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NAPA – Dropping passes came with a consequence on Saturday afternoon. Raiders fans demanded their receivers drop and give ‘em 10 when a well-thrown ball clanked off the hands, and a few guilty parties paid their debt.
Pushups didn’t fix the problem. The Raiders receivers were even worse on Sunday morning, which irked head coach Dennis Allen for a second straight day.
"Really, what it comes down to is concentration,” Allen said. “Focus in on the football, make the play when you get the opportunity and that’s what players in the NFL do.”
It’s not what many receivers did on Sunday. Jacoby Ford dropped two passes. Fullback Marcel Reece couldn’t corral a catchable pair. Isaiah Williams and Travionte Sessions clanked a few more in a practice marred by well-thrown passes falling incomplete.
This isn’t a new issue for the Raiders. Last season, top receivers Denarius Moore and Rod Streater dropped 15 percent of the passes thrown their way. While those two have been solid early in this camp, many around them can't seem to hold on to the football.
While Streater had a smooth session, he thinks the first contact practice since last season may have caused some concentration problems.
“When it comes down to it, you have to stay focused on the ball,” he said. “We had pads on for the first time, so I think some of the guys were thinking too much about getting hit. You have to make the catch and brace for the hit, which we’ll get used to again. I don’t think it’ll be a long-term thing. “
The Raiders can’t afford it. Drops make drives fall apart, and they can sap the will of an offense doing everything else well.
Allen has demanded more consistency from his receivers, and he believes he’ll get it.
“They have to get better. We don’t have a choice,” Allen said. “If we set our mind to it and keep our focus locked, we’ll start reeling in passes every time.”