After four straight days in pads, the Raiders took a break from hitting for a day and practiced without pads. Coach Del Rio said it was planned to take a day off from pads so as to not have the players in pads for five straight days.
Injury updates: Defensive tackle Stacy McGee hit the training camp practice field for the first time this year, coming off the Physically Unable to Perform list. There is now no one left on the PUP. Though Rod Streater remains on the NFI list, he was seen working on the side for the first time this camp, which is somewhat encouraging.
Not practicing today was Justin Tuck. As per usual, Del Rio wouldn't provide any details or even if he was just getting a veteran day off. I guess we'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if he's practicing. Also not practicing were Clive Walford, Roy Helu, MIchael Dyer, and Menelik Watson.
The running backs flashed some good hands today. In the first team session, Derek Carr went through his reads and didn't find anything he likes so he rolled out left to see Latavius Murray had gotten behind the defense and was open in the endzone. He hit Murray for a 20-yard touchdown pass.
Later on, Reece showed off his good hands on two straight plays. The first play saw Matt McGloin's pass get tipped at the line intended for Reece on a slant. Reece adjusted accordingly and still hauled it in without issue.
The next play, Reece went from left to right across the formation on a crossing route and McGloin's pass was a bit behind him, but now matter, he reached back with his right hand and pulled it in anyway, one-handed.
Catch of the day: Amari Cooper opens things up
On the very first pass of the day, Cooper streaked across the formation losing Nate Allen from left to right and Carr put it on him across the middle, about five yards off the line. Cooper did the rest, turning upfield and putting on the jets to make a house call. That kind of catch and run is what we should expect to see from him for a good long while. And it was refreshing to finally see it in camp.
All in the timing: Derek Carr to Crabtree
Probably the best pass of the day was a nifty bit of anticipation by Carr. He saw Crabtree on the right side of the field and when Carr threw the pass, Crabtree hadn't even made his first break. McGill bit just slightly and Carr put the ball over him where Crabtree caught up with it for a big gain.
Pick of the litter: McGill redemption
Though Crabtree got McGill on the aforementioned pass play, later in the day, McGill got his revenge. In red zone session, Crabtree attempted the same play he had success with against Hayden to end practice a few days ago, where he did an out route at the goal line, hoping to catch it at the pylon and tap his toes inbounds. This time, McGill turned just in time to have the ball right there and he picked it. There was a similar play in yesterday's practice where Carr's pass was just a shade too far ahead of Crabtree and he couldn't keep his feet inbounds. This one may have not been enough to the outside, allowing McGill to get a hand on it. Not an easy pass to make and McGill made a good play on it.
Gotta step up: Andre Holmes
Just yesterday we discussed how Brice Butler was buried on the depth chart behind Holmes. That is still the case, but if Holmes doesn't find consistent handles, one would have to think they will lose faith in him altogether. His job is to use his size and leaping abilities to win jump balls. At least twice today, he got his hands on a ball only to have it bounce off. Both from Christian Ponder. One of them was wide, but he still had a shot at it. The other was the exact type of catch he is supposed to make. It was in the back of the end zone, high above the defensive back where only Holmes could reach it and he had it go off his hands. Butler had a TD catch today from Ponder which was good to see. He needs to start making more plays and Holmes needs to stop making mistakes.
With no pads on there wasn't a whole lot that could be judged outside of the passing game. Most other areas require some hitting to get a proper gauge. I expect they will be back in pads again tomorrow. It's an afternoon affair this time, 4:25pm start.