Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
The Oakland Raiders closed up shop on 2014 Training Camp in Napa on Monday and headed to Oxnard for practices with the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday and Wednesday. They will then travel back to Oakland and prepare for their Friday preseason home date with the Lions. The Raiders usually stay at Napa through their second preseason game but changed for their joint practices with Dallas. They will get onto their normal game week schedule after the Lions game, as they prepare for their Week 3 preseason game against Green Bay.
Chimdi Chekwa missed practice Monday with a knee ailment. Kaluka Maiava and Keith McGill returned to practice over the weekend. DJ Hayden was seen doing some light running with the trainers on Sunday. Still no official timetable for his return. Also working out with the trainers, but still not back at practice was Osama Young. The other players still missing practice were Lucas Nix (knee), Justin Ellis (concussion), Neiko Thorpe (Groin) and David Ausberry (knee). The Raiders are relatively healthy at this point.
While the first teams came out flat, the second teams showed promise. The first team made mental errors. From the o-line falling for a blitz bluff to the defense not being all on the same page if they were running zone or man. The second team defensive line was able to break through the Vikings starters for a sack. The Raiders second unit o-line was pushing people around. All in all, the first unit was not nearly as sharp as you would like to see, even in the first preseason game. How they look Friday vs. the Lions will be telling. I expect the first teams to play at least the whole first quarter and maybe more if they don’t look crisp.
NAPA FINAL THOUGHTS
This Raiders team came into Napa with a huge question mark at the cornerback position. They have had their young guys, new and old, step up. Chimdi, Neiko, Carrie all elevated their play to the surprise of many observers. Matt Schaub is expected to have a bounce back year by everyone in the NFL who knows him. DMC has stayed healthy, knock on wood. MJD still has some life in him. Lamarr Woodley may be the best offseason signing the Raiders made. The Raiders have looked sharp more days than not. Which makes their lack of execution against the Vikings frustrating. Coach Allen and all the players are saying mission accomplished in Napa. Not sure if it’s lip service or not, we will soon find out how they progressed this Friday against the Lions.