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Training Camp Notebook 7/28: Aidan O'Connell continuing to find his way in first camp

The bar continues to rise for the Las Vegas Raiders following their third Training Camp practice. caught up with NFL Network Reporter Omar Ruiz to discuss how things looked Friday morning on the field.

Notes and Observations from Day 3:


  • Davante Adams got the most of the defensive backs that faced him on the line of scrimmage. He was able to win his fair share battles throughout the day.
  • Ruiz also noticed how good the All-Pro receiver looked Friday, but was equally impressed with what he saw from new addition Cam Sims.
  • Additionally, Ruiz had some good things to say about the tight end room, headlined by rookie Michael Mayer, Austin Hooper – who made a few impressive catches Friday – and the "massive" O.J. Howard at 6-foot-6, 250 pounds: "They're big and physical and hopefully that can be a big contributing position to the success of this team in this offense."
  • Jimmy Garoppolo was given a rest day, which means rookie Aidan O'Connell, alongside Brian Hoyer, had more opportunities in practice. During 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 team periods, O'Connell made a few quick reads to his receivers, which will be beneficial for him to continue doing within McDaniels' offense.
  • "He looked like how a rookie quarterback should look at this stage in the game," Ruiz said of O'Connell. "I thought he looked a lot better when he got rid of the football quicker. ... To hear guys speak favorably of him, like Hunter Renfrow saying if [O'Connell] had to go in the game, they believe in him and follow him, speaks loudly for how Aidan O'Connell is ingratiating himself in that locker room, impressing people in meeting rooms and what we saw on the field, especially on the quick routes out on the sidelines were particularly effective."


  • Jakorian Bennett is already appearing to show improvements each day. I'm intrigued to see if he can keep it up once pads come on.
  • Additionally, Amik Robertson has been playing with a sense of urgency throughout the week. He caught my eye with an impressive pass deflection in team period.
  • Ruiz noticed something I picked up on Day 1 of camp practices, and that's the leadership and respect Maxx Crosby commands on the field. "To see that leadership he has on the defense, interacting with the fans and asking them to get louder, I think are good signs here in Training Camp," Ruiz said of the Pro Bowl edge rusher.
  • The NFL Network reporter was also impressed with how "spirited" the entire defense was at practice: "Energy, enthusiasm, effort are the things you love to see out of a defense. We'll see how that translates into success on the field, but I don't think you can have success on the field without that sort of stuff."

Special Teams

  • Daniel Carlson spoke with the media Friday after practice, sharing his optimism going into the season. He said that AJ Cole and himself put in a lot of reps with new long snapper Jacob Bobenmoyer this offseason, spending close to 12 hours a day together as a trio and finding local high schools to practice at. He also spent time back to Auburn, Alabama, working with his brother, Anders, who was 2023 sixth-round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers.
  • During special teams period, Ruiz noted the uniqueness of their drills and the hands-on approach the coaches have with the players on kick coverage.

Quote of the Day

I'm not going to lie, it's a little hot. ... The guys out there make everything fun so it really doesn't even matter. I'm just enjoying it. Jakobi Meyers

View the best photos from Friday's Training Camp practice at Intermountain Health Performance Center.

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