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Notes, quotes and observations from mini camp Day 1

If you follow me on Twitter, you know by now how the Raiders quarterbacks fared at practice today, the first day of the team’s three-day, mandatory mini camp. However, now we have feedback from coach Dennis Allen and the quarterbacks to give some context.
As expected, Allen and the quarterbacks put a slightly different spin on things, which underscores the value of being there in person to provide an unbiased account.
Suffice, in 19 years covering the NFL, today’s showing by Matt Flynn, Tyler Wilson, Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin rates as one of the worst in memory.
Time and again, balls were batted at the line of scrimmage, thrown behind receivers, thrown over receivers, delivered too high or just plain off the mark.
All four quarterbacks were just as guilty, with none of the four doing anything to distinguish himself today. Not that any of them seemed very concerned.
“Each and every day we’re going to want to come out and complete every pass and throw 10 touchdowns,” Flynn said. “But, realistically, right now everyone is still learning, everyone is learning each other, everyone is learning a new playbook. Things are coming. Things are formulating. But we have a long time until game one.”
Good thing, too, for it appears as if they are going to need as much time as they can get before they
Pryor said part of the issue right now is players aren’t wearing pads, so defensive players aren’t getting low to create leverage and that allows them to stand tall and concentrate on swatting passes out of the air.
Sure enough, defenders batted down two of Pryor’s passes and four of Flynn’s, by Pryor’s estimation. Heck, it could have been more. It was tough to keep track of all the negative plays by the quarterbacks today.
Flynn and Allen added that quarterbacks also are burdened with having a lot thrown at them right now in terms of the playbook and defensive looks.
Fair enough, but that doesn’t explain fluttering passes, wobbly throws and errant passes time after time. Even two of Flynn’s completions came on throws that bore the marks of sure interceptions but somehow wound up in the hands of Marcel Reece and Denarius Moore, respectively, after nice adjustments of their routes.
“I don’t allow that to frustrate me,” Allen said. “I understand where we’re at in the season. I understand that we’ve got a lot of new pieces, a lot of new guys working together and I don’t concern myself with that. I know we’ve got a lot of work to do, but the way our guys are working, we’re going to get where we need to be.”
Pryor said the more important takeaway from today’s practice, as well as previous ones, is the quarterbacks getting in synch with the receivers, sharpening their blocking protection calls, improving their footwork and creating chemistry with the offensive linemen.
Well, there is that.
“There’s a lot being thrown at us,” Wilson said. “Obviously the defense is doing some things, and the offense is trying to put a lot on the table and see what sticks. It’s a process for all of us going through it, and it’s good. I think we made plays on both sides of the ball today.”

– Wide receivers Josh Cribbs and Isaiah Williams, fullback Jon Hoese, running back Latavius Murray, tight end Nick Kasa, linebacker Miles Burris, defensive tackles Johnny Jones and Stacy McGee and cornerbacks Coye Francies, D.J. Hayden and Taiwan Jones missed all or part of practice.

– Lamarr Houston lined up at left defensive end today, as he has throughout all the offseason workouts. Andre Carter lined up on the right side, the domain of Matt Shaughnessy last season.
As always, Houston displayed impressive quickness, relentless determination and the looks of a player on the rise. Allen said there’s no reason why Houston can’t get even better than he was last season, when he had a breakout season of sorts.
“If you really study what Lamarr Houston has been able to do, he’s been able to get some pressure on the quarterback,” Allen said. “Now, that may not have ended in big sack numbers, but I’m extremely pleased with where Lamarr Houston is.
“I’m pleased with him as a football player. I’m pleased with him as a leader on this football team in trying to bring other guys along with him. So, I’ve got no qualms with where Lamarr Houston is. He’ll be effective rushing the quarterback this year.”
The Raiders haven’t had a legitimate sack threat since Derrick Burgess bolted town for a short stint with the New England Patriots. Houston and rookie David Bass are the best options on the current roster to turn into that kind of player this year or beyond.

