-Call it #TransactionTuesdsay, as the Silver and Black’s roster continued to turn over prior to the start of the morning session. Not only did the team sign defensive backs Makinton Dorleant and Joshua Holsey to beef up their banged up secondary, the Raiders also waived Hamp Cheevers and Johnny Townsend.
With Townsend’s departure from Napa, undrafted rookie A.J. Cole has essentially won the team’s punting job.
-Also, after missing the first few weeks of training camp, veteran fullback Keith Smith passed his physical Tuesday morning and returned to the field, as well as the active roster. It’s unclear whether or not Smith will play Thursday against the Arizona Cardinals.
-Speaking of Thursday night, it sounds like we’ll get at least a little taste of Derek Carr and the starters at University of Phoenix Stadium. How much remains to be seen, but Coach Gruden said that DC will at least be on the field for a time.
-Coming out of the University of Alabama, Josh Jacobs was touted as the most-complete running back in the country. Well, during the team’s time in Napa, we’ve seen him run the ball, catch the ball out of the backfield, and Tuesday, we saw the rookie lay the lumber in pass protection. While we have yet to see No. 28 play in a preseason tilt, what we’ve seen from practice has been very impressive.
-In addition to Mr. Big Chest’s return to Napa, another cool – less flashy – moment occurred during Tuesday’s practice. During one of the breaks in the action, both Derek Carr and Doug Martin came over and introduced themselves to Joshua Holsey. With so many guys on the roster, it’s easy to forget that something as simple as saying hello might have to wait until practice.
-Time for our daily special teams update: shocker here, but Tuesday was another good day for Daniel Carlson, as the big-legged kicker connected on all his attempts save one that bounced off the left upright. As far as A.J. Cole was concerned, No. 6 also turned in another quality effort at the office, booming his punts, and very much looking the part of an NFL punter.
Assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia also had his battery work on last-second execution, getting Carlson set up to kick with less than 10 seconds on a running clock.
-Overall, I thought the defense had a good day Tuesday, but one of the highlights for Paul Guenther’s group came in the final period of practice when cornerback Nevin Lawson batted a ball at the line of scrimmage then hauled it in for an interception.
-That said, the play of the day belonged to Tyrell Williams, who went up and hauled in an acrobatic, sideline catch with a defensive back draped all over him. Throughout our time here in Napa, catches like that have seemingly become the norm for No. 16.
Derek Carr discussing what he needs out of Antonio Brown for the pair to be ready for the start of the regular season:
“We’ll be ready to go Week One. We have a lot of time until then. Obviously, a short week with playing a game on Thursday, but with that said, we have so much time to get some game plan plays down, some routes, certain cuts that we’re going to have him run, and all those kinds of things. We have plenty of time, so the fact that he’s here is a good sign, it’s good for us.”
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