NAPA – Jack Del Rio spoke to the press the first three days of training camp. Each time, he was asked about young cornerbacks performing without a veteran safety net.
TJ Carrie, DJ Hayden and Keith McGill will be the primary cornerbacks this season, barring injury, after the Raiders went young at that position. Their progress keeps coming up.
Del Rio took a break from the podium on Monday. It was defensive coordinator Ken Norton’s turn to take the podium, and, surprise, surprise, he too was grilled about cornerbacks.
Norton has been pleased, but said focus remains on consistent development.
“The young corners that I’ve been with in the past, they started out with no one knowing who they were, then all of the sudden they’re the stars of the league,” said Norton, who coached in Seattle from 2010-14. “And it’s a matter of coaching, developing, time, energy, effort and just the group. The whole group. A village raising everybody. So I’m real happy with where we are and we still have a long way to go.”
Norton sees a bright future ahead for these young defensive backs.
“The competition and the talent is all there. It’s just a matter of work,” Norton said. “It’s a matter of experience. It’s a matter of time. It takes time. Winners aren’t built in a week. It takes time. That’s what camp is for and they’re working their tails off.”
Catch of the day: The Raiders’ best catch of the day didn’t come from a player. Monday’s honor goes to video assistant Greg Reuveni. He was filming practice from a lift behind the northern end zone when camp kicker Giorgio Tavecchio sent a field goal attempt high through the uprights. Reuveni stepped just left of his camera and caught it perfectly with both hands. The crowd cheered, but Reuveni, a consummate pro, didn’t celebrate. He dropped the ball to the turf and kept on shooting.
Defensive play of the day: Defensive lineman Denico Autry made a strong move in a red zone drill, reached the backfield and stripped running back Taiwan Jones at the line of scrimmage. Autry then recovered his own fumble and killed a third-unit drive.
Injury update: Raiders return man Trindon Holliday was taken off the active/physically unable to perform list in time to participate in Monday morning’s practice. It was his first in this training camp. The Raiders hope Holliday can be a primary return man, which would take pressure off heavily used players like TJ Carrie and Amari Cooper.
Trent Richardson did side work for the first time this training camp. Richardson is currently on the active/non-football illness list. He ran well with trainers and showed straight line speed. He also cut well in drills and looked like he was if good shape.
Receiver Rod Streater remains on the NFI list, though he was seen coming out of the training room on Monday afternoon. Defensive tackle Stacy McGee remains out on the PUP list.
Other notes from practice:
-- The Raiders ran some late-game situational drills on Monday’s practice, the first time they’ve moved with increased tempo during this early portion of camp.
-- Left guard Gabe Jackson is proving to be a mauler with pads on, dominating on the interior line.
-- There have been excellent exchanges between left tackle Donald Penn and end/linebacker Khalil Mack. Both players have won battles in a matchup of talented pros.
-- The offense had to do up-downs on the spot after a failed handoff exchange was botched and linebacker Sio Moore recovered the fumble.
-- Rookie defensive end Max Valles flashed some speed rushing skill, zooming by veteran Austin Howard on an 11-on-11 drill with the second unit.
-- Running back Michael Dyer continues to shine. He fared well working with the second unit on Monday, filling in for the injury Roy Helu.
-- The Raiders continue to experiment with different return men, and primary running back Latavius Murray was part of kickoff return drills.
-- Receiver Andre Holmes has been inconsistent thus far, making great catches and easy drops.
Daily transactions: None
Returned to practice: CB Dexter McDonald, KR/PR Trindon Holliday
Did not practice: TE Clive Walford, RB Roy Helu Jr.
Physically unable to perform: DT Stacy McGee
Non-football illness: WR Rod Streater, RB Trent Richardson
Next practice: The Raiders have an off day Tuesday, and their next full practice starts on Wednesday at 4:25 p.m. That practice will be in pads.