Raiders camp report: Defense shows silver mettle

Allen: 'We're going to be a mentally tough football team'

Raiders camp report: Defense shows silver mettle
August 2, 2013, 4:00 pm
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Safety Charles Woodson make a diving interception on a ball tipped in the air during Friday's practice. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Middle linebacker Nick Roach showcased versatility with his ability to cover, stop the run and get after the quarterback on designed blitzes. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Practice summary: Raiders coach Dennis Allen has dangled a carrot in front of his players, enticing them to play a little harder during the dog days of training camp. The unit that performs better in a padded practice earns the right to wear silver jerseys the following day.

The offense struck silver first, but a jersey exchange should be made on Saturday. Defense dominated from line to secondary, and should be able to turn in their black jerseys for a color that’ll be cooler in the hot Napa sun.

Middle linebacker Nick Roach showcased versatility with his ability to cover, stop the run and get after the quarterback on designed blitzes. End Andre Carter rushed the passer well. And, what has become typical in Raiders camp, the secondary played exceptionally well.

[RELATED: Raiders sign Janikowski to four-year extension]

The corners took away short and intermediate routes with tight coverage and well-timed breakups. The safeties helped when necessary and showed solid one-on-one coverage skills.

Running back Rashad Jennings was a bright spot on the offensive side. His physical rushing style fits what the Raiders like to do. He could be an option in short-yardage situations, which could take some pounding off starter Darren McFadden.

Offensive play of the day: Rookie WR Brice Butler had his best day of camp. Other young receivers have overshadowed the seventh-round pick from San Diego State, but Butler proved why he was worthy of a draft pick on a throw from quarterback Matt Flynn. He created separation, reeled in a 20-yard reception and worked for several yards after the catch.

Defensive play of the day: Safety Charles Woodson make a diving interception on a ball tipped in the air. Flynn threw a high fastball that ricocheted off TE David Ausberry’s hands. Woodson saw opportunity to make a big play, ran, dove and secured the interception just before it hit the ground.

Rookie report: QB Tyler Wilson is losing some third-team reps to undrafted free agent Matt McGloin. Allen said McGloin has played better and earned the right to be evaluated, but Wilson is still ultimately set to be the No. 3 quarterback this season. Wilson’s decision making has been inconsistent, which has led to mistakes typical of a rookie signal caller.

Zebras in camp: NFL officials attended Raiders camp in an effort to explain new rules to the team and the press. They also officiated practice and had an open dialogue with assistant coaches during the morning workout, trying to explain rationale behind penalties called. Officials stop by each camp each year to help teams better understand new rules.

Search is on: The Raiders remain razor thin at defensive tackle. Recent signing Myles Wade couldn’t complete Friday’s practice, prompting Allen to say the team was back on the lookout for interior defensive lineman to help get them through camp.

On the sideline: The list of injured Raiders keeps getting longer. DE Lamarr Houston couldn’t practice Friday, a day after an injury shortened Thursday’s session. … While Allen said WR Jacoby Ford and LG Lucas Nix would return to practice soon, it did not happen on Friday. … Wade didn’t finish the workout. DT Stacy McGee’s return to work was cut short by a physical setback. LB Miles Burris (knee), DT Pat Sims, OT Menelik Watson, DB Brandian Ross, LB Kaluka Maiava, DL Brandon Bair, C Alex Parsons (foot), WR Conner Vernon, DT Johnny Jones, LB Billy Boyko and RB Latavius Murray did not practice. … Allen will not comment on injury specifics during training camp.

Quote of the day: “When your record isn’t up to par, you’re going to be scrutinized. That’s understandable. These fans don’t deserve that. The city doesn’t deserve it either. Nobody on this team thinks that will happen again this year." – Raiders running back Rashad Jennings, on last year’s 4-12 record