The Oakland Raiders were back on the field for their fourth day of training camp and second day in pads.
Unfortunately he was the only Raider to return to the field, as rookie tight end Clive Walford, running back Trent Richardson and wide receiver Rod Streater were still not able to practice. Veteran running back Roy Helu, Jr. was also not present at Monday’s practice.
There’s no injury updates regarding any of them, but Richardson was seen working out on the side and looks like he is in great shape. Head coach Jack Del Rio said Sunday that he was in good shape, and the sighting today only confirms it.
With all this said, here are some quick hits and observations from today’s session:
- Rookie running back Michael Dyer has continued to impress me this offseason, not just training camp. The young back broke off another nice gain on Monday with the third-team offensive line breaking him free.
- Tight end Mychal Rivera had another nice practice with Walford out. His highlight came when he found the soft spot in the zone and was able to haul in the pass from Derek Carr.
- Fellow tight end Lee Smith is a big guy. He’s listed at 6’6”, 265 pounds but I think he may be bigger than that. His blocking has impressed me all offseason, and it continues to be the case. He should be a crucial piece to this offense as offensive coordinator likes using a lot of two-tight end sets.
- Wide receiver Michael Crabtree has beaten defenders all camp, and did it again today when he beat TJ Carrie on a curl route and picked the ball out of the air. It was a nice throw by Carr to let it go as he broke his route. That said, I did see the first drop by Crabtree this camp on an underneath pattern.
- Carr and Crabtree went to the fade route (the same one that beat D.J. Hayden to end practice yesterday) and this time it was Keith McGill in coverage. Crabtree got his hands on the ball but the tall McGill slapped it away. The battle between Hayden and McGill continues to be one to watch.
- Hayden almost had himself a nice pick when backup QB Christian Ponder and wide receiver Andre Holmes couldn’t get on the same page. The ball sailed just wide.
- RB Taiwan Jones reminded the coaching staff why he was moved to cornerback by the previous regime when he had the ball poked out by defensive lineman Denico Autry who scooped up the fumble.
The Raiders will have Tuesday off, but will be back on the field on Wednesday afternoon.