After OTA's, minicamp, and five days of camp, Jack Del Rio is getting kind of tired of a few of the questions that tend to be asked a lot. One is the many incarnations of "What do you think of the team playing in Vegas?" (which was asked today). The other is "Do you worry about the players buying into the hype surrounding the team right now. He had one of his better responses to that question today.
"The way I talk about it is whether it's good or bad, it does not matter," said Del Rio. "We set our own agenda. No offense, but you guys don't set our agenda. Our fans don't set it. Who sets the agenda is we set our agenda and we determine what our goals are. Collectively we commit to those goals. That's what I'm all about and that's what we're going to be about."
Del Rio has maintained from the first question about the media love affair with the 2016 Raiders that the team is not focused on outside opinions. He has said time and time again that they will work just as hard regardless of the media optimism or pessimism. Their approach remains the same.
How well the players are able to keep their attention on their work and steer clear of the outside opinions is impossible to know for certain. Some confidence is a good thing. But confidence for a 7-9 team should be tempered.
Injuries: Not at practice today were cornerback SaQwan Edwards and tight end Colton Underwood. Edwards had limped off the field midway through Monday's practice. Underwood's injury situation is uncertain. Taking the field for the first time was undrafted rookie defensive end Greg Townsend Jr, coming off the PUP list. That just leaves Denico Autry as the only player on the roster who hasn't seen the practice field this camp. He has a wrist injury and is on PUP.
Throw of the day came from Derek Carr. He threaded the needle for a 20-yard touchdown strike on a crossing pattern to Michael Crabtree from right to left with David Amerson in tight coverage. It was one of those ‘no defense for a perfect throw' moments.
I don't usually have a ‘worst throw' but you could pretty much put a few Connor Cook passes here daily. He has never really been able to string together any decent throws. Nearly every throw he made was either off target or late, allowing the defender to get a hand on it.
Matt McGloin was just doing work.
Catch of the day came from Mychal Rivera who went up high to pull in a Carr pass. Rivera barely got to it with his fingertips, clutched it and gained control on his way to the ground.
Since we did the worst passing, may as well do the worst receiving. Nathan Palmer dropped a pass in drills and was given a second chance at the same pass and double clutched it. He had two passes intended for him in team session that were both knocked down by defenders.
Still making strong cases at receiver for the team are Johnny Holton, Joe Hansley, and Jaydon Mickens. Lately Holton has impressed most, including a good looking catch from Carr on an out route along the right sideline late in practice.
Menelik Watson held his own against Khalil Mack in drills, Rodney Hudson staved off Justin Ellis, Kelechi Osemele swallowed up Mario Edwards Jr, and Jon Feliciano held his own against Dan Williams.
Bruce Irvin beat Donald Penn for sacks on a couple of occasions. First in drills and later in team sessions. Mike Tice said he may be giving Penn the day off tomorrow to keep the veteran from wearing down in camp.
Drew Iddings showed a strong punch, shucking center Ross Burbank to the ground on a rush in drills.
The only minor scuffle of the day came when Torian White kept Leon Orr at bay on the rush and the second time, Orr took issue with White's technique. Orr pushed White, who pushed back. Then they got in each other's face for a second before it was broken up.
The only interception came from Monday's goat, Dexter McDonald, who took one right out of the hands of Marvin Hall.
Passes defended came from Kenneth Durden on an ugly Connor Cook throw, Brynden Trawick and Antonio Hamilton off of Cook passes intended for Nathan Palmer, and Cory James on a McGloin pass for Gabe Holmes.