Cornerback Sean Smith and Cornerback David Amerson
Rookie defensive end Greg Townsend, Jr. now has first NFL training camp practice under his belt, albeit a few days later than he initially planned.
After being placed on the Physically Unable to Perform List (PUP) with a hamstring tweak and missing the first four practices of Training Camp 2016, Townsend was activated Thursday and took part in his first practice of the summer.
"I feel good to go, it was just knocking off the rust," said Townsend. "I got limited reps today, so hopefully I'll get some more tomorrow. I'm just trying to come out here and play, play football."
While he may have gotten limited reps, there certainly wasn't any type of gradual acclimation back onto the gridiron for Townsend, as his first day of work was a fully padded practice, but that was fine with the former USC Trojan; he enjoyed the contact.
"You have to get back to football and the fundamentals, and just understanding that really, it's all mental, just trying to get all the mental aspects down," Townsend explained. "As far as the full pads thing, I like the full pads better. I like hitting. More contact is better for my position. I like it better."
After putting together a quality Offseason Workout Program, Townsend did admit to being frustrated with being sidelined for the first week of training camp, saying he had to "have a talk with myself," but now that he's back and ready to work, he's supremely focused on his ultimate goal – making the Raiders' final roster.
"It's all about learning from the big guys, the older guys, like [linebacker] Bruce [Irvin] and [defensive end] Khalil [Mack], and trying to implement that in my game," Townsend said. "The biggest takeaway from being back out there is just stay ready. Stay ready and know your job, do your job."
-While Townsend was back on the field for Wednesday's padded practice, both cornerback SaQwan Edwards and tight end Colton Underwood were unable to participate in the day's work.
-Throughout Wednesday's practice, quarterback Derek Carr showed off his wheels on multiple occasions, taking the ball and rolling outside on a pair of designed runs. While Carr likely won't be running that much more than he did in 2015, he demonstrated that he has the ability in his arsenal if need be.
-The Raiders signed veteran cornerback Sean Smith to be a vocal, veteran presence for the defensive backs, and so far he's turned out to be just that. Wednesday he was especially vocal with the cornerbacks, offering words of encouragement and advice when the group went one-on-one with the wide receivers. Smith is no doubt impressive on the gridiron, but it's good to see him also taking a vocal role in leading his teammates.
-Punter Marquette King enjoyed a handful of highlights during Wednesday's practice, his most notable being an impressive punt from Raiders' territory that he was able to place right at the opposing 2-yard line.
-Cornerback David Amerson made sure his presence was felt this afternoon, making an athletic pass breakup on a ball intended for wide receiver Amari Cooper. While it initially appeared as though Cooper had a step on Amerson, the rangy cornerback recovered and made a last-second dive, and was able to bat the pass down before Cooper had a chance to make a play on the ball.
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