AFC West: Oakland Raiders

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- As the Oakland Raiders prepare for the regular season, a key for starting quarterback Matt Schaub is continuing to work on his decision making, offensive coordinator Greg Olson said Tuesday.

"I wasn't around Matt Schaub in Houston. From what I see on tape, I think he's similar to what he has been and what he is. Kind of like they say, he is what he is. I haven't seen significant loss of arm strength in the time that he's been here," Olson said. "To me, the biggest thing with Matt is the decision making. After the last season, is he making the right decisions? ... I think his confidence is up. We haven't seen, throughout training camp, a bunch of ill-fated decisions so that's been a plus."

Schaub was replaced last season in Houston after a rash of interceptions. Schaub will start and perhaps play in the third quarter Friday night at Green Bay. The starting quarterback often plays little if any in the final preseason game, so this may be the last rehearsal for Schaub before their Sept. 7 opener at the New York Jets.

In other Raiders notes:
  • Raiders coach Dennis Allen said there has been strong competition at receiver this camp and the unit could be deep.
  • Allen is looking for another tight end to stand out. Tackle Khalif Barnes could play in some tight end scenarios, very likely in running situations.
  • The Raiders still haven't made a decision on whether rookie quarterback Derek Carr will play Friday, but I got the feeling barring a setback we will likely see him after Schaub on Friday night. He was cleared to practice on a limited basis Monday after getting a concussion Friday night against Detroit. Carr was very lucid and in good spirits Tuesday in the locker room.
  • Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said he is enjoying the veteran approach new cornerbacks Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown have brought with them. He said both players recognize and address their mistakes quickly.
  • Olson lauded the power of rookie guard Gabe Jackson.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Khalil Mack hasn’t been dominant yet in the preseason, however Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen is not one bit concerned about the No. 5 overall draft pick.

There has been some grumbling that the outside linebacker hasn’t stood out. Still, Allen loves what he sees.

“I guess people are worried about it. I’m not worried about it. I think he’s going to be a really good player for us,” said Allen, who said he expects the Buffalo product to make an instant impact in the regular season.

“Yeah, he’s still a rookie and there are still a lot of things that he has to learn and every day is a new learning experience for him, but he’s continuing to get better. We’re going to increase his role and do some different things with him.”

Oakland defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said one of the things that excites him about Mack is he doesn’t make a lot of mental miscues.

“Khalil got better from Week 1 to Week 2,” Tarver said. “A lot was made that he didn’t hit the stat line, but he had solid edges, he worked with the guys well and we continued to give him more reps. I really like Khalil in that when he makes a mistake, he learns from it. He doesn’t like being wrong. He’s had very few major mental errors as we’ve gone through, which is going to create more opportunities for him to make plays. He works with the veterans well. So I’d say Khalil is right on pace with where we need him to be. He was better in the little things in coverage last week, definitely. There just wasn’t as much to his side of the field.”
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders spent money to get better on defense and according to our ESPN panelists, it is working.

Two days into a two-week project, the Raiders have two defenders on's Top 100 players list. In last year's NFL Top 100 offensive and Top 100 defensive players, the only player to represent the Raiders was defensive back Charles Woodson.

A day after new defensive end LaMarr Woodley was ranked at No. 99, fellow new defensive end Justin Tuck comes in at No. 89. The former Giants' standout signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the Raiders.

I can see why Tuck is on this list. He has had individual success, he's been part of good defenses, and he's known as a good character player. Those are all worthy of being a top-100 player. By all amounts, Tuck is fitting in well with the Raiders on and off the field and he may be a much-needed addition.
In last year’s NFL Top 100 offensive and Top 100 defensive players, the only player to represent the Oakland Raiders was defensive back Charles Woodson.

This year, on the first day of the two-week project, the Raiders have already matched that total. Defensive back LaMarr Woodley is No. 99 on the defensive list based on the opinion of several ESPN voters.

The Raiders signed Woodley, 29, to a two-year deal with a maximum of $12 million in March after he was released by Pittsburgh.

Frankly, I was surprised Woodley made the Top 100. He wasn’t ranked last year and his health and production have been an issue for the past three seasons. He has missed a total of 14 games in the past three seasons.

