Day two of Raiders training camp is now in the books. It was also the first day with a season ticket holder fan presence which changed the vibe of practice some as players now had a cheering section. It was also the last day the team will practice without pads.
"That right there is the last of our acclimation practices," said Jack Del Rio. "We can actually put the pads on tomorrow, so we'll do that. Pretty solid day's work. There's so much to get done but the energy was good. I think having a pretty good crowd out there today was nice."
Injury updates: Returning off the PUP list was linebacker Sio Moore. Still out are Rod Streater and Trent Richardson, who are on the Non-Football Illness list, and Trindon Holliday and Stacy McGee who are on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Del Rio still has not commented on any of the injuries except that none are major and he called Streater and Richardson "Day to day". Rookie Clive Walford is still not practicing with an undisclosed injury.
Added to the list of players not at camp today is Brice Butler. Yet again, for unknown reasons.
Derek Carr was connecting a lot with Mychal Rivera today just as he was yesterday. Rivera's reps have increased in the absence of Clive Walford. Most of the catches have been the over-the-middle variety, although he did have a nice over-the-shoulder catch right in front of the fans that drew quite a bit of applause.
Even with a few nice connections from the offense, the defense won the day. There were several passes defended, an interception, and a forced fumble. D.J. Hayden knocked a pass down from Carr intended for Amari Cooper and Neiko Thorpe had his second nice defensive play in consecutive days, knocking down a Christian Ponder pass intended for Rivera.
All of this meant yet again the offense had to do pushups at the end of practice.
There was also our first scuffle of training camp. Jon Feliciano was blocking on the second level and he and linebacker Neiron Ball got into it. It was broken up fairly quickly. You expect that kind of thing from fellow draft picks who are both trying to fight for roster spots and playing time.
Catch of the day: Marcel Reece
Derek Carr saw Marcel Reece out to the left with Malcolm Smith turned around. He threw it his way and despite Smith putting his arms up and getting all up in Reece's grill, he still reached over the top of Smith and came down with the pass on his back. Just for good measure, Reece did some pushups for the cheering crowd.
Pick of the litter: Nate Allen
We have our first interception of training camp. Derek Carr unwisely threw a long ball to Michael Crabtree who was in double coverage between Keith McGill and Nate Allen. Allen got position in front of Crabtree and the pass sailed over Crabtree and into Allen's hands for the pick. Carr threw a pass to Crabtree yesterday in a similar situation and it was the catch of the day. The difference was the ball was right on target and didn't sail. The coverage was good in both instances.
Gotta step it up: Amari Cooper
The most disappointing player today was Amari Cooper. He hasn't stood out either of the first two days, but today he had a couple bad plays on top of it. D.J. Hayden shadowed him on a route for a pass defended and later he took a short pass and turned upfield only to have Keith McGill reach out and pop the ball out of his arms to force a fumble.
So far the young cornerbacks have shown up well. Keith McGill and Neiko Thorpe have especially stood out and made some nice plays. There was a lot of concern about whether they could carry the load, but they look pretty good so far.
These guys are ready to put pads on. It's been four months since they began practicing with dozens of practices, all of which have come in at most shorts and shells. That day arrives tomorrow.