The Oakland Raiders had their first evening practice on Sunday, which also just so happened to be their first practice in pads.
The team was still missing some key pieces, including wide receiver Rod Streater and running back Trent Richardson who are on the non-football illness list. It was previously believed they were on the non-football injury list. Rookies Clive Walford and cornerback Dexter McDonald also appeared to miss practice.
Head coach Jack Del Rio still would’ve divulge any information about their injuries or ailments, but did mention that Richardson had come in at the weight they wanted him to. Del Rio attributed the weight to the young running back showing his dedication and commitment to the team.
With that said, here are the quick hits from today’s practice:
- Linebacker Sio Moore was back and of course in pads. He made his presence felt early by getting into the backfield and tackling the ball carrier behind the line of scrimmage for a loss. Moore did a quick celebration (think: not like the Chiefs game) to pump up the crowd.
- The pads allowed us to see some blocking drills that the team is unable to do without pads. Incumbent starting running back Latavius Murray struggled during the first session, giving up what would have been a couple of simulated sacks.
- Veteran wide receiver Michael Crabtree continues to impress me, especially his strong hands. Crabtree has made “outstanding plays” (according to Del Rio) every day, including multiple catches where the defender has tried to rip the ball out of his hands but he has managed to hold on.
- Speaking of Crabtree, he likely had the offensive play of the game. Practice concluded by Derek Carr tossing a perfect fade pass to Crabtree who leaped up to haul in the touchdown over cornerback D.J. Hayden. Crabtree then tossed up the ball in celebration as practice ended.
- Rookie running back Michael Dyer is taking advantage of the added snaps with Richardson out. Dyer has impressed all offseason, and broke out a big run on the outside. Del Rio went out of his way to mention the impression Dyer has been making.
- Second-year linebacker Khalil Mack continues to standout, and that’s saying something given how I already viewed him. The kid continues to make plays in both the passing and running game. On Sunday, Mack had back-to-back plays where he beat left tackle Donald Penn to get a simulated sack on Carr. Mack used a speed rush on the first one, and then a bull rush on the second to show his variety of ways to get to the passer.
The Raiders will be back on the practice field Monday morning before they get the day off on Tuesday.