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Chris why does it seem every season our players hit the field for a day or two we end up with guys with walking boots all kinds of foot, ankle, toe, heel injuries or what ever, does the field suck that much what is your take on this?
I can't say for certain as to what the cause of the ankle and foot injuries but I wouldn't attribute the field as the cause. The fields seem to be fine from what I've seen and I think it is just more likely just the way the cookie has crumbled. I think if you look at other teams' injury reports you may see about the same ratio of foot injuries. Granted, if it continues to happen I'm sure John Greico (strength and conditioning coach) and his staff will find a way to address it.
Raider in the CO
I am wondering if Taiwan is exclusively at corner or do they have him elsewhere as well?
Taiwan Jones has been only being used as a cornerback so far, but it can always change of course. He has shown some production there but is most valuable to the team with his excellent gunner skills on special teams.
Based on what you've seen so far, who are the three guys (on both sides of the ball) who have stood out from the rest and appear to be likely to make the most impact during this season?
1. QB Matt Schaub - It feels like a cop out selecting the starting quarterback but he has a presence on the field and takes command in the huddle nicely. I've seen some very accurate throws by him and he seems like he has a chip on his shoulder to produce after last year's demise.
2. TE David Ausberry - We all know that Schaub likes to go to his tight end and Ausberry has been a go-to target early on this offseason. He's a big-bodied receiver and his blocking has steadily improved since entering the NFL in 2011. Most importantly, he looks completely healthy after suffering a shoulder injury before last season began.
3. WR Greg Little - It's weird to throw him in here but I don't see how I could leave him out. He too seems to have a chip on his shoulder and has made some great catches in practice so far. I know he has had problems with inconsistencies but I haven't seen them in the practices I've attended.
1. LB Khalil Mack - This kid appears to be the real deal. He's big, fast and athletic. I've seen him blow up the defensive line on multiple occasions, followed up by dropping back in coverage and sticking to a tight end's hip. He will make an impact on the field this year, whether it's sacks, tackles behind the line, or interceptions.
2. S Tyvon Branch - Branch looks to be at 100 percent out on the field and there's no question that the Raiders defense missed him greatly. He'll make an impact on the field, but will also free up Charles Woodson more and allow defensive coordinator Jason Tarver more freedom with the safety duo.
3. DT Pat Sims - The big defensive tackle finished last season with two sacks and was then re-signed by the Raiders this offseason. Though it's hard to tell without pads on, Sims has looked explosive in the offseason workouts and has gotten in the quarterback's face on multiple occasions.
How has Carr looked? Has he really looked good enough to challenge Schaub already? Also have they shown 34 looks on defense? If so what did the 34 package look like in terms of personnel? How has McGill looked in coverage?
Rookie quarterback Derek Carr has looked good in the offseason workouts but I'm not sure he will challenge Schaub just yet. He still needs to beat out Matt McGloin for the backup duties. He appears to be a quick decision maker, going along with his quick release and strong arm. One thing I have liked to see is that he doesn't have a problem asking questions, constantly talking to Schaub, offensive coordinator Greg Olson and others in between repetitions.
Rookie cornerback Keith McGill has looked decent in coverage. He has had a couple of opportunities to make some plays and made them, but then will get burned on the next snap. As can be expected for a rookie cornerback, he needs to find a way to remain consistent.
Unfortunately I am not permitted to discuss packages but Dennis Allen and Tarver have preached a "multiple" defense and you should expect to see all kinds of formations.
Schaub How does Schaub look? Last I heard, Allen said he made some mistakes in the first OTA...which is expected...but, is he "in charge", timid/confident?
As I stated above, Schaub does not appear to be timid to me. He seems quite confident and takes command of the huddle nicely - you can hear him from anywhere on the field talking to the other players and getting them lined up correctly. He did struggle a little during the first OTA but has not made many mistakes since.
Is MJD getting any first-team reps?Maurice Jones-Drew has indeed been receiving some first-team reps, though not all of them as he has been sharing them with Darren McFadden. MJD has looked explosive on the field though and it will be interesting to see how the snap distribution plays out as training camp progresses.
I don't think you'll be able to tell this from these workouts, but any sense for who's penciled to play slot receiver?
As for the slot receiver, it is too early to pencil anyone in as the starting slot receiver. We will know this more when training camp comes along.
Does Penn appear to be getting bequeathed the starting LT spot?......Or is there a competition that includes Watson and Barnes?
Allen and his staff have always preached "competition" on the team but the job is certainly Donald Penn's job to lose. He has certainly held his own over there and you should expect him to be the opening-day starter when the first depth chart is released.
I have a few, since you won't be answering until the weekend I'll put them all in one post:
1) I read in ESPN's OTA observations that our offense looked flat. QBs missing throws, WRs (D. Moore and Holmes in particular) making bad drops. Has this been a consistent trend, or was there a particularly bad practice they're picking apart? I know it's still early and there's some rust to be expected before chemistry is formed (we Raider fans know the drill of changing QBs at this point), but how would you describe the offensive practices so far? Behind schedule, where you'd expect it, anyone looking good out there?
2) A lot of hype has been made of the Carr vs Schaub "battle". Most beat writers seem to agree Carr has the better arm and Schaub has more control of the offense. Good information, but written in media talk. What are your impressions of this battle? Is it really a competition, or has one looked way better than the other? Have any WRs formed chemistry with either one? Has Carr been taking any first team reps/how many?
3) How much experimenting have we been doing with Mack? Is he all over the place or have they been just trying to get him comfortable with his most basic assignments? How has the rest of the defense looked?
4) Who has impressed you the most?
