Summary -- The Raiders defense took a major step forward a day after being MIA in the training camp opener. Yes, the offense was still able to make some plays Tuesday but the defense got the better of the battle in the final practice before the pads come on and hitting commences.Offensive play of the day -- Streaking across the middle, going right to left, Jacoby Ford stretched out and caught a bullet from Carson Palmer with the tips of his fingers before hauling in the pass. Ford appeared to wince as Michael Huff closed in, but with no pads and thus, no hitting, Ford's ribs were safe.Defensive play of the day -- Palmer seemed to have Juron Criner open for a big gain on a deep inand then safety Mike Mitchell entered the picture. Timing his arrival perfectly, Mitchell stepped in front of Criner and cleanly picked the ball off and took off to the end zone for a 50-yard touchdown.Injury report -- Running back Mike Goodson (hamstring) and tight end Richard Gordon (hip flexor) did not finish practice. Meanwhile, the four players who sat out Monday were out again Tuesday -- punter Shane Lechler (knee), linebacker Aaron Curry (knee), cornerback Ron Bartell (hamstring) and nose tackle Travis Ivey (conditioning). Curry is on the Physically Unable to Participate list and Lechler and Bartell were reportedly put on the activeNon-Football Injury listNotable -- Undrafted rookie punter Marquette King showed off his booming punting leg, which can be inconsistent. He did, however, unleash one punt that had a hangtime of 5.2 seconds, at least, according to the stopwatch on my Android phone.Quotable -- "We're going to go play football. That's the way the game was meant to be played, in pads, and we'll put them on and we'll mix it up a little bit and we'll find out who's going to compete when we put the pads on." -- coach Dennis Allen, on the Raiders donning pads Wednesday morning.Eye on reps -- Running back Taiwan Jones was the second-team running back and, before he went down with the strained hamstring, Mike Goodson was running with the third team. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor also saw some second-team snaps, sharing time with Matt Leinart.Extra work -- A day after being nearly invisible, Criner was heavily involved with the first-team offensejust as he was late in OTAs and in minicamp.Coaching moment -- Sensing the team going flat in the hotter-than-advertised-76 degrees midway through the 170-minute practice, coach Dennis Allen put a halt to practice and called the entire team together at midfield for, let's just call it a pep talk. The team responded and finished practice with better urgency.Next practice -- The Raiders put the pads on for the first time since Jan. 1 and hit Wednesday at 8:50 a.m.
The Raiders had an NFL-best seven players on the initial Pro Bowl roster. The number planning to play in the league’s all-star game continues to dwindle.
That total's down to three after left tackle Donald Penn and receiver Amari Cooper bowed out. Penn won’t be ready after suffering a knee injury in the regular-season finale, an ailment that kept him out of a playoff loss at Houston. Cincinnati’s Andrew Whitworth will take Penn’s place.
Cooper battled a shoulder injury late last season, though it's uncertain exactly what is keeping him from the game.
In addition to Penn and Cooper, Quarterback Derek Carr obviously can't play while recovering from surgery to repair a broken fibula. Edge rusher Khalil Mack also bowed out recently with what is believed to be a minor back injury.
There’s a possibility a fifth Raider will also excuse himself. Center Rodney Hudson suffered an ankle injury in the playoffs. It remains uncertain whether he’ll play in the Pro Bowl.
Safety Reggie Nelson and left guard Kelechi Osemele remain firmly in the fray at this stage.
Mike Tice’s contract expired shortly after this season’s end, but there was strong belief he would retain his post with a new deal.
A league source confirmed Wednesday that a new deal was in place for Tice to remain with the Raiders. The exact length of the contract was not disclosed. Assistant coach contracts are typically set for two years, though they can be three in some cases.
Tice was the first assistant Jack Del Rio hired after being named Raiders head coach. The two are long-time friends, dating back to days playing for the Minnesota Vikings in the 1990s.
Tice was Del Rio’s assistant head coach for three seasons in Jacksonville, which made him a natural fit for a new project in Oakland. It was a smart hire. Tice has been excellent as Raiders offensive line coach, managing and scheming for one of the NFL’s best position groups.
ESPN first reported the Tice agreement.
While offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave was allowed to leave on an expired contract and is now Denver quarterbacks coach, the rest of the Raiders offensive staff remains intact.
Quarterbacks coach Todd Downing was promoted to offensive coordinator and his assistant Jake Peetz assumes his old post.
The Raiders still have a vacancy on the defensive side, with Marcus Robertson out and on to the Broncos staff.