Safety Karl Joseph
After wrapping up Wednesday's practice at the team's Napa Valley Training Complex, the next time the Oakland Raiders will be on the field – tomorrow's walk-through excluded – will be Friday night when they open up the preseason against the Arizona Cardinals.
Typically in the first preseason game, the presumed starters will only play a few series before retiring for the evening, but after several weeks of lining up day in and day out against his teammates, quarterback Derek Carr is eager to put on the pads and play in a game – even if it doesn't count for the team's overall record.
"No matter what it is, I'm going to play my heart out, whether it's one play or 90 plays," said Carr. "Anytime you put an NFL jersey on, put a helmet on, it's time to go. I think that going into this one, obviously, we probably won't play a full game, but we'll play somewhere in between there and it'll be fun."
Friday's game at University of Phoenix Stadium is the first of four dress rehearsals for the Silver and Black, so realistically, what is Carr looking to gain from the matchup with the Cardinals?
For the third-year signal caller, it's simple; he wants the offense to execute and play clean.
"Just be clean," Carr said. "When you go out there, you just don't want to have pre-snap penalties, all those things. You want to play clean football. There's obviously going to be mistakes first time playing in a game and those kinds of things, but you always want to make sure you're playing clean football and you always look back and make sure that we're better, practice included. Are we getting better? Is there a correction we made in practice that when it comes up in the preseason you do it the right way? Those kind of things."
Since Carr and the starters won't be playing a majority of the game, it allows other players lower on the depth chart to get significant run, and at this point in the preseason, that's what Carr is looking forward to seeing.
"Sitting here, I feel like I'm an old man now being in my third year on this team," Carr said. "I feel like a veteran, which in its own right is what it is. But, I sit there and I'm like, 'I really can't wait to watch Johnny Holton play. I really can't wait to watch Jaydon [Mickens] play.' I'm sitting here watching guys on film and in my head I'm like, 'I can't wait to watch them ball out in the preseason,' because they're going to get a lot snaps, a lot of reps."
Kickoff against the Cardinals is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. P.T.
-Select season ticket holders were permitted to watch Wednesday's practice, and a few young fans went home with an extra surprise after fullback Marcel Reece and wide receiver Jaydon Mickens gifted them with footballs.
-Apparently Derek Carr is a fan of Alice In Chains. The band's hit song* Man In The Box* came on during one of the team's early practice periods, and No. 4 took a few minutes to play the air guitar during the song's guitar solo, pretty well, I must say.
-Linebacker Neiron Ball and defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. returned to practice Thursday, but rookie running back Jalen Richard and safety Jimmy Hall were unable to participate.
-The play of the day belonged to rookie safety Karl Joseph who secured an impressive interception in the end zone on a pass thrown from Carr. After the pass was thrown, Joseph leapt into the air, coming over the top, and snatching the football before wide receiver Derek Carr had a chance to make a play on it.
-Cornerback TJ Carrie also enjoyed an impressive day on the practice field. Not only did he secure a sack after coming around the edge on a cornerback blitz, but he also blocked a field goal attempt and returned it for a touchdown.
-Defensive line coach Jethro Franklin is always teaching, and he was doing just that Wednesday, pulling aside linebacker/defensive end James Cowser after an 11-on-11 period and coaching him up on some of his pass rush moves.
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