After a long offseason, the Oakland Raiders are back on the practice field for their first session of training camp. The team begins their preparation for the upcoming season with position drills and some live action, but no pads until Sunday.
First round pick DJ Hayden, who signed his contract yesterday, was a limited participant wearing the non-contact red jersey. This is an important step to get him on the field and beginning his rookie crash course. He fielded punts and took part in some drills.
“He missed the offseason program and most of all of OTAs and minicamp,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said. “So we want to work him back into football condition. We’re going to limit some of the contact drills we do with him and really bring him along. I don’t know if I’d say slowly, but we’re not just going to throw him into the fire right away.”
As the quarterback competition heats up, Matt Flynn stood out. He needs to show his accuracy and ability to make all the throws to solidify the starting position over Terrelle Pryor and Tyler Wilson. Wilson was intercepted on three of four passes at one point including the play of the day by defensive back Cory Nelms who had a diving interception.
“I think there were some good things that he [Flynn] did,” Allen said. “I still think we have to be more consistent in all aspects of our football team, but really specifically in the passing game. We’ve got to continue to improve, and I think he did some nice things, made some nice reads, made a couple really good throws today.”
Pat Sims did not participate and second round pick Menelik Watson was unable to go along with Miles Burris. Allen would not go into detail about the seriousness or type of injuries, but Burris is rehabbing offseason knee surgery. Because Watson just signed his contract he is on the non-football injury list and still has to pass a physical to participate. Sims and Burris are on the preseason PUP list.
As far as competition goes, guard Lucas Nix received the first team reps, but will continue to share time with Tony Bergstrom to see who earns the left guard job. Kaluka Maiava was at the weak side linebacker spot as well as Kevin Burnett. That will be a position to keep an eye on. Nick Roach was in the middle and rookie Sio Moore was at the strong side.
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