1. There's no doubt that the offensive side has looked flat at times. Wide receiver Denarius Moore's drops have been really concerning, as a lot of them have come on easy catches and they were just a case of having them clank off of his hands. It hasn't exactly been consistent, but the offense certainly has work to do but that's to be expected this early in the offseason with so many new faces (including the quarterback).
2. I think it is a little early to call it a "battle" between Schaub and Carr, but you can certainly see the potential in Carr. He has a strong arm and makes quick decisions, but Schaub is the starter for now. The competitions really don't happen until training camp since they are mostly just instituting the offensive plays in these practices. I'll be able to better answer this questions when we get to our training camp mailbags.
3. Mack has definitely been moved around and you can expect to see him in a variety of positions, situationally. Overall, the defense has looked solid and able to apply pressure but it's hard to tell without pads .
4. See my response to Chewy316 above.
Which position has Mack been lined up at the most? DE/OLB?
How has Justing "Jelly Roll" Ellis been looking? Force to be dealt with in the middle? Is he in good shape??
Lastly....What is your honest opinion on David Carr from what you've seen so far?
Like I stated above, Mack has been lined up in a variety of positions. Justin Ellis looks to be in shape from what I can tell, and has looked to be quite the handful clogging up the middle. It's difficult to tell defensive line play until we get pads on in training camp.
As I have stated previously, Carr has looked good and I can see why the Raiders were so high on him in the draft. He has an amazingly quick release and a strong arm, he just needs to grasp the offense.
Has Howard spent any time at RT?
Does Mack truely have the LT type pass rush moves?
Probably too early for this but is there any indication as to how many players the team is going to be holding on to at each position? IE: 5 or 6 wr, 3-4 rbs, 5-6 LBs.. I am sure its probably to early but it never hurts to ask!
Austin Howard has certainly been primarily playing in the guard position. The beautiful part about the offensive line that the Raiders have built is that it is quite versatile and can be moved around, whether it be due to injuries or something else.
Mack's pass rush certainly appears to be strong, albeit they haven't had pads on yet. His speed is such a great asset that he has had the ability to get around the tackle on numerous occasions. I imagine his pass rushes will only improve learning from LaMarr Woodley and Justin Tuck. It will be interesting to see him with pads on.
You are correct, it's too early to know how many of each position they'll keep but they'll have some really interesting decisions to make when the time comes.
How has the battle at tight end looked? Is Rivera looking like the true #1 we all thought or is Rickey Dudley 2.0 aka Ausberry outplaying him? How has the UDFA TES looked? How about the new CBs? Are they meshing well and looking good in the system Tarver has in place?
David Ausberry has looked really good this offseason and is certainly playing like he wants the starting position. That said, Mychal Rivera has also looked solid and looks as if he put on some extra muscle to help with the blocking. We'll have a better idea of the "battle" when training camp comes around.
The new cornerbacks have looked good and appear to be grasping the defense quite well. With so many veterans in the defensive backfield, there is a lot of communication pre-snap and they area ll really trying to learn as much as possible.
Is Criner standing out amongst all the WRs as reported? How is Little and his drops?
Wide receiver Juron Criner has certainly stood out and has made some great plays. He needs to keep up the progress though as one of his problems has been consistency. As for Greg Little, I haven't seen him have any drops yet and he looks like an explosive playmaker that the Raiders could use.
Based on what you have seen this far who would be your picks to start at the RB, WR, and TE positions?
Also, how has the play of the defensive front seven looked thus far?
Thanks for your time and all you do.
If I were basing it solely on the play I've seen on the practice field so far, I would have Greg Little and Rod Streater starting at wide receiver, Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden splitting carries (I really don't think you can have just one of them starting), at David Ausberry starting at tight end.
The front seven of the defense looks really good so far. The linebackers area all flying around and I have seen the defensive line apply pressure from all different positions. I expect a much better year from this squad compared to the front seven last season.
Are any of the fringe DBs -- Taiwan Jones, Chimdi Checkwa, Chance Casey -- showing signs of marked improvement? Any buzz on these guys maybe being serviceable options?
Aside from Rodgers, who else is getting a look at the nickle back spot?
And, of course, anything on the rooks, McGill and Carrie.
I feel like our front 7 looks solid but our DB group is possible weak spot. I am hoping someone YOUNG emerges.
Jones has certainly progressed from this point last year but is more valuable as a gunner at this point. Chance Casey and Chimdi Chekwa had a hard time last week but there's still a lot of time for improvement and they had looked good before last week's practice.
I don't think the defensive back position will be a weak spot, assuming D.J. Hayden can get back on the field soon and get better. Tarell Brown and Carlos Rodgers have looked good in the defensive backfield to go along with Hayden, Woodson and Branch.
McGill and Carrie have both made plays but need to become more consistent, which is expected for a rookie cornerback in the NFL.
How does the QB play look? One of the beat writers stated that McGloin looked good thus far. Does Carr look better than McGloin, or vise versa. Does it seem that Schaub is a step above the other two, or is there a chance that he could be benched in favor of McG or Carr, if he has a rough start to the season?
Matt McGloin has definitely looked good but he also has the advantage of having been in the offense for a year already. It will be interesting to compare the three of them when they all know the offense a little better in training camp.
There's certainly a chance of Schaub being benched in favor of McGloin or Carr if he has a rough start, but Allen and the coaching staff are confident in Schaub being the starting quarterback. That said, we have seen Allen isn't afraid to bench a veteran quarterback in the cost of any additional wins.
Any scuffles during practice?There haven't been any scuffles in practice yet, but that's not unusual. The usual scuffles usually occur during training camp, especially on days with pads.
That concludes this edition of Silver & Black Report mailbag, be sure to look out for the next thread on RaiderFans.net and follow SBReport.net's coverage of this week's minicamp!