Wide Receiver Joe Hansley
The Oakland Raiders were back on the field Wednesday at their Alameda, Calif., facility, taking part in their fifth of 10 Organized Team Activities [OTAs].
Here are four things I noticed from their time on the field.
1. Have A Day, Joe Hansley
The MVP for Wednesday's day on the field? Undrafted wide receiver Joe Hansley.
During his Tuesday media session, quarterback Derek Carr praised Hansley's "really good" route-running ability, and Wednesday the former Colorado State Ram certainly put his set of skills on full display.
Hansley made a handful of impressive plays Wednesday, operating from both the slot and out wide, and it seemed like he ended up with the ball in his hands every time he lined up.
Listed at 5'9", Hansley is no doubt on the smaller side for an NFL wide receiver, but he's shown throughout OTAs that he has the quickness and versatility to make up for what he might lack in size.
Del Rio said Tuesday that the team's first four wide receivers are already set with Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Seth Roberts and Andre Holmes, but did acknowledge that there will definitely be chances for playing time behind them.
In addition to his skills running routes and catching passes, Hansley has also been working as a kick returner, and for a player like him trying to earn a roster spot, versatility is the name of the game.
Be sure to keep an eye on him as the Offseason Workout Program progresses and the team gears up for Training Camp 2016.
2. Coach Parmalee Issues A Challenge
Before he was coaching up the running backs for the Oakland Raiders, Bernie Parmalee was a running back himself, playing in the NFL for nine years for both the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.
The 48-year-old coach still has a little juice left in his legs, and Wednesday afternoon he issued a challenge to his group of players.
During the individual portion of practice, Parmalee ran through a ladder drill, demonstrating how to carry the ball properly and how to get your knees high, then proceeded to challenge his players to match him, and for the most part, the players were able to match Parmalee's output and not get their legs caught in the ropes.
Parmalee said that he likes to keep his players on their toes during OTAs – no pun intended – and mixing up their drills and getting in the fray himself is a perfect way to do just that.
3. Marquette King Lets It Fly
Are special teams periods during OTAs the most entertaining portions of practice? No, but with Marquette King in the mix, you're bound to see something impressive, and he certainly didn't disappoint Wednesday.
During one of the aforementioned special teams periods, King launched an absolute rocket, with the ball traveling 80 yards through the air and forcing the return man to turn around and retreat to his own end zone to catch it.
As you would assume, the animated punter was quite pleased with the effort and he was congratulated by teammates and coaches alike following the kick.
King's longest career punt is 70 yards, so would it be out of the question for him to kick one 80 yards during a game? I don't think so, but only time will tell.
4. James Cowser Flashes Again
If there's one thing that linebacker/defensive end James Cowser has shown since he arrived for Rookie Minicamp, it's that he has a keen sense of where the football is going.
That instinctual nature was on full display again Wednesday as the undrafted rookie enjoyed a quality set of back-to-back plays, flashing his versatility in the process.
On the first, Cowser quickly dissected a screen play and was able to shed his blocker and come up in the flat and make the would-be tackle. On the very next play – operating from the other side of the defensive line this time – he blew past the left tackle and very quickly found himself in the pocket face-to-face with quarterback Matt McGloin.
Cowser didn't lay a hit on McGloin – full contact isn't allowed during Phase Three of the Offseason Workout Program – but had the play been live, it would have resulted in a sack.