Receivers and Defensive Backs Battle; Coaches Emphasize Teaching


WR Kenbrell Thompkins grabs play of the day honors with the great catch. Photo by Tony Gonzales/

The Oakland Raiders were back on the field at their Napa Valley Training Complex for Day 2 of Training Camp 2015. The bleachers were filled with approximately 1,000 Season Ticket Members, which added an extra element and a boost of energy to practice. 

Linebacker Sio Moore returned to practice after opening camp on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list. 

As training camps get underway around the National Football League, many national newspapers, radio, TV and Internet outlets who cover the NFL often send writers and personalities on Training Camp tours. USA Today is no exception and NFL writer Tom Pelissero made his second consecutive visit Napa and took in today's practice. 

"We go all over the place, between me, Lindsay Jones and Jared Bell, we'll hit most if not all of the training camps," Pelissero said. 

Pelissero said there is a buzz about the Raiders heading into this season, last year's draft class in particular. 

"In talking to scouts around the league, the buzz on the rookie class from last year has been very positive. [General Manager] Reggie McKenzie had some things fall into his lap. As I understand Khalil Mack was the number one player on their board regardless, they take him at five," Pelissero said. "You bring in Derek Carr who I think showed a lot of positive signs and certainly was ahead of where I thought he would be coming from that quick-strike borderline gimmicky offense at Fresno State. You have positive signs on him. You've got some coaches I know here now on the offensive side of the ball. [Offensive Coordinator] Bill Musgrave, who I covered up in Minnesota, is a really smart guy, definitely an intellectual.  You look back at that 2012 Vikings team, Adrian Peterson runs for 2,000 yards and wins the MVP, but on a weekly basis you knew defense would be gearing up to stop him. Bill Musgrave, along with the offensive line coach, would constantly come up with plans to put them in position to succeed." 

I'll have more from Tom Pelissero online in the coming days. Be sure to keep an eye out for his training camp report for USA Today. 


Here are my observations from today's practice:** 

Tight end Clive Walford and wide receiver Brice Butler did not participate in today's practice. 

As I mentioned, linebacker Sio Moore returned to practice. 

The group of Season Ticket Members in attendance was very vocal and several players played to the crowd after making plays. 

Linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong was very animated, dancing between reps.

Tight end Mychal Rivera continues to flash. He made a nice catch on a corner route between two defenders. 

Those catches were tough to come by as the defensive backs and linebackers provided tight coverage. Safety Larry Asante made a particularly nice play breaking up a pass. 

Wide receiver Michael Crabtree made a leaping grab along the sideline and drew cheers from the fans. 

Wide receiver Andre Holmes looked quick as he made his break and made a nice catch on a slant. 

Rookie wide receiver Josh Harper made a nice sideline grab in tight coverage. 

Wide receiver Austin Willis, running back Taiwan Jones and WR Josh Harper all took reps as kickoff returners. Jones made a nice jump cut and broke to the outside on one return that drew a loud reaction from the fans. 

Fullback Marcel Reece made a leaping catch on a corner route in tight coverage and proceeded to knock out a few push-ups.

Safety Nate Allen picked off an overthrown deep pass intended for wide receiver Michael Crabtree.

Practice ended to rousing cheers from the Season Ticket Members.

Play of the Day

Wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins ran a corner route through the defense and made a spectacular catch of a well-timed pass. He popped up and showed the ball to make sure everyone knew he made the grab.

Tweet of the Day

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