Practice 4: Raiders LB Mack displays some 'wow' factor

Practice 4: Raiders LB Mack displays some 'wow' factor
July 28, 2014, 8:30 pm
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On one standout play on Day 4, Khalil Mack quickly shot around his blocker and would have sacked Matt Schaub is allowed to. (AP)

Programming note: For comprehensive Raiders coverage from Napa, tune in to SportsNet Central tonight at 6, 10:30 and midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

NAPA – The Raiders lined up for an 11-on-11 drill midway through Monday’s practice with only 10 men. The first team was in order except for rookie linebacker Khalil Mack, who was not in formation. Veterans called for him to join the first team, and the No. 5 overall rushed to join the on-field unit.

Call that what it is: Typical rookie mistake.

Mack is allowed to make those. He is, after all, a rookie.

Expectations for Mack are lofty to say the least, in future games and current practices. While his first two practices in pads have been unspectacular – he has had some nice moments – one play had plenty of ‘wow’ factor.

Mack timed the snap perfectly, quickly shot around his blocker and was in quarterback Matt Schaub’s face before the veteran had time to throw. If Mack was allowed to finish the play, Schaub surely would’ve been sacked.

He has been stymied by veteran linemen at times, which is to be expected for a new kid early in his pro career. An adjustment period can be expected when the pads come on and the game gets fast and physical.

The good news: Mack’s effort is always high. He made some run stops and seems to be learned from the veterans every step of the way.

[NEWS: Rod Streater diagnosed with concussion]

Some other notes from Raiders camp:

-- I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but quarterback Matt Schaub had another solid practice. That was especially true of a late red zone drill, where he threw touchdown passes on three straight passes. Schaub has a knack of hitting a receiver in stride, right when he hits soft pockets in a zone. All quarterbacks have been playing well, but Schaub has clearly been the best.

-- Receiver Andre Holmes made the catch of the day in that red zone period where Schaub was locked in. Holmes slated inside toward the post and reeled in a fastball despite tight coverage from cornerback Carlos Rogers.

The Raiders worked kickoff returns for this first time this training camp. The Raiders sent several return men back, including Greg Jenkins, Maurice Jones-Drew, Darren McFadden and Taiwan Jones. Undrafted rookie George Atkinson III was not part of the group despite being a solid return man in college.

-- Receiver Greg Little suffered a hamstring injury and did not finish Monday’s workout.

-- Allen said that WR Seth Roberts and CB Neiko Thorpe had stood out in the early days of camp while playing from the lower ranks.

-- Raiders players have a day off on Tuesday. They return to work on Wednesday, with a full practice in the afternoon.

Participation report:
Returned to practice:
Did not practice: LB Kaluka Maiava (hamstring), WR Juron Criner (hamstring), S Shelton Johnson (hamstring), Marshall McFadden (hip), WR Rod Streater (concussion), 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)