Top 10 Raiders Training Camp Observations

Raiders.com Senior Editor Jerry Knaak has been posting his Training Camp 2015 observations after every practice in Napa. With the players taking yesterday off, check out his Top 10 observations so far in camp.

  1. Crisp, energetic and professional: Players move from drill to drill with alacrity, everyone hustles from one thing to the next and there is accountability for mistakes. The offense did push-ups after a fumble during Monday's practice. The coaching staff is hands on and doesn't hesitate to jump in and teach in the middle of an activity.
  1. Ken Norton, Jr., is worth the price of admission: You could probably spend an entire practice just watching the Raiders defensive coordinator do his thing and you would be thoroughly entertained. His passion and energy are evident throughout the day.
  1. Catching the Ball: As a group, the wide receivers seem to be more proficient in catching the ball and do a better job adjusting to the ball in flight.
  1. Potentially Devastating Duo: Wide receivers Michael Crabtree and rookie Amari Cooper have the potential to post some impressive numbers this season. They have been running good routes and catching nearly everything thrown in their direction. Crabtree has been putting on a daily show in camp.
  1. Disruptive Force: Linebacker Khalil Mack looks to be more of a disruptive force this season. At least once a practice he blows up a running play and makes a stop in the backfield. He appears very quick off the ball.
  1. Taking Advantage of Opportunity: Running back Michael Dyer has been impressive in camp so far. With Trent Richardson on the shelf, Dyer has made the most of it, breaking free for long runs. Tight end Mychal Rivera has also flashed with rookie Clive Walford sidelined. Rivera has been making nice grabs deep down field.
  1. Large Angry Men: Both the offensive and defensive lines are stocked with large, aggressive men. Guard Gabe Jackson in particular pulls with aggression and power. Defensive tackles Dan Williams and Justin Ellis are a formidable duo in the middle.
  1. Unquestioned Leader: Second-year quarterback Derek Carr is the unquestioned leader of the offense. National media has acknowledged that you need a quarterback to be successful in the NFL, and that the Raiders have their guy.
  1. Eyeball Test: Running back Latavius Murray looks to be every bit the bell cow tailback. He's big and he's fast. Tight end Lee Smith came over from Buffalo as a free agent in the offseason and he looks every bit the part of blocking tight end. Smith is a big man.
  1. More Questions than Answers: The cornerback position is a work in progress. Inconsistent would be the best way to describe the group. The kick return and punt return spots are wide open and really can't be decided until preseason games start. The right side of the offensive line is unsettled. All of the position battles have yet to really heat up.
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