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Raiders OTA news and notes: Alex Leatherwood at tackle

Second-year player was moved to guard last year

Miami Dolphins v Las Vegas Raiders
Alex Leatherwood
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders had their first media availability of their OTA sessions Thursday and new head coach Josh McDaniels spoke to the press.

There wasn’t a lot of news popping, but there were some interesting things and no, McDaniels didn’t have much to say about Wednesday’s big Colin Kaepernick workout.

Here are some notes from the sessio:

  • Second-year offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood was working with the tackles Thursday. He, of course, was the No. 17 overall draft pick last year as a right tackle. But early in the season, after struggling, he was moved to guard. McDaniels indicated that Leatherwood has been bouncing around. It is my guess, Leatherwood will be given a chance to start at right tackle this season.
  • McDaniels praised quarterback Derek Carr, saying he has been terrific on the field, in the classroom and as a leader and he is learning the new system well. “I really enjoy him in every way,” McDaniels said of his quarterback. He also said Carr knows he is secured as the starter and has nothing to worry about in terms of the Kaepernick workout.
  • McDaniels lauded new stars, wide receiver Davante Adams and pass-rusher Chandler Jones for the way they work and set the tone as leaders. He said neither player acts like they’re a star.
  • McDaniels, who is a head coach again after having a rocky 28-game tenure in Denver spanning 2009-10, said he is really enjoying being in the role again. The former longtime New England offensive coordinator noted again that he made some mistakes with the Broncos. Among them was trying too much to run his program like the way Bill Belichick runs the Patriots and how he interacts daily with the team. “I’m not Bill and I can’t be,” McDaniels said. McDaniels was saying these types of things at his first Las Vegas press conference four months ago. So, now that he’s well into his role, it’s important that he is seeing growth in those areas because they were big reasons why he failed in Denver.
  • McDaniels is impressed with how the team is working and learning the verbiage of the new system.
  • He praised new backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who was acquired in a trade from New England two weeks ago, for the way he is helping the other quarterbacks, including Carr, with the new system, which, of course, he is familiar with.
  • The offense had a sloppy session Thursday and the entire unit had to run a lap in the desert heat. McDaniels said he feels like the players want that type of responsibility.
  • Some fans were in a tizzy Thursday when the OTA roster was tweeted and second-year cornerback Nate Hobbs was listed as a safety. Don’t fret. It was a typo. Hobbs was practicing at cornerback.