After four straight days of wearing pads, head coach Jack Del Rio decided it was a good time to give the team an easier day with just shells on.
Del Rio did have rookie safety Karl Joseph and tight end Clive Walford return back to the field after missing Thursday's practice. Del Rio mentioned after practice that it was similar to last year when he gave Charles Woodson days off, helping them out after coming back from injury. Running back Taiwan Jones however was still not back at practice and was on the side field with a trainer as it began.
Practice ran shorter than usual on Friday, but here are some quick observations:
- Backup quarterback Matt McGloin threw another pick-six on Friday, this time it was cornerback TJ Carrie that jumped the route for he interception. Wide receiver Jaydon Mickens called for the flag to be thrown for holding, but the ref kept it in his pocket.
- Defensive lineman Denico Autry also returned to the field for the first time. He started training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform List but has since been cleared to practice. He's another key piece of the defensive line that provides even more depth in the trenches.
- Rookie linebacker Shilique Calhoun has been asked to step out of his comfort zone by being asked to drop back into coverage, something he didn't do in college. He's struggled when doing so, but looks like a natural when going downhill and rushing the passer. Calhoun got by veteran offensive lineman Austin Howard for another simulated sack on Friday.
- Wide receiver Michael Crabtree's hands will always impress me. He continues to make tough catches, including one on Friday when he leaped high into the air to pull down a pass from quarterback Derek Carr that went high.
- With Taiwan Jones out of practice, it was Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, Jaydon Mickens, Joe Hansley and Johnny Holton who saw time working on punt returns. Washington and Mickens struggled, both muffing a punt during their time back there.
Del Rio mentioned after practice that the team should expect a tough couple of days coming up, so it seems the Raiders will return to being in pads again on Saturday. The team returns to the field at 11am again tomorrow morning.null