Everyone remembers the feeling in OTA’s and minicamps when the Oakland Raiders quarterbacks apparently had “The Worst Minicamp Day Of All Time” according to some beat writers and the national media afterwards. The entire country picked up the story and after it was the biggest talking point out of OTA’s all eyes were once again on the quarterbacks during the Raiders first day of official practice on Friday.
While Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor appeared to be far less rusty than in June, it was a rough start for Tyler Wilson and the pundits who think
the Arkansas rookie has an outside chance of earning Oakland’s starting job in his rookie season
Wilson threw three interceptions on four passes with the fourth being nearly intercepted in what was a brutal stretch of reading the secondary by the rookie. The first interception looked to be a nice play by Cory Nelms on a long ball intended for Conner Vernon. Then the second interception came courtesy of Joselio Hanson and the third by Reggie Smith came and Wilson’s day was officially ruined.
With three interceptions in a row, Wilson naturally faced the media in the pressers after the Friday session.
“I think I threw three in a row that were just, I’d like to have back,” said Wilson. “It wasn’t necessarily they were really bad throws… there was one ball down the sideline, we had a hitch-go and I thought it was the right read, right projection of the ball. The guy (Nelms) made a really good play. I might have lowered the flight on the ball a little bit. Then there’s another throw, high/low in the corner, the corner (Hanson) baited me into the throw and then made another good play.”
“Well, I think it’s one of those deals where you throw the first one and… I was done, I’d forgot about that one, and you come back and you force another ball and they make a good play on it so,” said Wilson. “It’s one of those things.”
Much of the Raiders quarterback struggles may be attributed to first day rust as the beginning of camps have been the Raiders QB kryptonite. For each of their OTA practices the quarterbacks had a rough day after some time off. Coincidentally those days are also the most anticipated by the fans and the media, which has created a state of panic whenever a Raiders quarterback has a bad practice.
“That first day is always trying to get things accomplished and knock that little bit of rust off,” said Wilson. “There’s jitters, everybody’s amped up and excited so it’s not your crisp day the majority of the time. I thought we did a pretty good job of approaching practice today and executing, but always room for improvement and a lot more things we can do.”
“We got a bunch of practices before the first game so there’s a lot of good plays out there. It’s like playing golf. You double bogey the first hole, you still got 16 more of them. You find ways to make a lot of strides from here on out.”
Wilson did note that after his string of poorly placed passes, he bounced back to finish the practice strong.
“I thought I had a really good practice today except for one period. And it was about five minutes worth of throwing,” said Wilson. “You have to understand though, you’re trying to get completions in 7-on-7 and kind of my mindset is to keep going after them and I have to kinda tame that sometimes and say, ‘hey, let’s get completions and get first downs and be conservative with the football’. I think that got me there for a quick period that day and came back and hit four of five in a row the next period and had a team period to finish practice.”
Other Raiders QB Notes
Matt Flynn looked strong in his first training camp session and the fact that there is nothing to report on him will be a positive for Raider fans who have had concerns about his ability to be a starter after his bad Minicamp.
Terrelle Pryor had some poorly thrown balls and also threw an interception in Mike Jenkins who read him and stepped in front of a pass intended for Jacoby Ford. He also had some nice throws including following up his interception by dropping in a long ball to Andre Holmes. With rumors of him falling to third in the depth chart behind Wilson, it was a good opening to training camp for Pryor who showed glimpses of NFL caliber quarterbacking talent in Week 17 against the Chargers last year.
Oakland’s practices resume Friday evening after they were pushed back.