Every player that could be in attendance Thursday was in attendance. But not all of them were full participants. Once team sessions started, the starters were relegated to spectator duties for the second and third team.
It was a short practice overall by nearly an hour, which meant in order to get the work in the coaches wanted for the reserves, they needed to get to is early and often.
After a day with EJ Manuel taking second team snaps ahead of Connor Cook, they rotated back to Cook working with the second team and Manuel with the third team.
Manuel looked great in second team work on Wednesday while Cook looked awful. That didn’t change a whole lot today, though without Manuel’s favorite receiver to throw to, he didn’t light it up as he had Wednesday when the two connected for three touchdowns.
Today Manuel’s lone touchdown pass came off a broken coverage that had Keon Hatcher wide open up the right sideline. Manuel drop it into him and Hatcher streaked for the long score. Manuel also had a couple darts to tight ends underneath.
After throwing two pick sixes on Wednesday, Cook threw just one interception today. It was on a pass over the middle which Dexter McDonald swiped and Kenneth Durden corralled the tipped ball for the interception.
On his first series of the day, Cook was wildly off target. His first pass sailed over the head of Jaydon Mickens on the right side while his second sailed over the head of KJ Brent on the left side. Cook later connected with Johnny Holton on a quick post route for a touchdown, so it wasn’t all bad.
In Cook’s defense, the defense was playing well. Denico Autry was getting pressure on nearly every snap against second team left tackle Denver Kirkland. Several times, a pass thrown by Cook never would have gotten off as it would have been a sack.
The first familiar face I saw as I came out to the field was Raiders former running back and current head coach for Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, Napoleon Kaufman. He was a guest for the day and he is as yoked as he ever was, which is saying a lot considering how muscular he was as an NFL player. Dude looks like he could suit up right now. He’s 44 years old.
The Warriors victory parade in downtown Oakland was taking place during practice. As much as Marshawn Lynch would probably have liked to attend as he did in 2015, he was at practice along with his Raiders teammates. And standing on the sideline for all team sessions like the rest of the starters.
Once again, Gareon Conley was absent during team warm-ups and took to the sideline for drills and team sessions. All injured players were the same as on Wednesday. Those not practicing were Austin Howard, Marshall Newhouse, Jon Feliciano, Darius Latham, Jihad Ward, Fadol Brown, and Neiron Ball. Eddie Vanderdoes was not in attendance as expected as he is finishing up graduation obligations at UCLA.