Training Camp Notebook 7/27: First day in pads wasn't short of excitement

It's about to go down.

The Raiders' Wednesday morning practice consisted of putting the pads on for the first time this Training Camp. With the addition of pads comes more physicality and competitive juices overflowing on the field.

"Once you get the pads on it turns into more intense, more physical ball," Demarcus Robinson said during his media availability Wednesday. "And that's what we look forward to – to try and get that physicalness going on – and I think we did pretty good at it today."

Here are some takeaways from Wednesday's practice.

Is it Lester Cotton's time?

Lester Cotton Sr. looked pretty good throughout the early part of the offseason, but as you all know, it's hard to evaluate players until the pads come on. When the pads came on Wednesday morning, Cotton was a dog in the trenches.

He looked good blocking during different drills today and even held his own in one-on-ones. Cotton was a two-time National Champion at Alabama, but hasn't seen a lot of action in the NFL, fluctuating between the Raiders' active roster and the practice squad since he signed as a UDFA in 2019. This offseason, he's gained the attention of his new coaches and his teammates.

"He's going into year four and he's been competing his ass off," Kolton Miller said about Cotton on Tuesday. "Just watching him grow, the growth in strength and speed and everything. He's been one guy to look at that's surprised me for sure."

The continuous progression of Tre'von Moehrig

An impactful defensive player in my eyes today was Tre’von Moehrig.

Coming a few days after he was named to the NFL's All-Under-25 Team, Moehrig went toe-to-toe in one-on-one drills with star tight end Darren Waller, and won his fair share of battles against the elite pass catcher. The safety also looked great on block shedding drills, and was given a large amount of snaps throughout practice – showcasing the durability seen from him last season where he played 99 percent of defensive snaps.

"[H]e's in his second year, he's shown the willingness to work," Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham said. "He's shown the willingness to communicate. That's the one thing from that position, we're asking those guys to talk a lot – pre and post snap, talk a lot."

Quote of the day

Last six years, I looked at the Raiders like a rivalry, but now I call it home. Demarcus Robinson

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View the best photos from Raiders 2022 Training Camp practice at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center.

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