Observations from Raiders minicamp: Day 3

Observations from Raiders minicamp: Day 3
June 19, 2014, 5:30 pm
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We’re trying to expedite his progression. I like a lot of the things that I’ve seen out of Derek. He’s still got a long way to go, but I like the direction that he’s headed.
Dennis Allen on Derek Carr

Maurice Jones-Drew provides security and depth for the Raiders at running back. (AP)

ALAMEDA -– While the Raiders made it through minicamp without suffering a major injury, they had a few minor ones.

The latest happened to right guard Austin Howard, who had X-rays on a finger injury Thursday afternoon. Results were not immediately known, though the injury should not impact his readiness for training camp.

The Raiders shifted two spots to account for Howard. They moved Khalif Barnes from left to right guard and promoted Gabe Jackson to the first team in Barnes’ spot.

“It’s always good getting to work with the first team,” Jackson said. “There is so much I can learn from those guys. Every rep makes you better.”

Jackson, a third-round pick from Mississippi State, could offer stiff competition for Barnes’ starting spot.

“It’s something you have to do when you go through the season,” head coach Dennis Allen said. “You have to of a little bit of mixing and matching. Obviously, you want to keep the same five guys in there, keep the continuity. But it allowed for some extra work for Gabe so that was good for him.”

[RELATED: Derek Carr developing at rapid rate]

A lot went down during Thursday’s practice. Here are a few observations from the minicamp finale:

-- Allen said that rookie Derek Carr will enter training camp as the No. 2 quarterback behind Matt Schaub. He took second-team reps during the three-day minicamp, though he made a fair share of rookie mistakes.

“We’re trying to expedite his progression,” Allen said. “I like a lot of the things that I’ve seen out of Derek. He’s still got a long way to go, but I like the direction that he’s headed.”

While Carr has been impressive, Schaub had an solid day throwing the football. He connected on several touchdowns, seemed to make consistently smart reads and ran the offense well.

-- Seventh-round draft pick TJ Carrie has been impressive throughout the offseason, and has worked his way up to the second team. With DJ Hayden (ankle) and Carlos Rogers (calf) out, Carrie played some with the first team as well. The Concord De La Salle alum is also in the mix as a punt returner.

Allen had some flattering things to say about Carrie’s efforts: “I’ve been very impressed with him and his ability to understand what we’re trying to do within the scheme of the defense. What you look for in guys like that, is you look for a guy that’s going to make a play, that kind of catches your attention. Really, just about every day there’s been something that he’s done that you say, ‘Damn, that was a pretty good play.’ I like where he’s at in his development and in the process here.”

-- Safety Jonathan Dowling, another seventh-rounder, has also been a standout. He intercepted Carr during Thursday’s practice. Cornerback Taiwan Jones also made an smart interception, cutting off a pass from Matt McGloin.

-- The Raiders have had several players back returning punts, but on Thursday that group dwindled to three. Denarius Moore, Carrie and Greg Jenkins seem to be in the mix for that job right now, though nothing is set in stone.

-- Tight end Mychal Rivera made the catch of the day, securing a touchdown with a leaping grab over 6-foot-3 cornerback Keith McGill. He’s split first-team reps with David Ausberry in what should be an intense competition to be the team’s premiere receiving tight end.

Speaking of great catches, Moore reeled in a nice one from Schaub in the end zone while keeping two feet inbounds.

-- There’s been a lot of talk about a competition at weakside linebacker between Miles Burris and Sio Moore, but Allen said that incumbent starter Kevin Burnett remains in the mix despite missing the offseason program with an ankle injury.