Training Camp: Raiders and Niners bring the intensity at joint practice

Raiders and Niners bring regular season feel to training camp

Training camp is typically a boring couple of weeks for casual NFL fans, serving as nothing more than a tease for “real” football. But as for the diehards of the sport, the offseason workouts can be just as exciting as a regular season matchup. For the Raiders and Niners, camp has been anything but boring.

Joint practice between the Raiders and Niners is reigniting rivalry

The Silver and Black welcomed its old Bay Area rival to Henderson on Thursday. San Francisco, boasting one of the best rosters in the league, gives Josh McDaniels a nice measuring stick for his squad. Following a 6-11 campaign last season, the Vegas head coach brought in competition across the depth chart this offseason. And it has already benefited the team as a whole.

Once the joint practice began, it took very little time for both sides to get acquainted. From the moment the first snap took place, the intensity was paramount. Whether it be jawing back and forth or going pads-to-pads in the trenches, every player on the field brought some extra juice to the table.

Jimmy Garoppolo shows off accuracy, high football IQ against former team

Jimmy Garoppolo, the former Niners’ starting quarterback, picked apart his old buddies on the defense. As a savvy signal-caller, Jimmy G still remembered the weaknesses and creases in the San Fran unit. The result? A nearly flawless day for the veteran against one of the premier defenses in the NFL — even if he had a cheat sheet of sorts.

Vincent Bonsignore of Vegas Nation gave a glimpse into an impressive touchdown drive for the Raiders:

Going further, the pass catchers took advantage of a dialed-in Garoppolo. Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, and Hunter Renfrow all looked spry and in mid-season form on Thursday. The running back room, led by Zamir White, looked fine by all accounts. But a certain All-Pro ball carrier was noticeably missing.

The Raiders’ defense continues its dominant training camp

On the other side of the ball, Maxx Crosby did Maxx Crosby things all morning. He consistently found his way into the opposing backfield while receiving some help from a resurgent Chandler Jones. The new acquisitions at cornerback, Marcus Peters and Duke Shelley, both recorded interceptions, too.

This energy carried over to the second joint practice on Friday. This time, “Zeus” was the talk of the town on offense. ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez highlighted White’s stellar play with this post on X (Twitter).

The defense continued its dominant training camp by intercepting six passes on Day 2 of joint practice with the Niners. Marcus Epps and Robert Spillane, two slept-on free-agent acquisitions, were the benefactors of errant passes from Sam Darnold and Brock Purdy.

Shelley intercepted a throw for the second day in a row, while Luke Masterson also forced a turnover. For all the ups and downs of the offseason in Vegas, the defense has been a steady force since training camp opened. The confidence that comes with being a ball-hawking unit is hard to quantify and has made all the difference for the Raiders this offseason.

Will offseason success translate to regular season victories?

It helps that the success has translated to joint practices. It’s one thing intercepting your own quarterbacks and dominating your own offense. But to do it against such a well-respected opponent gives fans a reason to believe that these improvements are legit. And that it will translate to the regular season.

The two franchises will see more of each other on Sunday afternoon as the Raiders and Niners square off in Week 1 of the NFL Preseason. Although it still isn’t a “real” game, the intensity will take another leap on Sunday. If training camp is any indication, Vegas will be ready to answer the bell.

*Top Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports

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