Running Back DeAndré Washington
In just 18 offensive snaps, rookie running back DeAndré Washington put together a quality preseason debut Friday night against the Arizona Cardinals.
He flashed his ability to run the football, carrying the ball eight times for 43 yards, as well as his ability to be a receiving threat out of the backfield, taking his lone catch for a gain of 32 yards. In addition to that, he also returned a kickoff for 31 yards, and Monday afternoon he reflected back on his first game in Silver and Black.
"I think it was a good start, man," said Washington. "Your first NFL game, [you are] just trying to get your feet wet a little bit. I think it was a good start."
All in all, the former Texas Tech Red Raider said that there weren't many surprises in his first game under the bright lights, but he did notice a palpable change in intensity compared to training camp practices.
"It's definitely a little bit different from practice," Washington explained. "A lot of the young guys are flying around, playing at maximum speed, but after the first few plays, I got adjusted to it, [and] it wasn't a big deal."
Coming out of college, Washington was heralded as a prototypical third-down back, and while General Manager Reggie McKenzie and Head Coach Jack Del Rio have ardently said that the rookie is capable of playing all three downs, the rookie knows that for the time being, he will really make his mark in passing situations.
"Definitely third-down situations," Washington said when asked about the strengths of his game. "I think that's why they brought me in, to create mismatches against opposing defenses."
Throughout the offseason, one of the biggest topics of discussion surrounding the team was who would step up and provide a complement to pair with Pro Bowl running back Latavius Murray, and although it's just been one preseason game, the Silver and Black seem to have a few qualified candidates on the roster ready to fill that role.
In addition to Washington, running back George Atkinson III also played well against the Cardinals, and we still have yet to see undrafted free agent Jalen Richard in game action.
We won't have to wait long to see the running backs return to action, as the Raiders fly to Green Bay Wednesday and take on the Packers Thursday night at Lambeau Field.
-The Silver and Black were back on the field for a padded practice Monday afternoon, although linebacker Neiron Ball, defensive end Mario Edwards Jr., tight end Gabe Holmes and running back Jalen Richard were unable to participate in the day's work.
-Wide receiver Andre Holmes undoubtedly has a flair for making dramatic catches, and he was back at it again Monday afternoon, hauling in an impressive back-shoulder pass thrown by quarterback Derek Carr during one of the team's seven-on-seven periods.
-In the NFL, ball security is crucial, so Monday afternoon the Raiders spent a little extra time having the entire offense – linemen included – work on protecting the rock. For one session, every member of the offense ran through a gauntlet of drills, with a football in hand, to make sure they were utilizing proper form and technique.
-Cornerback David Amerson continued his impressive training camp Monday, shadowing wide receiver Michael Crabtree and laying out to knock down a would-be completion from Carr before the receiver had a chance to make a play on the ball.
-Rookie safety Karl Joseph secured another interception during Monday's practice, this time hauling in a pass tipped at the line of scrimmage by rookie defensive lineman Jihad Ward during 11-on-11 action.
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