Following the first day of practice the Raiders’ mandatory minicamp following the draft, I asked rookie third-round pick Jared Veldheer about the intensity of the “no contact” practices.
He laughed out loud.
“Well, it’s a lot of contact right now,” said Veldheer, who went on to talk about technique, pad level and how you don’t quite finish a block even if you fire out to start one.
He said, “Besides that, the run stuff is pretty full go.”
The following is the official offseason guidelines for the 14 workouts classified as OTAs:
— No pads except protective knee or elbow pads. Helmets are permitted.
— No live contact; no live contact drills between offensive and defensive linemen.
— A maximum six hours per day, with a maximum two hours on field for any player.
— 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills will be permitted, providing no live contact takes place.
For the second time since 2007, the Raiders have apparently either exceeded the amount of contact deemed acceptable for the offseason or practiced too long. The joint statement by the NFL and NFLPA did not specify Oakland’s violation and the Raiders have had no comment. Oakland head coach Tom Cable was the offensive line coach the last time the Raiders lost OTA time.
Oakland joins the Baltimore Ravens as the second team to lose OTA sessions. Violations typically are reported through the union, with the NFL then requesting practice film with the offending team obliged to produce it.
So as happy as Cable has been with the offseason turnout and as much as he believes everyone on the same page, a player or three had to deviate from the script to get the ball rolling for punishment to be meted out.
The Raiders have been pushing the two-hour limit in most of their offseason practices open to the media but cut Wednesday’s short by comparison, starting at 9:30 a.m. and finishing a little after 11 a.m.