Oakland Raiders: Quick Hits from OTA Day One


The Oakland Raiders opened phase two of the offseason program with organized team activities beginning Tuesday.

Oakland Raiders veterans and rookies participated in 9-on-9, 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills in helmets.

Although most of these drills are limited contact, they are important for team chemistry and mental repetitions of the playbook.

Quite a few notable players did not participate or left the practice early. Nonetheless, here are some takeaways from Tuesday’s action.

  • Mario Edwards Jr. left and did not return to practice after warmups, despite announcing clearance from a neck injury earlier this offseason.
  • Safety Reggie Nelson, running back Roy Helu Jr. and Denico Autry were not seen at the optional practice.
  • Safety Karl Joseph (Knee), linebacker Neiron Ball, corner Neiko Thorpe, tight end Clive Walford (Knee), linebacker Malcolm Smith, tackle Austin Howard, defensive tackle Dan Williams and Jimmy Hall were seen at practice. However, they did not participate or were limited participants.
  • Head coach Jack Del Rio said there is no doubt this team is more confident than last year’s team. He said the team gains confidence from the work they are putting in.
  • Free agent acquired linebacker Bruce Irvin wants to be a leader. He said the team did not bring him here to be a follower.
  • Corner Sean Smith, another free agent signee, said the team has all the tools and talent. Smith said his job is to help the team mentally by improving their football IQ.
  • Newly converted safety Keith McGill impressed in practice with an interception. The 2014 fourth round pick switched from the cornerback position this offseason.

It is still months until the Raiders compete in training camp and preseason, but it is much better to talk about football than relocation!

Meanwhile, Raiders owner Mark Davis simultaneously made headlines at the NFL Spring Meetings, with the topic of Las Vegas.

The Raiders resume rounds two and three of OTA on Wednesday and Thursday.