Mini-Camp Day 3 Observations: Carr Revving Engine, Defense Fired up

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The Oakland Raiders wrapped a three-day Mandatory Mini-Camp with a final practice Thursday at the team's Alameda, Calif., facility. The session was highlighted by some crisp throws, tough catches and an animated opportunistic defense.


Play of the Day

Undrafted free agent TE Gabe Holmes out of Purdue made a tough one-handed grab on a pass thrown well behind him on a crossing route.


WR Kenbrell Thompkins, who had an impressive mini-camp as he routinely got open and made tough catches look routine, was also consistent on the fashion front and wore his game pants for a third straight day.

The Raiders wide receivers certainly do feature every body type imaginable for the position. From Kris Durham at 6'6" to Trindon Holliday at 5'5" – this group has every type of receiver.

QB Derek Carr improved throughout mini-camp after missing time due to injury. He was natural and fleet of foot on his roll outs today and his passes had a lot of zip. On one play, he took a three-step drop and rifled a perfect spiral with pace to rookie TE Clive Walford on a seam route. Could this be a combination we see regularly down the line?  Carr also found WR Michael Crabtree over the middle as the two new teammates made this pitch and catch look easy.

Rookie LB Josh Shirley flashed today. He was very active and batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage.

WRs Austin Willis, Trindon Holliday and Amari Cooper and CB TJ Carrie fielded punts during special teams drills.

One overlooked player to keep an eye on is undrafted free agent rookie RB Michael Dyer out of Louisville. Dyer, who started his college career at Auburn, is feisty, has quick feet and is adept at catching the ball out of the backfield.

Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., is certainly as advertised. At one point during practice he berated the group on the field for making a critical mistake.

Rookie defensive back SaQwan Edwards flashed during this camp, making several plays on the ball that led to interceptions. He was around the ball quite a bit today as well.

QB Christian Ponder threw a perfect pass to TE Mychal Rivera on a corner route to end a period. There was much rejoicing.

K Giorgio Tavecchio continued his strong offseason, drilling several field goal attempts of varying lengths during special teams drills.

Toward the end of practice, DE Justin Tuck batted a pass at the line and intercepted it on a play eerily similar to his interception of Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning in Oakland last season. He fumbled during the return and an alert LB Khalil Mack scooped it up.

The Raiders report to Training Camp 2015 at their Napa Valley Training Complex in six weeks as the Silver and Black continue to prepare for the upcoming season. Stay with us on all of our digital media channels for the latest on the Raiders.

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