Rookie defensive end Shelby Harris provided one of the bright spots for the Raiders in their exhibition-opening loss to the Minnesota Vikings when he sacked the quarterback on a play that resulted in a fumble.
Yet, that’s not enough collateral for Harris to be immune from a scolding. On Sunday, Harris was the target of a tongue lashing by coach Dennis Allen for a perceived lack of effort on a particular play.
“Just a reminder about the way we want to practice,” Allen said afterward.
Allen’s brief outburst was directed at Harris, yet he no doubt raised his voice so that everyone got the message that there’s a standard expected of everyone at all times.
“It means don’t get comfortable,” Harris said afterward. “We came out here to work. That’s what he wants us to do and that’s what is expected of us to come out here and work. I respect him for that. He’s willing to get on anyone.”
The Raiders failed to meet Allen’s standards against the Vikings, be it the 13 penalties, the interception, the several dropped passes and the inconsistent defensive play.
“They are things that, through my experience, I’ve seen them happen in the first preseason game,” Allen said. “You don’t like it, it’s not acceptable, but that’s why we play preseason games, so that we get a chance to work on these things.”
The Raiders conclude the Napa portion of their training camp Monday morning. They then fly to Oxnard, where they will take part in joint practices with the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Friday, the Raiders host the Detroit Lions at the Coliseum. In other words, there’s limited time for the players to get things worked out before their next dress rehearsal for the regular season.
Allen put his players through a fast-paced practice that featured extensive work in red-zone offense and defense, the two-minute drill and field-goal operation.
“It was good to get back out here after playing a game, get a chance to make some corrections, get out and get some more work in,” Allen said. “We got better as a football team.”
Harris, a seventh-round draft pick in May, feels as if he gets better every day. In fact, he said, he has seen enough to know that he belongs in the NFL.
“I can definitely play at this level,” Harris said. “There’s no doubt about it in my head. I can go out there and be an impact player wherever I’m needed.
I have the confidence to play in this league and I have the skill to play in this league. Now it’s just to show everyone else that I have the skill to be able to play every day.”
– Cornerback DJ Hayden jogged lightly under the watchful eye of a team trainer Sunday. He hasn’t practiced since late May, when he suffered an injury to his right foot that required surgery.
“I still don’t have anything to where I can give you an accurate timeline,” Allen said of Hayden’s return to full-team practice. “It was encouraging that he was out here on the field and able to do some things on the field. Hopefully the process can begin to speed up. A lot of that is going to depend upon how he responds after a day’s work.”
Hayden was Oakland’s first-round pick in 2013. He missed the final eight games last season after he suffered a groin injury.
– Rookie cornerback Jansen Watson, who suffered a toe injury against the Vikings, voluntarily left training camp. A Raiders spokesman said Watson is contemplating his future.
– Defensive tackle Justin Ellis (concussion), linebacker Justin Cole, cornerback Neiko Thorpe and guard Lamar Mady also missed practice.
Linebacker Kaluka Maiava practiced Sunday for the first time since he injured a hamstring early in camp.
– Darren McFadden, TJ Carrie, Latavius Murray, Jeremy Stewart and Denarius Moore returned kicks in practice.
– Backup quarterback Matt McGloin worked on holding for extra points and field-goal attempts early in practice. Punter Marquette King handled that role last season, and he remains the leading candidate for this season.
– Sebastian Janikowski blasted a 56-yard field goal at the end of one of the two-minute drives. The kick sailed over the perimeter fence, went through a tree and landed in someone’s backyard. He later hammered a 48-yarder into the same yard.
– Safety Brandian Ross intercepted a Derek Carr pass that hit off the hands of wide receiver Greg Little. In fairness to Carr, the ball was catchable, even though it was off the mark.
Little had a rough day overall, despite making a nice fingertip grap of a Matt Schaub pass midway through practice.
On one play, he landed hard after he attempted to outjump Carrie for a deep throw at the goal line. Little jogged it off and returned to practice. A short time later, he dropped a pass on a crossing route in which no one was near. The ball hit him in the hands.
– The Raiders will practice about 30 minutes shorter than usual Monday morning. Then it’s on to buses for the ride to the airport so that they can get to Oxnard for the joint practices.
The plan is for the Raiders and Cowboys to practice Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. Allen said he and Cowboys coach Jason Garrett worked out the details in advance. The coordinators for both teams are scripting their game plans accordingly.
Allen said he is looking forward to his players getting another opportunity to challenge themselves against another team. It comes at a time during camp when the players can use a change-up, too.
“Anytime that you can do to change up the schedule a little bit, to get the guys a little bit of energy, is a positive,” Allen said.