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Practice Notebook: K.J. Brent Looks To Make Most Of Final Preseason Game


In the case of K.J. Brent, no news was good news.

The undrafted free agent wide receiver is currently in the midst of a battle to make the Oakland Raiders 53-man roster, and when the team began making its initial roster reductions Sunday morning, and he didn't get a phone call, Brent just went about his business and went into work.

"I was sitting in the hotel room, got some stuff to eat yesterday, and I guess if you don't get the call, I guess you're good," said Brent. "I came to the facility to get my iPad fixed, just said 'hello' to the coaches, nothing serious, so I just woke up today and came to work."

For an undrafted player in Brent's position, the days and hours surrounding roster reduction deadlines can be stressful, and while the former Wake Forest Demon Deacon hasn't quite yet fulfilled his dream of earning his way onto the Week 1 roster, surviving the first wave of cuts is a good start.

"There's definitely a sense of relief, just because you never know," Brent explained. "They don't really tell you coming up to it what's going to happen, but waking up and coming in to work today was definitely a good feeling. You just have to keep grinding and keep it up."

In Saturday night's game against the Tennessee Titans, Brent hauled in his first catch of the preseason, finishing the game with tied for the team lead with three catches for 54 yards. Standing at 6'4", Brent undoubtedly has prototypical NFL size, but his measurables aren't what stood out to quarterback Derek Carr when the pair first met over the summer.

"He [Brent] really impressed me the first day I saw him, his route running ability was really good," said Carr. "Coming in as an undrafted guy, you never know what the story was. He shows up and runs his first route, I was like, 'how did that guy go undrafted, at least not get picked up late?' You see the route running. He's really good with the ball in the air, as we've seen in practice a whole bunch of times. [Quarterback] Matt [McGloin] threw him the deep little out route, and he went up and made a great play with the ball above his helmet. He runs great routes, makes plays like that, you know, he's fighting for a spot, and I think he's doing a great job. It'll be interesting to see how this last game goes."

The Raiders roster currently sits at 75 players, and Thursday's matchup with the Seattle Seahawks will serve as Brent's final chance to make an impression on the coaching staff, and show that he deserves a spot on the 53-man roster. Although Thursday's game is likely one of the biggest of his life to date, the rangy wide receiver isn't letting the stakes of the game get to him.

"Not necessarily nervous, but more anxious, just ready to get out there and play, because that's all we really want to do, is just go out there and play football," said Brent. "That's what we're here to do. That's what we do for a living now. I wouldn't necessarily say I'm nervous, but I'm anxious to get out there."


-Prior to Monday's practice, the Raiders reduced their roster to 75 players by waiving 14, and then placing tight end Gabe Holmes on the reserve/injured list. The team will have to trim its roster again following the preseason finale against the Seattle Seahawks, as the deadline to reach 53 players is Saturday at 1:00 p.m. PT.

-After not playing in Saturday's preseason matchup against the Tennessee Titans, fullback Marcel Reece was back on the field Monday afternoon. Along with Reece, veteran safety Reggie Nelson was also back on the field Monday after missing a majority of last week's practices, and not playing at all Saturday night. However, linebacker Neiron Ball and guard Kelechi Osemele were limited participants during the first on-field session of the week.

-A pair of rookies produced an impressive connection Monday afternoon as quarterback Connor Cook lofted a ball down the sideline that was hauled in by wide receiver Marvin Hall about 35 yards past the line of scrimmage.

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