ALAMEDA -– Derek Carr and Amari Cooper spent some down time on the practice field Monday, working out kinks that have shown up on game tape.
It's not just between quarterback and rookie receiver. There was plenty to critique from Sunday’s exhibition loss to Arizona, where the first-unit offense couldn’t find the end zone in nine series.
The running game was non-existent. The passing game looked disjointed at times. Overall, the offensive unit wasn’t good enough against the Cardinals, and Carr said after that missed opportunities left the offense upset.
The feeling didn’t last long. The film review wasn’t cause for great frustration because of one thought coursing through Carr’s mind.
“We were so close, man. There were just too many things we were that far off,” Carr said, pinching his thumb and index finger together. “There were a lot of good things. We were very explosive, and that is something that you want to see in the preseason. We have a very explosive group.
“The timing on certain things was just off, again, by a little bit. We spent a lot of time today and yesterday getting that down. That’s all you can do, is take more reps at it.”
The Raiders are repping their way to a great flow in practice. That’s why Carr and Cooper found some extra time to work out the minor details. Carr believes they're close to finding consistency in the run and pass game. That was clear during Sunday’s exhibition. The Raiders generally moved the ball downfield, but had to settle for three points instead of six.
They won’t have much more game action to iron things out. Typically, starters barely play in the final preseason game. That won’t change on Thursday.
“Nothing that occurred prior to now is going to change (things), whether it’s been good or bad,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “We feel like the team has prepared well for the season. We’ll finish our preparation leading up to our home opener, but prior to that we got some work to do.”
Fixing mistakes are part of preseason work, and Carr doesn’t lose sleep over a few bad plays in games that don’t count. They are teaching tools designed to make the Raiders better.
“When you hit the regular season, they wipe the slate clean as we well know. That’s when they count,” Carr said. “Right now, you want to build. It’s good to have lessons learned now. We talk about it all the time -- you want to learn lessons now and learn what you can and can’t get away with. That way, when you hit the regular season, you hit the ground running.”