The Oakland Raiders are coming into their second season under head coach Jon Gruden. Mike Mayock came on board as general manager during the offseason, and the two have carefully crafted a roster that balances high-character guys with big personalities.
With Hard Knocks looming, fans will get an in-depth look at training camp. However, until the first episode drops August 6th, fans will still need their training camp highlights.
Revamped Offense Looks Ready
While it is only training camp, and there are no pads or hitting yet, the Raiders offense is already quickly clicking. Derek Carr is already chucking bombs down to new wide receiver Tyrell Williams. Fan-favorite Hunter Renfrow is making plays out of the slot. Fellow rookie Josh Jacobs looks as shifty as advertised. Even Foster Moreau has already flashed at tight end, a position with question marks following Jared Cook’s departure.
Check out one of Carr’s bombs to Williams:
— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) July 28, 2019
Oakland is also starting to get looks at the revamped offensive line, including Trent Brown and Richie Incognito. Brown became the highest-paid offensive lineman in history this offseason. Many were surprised that he ended up at right tackle after that, but it shows Gruden and company haven’t given up on second-year man Kolton Miller. Miller got a vote of confidence from Incognito, who touted his athleticism. Incognito also spoke briefly on his struggles with mental health, saying he hopes he can become a sort of advocate for getting help.
Competition on Defense
At this point in camp, offenses have a clear advantage. There are no pads, and no tackling, however, one player is already getting a ton of buzz: Johnathan Abram. Gruden already joked that he might have to change hotel rooms because Abram is always asking him questions. It’s a good sign and shows he has an insatiable appetite to learn the game. But Abram is also making plays on the field too, and many are saying he does not look like a rookie out there. He comes out of nowhere here to nab an interception:
— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) July 28, 2019
Aside from that, Oakland finally got their full crew of new linebackers on the field. Brandon Marshall missed OTAs. He and Vontaze Burfict look to provide a boost to the corps that also includes Tahir Whitehead, Marquel Lee, and Nicholas Morrow. Many think Marshall will slide right into the starting job at strong-side linebacker, but Lee isn’t giving up the spot without a fight.
Oakland drafted Clelin Ferrell with the fourth overall pick, but they still need a ton of help on the edge of the defensive line. He likely slides right into the starting job, but nothing is set in stone opposite to him. “Mad” Maxx Crosby has been turning heads early. He is still raw, but many believe he’ll eventually become the starter. It’s also worth noting that Jason Cabinda moved from a suddenly crowded linebacker room back to his natural position at defensive end. With Arden Key also in the mix, there looks to be a ton of competition on the defensive line
Chris Warren Cut
Much to many fans’ chagrin, the Silver and Black announced today that last year’s pre-season darling, Chris Warren was cut on Sunday. Warren was the NFL’s leading rusher during pre-season in 2018, and many fans felt he was a sleeper coming into the year. His role was already in danger once Oakland took Jacobs in the first round, but many hoped he could at least secure the backup role over Doug Martin.
Red flags went up in February when it was reported that Warren was up to 270 pounds. This led a lot of fans to start talking about moving Warren to fullback after Keith Smith went down. Instead, it looks like Oakland felt Warren was not dedicated enough to the game, and he will have to look for a second shot elsewhere. Running back James Butler takes his spot on the roster.
Antonio Brown Watch
It was no surprise when Antonio Brown showed up to the Raiders training camp in style. Brown has made a habit of making big entrances to the Pittsburgh Steelers camps when he was there. This season, he arrived in Napa in a hot air balloon. However, fans had to wait to see him in action, as he was put on the non-football injury list soon after, and did not participate in the first practice.
However, his stay on the NFI list didn’t last long. He passed his physical and was present for day two’s practice. However, he was still limited to just individual drills. Fans will have to wait a little bit longer to see him run with the rest of the offense.