– Allen maintained his stance that every position on the team is open to competition. In reality, this team already is taking shape as the days whittle away and training camp comes into focus.
Defensively, that means Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter and cornerback, Charles Woodson and Tyvon Branch at safety, Houston and Carter at end and a handful of players competing for the three linebacker spots.
We won’t know how that shakes out until Burris recovers from his knee surgery and jumps into the fray, alongside rookie Sio Moore and veterans Kaluka Maiava, Nick Roach and Kevin Burnett.
Burris is the only returning starter from last season’s team, and he has to be considered a favorite to carve out a spot once again, even though he will have stiffer competition this time around.
“I can’t answer where he’s at right now,” Allen said of Burris. “Whenever he’s healthy and he’s able to get out there and compete, he’ll define where he is on the depth chart. That’s the thing about the competition. I’m not making any decisions right now. We don’t have to make any decisions right now. I’ll let the competition dictate that and may the best man win.”

– Undrafted free agent quarterback Matt McGloin appears to be the odd-man out when it comes to the 53-man roster. Anything is possible, though, and Allen isn’t giving up on McGloin just yet.
“The thing I like about him is, he’s smart and he’s accurate,” Allen said. “If he continues to do those things as we get into training camp, he’ll see some more reps and we’ll really get a feel for where he’s at.”
McGloin set a slew of records at Penn State. Now he’s behind Flynn, Wilson and Pyror as he attempts to overcome long odds and make the roster.
For now, he’s getting limited reps and trying to soak in everything, from the playbook to life as an NFL hopeful.

– Sight of the day: Sio Moore attending his news conference while wearing SpongeBob Squarepants pajamas.
“I like pajamas,” Moore said.
Hey, whatever works, as long as he plays well, right?

– Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford were the only players used on punt returns today. It’s likely that Cribbs will be part of the equation once he returns from his knee injury.
The addition of Cribbs also brings about the prospect of the Raiders using Cribbs and Ford deep on kick returns, with one of them doubling as the punt returner.
Either way, the Raiders figure to get a huge upgrade in both areas this season, whereas both return spots were problem areas all last season.

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  • The_Judge37

    1097.inonewordraider Says:
    June 12th, 2013 at 3:05 pm
    Vic Tafur ‏@VicTafur 41m
    Sebastian Janikowski confirms that he lost 10+ pounds – “you have to when you get older” – and said he could easily kick another 7, 8 years
    ——

    He’s on the straight Liquor diet, no beer and no mixers

  • Whoknows

    Marks Hair Says:
    June 12th, 2013 at 3:02 pm
    don’t forget to add me to the list.. I think you totally suck too.
    *************************
    you can add me to that list too

  • RaiderLen

    He’s similar to McFadden Len? True he’s already insured.

    Actually, I like the look of Murrey.
    I like everything I hear about him.
    Chances are that he could replace McFadden if McKenzie can’t resign Darren.
    ———————————–
    lol, Yep He’s got a foot injury. DA classified it as minor today. Take it for what it’s worth.

    Murray will get considerable run this season, imo.

  • inonewordraider

    Vic Tafur ‏@VicTafur 1h
    Allen said Murray’s foot injury is not serious

    Vic Tafur Vic Tafur ‏@VicTafur 1h
    Chekwa was playing with first team because Jenkins banged knees and Adams had hamstring injury

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    Orthodoxdj Says:
    June 12th, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Here’s what Mistic said when the Raiders took Pryor:

    Mistic1 Tha Supavillain Says:
    August 22nd, 2011 at 12:23 pm
    Pryor lacks the lateral quickness to play wr, he has zero experience at that position as well. pryor at wr is a darker faster matt jones, minus the coke straw.

    he can spend this year in the meeting room and practicing so he may compete for a back up qb spot next year.

    (So you know I’m not making it up, here’s the link http://www.ibabuzz.com/oaklandraiders/2011/08/22/pryor-is-a-raider/)

    Props to Mistic for calling it as it is. He did not hop on the bandwagon simply because Pryor is black.

    HOWEVER, nothing has happened in that time that should make someone think TP is an NFL-caliber QB. Pryor is entering his third season and none of the coaches say positive things about him. They say he has a ways to go, etc.

