The Oakland Raiders hit the field for their first full practice in preparation for this Sunday's 2015 regular season Week 4 matchup with the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. The last time the Raiders faced the Bears in Chicago in the regular season, a Paul Edinger field goal in the waning moments was the difference in a Bears victory. Twelve years later the Raiders are on the heels of back-to-back victories secured in the waning moments of each and are looking for their first two-game road winning streak since 2011. The Raiders are also seeking their first three-game winning streak since 2011. The third victory in that streak came against…wait for it…the Chicago Bears.
In a passionate postgame speech in Cleveland, Raiders Head Coach jack Del Rio credited the team for how well they traveled as professionals.
"The way we traveled, we traveled like professional football players that had a mission in mind," Coach Del Rio said. "And we're going to do the same thing next week. Take care of your business, travel like a professional club looking like you are on a mission."
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who earned his first road win as a professional last week, echoed his head coach's sentiments at his Wednesday press conference.
"Everything we do we want to do with a purpose. We're not just flying there because. We're not just having this meeting just because," Carr said. "As long as we're purposeful. When we're on the plane, do you have your iPads out? What's your routine? Just making sure that we have a purpose for everything that we do. That goes along with it."
Each week so far this season the Raiders have made drastic improvements in many areas. One area that must improve and soon is the way the Raiders defend the opposing tight end. The Raiders have allowed three straight 100-yard receivers from that position. They again face a formidable threat at tight end in Bears leading receiver tight end Martellus Bennett.
"He's a good player. He's a big weapon for them. Alshon [Jeffrey] outside and him inside, [Eddie] Royal in the slot – they've got some good weapons," Coach Del Rio said. "It will be a tough match-up for us. We're getting prepared to meet the challenge."
Bennett says he hasn't paid attention to the productivity the first three tight ends enjoyed against the Raiders. He says he prepares the same way each week regardless of the defense he's facing.
"A lot of teams treat me differently from how they treat other tight ends as far as attention goes. I'm pretty sure they're going to have a different way of covering me, doing different things to try to prevent me from getting off," Bennett said. "I go into every game prepared to be blanket coverage and have to work to get open every single play. When you see people have success, that team is doing everything they can to correct it, so I feel like this week will still be a challenge."
Fullback Jamize Olawale and defensive tackle Justin Ellis returned to practice and were full participants. However, linebacker Ben Heeney, cornerback Keith McGill, defensive lineman C.J. Wilson and running back Taiwan Jones were added to the injury report this week. Click here for the full report.
Quick Hits From the Practice Field
During the open media viewing session, the quarterbacks were working on throwing some deep routes and wide receivers Amari Cooper, Andre Holmes and Rod Streater made impressive over the shoulder catches on throws from Carr and backup quarterback Matt McGloin.
Yes, that is rain falling from the sky in Northern California. The forecast is calling for some weather in Chicago this weekend, so some inclement weather here in NorCal made be a good preview for Sunday.
Song of the Day
Today's Song of the Day, heard during the stretching period is Big Sean's I Do It from the Finally Famous album released in 2011. I have to admit I am not that familiar with Big Sean's work. Quite a bit of this music heard on the practice field is about coming of age and becoming successful.