The Las Vegas Raiders enjoyed a much-needed two days of rest after defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-11 in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game last Thursday.
The team got back on the field for the first time collectively Monday morning inside Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center. Head Coach Josh McDaniels noted the team had a few kinks from their preseason game they wanted to work out – and they didn't waste any time getting after it.
Here are a few key observations from the practice.
Chandler Jones back in the mix
It's always great to get a generational pass rusher back at practice.
Chandler Jones returned to practice after missing a few days last week. McDaniels indicated that there was nothing serous about Jones not being at practice, saying that he was just working through a few "nicks and bruises at this time of the year." Jones' return is a good sign moving forward, however the decision to be cautious with the star edge rusher going into his 11th NFL season is understandable.
Applying the pressure on defense
The secondary produced two interceptions during the practice period from Chris Jones and Nate Hobbs.
The two interceptions came as a result of good pressure from the defensive linemen. Hobbs' interception also came off a tip drill from the linebacking group. Jones got some decent run in Canton last Thursday, getting a pass deflection against the Jaguars.
Hobbs vs. Adams
During one-on-one drills today, Nate Hobbs once again got a chance to test his skills against Davante Adams.
The second-year cornerback has had a few battles with Adams throughout Training Camp. While Adams is hard to handle for even the most elite CBs, Hobbs has been holding his own. Getting tested against Adams is even more beneficial considering Hobbs lined up a good amount at outside cornerback against the Jaguars.
The Raiders defense will be looking to get more out Hobbs moving forward, and having one of the best wide receivers to go up against at his disposal can only help.
Zeus is getting loose
The picture of how loaded the Raiders backfield will be got more clear in Canton last week, and was once again on display in practice.
Yet the running back that has caught people's attention recently is rookie Zamir White. The fourth-round draft pick is coming off an effective showing against the Jaguars, with 75 total yards of scrimmage in his debut. The former Georgia running back was active one again Monday morning as well.
While White still has a lot to learn in this new offensive scheme fresh out of college, McDaniels believes the rookie is catching on quickly.
"He played fast. And for a rookie, there's times where you're thinking and processing and sometimes that makes you play slower than what you normally would do – and I didn't see that," the coach said Monday while evaluating White's showing against the Jaguars.
"This guy just plays hard, he loves football. You saw how he finishes runs. He's a physical player, he's a tough guy. He adds that element to our team and he's unselfish. Whatever role we've asked him to compete in, he just gets in there whether it's on the punt team, the kick coverage team, offensively, blitz pickup – he's trying to get better every day. Loves football. I thought he got off to a good start the other night."
Quote of the day
My part is just to go out there and grind. That's what I want to do – is just grind and be a great teammate to the guys here. Zamir White