Veteran defensive end Justin Tuck is confident that the Raiders can get in some meaningful work against the Dallas Cowboys when the teams conduct joint practices.
That is, he said, if things don’t get out of hand the way they did in 2005, when Tuck and his New York Giants scrimmaged the New York Jets.
“The one time we did it, we went over the top,” Tuck said. “So, I’m not sure I got the right answer.”
Either way, it’s going down Tuesday and Wednesday between the Raiders and Cowboys in Oxnard in what coach Dennis Allen considers the next phase of training camp.
The Napa portion of training camp ended Monday, with the Raiders satisfied with what they got accomplished in their 13 practices and even more thrilled to be checking out of the hotel they called home the better part of three weeks.
“I’m ready to go,” Tuck said. “I’m already halfway down I-80 in my mind.”
Allen and several players said that there’s still plenty of work to get done between now and the regular-season opener Sept. 7. They also agree that they are right on schedule.
“We got a lot accomplished here,” Allen said. “It was important for us to get an opportunity to work against another team, so going down to Oxnard will be good for us. … . We still have a lot of things that we have to get better at, but I like the direction we’re headed.”
For now, the Raiders are headed south, where the Cowboys await. The two teams will practice against each other in a scripted setting Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning.
Allen said both practices will feature players in full pads. Tuck said he likes the idea of squaring off against another team after banging heads against the same guys for so long.
“It’s good to go and face some people that don’t wear the same color as you and see different schemes,” Tuck said. “Dallas has a really good offensive line, so it will be a good challenge for us.”
Running back Darren McFadden is in his seventh NFL season. He has battled injuries every season but so far he looks primed for a healthy start to the season.
Same goes for most of the Raiders, who departed Napa relatively healthy. Therefore, most of their focus is trained upon the work that still needs to be done.
“We got better every day but there’s still a lot of things we got to get cleaned up,” McFadden said.
– Nickel back Chimdi Chekwa missed practice with a knee injury. Next man up, rookie Keith McGill.
“That was an opportunity for Keith to get in there in nickel situations and work with the ones some,” Allen said. “We haven’t had an opportunity to see a lot of him. So, he’s a guy that obviously we felt highly of coming out in the draft and wanted to get an opportunity to look at him.”
– Denarius Moore and Greg Jenkins took turns fielding punts. Moore also getting a look on kick returns. Overall, both jobs remain wide open.
– Linebacker Justin Cole returned to practice after having missed one day. Defensive tackle Justin Ellis (concussion) was among the five who missed practice.
– Cornerback Jansen Watson missed a second straight day of practice as he decides whether he wants to continue his pursuit of an NFL career. He suffered a toe injury against the Minnesota Vikings on Friday night and hasn’t returned.