NAPA – The Raiders ran a two-minute drill at the end of Wednesday’s practice. The first and second teams both had a shot. Both units scored touchdowns.
Matt Schaub threw a strike to Denarius Moore in the end zone despite tight coverage from Chimdi Chekwa. Derek Carr saw space down the right flank and sprinted 15 yards to the end zone.
Different method, same result.
Schaub’s accuracy has been evident during an excellent start to camp. While Carr has been hit-and-miss, his athleticism is tough to ignore. If things go south, he can take off running.
“Derek and Schaubby are two different quarterbacks in that realm,” head coach Dennis Allen said. “Derek adds a dimension with his mobility and his ability to create when things don’t go exactly right. Today, it was good to see that he was decisive in his choice to run.”
While Schaub doesn’t have that breakaway speed, he has consistently put his unit in position to succeed with smart decisions and the freedom to make adjustments. Carr is just learning the NFL game, but the Raiders are allowing the No. 2 quarterback to make similar adjustments.
“Not a whole lot changes,” Allen said. “Derek is extremely intelligent. He’s a bit different than some rookie quarterbacks. You’re able to give him a little bit more, and we’ll continue to give him as much as he can handle.”
Some other notes from Wednesday:
-- Rod Streater’s concussion didn’t sideline him long. The third-year pro was back on the field Wednesday, and missed just one practice after taking a hard hit on Sunday afternoon. He passes every part of the NFL’s concussion-related protocol and was cleared for full contact.
-- A pair of starting linemen left practice with ailments. Right guard Austin Howard had some back tightness and didn’t want to push it in the padded practice. Rookie Gabe Jackson took first-team reps in his place, with mixed results. Allen said defensive tackle Antonio Smith cut his practice short due to a groin strain.
-- Defensive end LaMarr Woodley had his best practice as a Raider. He was constantly in the backfield, creating havoc in the run game and rushing the passer. Head coach Dennis Allen expected Woodley’s performance to improve with pads on, when he was able to bull rush.
-- Fullback Marcel Reece had the catch of the day. He jumped up and caught a deep pass from Schaub despite being covered by fleet-footed safety Tyvon Branch. Branch tried to jar the ball loose with a hard hit, but Reece held on and came down in bounds.
-- The Raiders put George Atkinson III back for kickoff return – he was a return man at Notre Dame – but he muffed a few attempts. They also tried Latavius Murray back there, and he seemed to give the unit as a boost. Taiwan Jones, Darren McFadden and TJ Carrie were also back there. At this point, both return man jobs are wide open.
-- The Raiders are trying Tony Bergstrom at center. Wednesday was his first snapping stint in a team drill, and there were some hiccups. He botched a snap to Carr, and then sailed a shotgun snap over his head on the next play. Allen did not commit to Bergstrom playing center in games.
--Tight end Nick Kasa was taken off the physically unable to perform list on Wednesday. He was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice after missing four sessions with a hip injury.