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Raiders minicamp day 2 notes: Taiwan Jones, TJ Carrie lead off return battle

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Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

It was hump day both for the week and for the Raiders' minicamp. Here are my observations:

There was no change from day one as far as who was not in attendance and who was there but not participating.

Not in attendance: Reggie Nelson, Denico Autry, Roy Helu Jr

Not participating: Clive Walford, Karl Joseph, Neiko Thorpe, Neiron Ball


Aside from starters Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, the best looking receivers in drills were Seth Roberts, Jaydon Mickens, and Joe Hansley. Several of the undrafted hopefuls need to really step up their game as there were several bobbles and drops.

There seems to be a bit of confusion with regard to who is the second team QB on this roster. It's Matt McGloin. In four team sessions, he stepped behind center to replace Derek Carr each time. The confusion seems to be because in yesterday's practice, Connor Cook also got a few second team reps and Del Rio said after practice that he will continue to rotate players in and out to get them reps in different situations.

Derek Carr was fire again, but this time it wasn't just to Amari Cooper. One of his first completions, he hooked up with Mychal Rivera in stride on a post pattern with Nate Allen in coverage that would have been a good gain.

A few plays later, Carr escaped the pocket and rolled to his left. Seth Roberts broke from Dewey McDonald's coverage and got open crossing to the left sideline where Carr twisted his body on the run to hit Roberts perfectly on the sideline, with Roberts's sure hands collecting the ball securely.

Amari Cooper had his moment as well, finally getting the better of Sean Smith on at least one catch after Smith held it down the first day, with some trash talking occurring as well. It's looking like there will be some fun back and forth going on throughout training camp with those two.

"It's a great experience," Cooper said of facing Sean Smith every day in practice. "He's a really talented player, but he's really smart. It's kinda like a chess game out there, so it's fun."

Cook had a couple nice throws as well. One on a go route to Johnny Holton up the left sideline that was well placed, but Holton bobbled it and couldn't get control of it inbounds. Another pass from Cook showed good pocket awareness when he felt pressure and got rid of the ball quickly. Joe Hansley was headed on an out toward the left sideline and turned just in time to scoop the ball from behind him for a good completion.


David Amerson had two passes defended in team sessions today, both on Derek Carr passes. One in which he was guarding Michael Crabtree and the other guarding Seth Roberts. This is not unusual for Amerson who was second in the NFL last season with 29 passes defended. He has been a tough match-up for receivers thus far in the offseason.

The best rush came from Shilique Calhoun who got the left edge around Austin Howard to slap the ball out of Matt McGloin's hand on his draw back.

Special teams

Leading the way for the return duties are TJ Carrie on punt returns and Taiwan Jones on kick returns.

"I don't think there's any leader. You gotta start with TJ Carrie because he's been there on the punt returns, and then you gotta start with Taiwan [Jones] on the kick returns, who did a really good job for us last year. So, as always, as we tell those young guys and new guys, that they've got to beat somebody out if they want to get that job."

Those other guys thus far are Jaydon Mickens and Joe Hansley on both kick and punt returns, and DeAndre Washington on kick returns.