We’re six days away from Monday Night Football, Raiders fans! I got a taste (more of a tease) last Sunday night, tuning in to the NFL Hall of Fame Game in Canton, and boy, I’m ready for some football.
I know, I know… I have a lot of training camp action to catch up on. My apologies for the weekend slacking; it was actually my 24th birthday on Sunday. Nothing particularly exciting has happened, so I’m going to keep this recap of the past five days as short and sweet as possible.
The Raiders took their mandatory day off from camp on Thursday, August 8 and returned Friday afternoon at 2:20pm PST, greeted by over 1,000 fans! According to media in attendance, 1,000+ showed up Friday through Monday. Even though it is a great show of support, Coach Allen has been telling the media that it has not been a distraction and that they have conducted practice as they would if fans were not there at all (he’s all about the business and I, for one, am loving it).
My first order of business is a quick injury report broken down by day:
Day 4 (08/03): TE Richard Gordon (hip flexor), LB Aaron Curry (knee; still on PUP), CB Ron Bartell (hamstring), DT Travis Ivey (conditioning), and P Shane Lechler (left knee). In other words, nothing had changed since Wednesday. Bartell was apparently trying to stay as active and involved as possible on the sidelines, showing that he wants to be back in action.
Day 5 (08/04): No changes, except added to the list was WR Eddie McGee (hamstring). Richard Gordon’s status was also changed to “hip flexor/leg infection”. Not much is being said about Travis Ivey, but missing the first five days of practice due to being out of shape? His days left with this team are clearly numbered.
Day 6 (08/05): RB Taiwan Jones suffers a hamstring injury and DT Richard Seymour “tweaked” his knee, both during practice on Sunday.
A good news – Ron Bartell clears his physical and will return to practice on Wednesday, August 8 as per the three-day acclimation period in the CBA. Richard Gordon also returns to practice immediately, apparently “with a vengeance” by the look of a few tweets I read.
Raiders then finally announce mid-afternoon close to the end of practice that they have waived DT Travis Ivey, who probably failed conditioning for the eighth day in a row:
Day 7 (08/06): Veteran DT Richard Seymour (knee) did not show up to practice and RB Taiwan Jones (hamstring) observed from the sideline. WRs Eddie McGee and Denarius Moore both sat out with strained hamstrings, being added to the list. What is it with hammies on this team right now?! Also, DE Matt Shaughnessy did not finish practice after rolling his ankle. Dear God, Shaugh-Nasty. Just stay healthy already!
Day 8 (08/07): Same as Day 7 – Jones, Lechler, Seymour, Moore, Curry, McGee all did not participate.
Now for a couple of points on the good and bad over the last five days, shall we?
Some Silver Linings
- Coach Allen has deemed Brandon Myers to be the #1 guy at the TE position right now. Reports have praised his consistency, being the most veteran TE on the team next to David Ausberry and Richard Gordon. Seems that Allen is content so far, saying that each TE on the roster right now has something unique to bring to the table in an article written by CBS’ Eric Gilmore:“From a receiving standpoint, that’s probably where he’s a little bit more advanced as far as knowing what to do and where to be,” Allen said. “We have to continue to work with him on the physical part of the game and the run blocking. Again, I’ve said this all along, with the tight ends that we have, we’ve got some versatility and each guy has a skill set that we plan on trying to use.”
- Marquette King continues to get a lot of reps in as veteran Pro Bowl P Shane Lechler is sidelined with a knee injury. Reports say that Lechler is still a good week (at least) away from fully participating in practice. In the meantime, I think it’s a prime time to start grooming King, who could be our next long-term leg. Soak up any advice you can, rookie – you’re learning from one of the best there is.
- NASA and JPL just landed Curiosity on Mars early Monday morning, and K Sebastian Janikowski is still blasting footballs to Mars as well. Maybe he’ll finally break the 62-yard record this year after tying it last season?
- Last but certainly not least, undrafted free agent WR Rod Streater is wowing Raiders staff with his ability to fight off the corners. He apparently credits his abilities to Jiujitsu lessons he’s been taking (an interesting tactic!) Coaches seem to be most impressed by Streater’s impeccable route-running and speed, and Coach Allen has made some comparisons to second-year WR Denarius Moore.Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an article on Saturday about Streater’s performance thus far and caught up with Allen on Saturday to see what his thoughts were:
“I think he’s a little bit of the same type of player (as Moore),” Allen said. “He’s a good route runner. Not unlike Denarius not a lot of people knew a lot about him and he came in here and did a nice job and caught a lot of people’s eye and that’s what this kid is doing.”
The Bad & The Ugly
- Since RB Taiwan Jones is also sidelined with an injury, RB Mike Goodson, who was acquired in the offseason in a trade with Carolina, was taking second-team reps up until today. As reported tonight by CSN Bay Areastraight out of Napa Valley about an hour ago, Goodson was taken off of the field in a stretcher after a helmet-to-helmet collision with new LB Phillip Wheeler. Apparently he was down on the field for 15 minutes, after extremities were checked, before being carted off.Goodson is only ranked the #3 RB on the first depth chart of camp (recently released), but before this afternoon he was learning to backup McFadden, which all Raiders fans feel is a huge responsibility for quite obvious reasons. Goodson’s numbers with Carolina look impressive, being the second-highest in rushing and receiving yards in the 2010 season.
Was I panicking before news of this incident? No, I was content in his abilities and Jones resting his hammy is the right call. Am I panicking now? WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO!? SIGN ANOTHER RB STAT! In all seriousness, I have seen tweets mentioning a “possible spinal injury” in the last half hour that have made me cringe; I do hope that Goodson is not critically injured. Prayer circle, Raider Nation.
Third-team QB Terrelle Pryor continues to struggle in camp. After what I had written about him at the beginning of the week, it seemed like it couldn’t get much worse. I thought wrong. This piece from Sunday, written by Steve Corkran of Contra Costa Times, has a snippet in it that pretty much sums up how Pryor’s camp has been going the last few days:
Safe to say that quarterback Terrelle Pryor took a step back with his performance Sunday. The culmination of an otherwise poor showing came in a two-minute drill near the end of practice. On the final four plays:
- Pryor made an ill-advised throw into a crowd of people, with rookie safety Aaron Henry almost coming down with the interception.
- Pryor threw a short pass at the feet of wide receiver Rod Streater, with Streater the hot read on a play the defense pressured Pryor with a blitz.
- Pryor made a nice read of his progression, spotted rookie receiver Derek Carrier in the flat and delivered a well-placed throw for a short gain.
- Pryor fired a pass toward the end zone, with rookie linebacker Nathan Stupar cradling the ball on the ground after making the interception. Worse, it’s difficult to tell who Pryor was throwing the ball to.
- Reportedly, offside penalties are not happening that often but are still an issue on this team, on both sides of the ball. A name that was mentioned this past weekend was T Khalif Barnes, who committed many of these fouls last season. I love you, Barnes, but please do whatever you have to do to address this issue so I don’t have to verbally assault you every weekend in the fall!
And so, the brief overview of the last five days commences. I will post again with updates on Mike Goodson’s injury once the team makes a formal announcement, and there is also a Cowboys/Raiders pre-game review coming up at the end of this week.