Wednesday the Raiders took the field for their final training camp practice before the team opens the preseason. That also meant they weren’t in pads. The next time they see the field will be against another team.
One player whose status for the game is uncertain is rookie 14 overall pick safety Karl Joseph. The big hitting safety made his last practice count though, making probably the best play of the day on the very first play of team sessions.
Derek Carr and the offense lined up on the 20-yard line for red zone work. At the snap, Michael Crabtree was lined up on the left side and went on a post pattern. Joseph watched Carr the whole way, dropping back to help in coverage. Carr either thought Joseph wasn’t in the area or that he could drop it over him to Crabtree. He was wrong.
Joseph climbed the ladder to go up and pluck the ball out of the air at the goal line. It’s one of those plays Derek Carr gives props to the defender for making a play. Being on the same team helps too.
"Finally!" said Derek Carr.
"Karl is a great player, I’m excited that he’s on our team. And healthy. . . Hopefully he won’t ever get me again, but he’s not there yet so I’m gonna keep throwing at him. So, guys like Reggie and CWood I didn’t even throw at them. Karl’s not there yet, but hopefully one day."
"He jumped five feet off the ground and snags it ten feet up in the air. I’m good with that because I know that I don’t have to throw against him (in games). It makes me excited. Same with Reggie, Sean, DJ, DA, those guys. When they make good plays like that the initial reaction is ‘Dang it!’ you want it to work, but you have to sit back and realize that’s our defense, they’re pretty good. So, when he made that play – I never want to turn the ball over, obviously – but when he went up and made that play, I was extremely happy because if he’s not just a hitter and he can do those kind of things too, that’s really good for our team."
It’s been a long time coming for that pick. Joseph missed the entire offseason recovering from a knee injury and has been brought along slowly this camp, including sitting out a day to help prevent a setback. He said the team is most focused on the regular season, and less concerned about getting him involved in the first couple preseason games.
OUT: Missing practice for the first time were Jalen Richard and Antonio Hamilton. Also not practicing today was Denico Autry who returned from the PUP last week, but had been wearing a cast on his right wrist. Jimmy Hall missed practice for the third straight day. Not participating in the final practice before the game typically means they have a slim chance of playing.
IN: Neiron Ball returned to practice after one day out. After watching in the early portion, he joined his teammates for the latter part of practice and didn’t appear limited. Mario Edwards returned to work with the first team in team sessions. He still had tape on his hand after wearing a wrap for Tuesday’s padded practice in which he didn’t participate in team sessions.
There wasn’t a lot of team sessions that happened today, but they got some good work done and a lot happened in a short period of time. So, rather than breaking it into categories, here is the play by play.
The second play of red zone team sessions, following the interception by Joseph, Carr connected with Amari Cooper who beat DJ Hayden across the middle for about a ten yard gain.
To round out the top three receivers, Carr threw for Seth Roberts on the next play. Robert lined up on the left with TJ Carrie in coverage and went on an out route where Carrie got up to smack the ball away on the sideline.
From there Carr moved to the tight ends, seeing Mychal Rivera get open on the right with Malcom Smith late to get over for about ten yards.
Keeping with the tight ends, or H-back as it were, Marcel Reece went on a post pattern from right to left. Carr’s pass was a low burner, forcing Reece to lay out for a nice catch right at the goal line with Dewey McDonald in coverage.
It was a good exit play for Carr as McGloin came in to replace him. His first throw went to DeAndre Washington on a shallow cross that was defended by John Lotulelei.
McGloin then saw Andre Holmes had gotten behind Brynden Trawick and dropped it into Holmes for the touchdown.
McGloin then went for one of his favorite camp receivers this year, Johnny Holton, in the left side of the end zone, but Holton couldn’t get to it in tight coverage from Neiko Thorpe.
As for the rest of practice, there were a couple nice plays worth noting. Amari Cooper put a wicked move on TJ Carrie out left that caused him to slip down. Cooper caught the ball and had a lot of open field in front of him.
The catch of the day was probably Michael Crabtree going up the right sideline with Dexter McDonald covering. Carr saw McDonald was turned around and put it on his back shoulder. The savvy veteran receiver waiting until McDonald had no way to recover and then leapt in the air to catch the ball over the top of him.