press room, I could hear someone yelling like a drill sergeant on the other side of the fence.

That voice was defensive coordinator, Ken Norton Jr, who was already at full energy and volume saying "Come on. We walk all the way around. This is Oakland!" He was speaking of the fact that the players can no longer come out straight from the locker room to the field, but must use the back door and walk through the parking lot and all the way around the two fields which are one big construction site now.

The news today was that Derek Carr was cleared to practice. The question was how active he would be and what would he look like throwing the ball after not having done it for more than a month.

Carr looked like he hadn't missed a beat, throwing as nice a ball as ever. You can read more about his day here.

Here are the first connections between Derek Carr and Amari Cooper in drills:

This was also to be the first time we would see Raiders newest return man, Trindon Holliday in a Raiders uniform. He was signed to replace injured rookie Andre Debose who is lost for the season with an Achilles tear. Holliday is quite small; 5-5 to be exact. That stature is even more accentuated in warmups when he was standing next to 6-3 Brice Butler. Holliday took the number 16.

Also new with the team is receiver Kris Durham who is wearing number 83.

The other newcomers on the field were referees. The first to draw a flag was Nate Allen who was called for holding on Amari Cooper on a crossing route. Cooper was still upset he didn't pull in the pass, even though he had Allen draped all over him.

Cooper was a target a lot on the day as Derek Carr was enjoying his newest target. They connected several times on the day, most notably late on a go route up the left sideline which Car put on him for a touchdown.

The most impressive receiver on the day was probably Clive Walford who routinely ran great routes and picked up good yards. One particular pass, he plucked over the top of Nate Allen from Carr.

Kenbrell Thompkins also made a few nice grabs. His favorite route was a post pattern. First Carr hit him in stride over the middle and then Christian Ponder through one to him that looked almost identical.

Rod Streater made a couple nice grabs too, one in which he laid out to pull in a low pass from Matt McGloin.

About halfway through practice, Brice Butler was not taking passes anymore, and was jogging on the sideline. After that, he was sidelined, watching the remainder of practice. We'll see if he is able to return to practice on Wednesday.

The Raiders continue to mix things up on the offensive line. J'Marcus Webb was getting first team reps at right guard ahead of Jon Feliciano. Menelik Watson was working with the first team at right tackle ahead of Austin Howard. Khalif Barnes was working at second team left tackle.

There were a few plays made on the defensive side of the ball. On a couple different Trent Richardson runs, first Charles Woodson flew in to stop him for a short gain, and on another run Dan Williams clogged the middle for no gain.

Keith McGill did a nice bit of covering on a pass from Ponder to Michael Crabtree. He shadowed Crabtree and turned just in time to knock the ball down. Ken Norton Jr was not pleased with it, though. He though McGill should have picked it off and gave him an earful for it.

The defense, and the linebackers in particular were quite firey, with a couple of incidents of jawing and some pushing. First it was Ray Ray Armstrong who got in a bit of a scuffle, though it was hard to tell who with. Later Armstrong was getting in the face of Marcel Reece on the sideline, and Reece gave him the one-arm ‘back up off me' as he walked past him.

Shortly after, Neiron Ball and Khalif Barnes got into it with it ending with the veteran Barnes staring Ball down with a ‘watch it' finger point. Ball later also knocked down a pass from Ponder intended for Jamize Olawale.

Sio Moore continues to increase his work as he recovers from offseason hip surgery. He still isn't full go yet, or no doubt you would see him in on these scuffles and jawing as well. Expect to see him make up for lost time in training camp.

The one interception of the day came from Curtis Lofton from Carr. It bounced off Amari Cooper's hands and was plucked out of the air by Lofton, who returned it ten yards or so for a defensive score. It was one of the rare drops from Cooper.

Fielding punts were T.J. Carrie, Trindon Holliday, Austin Willis, and Amari Cooper.

Late in practice, the Raiders hosted several Special Olympians. They arrived in their own custom Raiders jerseys, watched practice for some time and then joined the team in their final huddle. Several Raiders players came over to greet them after practice, Derek Carr and Rod Streater most notably.