The Oakland Raiders returned to the fields at Alameda to partake in the first session of a three-day mandatory mini-camp.
The defensive side of the ball looked to be moving at a much faster pace than the offense, moving around the field and getting to the ball carrier.
Defensive end Lamarr Houston consistently got into the backfield and applied pressure on the quarterback while the offense struggled to find any consistency at all. Head coach Dennis Allen recognized the inconsistent play and knows his team still has a lot of work to do.
“Today’s practice, really at the end of the day, what we have to continue to work on is the consistency,” Allen said of his team. “I thought at times we executed well; we made some plays, both offensively and defensively, but the consistency at which we got to execute on a day-in-day-out basis, we’ve got to continue to work on.”
The Raiders quarterbacks were amongst the most recognizable inconsistency in today’s practice,
looking good at times but then proceeding to have balls batted down at the line and also finding defensive players as opposed to the desired offensive players.
Starting quarterback Matt Flynn looked solid in the individual drills but his ball seemed to flutter when taking his throwing to the team drills. Flynn was able to complete some deep passes to fullback Marcel Reece and Denarius Moore, though the ball wasn’t pretty and it took nice leaps from his two receivers to haul in the catch over their defenders.
“I’m a perfectionist and what I want to do is I want to make the perfect throw every time, but I also have to understand that I’m going to have some guys out there that are playmakers and have good body control,” Flynn said of the throws. “I want to give them the chance to make the play and sometimes when it comes out bad, it’s not always because I had the feet set, or had the perfect set. Sometimes you throw it off balance but the bottom line is they made the play.”
Flynn recognizes that the team isn’t where they want to be if they had to play a game that counted, but he knows that everybody is still learning after so many new faces being brought together.
“Each and every day we’re going to want to come out and complete every pass and throw 10 touchdowns but realistically, right now, everyone’s still learning. Everyone’s still learning each other, everyone’s still learning a new playbook. Things are coming, things are formulating but we’ve got a long time until game one.”
The same inconsistency seemed to plague fellow quarterbacks Terrelle Pryor, Tyler Wilson and Matt McGloin as each of them went through struggles in which the defense won the battle.
Rookie linebacker Sio Moore, who came out to his interview wearing Spongebob Squarepants pajamas, once again stood out as he got time with the first-team defense.
Moore has been taking advantage of his time with the first-team defense by trying to obtain as much knowledge from the veterans while he can.
“With the linebackers, I always talk to Kevin [Burnett] a lot; Kevin gives me a lot of pointers. And when I go to work with the lineman, Andre Carter a lot and Lamarr Houston. Those guys help me a lot and they help me as far as using my hands. It’s good being able to be around a lot of older guys.”
The team is filled with many new faces brought in during the offseason that will need to mend together and play with a consistency that both fans and coaches expect.
The Raiders resume their mini-camp with practices on Wednesday and Thursday before they break before returning for training camp in Napa at the end of July.