The Oakland Raiders first padded practice of 2015 is in the books.
After not wearing pads on for the first two days of Training Camp 2015, Head Coach Jack Del Rio was able to see his players hit each other for the first time Sunday. While the quarterbacks still wore red non-contact jerseys and players didn't tackle to the ground, the afternoon session still provided Head Coach Del Rio and his staff a little more insight into the team they will be leading in 2015.
KNOCKING THE RUST OFF
Head Coach Del Rio spoke about what he saw from the team in their first day in pads, and what he expected to see from them as training camp progressed.
"As coaches, you know what you want it to look like in the end, and so we're just focused on teaching, and growing, and developing and all those things. I thought the energy was good. We're a long way from being clean, a lot of work to do."
MICHAEL CRABTREE WAS IMPRESSIVE…AGAIN
Over the first three days of Training Camp 2015, Michael Crabtree has arguably been the most impressive wide receiver on the field, making several spectacular plays during each session.
Head Coach Del Rio spoke about the wide out and what he brings to the table.
"I think Mike [Crabtree] is a proven player. I think you're seeing a guy that's a good player making some plays out here. That's what he should do. That's what he will do. It's been great to see, but that's kind of what we expected when we brought him here."
ACKNOWLEDGING THE YOUTH MOVEMENT
It's no secret that one of the more interesting position battles that will occur this training camp is the competition for the starting cornerback positions.
As of now it seems to be a three-man race for the two starting roles, and Head Coach Del Rio addressed the concerns about the starting corners being young heading into the season.
"They are young. There's no denying that. They are young. There weren't many veteran corners available. The best option, in our opinion, was to develop. That's what we're doing. They are young and we need them to grow up. We need them to come along and develop, and I like the way we're working at it."
FIRST CHANCE TO SEE THE INTERIOR LINE
Sunday's practice also gave Head Coach Del Rio and his staff their first look at the interior linemen in pads.
"We've got a big, strong group of men in our offensive and defensive lines. We've got some big, active men so it'll be good tape to go over. It's day one in pads. There were some good things, some things we'll be a lot better at, but I like the eagerness. We have an eager team. They're working hard and it's just day one."
THOUGHTS ON MARIO EDWARDS JR.:
The Raiders selected defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. in the second round (No. 35 overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft and the young lineman has impressed since his arrival in Oakland.
"He's been very receptive. He's been hardworking. He's kept himself in really good shape. He's getting stronger. I think he's doing a nice job picking up our system. We feel like he's had a good couple of days."
MICHAEL DYER MAKING THE MOST OF HIS OPPORTUNITY
With running back Trent Richardson on the Non-Football Illness list, Michael Dyer has been receiving more reps, and he's making the coaches take notice when he touches the ball.
"I think Michael has done a nice job developing from what we saw in the spring to where he is now. He's more comfortable. He's more accountable, more dependable on special teams units, in the offense, and every now and then he'll pop through there and show some of that speed that he has. I think he's off to a nice start."