- Paul Gutierrez, ESPN Staff Writer
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NAPA, Calif . -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Oakland Raiders training camp:
The Raiders went about 50 minutes shorter on family day, though they were in pads for the fifth time in the past seven days (they were off Tuesday and went in helmets and shorts Friday). Basically the entire practice was what coach Dennis Allen called a "scripted scrimmage" that was the closest thing to game situations yet in camp. "It was good work today," Allen said. "A lot of different situations we tried to work and incorporate into the scrimmage, different down-and-distance type of things. Some red zone fringe area-type of plays ... got a little sloppy at times, but I think overall I was pleased with what I saw out there." Allen said everything in camp will be in a controlled setting, even the two practices with the Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard, California, that he would let the exhibitions serve as a setting for "live" tackling.
Receivers Juron Criner (hamstring) and Greg Little (hamstring) both returned to practice, as did defensive linemen Antonio Smith (groin) and Justin Tuck (vet’s day off/groin). And Criner again flashed why the Raiders staff is so intrigued by him with an acrobatic catch down the right sideline inside the 5-yard line off a long throw from rookie Derek Carr to beat rookie T.J. Carrie. "He’s a big receiver that has big hands, strong hands, and can go up and make a play in a contested environment, and those are the flashes that you see out of Juron," Allen said. "The question is, can he do it on a consistent basis and can he stay injury free? If he’s able to do that, then he’s a talented football player." Criner, a fifth-round pick in 2012, has 19 catches for 183 yards and a touchdown in 13 career games.
Keeping in mind that quarterbacks take more chances in training camp, Schaub was picked off for the fourth time in three practices. Miles Burris got him this time, and Charles Woodson, who had back-to-back picks of him on Thursday and another on Friday, dropped one Saturday.
Fourth-string quarterback Trent Edwards was allowed to run a drill, and he hit Calvin Johnson for a touchdown. Wait, that was a Lane Kiffin fever dream from 2007 (Kiffin, then the Raiders coach, wanted to use the top pick on Megatron and then draft Edwards later. Al Davis instead drafted JaMarcus Russell). Rather, Edwards was picked off by rookie Keith McGill in the red zone.
Linebacker Sio Moore sat out with a sore rib, as did fellow linebackers Kaluka Maiava (hamstring) and Marshall McFadden (hip) and safety Shelton Johnson (unknown). Cornerback D.J. Hayden (foot), safety Usama Young (quad) and guard Lucas Nix (knee) remained on the PUP list. Defensive tackle Stacy McGee practiced for the first time as he was activated off the non-football injury list.
The Raiders are off on Sunday and practice again at 3 p.m. PT on Monday.
12hEric D. Williams
1dEric D. Williams