OTAs Week 2: What Are the Takeaways?

Antonio Pierce is in full effect, the second week of OTAs under the new coach is finished, what have we seen from the Raiders?
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

The "energy" is different

Raiders players and coaches frequently mentioned the team's overall "energy." The team seems to have a completely different vibe that permeates the locker room, where everyone knows the standard and gets ready for work as soon as they walk into the building. We've already talked about head coach Antonio Pierce's leadership, which is where it all begins, and he has already established his own culture. Adding more proof to this, new assistant coach Marvin Lewis referred to Pierce as a "leader of men" during his recent press conference. All totally different than what you were hearing from around the locker room this time last season.

Brock Bowers is lining up everywhere

Brock Bowers, the rookie tight end, has been showing his versatility and ability to line up anywhere, including in the backfield. Levi Edwards of Raiders.com had this to say about the rookie: “Brock Bowers could be seen doing a little bit of everything. The tight end lined up in multiple spots in a similar fashion to what he was accustomed to at Georgia, showcasing both his pass catching and rushing abilities. Overall, it was a good day for the tight end room, with big gains from Michael Mayer and John Samuel Shenker.”
This is exactly what we talked about wanting to see, Bowers being utilized all over the field, just like he proved he could do in college. I don’t think there is any question that the Raiders have the real potential to have the best tight end room in the league.

Quarterback Competition

With O'Connell making progress, particularly in his pocket presence, and Minshew showcasing his dexterity and cunning, the quarterback competition is still very much alive and well. Until a clear front-runner emerges, both quarterbacks appear to be getting equal snap counts with the starting lineup. It might not be considered ideal to be entering an offseason without a clear starting quarterback, however, this does allow new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy to get an idea of which QB might fit better in his system. Even with that being said, the sooner a definitive starter is in place the better.

Who will be lined up at Right Tackle?

With the exception of the right tackle position, the offensive line is essentially set. As for that right tackle spot, Thayer Munford Jr., a third-year lineman, appears to be the front-runner during these first two weeks of practice. As I mentioned in a previous article, Munford was among the players who could have the most to gain or lose in the upcoming season, but he appears to be off to a strong start already.

Defense still looks strong

Even though it's only the second week of OTAs, the defense appears to be continuing where it left off the previous season. This is encouraging to hear because the defense looks sharp and is forcing turnovers. This is a formidable Raiders defense, and I think they'll be able to handle the demands placed on them during the upcoming season. It is a talented group, with the defensive line acting as its strongest point. You also have the possibility of more talent being added through free agency.