NAPA -– Early praise in this Raiders training camp focused on quarterback play. The passers were throwing consistently well, seemingly dominating their counterparts.
Over the last few days, defensive backs have started to fight back.
While quarterbacks Matt Schaub and Derek Carr made some nice throws -– several on deep passes in single coverage -- the defensive backs made a fair share of plays on Thursday and again Friday afternoon.
“There was some give and take again today,” head coach Dennis Allen said. “Over the last two days, I think both sides have been crisp.”
Safety Charles Woodson made his third interception in two practices on Friday, nabbing a Matt Schaub pass after it skipped off tight end David Ausberry’s hands.
Carlos Rogers used quick hands to dislodge a pass seemingly secured by Denarius Moore. Jansen Watson slapped a completion away from Rahsaan Vaughn. Even Keith McGill, who started slow after being taken off the PUP list, made a diving deflection that illustrated his progress in recent days.
While there were more interceptions the day before, Friday continued a trend of defensive resistance that should make for greater competition in practice and better performance down the line.
Some other notes from Raiders camp:
-- Defensive end Justin Tuck missed practice for a minor groin injury.
“I don’t think it’s anything serious,” Allen said. “(Friday’s absence) somewhat of an injury, somewhat of a veteran’s day off.”
-- Rookie seventh-round pick Shelby Harris worked some with the first team in Tuck’s absence, a sign that the coaching staff thinks he’s making significant progress between now and the offseason program.
-- No. 2 quarterback Derek Carr had a solid practice that included two long touchdown passes. He has also shown a willingness to take off and run when space allows it.
“We’re pleased with Derek Carr,” Allen said. “He had a good day today, but he’s had a lot of good days.”
-- Carr set up the catch of the day, when he hit Andre Holmes made an over-the-shoulder grab on a post pattern to the end zone.
-- WR Denarius Moore landed hard trying to reel in a leaping catch. He went to the training room shortly after and did not return. His injury status is unclear.
Returned to practice: None
Did not practice: DE Justin Tuck (groin), DT Antonio Smith (groin), LB Kaluka Maiava (hamstring), WR Juron Criner (hamstring), S Shelton Johnson (hamstring), LB Marshall McFadden (hip)
Physically unable to perform: DJ Hayden (foot), G Lucas Nix (knee), S Usama Young (quad)
Non-football injury: DT Stacy McGee (thumb)