However, if Woodley plays like a Top 100 defensive player, the Raiders will be thrilled and his signing would be well worth it. There’s no doubt, Woodley has the ability to be the 99th-ranked defender in the league, he just needs to stay healthy to achieve it.
Here are some quick thoughts on some of the developments from the Oakland Raiders on Monday:

Rookie quarterback Derek Carr returned to practice on a limited basis after banging up his ribs and getting checked for a concussion Friday against Detroit. Raiders coach Dennis Allen said at his news briefing he is unsure if Carr will play Friday night at Green Bay (8 ET).

The Raiders will not rush Carr back, but obviously they would like to see him work in the preseason. With starter Matt Schaub struggling early in the preseason, the Raiders need to get as much of a look at Carr as possible.

But, off course, making sure he is healthy is important. We will have some more clarification on whether Carr will play against the Packers later in the week.
  • Meanwhile, 2013 first-round pick D.J. Hayden, who has been out with a foot injury, did extensive running on Monday. There is no timeline or his return.
  • Star fullback Marcel Reece has a foot injury that will require an MRI, Allen said.
Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack admitted this weekend that he needs to turn up his game in Week 3 of the preseason. Perhaps being on the same field as a player he has been often compared to will help.

Mack, the Raiders' No. 5 overall draft pick in May, has been frequently compared to Green Bay Packers star outside linebacker Clay Matthews. The comparisons make sense. Both are superior athletes with high motors who fight to the end of the whistle to get to the quarterback. Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie, who selected Mack, was in Green Bay with Matthews, so he clearly recognized some of the similarities.

McKenzie and the Raiders' brass are hoping Mack can make an impact Friday night against Matthews' Packers in the pivotal third preseason game. Mack, who played extensively against Detroit in Week 2, hasn't made much of a lasting impression yet.

I wouldn't take that as a sign of worry as the rookie is still making major adjustments from small-school Buffalo. I'd expect Mack to make an impact very early in his NFL career.

The Raiders would love Mack to have a similar rookie season, much like the one Matthews had. He had 51 tackles and 10 sacks for Green Bay in 2009. ESPN analyst Matt Williamson sees the similarities and thinks Mack could excel early.

"I love Mack," Williamson said. "Clay is a good comparison. Extreme athlete who plays very hard and is a great prospect versus the run and rushing the passer as well as some already strong coverage skills.”

It will be fun to see the comparison unfold at Lambeau Field on Friday night (8 ET).

Raiders' Camp Report: Day 16

August, 17, 2014
Aug 17
ALAMEDA, Calif . – A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Oakland Raiders' training camp.
  • Yes, the Raiders already technicaly broke camp in Napa last week before traveling to Southern California for a pair of joint practices with the Dallas Cowboys and Friday’s home exhibition opener against the Detroit Lions. But Sunday was treated as the final camp practice of the preseason at the Raiders' compound, with it open to reporters throughout. Starting Monday, practice is open to the media for only the first 30 minutes.
  • Rookie quarterback Derek Carr did not practice after being diagnosed with a concussion following a blow to his ribs against the Lions. Third-stringer Matt McGloin took Carr’s spot at No. 2 while Trent Edwards had the most snaps he has had all camp.
  • Matt Schaub had a few nice passes and was also picked off by strong safety Tyvon Branch , who was practicing after suffering an ankle injury Friday. “There are still some things that we’re trying to work on in the passing game,” said coach Dennis Allen. “There were some really good plays and then there some plays that weren’t quite as good. So, we’re going to continue to work and we’re going to continue to get better. Matt Schaub is our starting quarterback. I think he’s doing a good job for us and I think he will do a good job for us.”
  • Safety Usama Young (quad) was taken off the Physically Unable to Perform list and practiced for the first time while cornerback Neiko Thorpe (unknown) practiced for the first time since early in camp.
  • In the wake of second-year tight end Nick Kasa suffering a potential season-ending knee injury last week in Oxnard, and with presumptive starter David Ausberry still recovering from a procedure on his left knee 10 days earlier, the Raiders signed tight end Kyle Auffray on Sunday. The 6-feet-5, 254-pound Auffray, who was originally signed by Arizona as an undrafted free agent out of New Hampshire in 2013, has also been with New England and Cleveland, though has yet to play in an NFL game. He began his college career as a quarterback at Mississippi State before transferring to New Hampshire and playing tight end and punter. In the corresponding roster move, the Raiders waived kicker Kevin Goessling and have yet to make a roster move with Kasa.
  • Cornerbacks Chimdi Chekwa (knee) and Taiwan Jones (banged up) sat out practice, as did receiver Juron Criner (hip). Defensive tackle Justin Ellis (concussion), guard Lamar Mady (ankle) and Ausberry (knee) were also out. Cornerback DJ Hayden (foot) and guard Lucas Nix (knee) remain on the PUP list. Fullback Marcel Reece came out of practice with a sore foot.
  • Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie got into the ALS ice-bucket fray by accepting Denver Broncos president John Elway’s challenge.
  • The Raiders practice Monday at 11:50 a.m. PT.

