The Oakland Raiders kicked off the first day of Mandatory Minicamp Tuesday, and saw some contributions from players up and down the roster. Head Coach Jon Gruden has been consistent in commending the players who have stood out, and that was no different Tuesday. Following practice, Gruden met with reporters to recap the afternoon, and highlighted several people who caught his eye.
Here are the quick hits from his media session:
Gruden recapped Day 1 of the three-day camp.
“The quarterback, [Derek] Carr, is very impressive today again. He’s showing very good command of the offense. I think the first team offense is doing some very good things running and passing. I like where our defense is going. I was pleased, really, with the guys at the top of the depth chart. I thought [Eddy] Piñeiro kicked the ball very well. Both of our rookie specialist punted the ball extremely well. Some of our backup players have to pick it up. I think that’s probably a standard line around the league this time of year.”
He provided an update on the status of defensive end Khalil Mack.
“One of the big reasons I came here was to coach that man. But I don’t want to speculate. There’s a lot of guys in the league, several players that are in a similar situation. We’re just trying to resolve it as soon as possible and in the meantime coach the players that are here.”
Gruden spoke about practicing with the Detroit Lions during Training Camp.
“I like [Head Coach] Matt Patricia a lot. I have a lot of respect for him. I’ve spent time with him, obviously when I was in my previous role. He’s a heck of a guy. He’s a great coach. I trust him. I think he trusts how we want to get better and improve as a football team on both ends. There will be specific situations, a lot of it will be controlled. They’ll give us an opportunity to see a different opponent. They’ll give us an opportunity to see a different style of offense and defense.”
He touched on the position battle at kicker.
“It’ll be a battle into camp. Tavecchio has had a heck of a camp. It just so happens that it was Eddy’s turn to kick today. We’re not going one kick here, one kick there, taking turns and rotating. It’s Tavecchio’s day. It’s Piñeiro’s day. It allows these guys to mentally go out there and be better instead of rotating. It’s going to be a battle. The young kid can kick the ball and Tavecchio has proven he’s an NFL kicker.”
Gruden shared what Offensive Line Coach Tom Cable brings to the table.
“The thing I love about Cable is he’s a great teacher. You can go down and sit in an offensive line meeting for 30 minutes and he can coach about three days’ worth of information. He’s always ready. He’s sharp, but he’s a really good teacher. He’s into it every day. He’s a tough guy. We like him.”