Training camp observations: Aug. 1, 2014

The Raiders took the practice field in Napa without pads for the first time since the second day of camp, when they still were required to wear pads per the collective bargaining agreement.

Linebackers Kaluka Maiava and Marshall McFadden, defensive back Shelton Johnson, defensive tackle Antonio Smith and wide receivers Greg Little and Juron Criner all remained out of practice with their injuries. Added to the injury list was veteran defensive end Justin Tuck who missed today with a groin injury.

Head coach Dennis Allen says he wasn't worried about Tuck's injury and that his day off was part because of his groin and part a veteran day off.

The lack of pads and increased work in special teams drills created a relatively slower practice, but there was still some things of note:

  • Fourth-year cornerback Chimdi Chekwa was having an impressive camp, that is until Friday. Chekwa had a rough coverage drill early on, getting beat for two touchdowns deep and then called for a pass interference call deep down the sideline. The Raiders are counting on Chekwa to capitalize on his increased time on the field with second-year cornerback D.J. Hayden still recovering from a stress fracture in his foot.
  • One of those touchdowns on Chekwa came against undrafted free agent Mike Davis, who had a good day at camp. Davis hauled in two deep touchdowns on the day and was quite impressive. The Raiders are also looking at Davis on punt returns, where they have struggled over the last couple of years.
  • Safety Charles Woodson came down with his third interception in the last two practices. This time, the veteran capitalized on a ball tipped up in the air by tight end David Ausberry to come away with the interception on Matt Schaub. Woodson looks to be benefiting from having Tyvon Branch back, allowing him to play more of a ballhawk role. While some fans may want to put the blame on Schaub for another pick, the majority of this blame should go on Ausberry's shoulders.
  • Rookie quarterback Derek Carr had a bounce back day and looked good behind center. Carr's highlight throw of the day came when he found running back Darren McFadden who was streaking down the left sideline with rookie safety Jonathan Dowling trailing behind him. Carr's pass hit McFadden in stride perfectly as he scampered into the end zone for the touchdown. Carr continues to show off his strong arm and accuracy, especially on deep passes. He even showed his quickness by tucking the ball and running when nobody was open, reaching the edge and outrunning defensive end Ryan Robinson for roughly a ten yard gain.
  • Rookie cornerback Keith McGill had a nice defensive play towards the end of camp when he came back to defend a pass to Rahsaan Vaughn. McGill, a fourth-round pick this year, has looked good at times but needs to produce more on a consistent basis.

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

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