OAKLAND -- Third-string quarterback Matt McGloin led the Oakland Raiders on a 13-play, 68-yard drive in 2:26, culminating with a 19-yard touchdown strike to Brice Butler with six seconds to play in their 27-26 win over the Detroit Lions. Sebastian Janikowski's extra point was the difference as Lions kicker Nate Freese missed a PAT on Detroit's first touchdown.

The Raiders seemed primed to pull off a late comeback victory earlier when McGloin hit tight end Scott Simonson down the middle from the 26-yard line. But Simonson was popped immediately at the 2-yard line by DeJon Gomes and fumbled the ball into the end zone, where it was picked up by Detroit's Brandon Hepburn. No matter, McGloin was able to drive down on his next possession.

Here are some other thoughts on Oakland's exhibition home opener.
  • Matt Schaub played four series and had the Raiders on the move in the opening possession. He looked much more comfortable a week after appearing sluggish at Minnesota. But after completing his first three passes and with the Raiders on the Lions' 33-yard line, Schaub's throw to James Jones went through his hands and into the waiting arms of Lions safety James Ihedigbo for a drive-killing interception. After that, Schaub completed 5 of 10 passes and finished wih 87 yards passing. In two preseason games -- seven series total -- he has led one touchdown drive.
  • Yet, the Raiders' rebuilt offensive line has made things tough for the new Oakland quarterback as Schaub was under duress on seemingly every pass and took some hard shots, especially on blitzes, even if he was not sacked.
  • Despite coach Dennis Allen saying this week that rookie Derek Carr getting time with the first-team offense was not in the plans, that's exactly what happened. Carr looked extremely comfortable with the first team. He led the Raiders on scoring drives on two of his first three possessions, hitting tight end Jake Murphy for a three-yard touchdown pass. Carr showed mobility behind the leaky line and, like Terrelle Pryor a year ago, was able to extend plays. Carr finished 9-of-16 passing for 109 yards and the touchdown. He left the game after being landed upon by Larry Webster and appearing to injure his ribs.
  • Khalil Mack, the Raiders' top draft pick, was an invisible man until late in the third quarter, when he got his first tackle of the game, a sack against Lions third-string quarterback Kellen Moore. Curiously, Mack was not on the field in the Raiders' nickel packages when they opened the game in it, or on the first play of their second series.
  • The Raiders' first-team defense gave up a 10-play, 70-yard touchdown drive to Minnesota last week and this time out, it only took Detroit two plays to go 36 yards for the touchdown. The Lions then went 58 yards in 11 plays for a second touchdown. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 9 of 10 passes for 88 yards and the two touchdown passes. Not a good look for the Raiders' starting defense against a starting offense.
OXNARD, Calif. -- Sure, there were brawls, five of them, in fact, big enough to stop the action of the two joint practices here. And there was the fan who swung a replica helmet at Dallas Cowboys cornerback B.W. Webb, plus the numerous scuffles throughout.

But you’d have a hard time finding anyone from either Oakland or Dallas who did not consider the joint effort a rousing success. So successful, in fact, Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen hopes the Cowboys come to Napa, California, next summer for the, ahem, rematch.

[+] EnlargeTyvon Branch
AP Photo/Jae C. HongScuffles didn't take away from the productivity of joint practices with the Cowboys, Raiders coach Dennis Allen said.
“I don’t know if that’s 100 percent determined,” Allen said after Wednesday’s practice. “I think there have been some preliminary discussions and we’d like to be able to do it. But again, it’s probably too early to say for sure.”

But what gave this week’s workout an added oomph might not be possible on the grounds of Napa’s Redwood Middle School -- an overflow of fans. The Cowboys announced a crowd of 8,326 for Tuesday’s opening practice, with Raiders fans sequestered to one side and Cowboys fans on the other, funneled into their areas through fences that resembled cages and/or European soccer-style fan seating.

