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'He's got that dog in him': Tre Tucker in the midst of finding his groove at the next level

Tre Tucker found himself in a great situation, using his blazing speed to glide down the sideline for a big gain in his first preseason game.

Aidan O'Connell hit Tucker in stride as the rookie receiver got a step on the 49ers cornerback covering him.

Tucker seemingly made the catch at first glance. However, it was challenged and the call was reversed, ruled an incompletion.

"First NFL game, the drops, that's on me," Tucker said Thursday. "Obviously, I'll get that corrected. I'll work overtime. ... Great throws by the quarterback. Overall, I felt like I knew what I was doing."

He ended his preseason debut with one catch for 15 yards, but despite what the stat sheet says, film indicates the former Cincinnati Bearcat had a good showing. Tucker played with great effort in run blocking, and showcased his deep array of route running abilities. The 5-foot-9, 185-pounder certainly plays bigger than his size.

He's found a way to make an impression so far in Training Camp, and it has continued to carry over in joint practices with the Los Angeles Rams. Tucker scored a touchdown in Thursday's practice on a similar play to the one he dropped last Sunday.

"We've run that play so many times all throughout fall camp. So, for me, it's just taking another play, knowing what I'm doing," Tucker said of the touchdown grab in joint practice. "That's the biggest thing, knowing your assignment and I knew my assignment on that so it allowed me to play fast."

The improvement in his game has been noticeable from several of his coaches and teammates, including the team's quarterback.

"He's explosive. He's strong. I saw in the game last week that he's got that dog in him," Jimmy Garoppolo said of Tucker. "He's willing to fight for that ball. For a rookie to come in and have that, that's pretty rare.

"But he's nowhere near perfect, he's got room to grow," added Garoppolo. "When you're a rookie, you've got to just keep going, man. You can't ever think that you have it figured out at any point in your career, but especially as a rookie. You can't relax, you've just got to keep going. It's a long year but he's built the right way and mentally, I think he's ready for it."

Tucker credits the great receivers around him for helping him throughout OTAs and camp, greatly benefiting from the likes of Pro Bowl talent Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow. This Saturday at SoFi Stadium is a great opportunity for Tucker to wipe the slate clean from last week and continue to show Raider Nation what he could bring to the roster.

"I'm continuing to progress as fall camp goes. I don't think it ever stops," said Tucker. "Just taking all the years that I have in my group and just trying to be the best player I can be for myself and for the team."

View the best photos from the Raiders' second 2023 Training Camp practice with the Los Angeles Rams at California Lutheran University.

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