The Oakland Raiders took the field in Alameda for the first Offseason Training Activity session.
The practice allowed the Raiders offense and defense to actually line up against each other, the first time this offseason after four weeks of simulated practices and meetings.
"We're one step closer to real football," Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. "I love this part of the offseason, where we can practice football and develop."
It also marked the first time the media was able to see many of the Raiders new, non-rookie additions including linebacker Bruce Irvin, cornerback Sean Smith and offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele. Newly-signed safety Reggie Nelson was not on the field, missing the practice with an undisclosed injury. Del Rio, never one to discuss injuries, used a broad statement regarding injuries that include defensive end Mario Edwards, Jr. who left the field early after starting it.
"They're all here, they're all working hard, and they're all eager to return," Del Rio said about the players that could not attend.
Rookie safety Karl Joseph was off on the side field working out with a trainer as the rest of the team practiced together. Joseph is recovering from a torn ACL last season and isn't expected to be back before training camp. That didn't stop former Mountaineer Bruce Irvin from praising Joseph, who was selected 14th-overall in April's NFL Draft.
"He's small, but he plays bigger than he is," Irvin said of the rookie safety. "He's a dog."
Irvin was impressive in his first practice with the Raiders, showing quickness off of the ball and even getting by offensive linemen for a couple of simulated sacks.
Cornerback Sean Smith was also impressive in his first practice in front of local media. Smith is noticeably big out on the field, being listed as 6-foot-3, 220 pounds on the roster. On the field, he looks much bigger than any other defensive back on the field. His length and size provides a noticeable advantage on the field, as he almost came away with an interception during practice today.
Rookie quarterback Connor Cook also looked impressive during his time on the field, especially during his final team session. Cook completed a deep ball down the left sideline to wide receiver Joe Hansley, who made a nice diving catch just inside the out of bounds line. On the very next throw, Cook found tight end Colton Underwood deep over the middle for a nice completion.
Tight end Clive Walford missed Tuesday's practice, putting Mychal Rivera in the spotlight with a chance to show more to the coaches. Rivera made a couple of nice catches, though did struggle on back-to-back plays with drops that left him looking at his gloves wondering if they worked.
Other players missing practice include DL Denico Autry and running back Roy Helu, Jr. Those attending practice but not participating were S Jimmy Hall, LB Neiron Ball, CB Neiko Thorpe and linebacker Malcolm Smith.
The media will return to the field to see the Raiders once again during next week's OTA session on Tuesday.