The Raiders played host to fans for 12 of their 13 practices in Napa and there was no separation, save for a painted yellow line on the grass and waist-high tape between posts, between the fans and the field. Capacity was about 1,000.

In Oxnard, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett called the opening practice “as electric an atmosphere as I’ve ever been around on a practice field, really in my life.”

A visibly pumped-up Allen said, “What a hell of an atmosphere to practice football in. That’s what Raider Nation is really all about, man. That was awesome to see those [fans] come out and support us like that. It almost felt like, at times, that I had to quiet the crowd down just so we could get some plays off. It was a great atmosphere.”

And while it’s hard to imagine a joint practice being held in front of fans at the Raiders’ current training camp facility in Wine Country, Allen sees bigger benefits from a pure football standpoint.

“Absolutely,” Allen said, “I like doing this. I think it does nothing but help your football team.

“Again, any time you get in these competitive environments, I think it increases the sense of urgency of your football team. I thought we got better over these last couple of days.”

Injury update: cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (knee) was not the only Raiders player unable to finish Wednesday’s practice as receiver Juron Criner was also sidelined. “I think Criner had a groin injury or a hip, so he wasn’t able to go,” Allen said.
“He tried to go out here through individual [drills] and wasn’t able to go.”

The Raiders’ home exhibition opener against the Detroit Lions Friday night at 7 p.m. PT will be broadcast live locally on KTVU 2.
NAPA, Calif. -- Late last season, Pat Sims sat at his stall in the Oakland Raiders' locker room and seemed resigned that his time with the team was coming to an end.

He was about to play the final game under his one-year deal and while the defensive tackle would play in a career-high 16 games, starting all of them, the workload wore on him, as did a slow start due to injury.

Still, there was that electric game at San Diego on Dec. 22 in which he had 13 tackles, eight solo, with a sack.

[+] EnlargePat Sims
AP Photo/Jim MonePat Sims is excited about the outlook for the upcoming season.
“Hey, man, you can’t predict the future,” Sims said with a laugh recently. “We started something last year. I just wanted to finish it. We brought some new people in here and they wanted me to be a part of it so I said, ‘Why not come back and finish it?’”

The 6-foot-2, 310-pound Sims signed a one-year, $1.45 million contract to return. And he has been a steady presence on the interior, whether at a tackle or on the nose.

“I think it was important to be able to get Pat Sims back," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. "I thought at times he played really well last year and there were some games that he was dominant in the games.

"I've seen a different demeanor out of Pat Sims this year, maybe a little bit different focus. He’s come in and really competed hard and he’s playing well for us right now, so we’re excited about Pat Sims."

Part of that may be because while Sims enjoyed playing in a career-high number of snaps and games, it was also uncharted territory for him. Yes, he would get gassed. The 693 plays were nearly 150 more than in any of Sims’ previous five seasons.

Now? The Raiders have fortified the defense with the likes of Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley and Antonio Smith up front while drafting Justin “Jelly” Ellis to play down low -- “Jelly’s big, quick, strong, kind of like me, know what I’m saying?” Sims said. “Man, he’s going to be a great player ... he ain’t quicker than me, though.” -- and linebacker Khalil Mack -- “Best rookie in the draft,” Sims said. “Period.” -- to help clean things up.

“It was good, but now I don’t have to take all those snaps,” Sims said. “We’ve got depth this year, something we didn’t have last year. Some packages last year, we only had a first team and we didn’t have anybody to come in after us. It’s great to have somebody to come in and give you a breather here and there.”

In Tuck and Woodley, the Raiders imported two guys with Super Bowl rings.

“It’s a hell of a lot of fun,” Sims said, “just the opportunity to play with these guys, knowing what they’ve accomplished and are trying to accomplish again. It’s great.”

Plus, there’s versatility with the likes of C.J. Wilson and Stacy McGee, both of whom can also play tackle or end.

And as any defensive player worth his salt would tell you, Sims is of the mind that the play of the defense will tell the team’s tale.

“I don’t give a care how good the offense is or how bad the offense is, defense is always going to be the identity,” he said. “That’s our goal. ... If we’ve got the best defense, it really doesn’t matter what kind of offense you have.

“Well, it does but, hey, Baltimore did it.”

