Oakland Raiders 2015 Training Camp update: Day 5


Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders continued their training camp on Wednesday, donning full pads for their afternoon practice. They will be in full pads for the next couple days, which should begin to separate the men from the boys and the pretenders from the contenders. After all, this game is not played in shells and shorts.

2015 training camp has so far been meet with lots of positivity, not only from Raider Nation, but from pundits around the NFL. Not necessarily for being able to make a run at the playoffs, but for having and establishing a foundation of which to build a winning franchise. In this age of the NFL, you can’t win if you don’t have consistent play from your QB. Derek Carr is following up his solid rookie year with an excellent training camp so far. He’s been sharp, in control and the obvious leader of this Offense. My only nit pick this early in camp is he seems to be targeting Crabtree too often. Granted, to good results, but I would like for him to spread the wealth more.

Offensive Line forming 

So far in camp, the offensive line in place to protect Carr, has been left to right: Penn, Jackson, Hudson, Webb & Watson. I’m interested to see how the 6’7″ Webb does working in the phone booth that is the inside of an NFL line of scrimmage. Sure Gabe Jackson is 6’5″, but this is a game of inches and they matter, just ask the 6’7″ Austin Howard, who struggled inside last year. Menelik Watson has been inconsistent in the past, but maybe new line coach Mike Tice is what he needed. Tice said this group will work as is till next week, when they will review and adjust the lineup as necessary.

Latavius Murray ready to roll 

Latavius Murray has come into camp ready to roll and it shows. Nothing but good news on him. The same can be said about Michael Crabtree. He has been the best receiver in camp and as noted before the favorite target of Derek Carr. Amari Cooper has been efficient but is not making any spectacular plays during team sessions. Unfortunately rookie Tight End Clive Walford has not taken the filed yet in camp, after having a good showing during OTA’s and mini camp. Another bummer is Rod Streater also not taking the field yet, seems he just can never stay healthy enough to make a difference.

Khalil Mack putting in work at defensive end 

Khalil Mack spent Day 5 exclusively at Defensive End. I look for him to play all over the field this coming year, always rushing the quarterback. I’d be surprised if he dropped into coverage at all. He’s been as advertised in camp and it looks like the Raiders got themselves a legit difference maker. Ray Ray Armstrong lined up at the Will and Malcom Smith was at the Sam linebacker position. Curtis Lofton is manning the middle and had a sack on a blitz during team drills.

Michael Crabtree burns DJ Hayden 

DJ Hayden has been victimized by Crabtree for TD’s to end two practices. While Del Rio has praised his effort, he is about to be the highest drafted slot corner in NFL history. Even McKenzie is putting this year as the year DJ shows whether he can play in this league or not. The other young corners have been holding their own and showing some grit.

I am as big of a Raiders homer as there is, but it is great to not be the only one feeling good about the Raiders this early in camp. The next practice is Thursday morning and they will practice everyday through Monday leading up to their first preseason game a week from Friday at home against the Rams.