Tuesday was the first day of Raiders OTA’s and there was one noticeable absence. Newly added wide receiver Antonio Brown was not in attendance.
“He’s not here today, hopefully we’ll see him here in the next couple days,” Gruden said of Brown. “He’s been working extremely hard learning our offense and I’m really excited to get him out here, but in the meantime we have plenty of balls to throw and plenty of receivers to throw to.”
All other Raiders players were on the field, whether as full participants or rehabbing on the side.
Brown was acquired this offseason in trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers. From day one he has been extremely excited to be a Raider and to get to play with Derek Carr. The two of them worked out in the offseason along with other receivers.
It’s important to remind everyone that these practices are voluntary. However, OTA’s are important, especially when it comes to new players. Getting together on the field with coaches in organized drills with opponents for the first time on a new team means something.
“I think it’s a lot different. The timing, like the actual timing,” said fellow receiver Tyrell Williams. “You can throw as many routes as you want on air and complete 100 out of 100, but when you get on defense and just feeling the timing and where the defense is going to be in coverage, it makes it a lot different, so getting that timing is important.”
You’d like to see the Raiders’ newest top receiving weapon on the field with his new team. You’d like to see him eager to be there, participating, even if he doesn’t have to be.
He was present for phase two, so he hasn’t simply been off doing his own thing. And hopefully he will be here soon. It is just a little strange that, based on his enthusiasm thus far that he wouldn’t be on the field from day one of OTA’s.