Day three brings the Raiders one step closer in their prep for the season. The team donned pads for the first time.
This is a day the defense is usually looking forward to. They’re the ones that like to hit. Not only that, but the offense usually has an advantage when pads aren’t hindering their movement. So, pads can be the great equalizer.
Ironically, one of the most impressive moments of the day was courtesy of offensive tackle Trent Brown. He came off the line on a run to his side and put defensive tackle PJ Hall into the ground. This from a guy who yesterday made light of padded practice being any different than non-padded practices.
“Really, I don’t give a damn if we got pads on or not,” said Brown. “Football is football. We put our body on the line for a living. I’m still going to come off the ball the same. It is what it is. It’s just pads now.”
The players who seemed most adversely affected by the pads were the tight ends. In one team session period, Luke Willson, Foster Moreau, and Erik Swoope all had drops. Pault Butler tried to stop the trend with a diving catch in the back corner of the end zone, but couldn’t come down inbounds.
Players of the day
There were no picks, but defensive back Johnathan Abram and Nevin Lawson both had multiple pass breakups. Both had passes off their hands that they should’ve picked off. And both were from Nathan Peterman.
Catch of the day
Redeeming the tight end group was Darren Waller who made a gorgeous 20-yard touchdown catch up the seam. It was a well placed ball by Derek Carr and the connection was a silky over-the-shoulder pluck on a ball up high where only Waller could get it.
Defensive play of the day
Mike Glennon dropped back with the intention of squirting the ball on a swing pass into the right flat to Josh Jacobs, but Vontaze Burfict wasn’t having it. He called the play perfectly and was there to greet Jacobs at the arrival of the ball. Had he not had to pull up, Jacobs would have been obliterated.
Gotta step it up
There isn’t much to like about the punter competition. The duo of Johnny Townsend and AJ Cole doesn’t inspire confidence. Townsend’s sending sad trombones while Cole is shanking punts. And sometimes they switch roles. The only potential you see is in the occasional booming punt from Cole. But there are far too many ugly ones for the couple blasts to make up for it.
Several times the Raiders had called runs for Derek Carr. Or at very least an RPO. Carr said to begin camp that he planned to run more and when you see him run you wonder why he doesn’t do it more often. He is actually pretty fast, so running should be a legit threat for him.
Not at practice today were Eddie Vanderdoes (concussion), Trayvon Mullen (wrist), Ronald Ollie (undisclosed) and Quinton Bell (undisclosed). Antonio Brown was present but not suited up and not practicing after a short day on day two. Keith Smith (knee) remains on PUP and Denzelle Green (back) on NFI.
At the tail end of practice Erik Harris chased down Marcell Ateman after a catch and batted the ball out of his arms. It was a hard punch down by Harris that hurt Ateman’s right arm. He trotted off the field with the arm limp by his side. He was working the arm around to see if it was ok, as practice ended. It’s something to watch for at tomorrow’s practice.