Raiders Camp Report: Day 15

August, 13, 2014
Aug 13
OXNARD, Calif. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Oakland Raiders training camp:
  • The temperature was warmer and the tensions just as high for the second of two joint practices with the Dallas Cowboys here at the Cowboys’ training camp home. Again, Raiders fans outnumbered Cowboys fans and there was an increased police presence on the Raiders fan side of the complex after Tuesday’s incident in which a fan swung a replica Raiders helmet at Cowboys cornerback B.W. Webb during a brawl. Three more skirmishes erupted Wednesday, though none involved fans. The atmosphere, Raiders coach Dennis Allen acknowledged, increased his team’s sense of urgency. “We got better the past few days.”
  • The first fight was between Raiders safety Larry Asante and Cowboys receiver Devin Street, with Oakland linebacker Kaluka Maiava playing a guest-starring role. (Maiava was all over the field making plays Wednesday.) Fight No. 2 was between Raiders center Jarrod Shaw and Cowboys safety Johnny Thomas while the third scuffle happened when Darren McFadden was taken down by Cowboys linebacker Cameron Lawrence. In two days of practices, five brawls big enough to stop practice occurred. And, yes, Allen said there have been preliminary discussions about the Cowboys coming to Napa next summer.
  • I mostly stayed on the side of the field where the Raiders' defense practiced against the Cowboys' offense (I watched the Raiders' offense on Tuesday). Impression No. 1: the Raiders' cornerbacks are going to have trouble with the bigger elite receivers in the league. They had no answer for Dez Bryant, who took turns beating Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown and Chance Casey. Still, the defense did have two interceptions, both on tipped passes. The first when Jonathan Dowling got a hand on a Tony Romo pass that Nick Roach picked off, and the second on a Ryan Robinson tip of a Brandon Weeden throw that Jeremy Deering intercepted.
  • Other highlights: Jack Crawford breaking through to block a Cowboys punt in the end zone; TJ Carrie breaking up a long bomb in the end zone on a pass from Romo to Terrance Williams; Kory Sheets showing open-field shiftiness in breaking off a true to-the-house untouched TD run from midfield; Denarius Moore closing out the practice with a pretty leaping catch in the back of the end zone from Matt Schaub to beat Ryan Smith. (To be fair, the Cowboys' offense also scored on the other field a few minutes earlier.)
  • Quote of the two days in Oxnard: “Hey, we kicked ass down here.” – Raiders right tackle Menelik Watson.
  • On a somber note, Allen said “preliminary” results showed second-year tight end Nick Kasa suffered an ACL injury in his left knee on Tuesday. In a one-one-one drill with Cowboys safety Ryan Smith, Kasa went down in a heap after trying to plant and cut. If it is indeed a torn ACL, that “probably means he’s done for the year,” Allen said. Which means the Raiders are officially in the market for another tight end, with no timetable set for presumptive starting tight end David Ausberry’s return from last week’s procedure on his left knee.
  • Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (sore knee) started practice but did not finish. Meanwhile, the same injured players sat out: defensive tackle Justin Ellis (concussion), guard Lamar Mady (ankle), cornerback Neiko Thorpe (unknown) and Ausberry. Cornerback DJ Hayden (foot), safety Usama Young (quad) and guard Lucas Nix (knee) remain on the PUP list.
  • The Raiders are off Thursday and play their home exhibition opener Friday at 7 p.m. PT against the Detroit Lions.

