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NAPA – The Raiders first practice in pads was a good one. The offense was crisp and clean on Sunday despite increased intensity. The defense made a few plays. And while focus is typically honed on line play, the quarterbacks stole the show.
”I thought it was a heck of a practice. A lot of times when you’re looking at practice, when the quarterbacks play well you walk off the field with a good feeling about how practice went,” head coach Dennis Allen said. “The quarterbacks were crisp. I thought all [four] of those guys did a nice job.”
Matt Schaub was near perfect. The veteran hit receivers in stride and threw well into tight quarters regardless of who was running routes. Derek Carr, Matt McGloin and Trent Edwards had some misses, but all had positive moments.
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Allen said his receivers had their best day. He praised the offensive line’s effort in the running game.
“I’ll go back and look at the tape, but I’ve said all along I’ve got confidence in the offensive line, I like what we’re doing from a run game perspective,” Allen said. “I thought in the nine-on-seven period there were some runs in there where we created a few holes and I thought the backs did a nice job. I think it’s exciting to see what we can do potentially with our run game.”
Schaub was at the center of everything, as he’ll be during the regular season. One practice doesn’t cement an opinion, but his early play has been better than anything seen last training camp. If he continues this course in practice and games, confidence in the new veteran will continue to rise.
-- Receiver Rod Streater was hit hard late in practice and did not finish the session. Allen said he thought Streater suffered a head injury. He did not provide a formal diagnosis. Linebacker Marshall McFadden stopped practicing after an undisclosed injury.
-- Undrafted rookie tight end Jake Murphy suffered a concussion on Saturday. He must clear NFL-mandated concussion tests before being cleared to practice.
Allen said first-round pick Khalil Mack had an solid, though unspectacular first day in pads.
“There were a couple of rushes that I thought were pretty good rushes, pretty impressive rushes,” Allen said. “I wouldn’t say there were a lot of ‘wow’ plays, but I thought some of the rushes he had off the edge were pretty good.”
-- Receiver James Jones had the catch of the day. He sealed off double coverage from defensive backs TJ Carrie and Brandian Ross, leaped up and made an acrobatic catch deep downfield.
Right tackle Menelik Watson had a strong day in pads, especially against tough rushers in Mack and ends Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley. Right guard Austin Howard was also effective in the running game.
-- Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa had a strong showing while playing outside corner with the first team. Allen praised his play on Sunday and throughout the early days of camp.
-- After dropping a few passes on Friday and Saturday, receiver Denarius Moore rebounded well with several nice catches. Greg Little had a solid showing as well.
-- Cornerback Keith McGill was removed from the physically unable to perform list – he suffered a quadriceps injury during Thursday’s conditioning test – and practice for the first time in this camp. He didn’t have time to warm up in shells, and the first practice in pads seems a bit fast for the rookie fourth-round pick. He was bested several times on the outside and struggled when the ball in the air.
Returned to practice: CB Keith McGill (quad)
Did not practice: LB Kaluka Maiava (hamstring), TE Jake Murphy (concussion)
Physically unable to perform: TE Nick Kasa (hip), CB DJ Hayden (foot), G Lucas Nix (knee), S Usama Young (quad)
Non-football injury: DE C.J. Wilson (hamstring), DT Stacy McGee (thumb)