That's it. It's done. Raiders had their final practice of their 2015 camp today. They aren't packing up and leaving Napa after today. There are still meetings and a walk-thru next week, but the full on practices are done. The next practice they have will be at their facility in Alameda when they prepare for the third preseason game.
Injury updates: Ben Heeney was on the field today despite leaving practice early yesterday. Other than that, nothing had changed. Still out were Roy Helu Jr, Jamize Olawale, Clive Walford, Andre Holmes, Sio Moore, and Keith McGill. Holmes is the only injury that is known. He has a broken hand and is expected to be out 3-4 weeks.
Once again in practice today, Michael Crabtree and DJ Hayden battled. And just as before, Crabtree won that battle.
There was some give and take, however. It wasn't all Crabtree. But mostly it was. Early in practice he go behind Hayden up the right sideline and Derek Carr put the ball perfectly to him. Crabtree bobbled it a bit but ultimately secured it for a big gain. A bit later, it was the same play, but this time Hayden stayed with Crabtree and got up to defend it. A couple plays later, Carr went back to Crabtree again up the right side and Hayden was there again. But this time Hayden was called for holding.
Then on the final play of the day, to close out training camp, Crabtree shook Hayden and went outside for a touchdown just inside the goal line. Hayden was not happy and Crabtree taunted Hayden by trying to hand him the ball. Hayden slapped the ball away and the two had words, ironically talking trash about the other talking trash.
This is just how camp began three weeks ago. The first day of camp, Carr and Crabtree were showing great chemistry, and several times it was Hayden who was victimized in the process. On day three - the first in pads - Crabtree had a fantastic fade catch over Hayden to end practice. After the catch, Crabtree back peddled out of bounds, threw the ball in the air and stared down Hayden.
We'll see in games whether you should be more excited about the Carr/Crabtree connection or concerned about Hayden's coverage abilities.
Other than that battle, practice was rather uneventful. Here are the rest of my notes from the day.
Team sessions began with Donald Penn committing a false start. This prompted the entire offense to do up-downs. The very next play, the defense was offsides and so they were doing up-downs. This has been the case all camp because those kinds of mistakes Del Rio says will cause the Raiders to beat themselves.
The top two receivers in last week's preseason opener were Brice Butler and Seth Roberts. Both got some work with the second team today and both had drops in succession. At this point they're main competition is each other, so it looks like a push on those two plays at least.
If I named a catch of the day, it would probably go to Amari Cooper. The rookie wide receiver's lateral agility is pretty astounding at times. The catch itself was pretty routine. He came a couple yards off the line of the line of scrimmage on the right side with Larry Asante guarding him, went out and caught the pass near the right sideline. Then he dug his right foot into the turf at the sideline and with that one step shot up field. It's like his cleats just work better than everyone else's.
Carr and Rivera hooked up for a redzone touchdown. Rivera came from the left side with TJ Carrie picking up the coverage and turned inside where Carr put the ball up high and he plucked it out of the air in the back of the endzone.
Outside of the aforementioned Hayden pass defended, the only other pass defended I saw was Jimmy Hall who was guarding Kris Durham and Hall knocked down a pass from Matt McGloin.
After all the lead-up and anticipation for training camp, 15 practices are now behind us and we move onto the rest of the preseason and preparation for the regular season. Napa is as picturesque and peaceful as ever, though it also got as hot as ever at times too.
I will have my full training camp wrap in the coming days. Next up for the Raiders will be their second preseason game in Minnesota on Saturday.