Raiders Camp Report: Day 14

August, 12, 2014
Aug 12
OXNARD, Calif. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Oakland Raiders training camp:
  • The tension was palpable as the Raiders played the role of unruly, but thankful guest for the first of two joint practices at the Dallas Cowboys’ facility. Raiders fans were on one side of the two-field complex; Cowboys fans on the other. And yes, Raiders fans outnumbered Cowboys fans. Per the Cowboys, attendance was 8,326. “What a hell of an atmosphere to practice football in,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “That’s what Raider Nation is really all about, man. That was awesome to see those (fans) come out and support us like that. It almost felt like, at times, that I had to quiet the crowd down just so we could get some plays off. It was a great atmosphere.” Raiders owner Mark Davis agreed. “The Raider Nation is big,” Davis said. “I didn’t expect it. I’m kind of surprised it was 3-to-1 Raider fans to Cowboy fans ... good stuff. Good for the team.”
  • A pair of brawls erupted, the first after Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne took a late shot at Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera and fullback Marcel Reece came to the rescue. Both the Raiders’ offense and the Cowboys’ defense jumped into the fray, in which a camera captured a fan swinging a Raiders helmet at a Cowboys player. Later, on the other field, a scrum between Raiders linebacker Justin Cole and Cowboys backup fullback J.C. Copeland erupted, with Copeland losing his helmet in the fracas. Before that, there was a mini-skirmish between Raiders right guard Austin Howard and Cowboys defensive tackle Davon Coleman. “I’m proud of every one of my guys,” Reece said. “It’s not about fighting; it’s about us having each other’s backs, taking care of each other, playing the game the right way.”
  • The Raiders suffered a pretty big loss early in practice when second-year tight end Nick Kasa went down in a heap in a one-on-one drill against safety Ryan Smith. Kasa immediately grabbed his left knee and screamed in pain. Allen did not have an update, simply saying, “It didn’t look good.”
  • I stayed on the side of the field where the Raiders offense practiced against the Cowboys defense all day (I’ll watch the Raiders defense on Wednesday), so the prettiest play of the day came when Kory Sheets treated Oxnard like some CFL wasteland and broke off a long run to the house off right tackle. The most almost-there play? Greg Little blowing through the Dallas secondary and not having anyone with 10 yards of him ... before strong-armed Derek Carr overthrew him.
  • Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa sat out the proceedings with a sore knee, but Allen said he hoped Chekwa would suit up on Wednesday. Defensive tackle Justin Ellis (concussion), guard Lamar Mady (ankle), cornerback Neiko Thorpe (unknown) and tight end David Ausberry (knee) sat out practice with cornerback DJ Hayden (foot), safety Usama Young (quad) and guard Lucas Nix (knee) still on the PUP list. Ausberry had his left knee wrapped, rather than wearing a cumbersome brace. So that’s a good sign, no.
  • The Raiders’ second of two joint practices with the Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard starts Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. PT.

Raiders Camp Report: Day 13

August, 11, 2014
Aug 11
NAPA, Calif. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Oakland Raiders training camp:
  • The Raiders broke camp in Napa after just 13 practices. "We got a lot of good work done here," said coach Dennis Allen. "I like where we’re at. We’re still in training-camp mode going down to Oxnard and practicing against the Cowboys for a couple days. I think that will be great for our football team. Get a chance to go against somebody else for a change ... we’ve gotten a lot accomplished. We still have a lot of things that we have to get better at, but I like the direction we’re headed."
  • The last time new Raiders defensive end Justin Tuck participated in a joint practice? His rookie season with the New York Giants in 2005, and it erupted into a major brawl with the New York Jets. "The one time we did it," he said, "we went over the top." But can you get in good work without it escalating into a fight, or two? "Sure you can," Tuck said. "It’s good to go and face some people that don’t wear the same colors as you and see different schemes. Dallas, especially their O-line, is a really, really good O-line (so) it’s going to be a challenge for us. Looking forward to it." So what’s the message Allen hopes to impart to his guys? "The message is that we have to treat it like a game and go out there and compete," Allen said. "There won’t be tackling live to the ground or anything like that. We’re going there to compete and try to get better as a football team."
  • Allen said Sunday that he wanted to see how second-year cornerback DJ Hayden, who worked out with a trainer on a side field that morning for the first time since having surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot in late June, responded to said workout on Monday. Hayden was just an observer again for the final camp practice in Napa. Every missed practice makes him a more likely candidate to begin the season on the Physically Unable to Perform List.
  • The prettiest play of the day comes courtesy of rookie quarterback Derek Carr, who hit a wide open Juron Criner on a bomb down the middle of the field. The most eye-opening play? That would be rookie linebacker Khalil Mack, who had a tough time reacting to the ball in the Raiders’ preseason opener at Minnesota, showing quick-twitch skills in breaking up a pass to fullback Marcel Reece in the flat.
  • With cornerback Chimdi Chekwa nursing a sore knee, rookie Keith McGill took first-team snaps at a corner in the Raiders’ nickel defense package. "That was an opportunity for Keith to get in there in nickel situations and work with the 'ones' some," Allen said. "We haven’t had an opportunity to see a lot of him. So, he’s a guy that obviously we felt highly of coming out in the draft and wanted to get an opportunity to look at him."
  • Defensive tackle Justin Ellis (concussion), guard Lamar Mady (ankle), cornerback Neiko Thorpe (unknown) and tight end David Ausberry (knee) sat out practice, and linebacker Justin Cole (unknown) returned. Hayden, safety Usama Young (quad) and guard Lucas Nix (knee) remain on the PUP list.
  • The Raiders’ first of two joint practices with the Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard starts at 3:45 p.m PT on Tuesday.
Examining the Oakland Raiders' roster:

Carr has been impressive, even as he holds onto the ball too long in the pocket at times.


