The Las Vegas Raiders wrapped up two days of joint practices with the New England Patriots on Wednesday, two days prior to their preseason finale against Bill Belichick’s squad on Friday night at Allegiant Stadium.
Wednesday also wrapped up the first training camp of the Josh McDaniels era for the Raiders, which began on July 21. Next Tuesday, the Raiders must be down to the initial 53-man roster and will do some light practices to ramp up the next week to prepare to start the regular season Sept. 11 at the Los Angeles Chargers.
After a month-plus of training camp, a 3-0 start to the preseason and two days of competing against the Patriots have shown McDaniels’ team has checked all the summer boxes and look as prepared as they can be for the regular season.
By most accounts, like in Tuesday’s session, the Raiders made more splash plays on Wednesday than New England did. Yes, each team had its moments, but it appeared the Raiders made more plays on both sides of the ball.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise — because they played in the Hall of Fame game, the Raiders had a week head start on training camp than the Patriots and they probably should be a better overall team this season. So, it was important that the Raiders’ answered the bell like they did in these practices. It was especially important since a large portion of starters didn’t play in the preseason thus far and probably won’t play Friday, either.
Once again, quarterback Derek Carr and new star wide receiver Davante Adams made some big plays, as did slot receiver Hunter Renfrow. When tight end Darren Waller comes back from a hamstring injury (McDaniels said Wednesday he’s not concerned about the injury), the passing game should be lethal.
Make no mistake, the Raiders meant business in these workouts. Earlier Wednesday, McDaniels, who was the longtime offensive coordinator of the Patriots, joked that Tuesday it seemed like the Patriots’ defensive players knew what he was calling at some points, So, it was likely no coincidence that loud music blared throughout the session Wednesday.
Two more important things occurred during the workouts with the Patriots. One, the Raiders didn’t suffer any reported injuries and there were no reported fights, which is remarkable for joint practices. Kudos to all involved for that.
So long training camp. The regular season awaits.