The last time the Raiders participated in a joint practice was back in 2014 with the Dallas Cowboys. This time the Raiders will play host in Napa for the visiting Detroit Lions.
Bring on the competition! The Raiders will host the Detroit Lions in a joint practice today and Wednesday leading up to the two teams preseason match up Friday at the Oakland Coliseum. It has been four years since the Raiders last participated in a joint practice. The last being with the Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard, CA. When former head coach Jack Del Rio was in charge, the team avoided joint practices.
It wasn’t a sound move considering how beneficial joint practices are, especially with how limited teams are with time during their own practices. Jon Gruden, once again, proves how much of an upgrade he is over all the former Raider head coaches. Joint practices help excel player development and scouting for the coaches.
For the players, they get to go up against new and lively competition rather than their teammates which becomes stale and routine. Going up against the same players day in and day out alerts players to each other’s tendencies. Whereas in joint practices, players are on a neutral ground. They’re not looking at film on the other team and certainly not game planning. It’ll be refreshing to be able to hit new players for the two teams.
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So refreshing that it’ll spell a lot of excitement and up the game speed to levels beyond regular practice.
That will provide a surge in competition with new players stepping on the field. That’s why every year we hear about brawls and fights in joint practices. Tensions get high from it all, but Gruden wants it to be “controlled” via Jerry McDonald of The Mercury News. We’ll see if that remains to be the case after the next two days. The two teams won’t be looking to lay serious hits on each other, but it’ll be hotly contested.
These two joint practices are essentially giving them an extra preseason game. Starters from both teams will get more snaps in these two joint practices than in the game on Friday. The first team will finally be able to see how the new system works going up against an outside opponent.
From a coaches standpoint, it’ll let them know where their players stand somewhat. There obviously isn’t going to be game planning for each other, so these practices will solely be based off proper execution of plays and talent.
Can these players replicate what they do in regular practices?
It’ll be interesting to see how Arden Key, Maurice Hurst and Kolton Miller will fair against unknown players. Speaking of the rookies, this will be a nice soft opening for them by going up against another team in practice. It won’t be a dramatic jump when they get their looks in preseason, so it might help break them in a bit.
These joint practices will also be key for the players fighting for a roster spot. The Coaches will have a close eye on them during this time and study them during film sessions. So players like Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington will have a microscope on them.
All offseason, Gruden has been outspoken about how much disdain he has for the CBA because of how little time you get with your players. Joint practices help with some of that loss time because it gives a more live game feeling than in regular practice. A lot will be revealed about the players to Gruden and his staff which is exactly what he’s aiming for with these joint practices.