Oakland Raiders Mandatory Mini-Camp Day 3: News and Notes
Stuart Kovacs – Jun 14, 2012
Thursday marked the third and final mandatory mini-camp the Oakland Raiders held this week. Here are some news and notes from various Raiders’ reporters.
From the injury front, there are a couple pieces of news.
To begin with, tight end Brandon Myers along with wide receivers Louis Murphy and Eddie McGee joined the list of previous injured players that did not participate in Thursday’s practice, according to Steve Corkran’s Twitter page.
The other players that missed practice, as expected, were safety Mike Mitchell, fullback Manase Tonga, linebacker Aaron Curry, defensive end Dave Tollefson, and center Stefen Wisniewski. Absent from that list is defensive lineman Travis Ivey who returned to the field after missing the previous two days due to a concussion sustained from a weightlifting accident.
Interesting enough, the Raiders practiced on Astroturf for the first time during this minicamp, according to Paul Gutierrez’s Twitter page. The practice did seem to get off to a slow start as the team was just walking through plays for a while, as Levi Damien observed.
Once the action got going, the defense really seemed to step their game up a notch. There were several instances where defensive backs and even linebackers were making plays on the ball leading to interceptions or near interceptions.
According to Steve Corkran, backup quarterbacks Matt Leinart and Terrelle Pryor threw a few questionable passes on Thursday.
Two of Leinart’s passes should have been intercepted, said Corkran. Curtis Taylor and DeMarcus Van Dyke were the defenders who nearly came away with the ball. One of Leinart’s later passes was in fact intercepted by rookie linebacker Nathan Stupar.
Pryor threw an interception to cornerback Conroy Black and nearly another one in the direction of linebacker Miles Burris. The former star at Ohio State also threw a pass into double coverage when Darren McFadden was wide open in the slot.
With tight end Brandon Myers sitting out with an injury, and fullback Marcel Reece still feeling his way back into action after his holdout, there were some new faces receiving reps with the first team.
At tight end, Richard Gordon received most of the first-team reps, according to Paul Gutierrez. This meant that fellow second-year man David Ausberry spent most of his time with the second-team. Levi Damien observed Ausberry making a nice one handed, over the shoulder catch in the corner of the end zone.
According to Vittorio Tafur’s Twitter page, Carson Palmer said he thinks Brandon Myers will be the team’s starting tight end once the season begins. He does believe that it will be a tight competition behind him.
Also, Steve Corkran said that Owen Schmitt is getting the first-team reps at fullback instead of Marcel Reece. He isn’t sure how significant that is at this point.
While many of the Raiders’ reporters believe that the defensive side of the ball shined more today, that doesn’t mean the offense didn’t have its moments.
Levi Damien observed rookie wide receiver Juron Criner catching a pass from Pryor over the top for a touchdown. He also had a nice catch along the sideline against safety Tyvon Branch.
Later on in the session, Damien said that rookie wide receiver Rod Streater, who played most of the session with Darrius Heyward-Bey on the first team, beat Michael Huff for a toe-tapper touchdown on the end line of the end zone. He also would make a nice catch shielding off Huff on a play where he had to cross back to the side that Palmer scrambled to.
Darrius Heyward-Bey would go on to catch a Carson Palmer pass in the back of the end zone on the next play. Heyward-Bey would soon after have another touchdown reception.
At running back, Taiwan Jones really impressed Steve Corkran after making a cut, juking a defender, and running down the left sideline. He called his speed in the open field “breathtaking.”
Thursday marked the final time the Raiders will be on the field together until July 29th when the team reports to training camp.
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