Sunday marked the Oakland Raiders first padded practice of 2013 and with the energy involved with strapping on full pads for the first time naturally there were some shoving matches in Napa on Sunday.
Most of these type of altercations involve a player on the offense taking exception to a defensive player taking out one of their own and that was
the case on Sunday when Khalif Barnes, who is competing to be the Raiders starting right tackle, took exception to Jason Hunter hitting Darren McFadden a wee bit too hard in Barnes opinion.
Barnes and Hunter got their shoves in and it was a non issue, a part of training camp according to the Raiders when asked about the incident after practice wrapped up on Sunday.
“It happens,” said Dennis Allen when asked about the situation by Levi Damien. “It’s football. At the end of the day, we got to understand that we can’t hurt our team. We need everybody out there. But you have to practice football. You have to practice it tough, you have to practice it physical and you’re never going to be able to run the ball if you don’t come off the ball and try to knock the heck out of people. That’s what we did. First day of practice, you get pads on, everybody’s a little jacked up and it got a little feisty in there. But that’s all right. . . guys are competing. They want to win. That’s not a bad thing. What we do have to understand is all the stuff after the play at the end of the day hurts our football team. We have to stay away from that, make sure we don’t hurt our football team but be as competitive as we can be from snap to whistle.”
“That happens every day. We always fight,” said Vance Walker. “I would imagine somebody tackled somebody and coach told us we’re not supposed to be bringing people down to the ground today. They just got into it that way an offensive lineman will try to protect their guy and we try to protect ours and we just go from there.
“There was a lot of tension and that was nine on seven so first day of pads, we get to take it out on somebody else so for them and for us, there was a lot of tension going on and I think that was the culmination of it.”
With Barnes trying to make the starting lineup over second round draft pick Menelik Watson who is sitting out due to injury it is no surprise to see Barnes getting intense during the opening practices of 2013 training camp. Defending your star offensive players is part of being an offensive line player in the NFL and Barnes is trying to show Dennis Allen that he fully embraces the role.
There has yet to be a word on whether or not the Raiders will use pads tomorrow when training camp continues in Napa, but expect the intensity to remain the same regardless on if there is tackling or not as players get hungrier and hungrier to make an impression as training camp continues.