NAPA – Raiders receiver Amari Cooper started on the right side of the formation and his route led him left. David Amerson had Cooper blanketed, but quarterback Derek Carr threw it anyway.
The pass came quick, and Cooper elevated, reached over the top to get his hands in front of Amerson and secured the reception. Cooper took off unchallenged and ran for a touchdown.
It was the best catch on a fine day for receivers, several of which shined against quality defensive backs.
Michael Crabtree made an excellent catch in tight coverage. Andre Holes caught a deep ball and Seth Roberts came back to a pass and caught the ball in tight double coverage.
The Raiders top receivers have shown good chemistry with Carr, something evident to a coaching staff content with continuity at the positions.
“I love the way they’re working at it,” head coach Jack Del Rio said on Friday. “I think the communication level has gone to another level, the communication. We’re really thrilled with returning that group. Seth [Roberts] took a step forward last year. ‘Crab’ reinvented himself and showed people what he’s really all about. Amari burst on the scene and Andre (Holmes), really happy that we were able to get him back. That was a big signing. So we returned the four key guys that Derek throws to in the receiving corps. I think it’s a really good group. We all expect it, with them knowing each other and the subtleties of the route running, the things they need to do that we can take advantage of it and have a big year.”
Edwards Jr. limited: Raiders defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. was limited in practice Sunday, a day after he was ejected for fighting with Kelechi Osemele. Edwards iced his hand shortly after a pair of altercations, one of which featured him punching Osemele’s helmet.
Head coach Jack Del Rio said Edwards Jr. was a little sore and will be fine. Edwards Jr. was involved in some individual drills, and did technical work on the side.
Catch of the day: Since we’ve discussed receiver play extensively already, Sunday’s catch of the day goes to defensive back Kenneth Durden. The undrafted rookie stay with the play as receiver Marvin Hall bobbled the ball trying to secure a reception. Durden eventually stepped in a snagged for an interception.
Safety for Ward: The Raiders pinned their offense at its 1-yard line during a fun period of practice. The first-team offense couldn’t get out of trouble on its first attempt, when rookie defensive lineman Jihad Ward broke into the backfield for a simulated sack and safety, ultimately ruled in the defense’s favor by head coach Jack Del Rio.
Other notes from Raiders practice:
-- LT Donald Penn’s snaps were limited, an action offensive line coach Mike Tice said could happen to keep his 33-year old blindside protector fresh. Matt McCants took Penn’s reps with the first unit.
-- SS Karl Joseph was also limited in some work, with Dewey McDonald getting extra time with the first unit.
-- The Raiders mixed and matched members of specific units. That included SLB Shilique Calhoun, who saw some first-team reps in team drills.
-- QB Connor Cook has shown improvement in recent days, with more accurate passes on deep and intermediate throws.
-- RB DeAndre Washington flexed some muscle as a pass protector, holding his own against rushing linebackers. That could keep him on the field during key passing situations. Washington has take a fair number of big hits as a ball carrier, but always gets up unfazed.
Daily transactions: CB SaQwan Edwards went through waivers unclaimed and goes on to the Raiders’ injured reserve list.
Returned to practice: DL Leon Orr, TE Colton Underwood, RB Taiwan Jones
Did not practice: S Jimmy Hall
Next practice: The Raiders have their second off day of training camp on Monday, a reward after five straight practice days. They’ll take the field again on Tuesday morning.