The Las Vegas Raiders were in good spirits for Back Together Weekend, hosting several local high schools and community groups around the Las Vegas valley.
The media presence was also large, including an NFL Network crew plus Pro Bowl running back Fred Taylor, Super Bowl Champion Ryan Clark and former Miami Dolphins safety Channing Crowder from The Pivot Podcast. Raiders.com spoke with Taylor and Crowder for their impressions of Saturday's practice.
Notes and Observations from Day 4:
- Hunter Renfrow was in his bag Saturday. The Slot Machine was showcasing his trademark creative route running abilities and had several acrobatic catches.
- Fred Taylor kept a close eye on the running back room, as Raiders RBs coach Kennedy Polamalu was Taylor's position coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars and is still a good friend. Taylor was impressed with what he saw from the group: "They look sharp and crisp running around. They can all catch the ball rather well. And again, I know Coach Polamalu is going to have them ready – from the mental side of it and the playbook side of it – to go out there and compete and play fast."
- Channing Crowder held Jimmy Garoppolo in high regard following a rest day for the veteran quarterback Friday. Garoppolo came back to practice Saturday morning and took great command distributing the ball all around the field. Crowder believes No. 10's skillset will compliment the Raiders offense nicely.
- "He's not the most physically talented dude, but he's smart," Crowder said about Garoppolo. "You saw him go 13-3 [in 2019] when he had his run in San Francisco. You've seen what he can do cerebrally. And that's what he's been prepared to do going all the way back to high school because he's a younger dude and he's come up in this newer age of football."
- One of Garoppolo's many targets, Jakobi Meyers, had a great practice. He made a few impressive catches in team period, and could find a huge role for himself in this offense alongside Renfrow and Davante Adams.
- It's apparent the cornerbacks are excited to lineup against Adams every chance they get. Each cornerback seems to add the pressure (as much as they can without pads) when lined up against the All-Pro receiver, with the confidence that if they can win a rep him, they can win a rep against anyone in the league.
- Crowder spoke on the defensive additions the Raiders have made, naming speed as an important trait. He believes Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters was a great signing that will add another level to the operation.
- "When you get a dog on one side, a lockdown corner, it makes everything easier," Crowder said of Peters. "So know as a defensive coordinator, you can swing your whole defense away from Peters. ... It's big to have a cornerback that can really let you play 10-on-10 football."
- Both Crowder and Taylor had many great things to say about Maxx Crosby, who's previously been a guest on The Pivot Podcast. Crosby played with great energy throughout the practice, applying pressure off the edge to all three quarterbacks.
Quote of the Day
I'm very grateful that I get to put on my helmet every day and go out there and practice. ... You never take those reps for granted. You know every time you go on that field, it could be the last time you ever step on a football field. Robert Spillane
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The Raiders hit the field for a 2023 Training Camp practice at Intermountain Health Performance Center.