It's day three of Raiders training camp which means the first day in pads. That also means things start to get really interesting because the Raiders can practice blocking and pass rush drills they couldn't when they were just in jerseys. More on that in a minute.
Injury update: Brice Butler was back at practice today after missing day two with an undisclosed injury. Not practicing for the first time was rookie cornerback Dexter McDonald. Still on PUP is Trindon Holliday and Stacy McGee. Still on the NFI list are Rod Streater and Trent Richardson. As it turns out, Richardson's situation looks to be related to his weight. Clive Walford is still not practicing with an undisclosed injury. He and Stacy McGee were doing light work on the side during practice.
Khalil Mack talked about how eager he was to get into pads on and he wasn't kidding. He was absolutely unstoppable out there today. On the first day, he blew by Menelik Watson for a ‘sack' on Derek Carr that drew quite a bit of superlatives from Carr afterward. But lest ye think this was all on Watson, Mack lined up on the other side and made Donald Penn look helpless to stop him. First he swum around him to sack Carr and two plays later, he bull rushed Penn to close the pocket and sack Carr again. Not a news flash but Mack is a beast.
Amari Cooper answered the bell today after a lackluster first two days of camp. He made a few nice catches today. Nothing ‘spectacular', but nice catches you expect from him. No drops. No fumbles.
Catch of the day: Michael Crabtree fade exclamation point
As practice went along, it crossed my mind that I had yet to see a really great catch on the day. And just before the horn to end practice, this line was written by a magnificent fade from Derek Carr to Crabtree in to the back right corner of the endzone. Carr put it right where only Crabtree could get it and he went up high and came down inside the back pylon. D.J. Hayden was pretty much helpless to stop it. After practice Jack Del Rio called it "a sensational catch". That is pretty accurate.
Premium rush: Mack, of course. But Sio too
In his second day back from recovering from his hip surgery, Sio Moore looked back to his old self again. On one play he shot into the backfield to ‘tackle' Latavius Murray for a loss. He did a brief dance in celebration such that it was a natural response, but didn't go overboard with it.
Ground attack: Latavius Murray and Michael Dyer
Murray has looked good each day of camp and putting on pads only gave him better holes to shoot through. He had one run that started right and his hole opened at left guard so he cutback and surged through for a 5-yard touchdown run. Dyer looks pretty good too. He is a stocky, shifty back who can squirt through and pick up speed quick in open space. He had a couple nice runs on the day and is making a good impression on his coaches.
Got to step it up: D.J. Hayden
On at least three plays, Hayden let his man get behind him for a big gain. First it was Crabtree who got behind him and Carr placed the ball between defenders for a good gain. Then it was Cooper who had Hayden playing catch up on the opposite sideline. Then it was the fade catch by Crabtree to end practice.