The Oakland Raiders had their second practice of training camp on Saturday. The talk of the day was all the drops by the wide receivers and tight ends. The QB’s were throwing darts, but the recipients just couldn’t hold on. Consistency is what separates the good from the bad teams in the NFL. Hopefully we don’t have these see-saw performances from the pass catchers in camp. The QB play is noticeably better than last year, there is nobody who will dispute that. Antonio Smith, who was with Schaub in Houston, says you can tell he is getting his mojo and confidence back, throwing the ball well. Good news to the Raider Nation.
Coach Dennis Allen praised his O-line and running backs for having a good practice today. The line was from left to right, Penn, Barnes, Wiz, Howard and Watson. The Raiders official depth chart will be out right before their first preseason game. Coach Allen said second round pick, left guard Gabe Jackson is working well and improving. I fully expect Gabe to be starting over Barnes by Week 1. I’m excited about this group of lineman and look forward to watching them this year.
Seabass rushed onto the field in a special teams situational drill and drilled a 50+ field goal, with plenty to spare, to the pleasure of season ticket holders watching practice. Early reports are that he and Marquette are over their hump and appear to be in sync. Which they better by, cause last year was crap. It appears they knew it and worked hard this offseason to correct it. Marquette also boomed some punts today, looking poised to improve over his last year, where he lead the league in punting average. He says he has been working on his directional punting, so hopefully less touchback this year.
The only change to the injury/PUP situation, relates to Kaluka Maiava. He ended practice on Friday by tweaking his hamstring. There was a DJ Hayden sighting, he was walking without a boot, but with a limp. Reggie said they would know more about DJ’s status after Sunday, so we’ll see what they say. But if he’s still limping, that tells me, he is at least 3-4 weeks away for hitting the field.
Sunday the Raiders have their first practice in full pads. This is when we separate the real from the fake. If you are flashing and making plays in shorts, but don’t make them same plays with pads on, you are fake. If you don’t play any different in pads, you are real. It’s also when you can get the most injuries. You can’t make plays or get better if you are not on the practice field. Hopefully the Raiders can remain healthy as that will go a long way to dictate how this fares this season.