An interesting note to camp through the first nine practices was the fact that Derek Carr hadn’t thrown an interception. Can’t say that anymore.
Tuesday, on the first of two scrimmage practices with the Lions, Derek Carr had a ball intercepted by Lions cornerback Darius Slay.
Carr couldn’t believe how it happened “On a stupid scramble drill too. Like out of all the places, that was the easiest time not to get one, right?”
“No doubt, hadn’t had one and then had the one that Slay ended up catching,” Carr continued. “He was in zone coverage and found my guy on a scramble drill in the zone, him and I were just on a different page and Slay ends up – because he’s a good player – with an interception.”
Though I suppose if you’re going to get picked, an All Pro like Slay is a good guy to do it. Slay led the NFL last season with eight interceptions.
“He’s a great corner, especially man-to-man coverage,” Carr said of Slay. “Obviously, zone is zone, but man coverage, when he’s manned up on somebody he’s sticky, right in their hips so ball placement is key. So, one-on-ones versus him are very important for me. Throwing those balls, putting them, as you see, [Amari Cooper] ‘Coop’ is catching the ball and his finger is almost on the ball too. It’s just how it is. You have to have strong hands to go against him.”
Carr’s interception is only really notable because he hadn’t had one. EJ Manuel threw a pick six to Bruce Irvin on the first day and hadn’t had one since then. Today he threw two all out picks and a third that was tipped.
The two picks on Manuel were by Teez Tabor and DeShawn Shead and I didn’t see the tipped interception or who it was that picked it.
That’s three, perhaps four interceptions in one day after having thrown just two the first nine practices and none since the first day.
And, hey, Connor Cook didn’t have any interceptions at all.
Four interceptions is too many for a team. Derek Carr is trying to see it as a learning experience and is hoping now that he’s had his first interception that he’s got it out of his system.
“It’s good that it finally happened,” Carr said of his first interception. “I remember Coach [Todd] Downing used to tell me, ‘I always wish you’d just throw one in training camp, so that you don’t think about it for the rest of the season.’ Hopefully, we got those out of the way.”
In attendance for the practice were over 100 members of the military from local installations including Travis Air Force Base, Camp Parks, the United States Coast Guard and USO Bay Area. They also had players from Bay Area high schools who had participated in the team’s U 7-on-7 Tournament this offseason.
It was a packed house as far as players on the field goes. Early on it was the Raiders on one field and the Lions on the other. Then it was Raiders offense versus Lions defense on one field and vice versa on the other. Intermixed it was various drills against each other scattered across the two fields and side area. That arrangement made it difficult to see absolutely everything all the time, but I did my best.
Injuries: Obi Melifonwu (undisclosed), Breno Giacomini (undisclosed), Brandon Parker (ankle), Gareon Conley (hip), Marcus Gilchrist (foot), Tevin Mitchel (undisclosed), Donald Penn (PUP foot), Eddie Vanderdoes (PUP knee).
Returned: Karl Joseph (groin), Erik Harris (finger), Gabe Jackson (undisclosed), DeAndre Washington (personal reasons).
Karl Joseph and Erik Harris began practice as the first team safeties with Reggie Nelson and Shalom Luani working second team. Both Joseph and Harris were out injured yesterday. Nelson had worked first team with Obi Melfonwu while they were out, though Nelson has been mostly first team this camp.
Ian Silberman continues to get first team reps at right tackle with Breno Giacomini not practcing. Meanwhile Jordan Simmons saw work at right guard with Gabe Jackson just back from his undisclosed injury.
Passing fancy: Before Carr had his interception in team sessions, he looked on point in 7-on-7s. He completed nearly every pass he threw including a bomb to Amari Cooper for a touchdown and a perfect throw over the middle to Jared Cook.
Get out the way: On the very first play of team sessions, Marshawn Lynch came through a hole in the left side of the line, Keith Smith set it up and Marshawn went beast mode on Jarrad Davis, knocking him into a backward summersault.
Get out the way 2.0: The next play, Chris Warren III tried the same spot with no success and got ripped into for not lowering his shoulder. The next play Warren was headed for a gap on the right side and Davis came over again to make the tackle and Warren absolutely destroyed him. This time Warren did lower his shoulder and upended Davis, lifting him off the ground and sending him flying into a spin and onto his wallet behind him. Davis was the Lions’ top pick last year.
What a rush: Speaking of top picks, Lions 2018 top pick Frank Ragnow as tossed like a rag doll by Mario Edwards Jr in pass rush drills. It was a move he learned from Warren Sapp just minutes before he took the field today. You can read more about that here. Oh, and it wouldn’t be a pass rush day with an Arden Key mention. He got around Kenny Wiggins to get pressure today.
Pick of the day: It came from Emmanuel Lamur who skied to make an acrobatic interception on a pass from Matt Stafford. The pass was high and behind him and Lamur went up and got it, showing perhaps why he has been working first team all offseason. It was the only interception by the Raiders on the day.
Got it covered (?): Karl Joseph came up to knock down a pass from Matt Stafford for Marvin Jones on a crossing route. Later Jones burnt Antonio Hamilton for a long touchdown.
Happy returns: Dwayne Harris was listed ahead of Ryan Switzer at both return spots on the team’s first depth chart. He showed today at least why the kick returner job could be his. He took a kickoff and returned it just past the 40-yard-line. He was headed for the sideline and still fighting to get yards and the man trying to tackle him, continued it well out of bounds and was flagged roughing. That play would have started the Raiders drive in Lions’ territory.
Gunner for hire: Getting downfield to make tackles on coverage teams were Keon Hatcher, Shalom Luani, DeAndre Washington, and Paul Butler.