Training camp observations: July 31, 2014

The Oakland Raiders returned to the field for a much crisper practice, according to head coach Dennis Allen.

Wide receiver Rod Streater returned to the field in full capacity after recovering from his concussion. Fellow wide receivers Greg Little and Juron Criner remained out with their hamstring injuries.

Defensive tackle Antonio Smith, defensive back Shelton Johnson and linebackers Kaluka Maiava and Marshall McFadden remained out of practice. There is no timetable for their return at this time.

Lets take a quick look at some of the observations from today's practice:

  • Rookie safety Jonathan Dowling had a pretty good day that was cemented with an interception on quarterback Matt Schaub when the quarterback looked for wide receiver Andre Holmes. Dowling has showed flashes as a playmaking safety but needs to do it more consistently.
  • Schaub had his first struggles of the day, throwing three interceptions in all. The last two interceptions came in team drills and both to veteran safety Charles Woodson. On the last one, Woodson read Schaub's throw to Mychal Rivera perfectly and came up to get the interception. On Woodson's first interception, it is likely that rookie linebacker Khalil Mack would have had the sack if Schaub wasn't wearing a red jersey, but Woodson took advantage of the throw to make a nice catch on the sideline. Woodson then had some fun with the crowd that was nearby to celebrate.
  • Rookie linebacker Khalil Mack had one of those days that makes you realize why the Raiders were so confident in selecting him with the fifth-overall pick. Mack disrupted the backfield on both passing and running plays. First Mack blew up his blocker to get into the backfield and disrupt a handoff to running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Soon after, Mack knocked Rivera onto his back to get into the backfield and get the simulated sack on Schaub. These are the types of plays that the Raiders expected to see when they drafted him in the first round.
  • Mack wasn't the only rookie to make some noise on Thursday as the Raiders' fourth-round pick Justin "Jelly" Ellis had another nice day of camp. Ellis spent much of the day clogging up the middle and taking on double teams but was also able to apply the pressure on Schaub by blowing up center Stefen Wisniewski once. Jelly looks like he could turn into a solid piece of the defense if he continues to develop.
  • Streater continues to have a strong camp when he is on the field. He just makes catching the ball look so easy and effortless. Streater's highlight play of the day came during team drills when Schaub threw him the ball on the sideline into tight coverage from Chimdi Chekwa, but he used his strong hands to hold onto the tough catch. The reception caused an eruption of cheers from the members of Raider Nation in attendance.
  • Second-year quarterback Matt McGloin probably had the best practice out of the three quarterbacks today, making the right decisions and finishing with no turnovers. The same couldn't be said for Carr and Schaub. McGloin finished his final team session of practice with a long touchdown ball to tight end Scott Simonson. He followed it up with another strike to his tight end over the middle, this time Jake Murphy.

The Raiders return to the field at 3:00 p.m. on Friday.


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