Legacy George Atkinson III seems a safe bet for the practice squad.


Reece has flashed his pass-catching abilities in camp. Olawale has flashed his speed.


Does Moore being listed third on the depth chart put him on the roster bubble? Keep an eye on the Butler vs. Juron Criner battle. Mike Davis and Seth Roberts are also practice squad candidates.

David Ausberry's knee injury makes him a candidate for the injured reserve/designated to return list, meaning the Raiders have an immediate need for bodies at tight end.


Not much movement here since camp opened. In fact, none at all in this corner.


This week, seventh-round draft pick Shelby Harris, listed second at a defensive end spot on the depth chart, takes the place of third-year DE Jack Crawford.


With Kaluka Maiava missing most of camp with a strained hamstring, let's replace him with Filimoeatu ... for now.


A new prediction -- DJ Hayden never practices in the preseason and opens the regular season on the PUP list.

Usama Young has been on the PUP list all camp long.


No questions needed.

Raiders Camp Report: Day 12

August, 10, 2014
Aug 10
NAPA, Calif . -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Oakland Raiders training camp:
  • Cornerback DJ Hayden, on the Physically Unable to Perform list since before training camp began as he recovers from surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right foot, worked with a trainer on a side field before practice began Sunday. But while fellow cornerback Neiko Thorpe and safety Usama Young were able to make cuts while jogging, Hayden labored to run in a straight line. Progress, yes? “Yeah,” said Raiders coach Dennis Allen. “As far as the timeline, I still [can’t] give you an accurate timeline, but I think it’s encouraging that he was out here on the field and able to do some things on the field. Hopefully the process can begin to speed up, but a lot of that is going to depend on how he responds after a day’s work.” Hayden suffered the injury in the first week of OTAs but was not diagnosed with a stress fracture until after minicamp in June, which is when he underwent the surgery. Are the Raiders harboring hopes of Hayden being ready for the regular season opener? “I think we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Allen said. “Right now, we’re a little ahead of ourselves. So, I think we’ve just got to monitor his progress and his rehab and then we’ll kind of figure out where we go from there once he’s able to get out here and actually start practicing football.”
  • Allen also said there was no timetable for the return of tight end David Ausberry, who underwent a procedure on a knee last week. “It’s still too early to know exactly when we’ll get him back,” Allen said. “He’s in the rehab process.”
  • The Raiders were in helmets and shorts for the second consecutive practice and for the second consecutive practice there was a brief scuffle in team drills. Defensive end Justin Tuck and right guard Austin Howard pushed and shoved until Howard fell to his back and teammates broke it up. Howard was also involved in a skirmish with rookie defensive tackle Justin Ellis on Wednesday.
  • The prettiest play of the day was Andre Holmes splitting linebacker Sio Moore and free safety Charles Woodson on a deep ball from Matt Schaub. The second prettiest? The absolute bullet thrown by Derek Carr and caught by Brice Butler in a tight window over the middle. The ugliest? Greg Little dropping a Schaub spiral over the middle. And that’s not counting the Carr pass that bounced off Little’s fingertips and into the waiting arms of Brandian Ross for an interception.
  • Linebacker Kaluka Maiava (hamstring) practiced for the first time in two weeks. Defensive tackle Justin Ellis (concussion), guard Lamar Mady (ankle) and linebacker Justin Cole (unknown) missed practice while cornerback Jansen Watson left the team to contemplate his future, a Raiders spokesman said. Hayden, Young and guard Lucas Nix (knee) remain on the PUP list and safety Shelton Johnson and linebacker Marshall McFadden were transferred to the Reserve/Injured list.
  • The Raiders break camp Monday with a practice at 8:20 a.m. PT before flying to Southern California to prepare for a pair of practices with the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday and Wednesday in Oxnard.