Saturday morning marked the fourth Training Camp practice in pads for the Silver and Black.
Business is starting to pick up and competition is stiff. A few starting jobs are still up for grabs among the defensive line and the secondary. The Raiders have also brought in defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and running back Bo Scarbrough. The Raiders will hold practice in Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, giving fans their first in-person chance to see the Silver and Black in their new state-of-art stadium.
Here's my top takeaways from Saturday morning's practice.
91 x 98
Alexa play "Best Friend" by Young Thug.
Yannick Ngakoueand Maxx Crosby have developed a strong relationship throughout Training Camp. It's been something that started to standout to me over the past week. The two have had high expectations for each other since Ngakoue signed, labeling themselves as the next top pass-rushing duo in the league. Crosby has 17 sacks over the past two seasons, while Ngakoue recorded 16. The two are always encouraging each other and pushing each other in drills, and can usually be seen next to each other at the hip throughout practice. The two also celebrate together after getting to the quarterback in practice and genuinely look like they're having fun on every snap.
You've also got to love to see them gassing each other up on Twitter like this. This could be a very dangerous bromance for NFL offenses this season.
Gerald McCoy is setting the tone
The Raiders signed the six-time Pro Bowler on Wednesday to provide more depth and leadership to the defensive line. He hasn't disappointed so far.
McCoy has taken the reins as being a leader and teacher of this revitalized D-line just two days into practice. McCoy can be visibly seen coaching up his younger teammates and makes a point to be first on drills to try and set an example. He also looks in great shape following the quadriceps tendon tear he suffered with the Dallas Cowboys.
"He came in and he really had a nice workout," defensive line coach Rod Marinelli told the media Saturday. "I mean, you could see the pop. He's got the twitch still and all of that. Right now, we're progressing him in and we've got him getting some individual right now, but just his presence is really good with the guys. He's a wealth of knowledge. He's played the position at a high level and it's really great to have him here. It's just a day-by-day process now."
McCoy rocking the No. 61 jersey number may be an eyesore for some, but give the man some time to find another one. He's only been here four days.
'They will be ready'
Two players that continue to impress me are Tre’von Moehrig and Nate Hobbs, the rookie defensive back duo. They've seen a lot of time on the field during camp, getting first and second-team reps. Moehrig is currently battling Karl Joseph and Dallin Leavitt at the free safety position, while Hobbs is fighting for the nickel corner job against Nevin Lawson and Amik Robertson.
They've both made plays and shown good coverage skills, however defensive backs coach Ron Milus wants to see more from the two rookies on a consistent basis. Milus came to the Raiders earlier this offseason alongside defensive coordinator Gus Bradley from the Los Angeles Chargers. He's excited to see what Moehrig and Hobbs can do in preseason action.
"I think they're both doing great," said Milus. "Just like anything else, they've got to go win the job. ... We're not just going to give it to them and at some point, they'll be ready. Can't tell you when they're going to be ready, but at some point they will be ready
"I like their mentality. I think they're going to be great pros. Just by how they're interacting with our guys and how they're going about their business everyday. They're attentive in the meetings, they know what they're doing. We just got to get them to consistently do it on the field."