    ========================

    looks like i was pretty much on the money

    he wasnt a wr

    he became the back up qb currently number 2

    his preseason last season proved to me that he made the improvements necessary to earn some starts

    his start last year proved he can win the job this year

    the talk about rooting “because he is black” is nonsense

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Marks Hair Says:
    June 12th, 2013 at 3:01 pm
    flynn will get the job because of a combination of his pay, the fact that he’s Reggies guy, and that he’s a veteran and they expect him to make a fewer mistakes..
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Those are valid reasons (vet and money) to start him, but are they good enough to keep him on the field if he doesn’t play well?

  • Marks hair

    this wouldn’t be the first list made for who wants Rob to shut the f*** up….

  • Marks hair

    nope.

  • listen to me you stupid idiots

    Orthodoxdj Says:
    June 12th, 2013 at 3:03 pm
    Here’s what Mistic said when the Raiders took Pryor:

    Mistic1 Tha Supavillain Says:
    August 22nd, 2011 at 12:23 pm
    Pryor lacks the lateral quickness to play wr, he has zero experience at that position as well. pryor at wr is a darker faster matt jones, minus the coke straw.

    he can spend this year in the meeting room and practicing so he may compete for a back up qb spot next year.

    (So you know I’m not making it up, here’s the link http://www.ibabuzz.com/oaklandraiders/2011/08/22/pryor-is-a-raider/)

    Props to Mistic for calling it as it is. He did not hop on the bandwagon simply because Pryor is black.

    HOWEVER, nothing has happened in that time that should make someone think TP is an NFL-caliber QB.
    *********
    Interesting that he got it EXACTLY right.

    What happened? His hero Campbell went down.

    U need to realize that when Pryor was drafted, he was a perceived threat to Campbell being here long term. Hence, the reality.

    But the moment Campbell went down, and we traded for Palmer, spelling the doom of Campbell as a Raider, missdick immediately considered Palmer the devil and Pryor to be a god-like super being.

    That’s when I started roasting him. And will continue to until Pryor fails miserably and missdick loses his mind.

    Btw, it’s the Pryor Brigade that can’t stand the medicine the doctor gives.

    Oh well.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    I agree, I’d like to see RB by committee, to keep DMAC fresh, healthy and effective.

  • xraided

    Raider O Says:
    June 12th, 2013 at 3:08 pm
    Marks Hair Says:
    June 12th, 2013 at 3:01 pm
    flynn will get the job because of a combination of his pay, the fact that he’s Reggies guy, and that he’s a veteran and they expect him to make a fewer mistakes..
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Those are valid reasons (vet and money) to start him, but are they good enough to keep him on the field if he doesn’t play well?

    _____

    yea tell that to SEA last year. yea he wasn’t Pete Carroll’s or their GM’s “guy” from a different organization… but he got a mega contract

    he was given every chance to start until beaten out right… same thing here. pryor needs to complete almost as many clean passes as he does(even if they both suck) in order to jump him for the spot

  • xraided

    KoolKell Says:
    June 12th, 2013 at 3:15 pm
    I agree, I’d like to see RB by committee, to keep DMAC fresh, healthy and effective.

    ________

    it’s the only way we can get back to what we were doing on the ground in 2011 (minus MIA and SF) … we need dominance in the running game for whichever of these subpar/terrible QB’s we’ll be trotting out there

  • logic82

    Chris in NY Says:
    June 11th, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Not going to go crazy over a minicamp session, but the sad, simple truth is none of these QBs are anywhere close to as good as Carson Palmer.

    All you guys who wanted to run Palmer out of town, it’s like you didn’t see or just forgot the ten or so years of McCown, Culpepper, Walter, Campbell, JaMarcs, Tui, etc. I don’t think we even had a 3,000 yard passer in the bunch, outside of Kerry Collins, let alone a 4,000 passer like Palmer was in 14 games last season.

    Campbell got by because of a dominant running game and Hue’s brilliant scheming/playcalling. Other than that, this offense was dreadful to watch for a very, very long time. Could be reverting right back to that, sorry to say.
    ====================================================
    You miss the point completely.

    There is a saying that goes: sometimes it’s hard to remember that the object is to drain the swamp when you are up to your arse in alligators.

    Our present set of QB’s are the alligators. The objective was was to drain the swamp of the putrid stagnant CP and replace him with a quality QB. Getting rid of CP was sound. The acquisition of Flynn at 6.5million plus a pick, as his questionable replacement, is another matter entirely.

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