Practice summary: Quarterback Matt Flynn continued to impress with his accuracy on short and intermediate passes and knowledge of his third new offense in the past three seasons.
While Flynn’s passes were on the money – Terrelle Pryor’s often were too – several of them fell incomplete. The receivers had a poor day at the office, with frequent drops that irked coach Dennis Allen.
Middle linebacker Nick Roach as quickly become a leader on defense. The former Chicago Bear is firmly in control despite little time with the Raiders, and other linebackers seem to rally around him.
Kevin Burnett is a solid addition at weakside linebacker. He showed excellent ability covering tight ends and running backs, two responsibilities crucial to his position.
The Raiders had a new face at practice. Interior lineman Andre Gurode signed with the team on Friday evening and got his feet wet with the third team on Saturday. The five-time Pro Bowler, on the south side of his career at age 35, played center and both guard positions. He’s expected to be a backup at those positions, but add competition to a battle at left guard without experienced options in Tony Bergstrom and Lucas Nix. The center spot belongs to Stefen Wisniewski, who likes the position but played left guard in his rookie season.
There’s also competition at right tackle, where Khalif Barnes and Alex Barron split time on the first team.
Offensive play of the day: Pryor’s deep ball is getting good. The third-year quarterback threw a ball where only Jacoby Ford could get it, in the corner of the end zone. Ford used his speed to blow by his man and made an easy catch in a step from the sideline.
Defensive play of the day: Cornerback D.J. Hayden isn’t allowed to hit yet, but he certainly can cover. The first-round draft pick, limited in practice while re-immersing himself following offseason surgery, was allowed to cover in deep passing drills and broke up a pass from Flynn in the end zone. Hayden covered Rod Streater tight, and got in the way of a touchdown at the last minute to ruin the play.
Rookie report: TEs Nick Kasa and Mychal Rivera have shown well in a position group without an established starter. They function well in the passing game and fared well in drills with heavy coverage. … QB Tyler Wilson had a better second day than his first, when he threw three interceptions. His passes were more accurate and he seemed more confident in his decisions.
On the sideline: OT Menelik Watson, the Raiders’ second-round pick, missed his second straight practice with an undisclosed injury and remained on the active non-football injury list. OLB Miles Burris (knee), DT Pat Sims and WR Sam McGuffie were also sidelined. Allen said OLB Sio Moore, OLB Kaluka Maiava, WR Greg Jenkins and LB Billy Byoko were injured during practice, but no ailment should be considered severe. Allen will not comment on specific injuries during training camp.
Happy birthday, Jacoby: Raiders wide receiver Jacoby Ford turned 26 on Saturday, and the fans at Saturday’s practice honored the occasion. While Ford was stretching near the stands, dozens of fans stood up and serenaded him with "Happy Birthday to You."
Drop and give me 20: Dennis Allen was upset at how many receivers dropped passes during Saturday’s passes, which left several accurate passes incomplete. The crowd didn’t like it, either. They started chanting “pushups” when a catchable ball hit the turn, and a few Raiders obliged. Jenkins and FB Jon Hoese obliged by pounding out 10 pushups for a dropped ball.
Quote of the day: “Lamarr Houston sees himself as an elite player. We see him as an elite player. He’s prepared himself physically and mentally to be a player of that caliber.” – Raiders coach Dennis Allen, on defensive end Lamarr Houston