The Raiders embarked on their first day of camp after fumbling away their best offensive player in the last three seasons. Today it was about trying to move on and continue to build that bully. The task began last night with the signing of several offensive linemen and it continued today when they invited free agent tight end Kevin Boss in for a workout.
Before Boss took the field the Raiders had the business of practice. Yet again, rookie Denarius Moore stole the show. This time he stole it at Stanford Routt's expense.
Moore has gone from not knowing any of his routes and looking nervous, to looking like one of the best receivers on this team. Today in particular, he burned Routt badly on at least three occasions. In fact, after the first catch, whenever he lined up against Routt, the quarterback went for him the moment the ball was snapped.
That first catch was a beauty. It was a long pass up the sideline that Routt appeared to have tight coverage. But when the ball got there, Moore leapt in the air and snatched it away from Routt to come down inside the five yard line.
Next time they lined up, Moore ran a slant and got the inside on Routt; he caught the ball in stride for a big gain. The final time they lined up across each other, he ran a timing curl route and caught it in front of Routt. By this point, it had become an Eddie Royal size embarrassment for Routt.
After practice, Hue Jackson found himself commenting on the play of the young receiver for the second day in a row.
"Wow! You guys know I like using that term 'wow.' He's a tremendous young player. He's very talented, I mean that young man played at Tennessee and everything he did at Tennessee, he's doing out here on our field... every time you look up, there's number 17 making a play."
Moore did perform at a high level at Tennessee though he was very inconsistent. In his senior season he had two games with more than 200 yards receiving but he also had four games in which he had one catch or less. So far in camp, he has been more the 200 yards per game Denairus Moore than the 1 catch version.
As I alluded to, Moore has been playing well for the last few days. He explains that he was getting used to the playbook and that is exactly what it appears to be. I couldn't help but wonder, if he had made it out to the camp the Raider players had in Atlanta last May, would he have had a jump start to learning the playbook. His reason for not attending the camp was that he had "personal problems." I wonder if it was those same personal problems that kept him away from the Rookie Symposium?
Regardless of whatever "personal problems" Moore had before, he seems to have caught up. Said Moore, "I feel like I'm starting to get the groove of things, starting to get the plays down play by play, day by day."
On the other side of that is the Raiders' supposed number one corner, now that Nnamdi Asomugha has left the team. Stanford Routt has looked terrible throughout camp and today he took his performance level to a new low. Hue Jackson made excuses for Routt's poor performance by suggesting that he did not run the drills at full speed and that is how it is supposed to be. But from where I was standing, it looked like everyone was running near full speed -- Routt included. Take that for what it's worth.
After practice was over, the field was used for Kevin Boss to have his workout with the team. He set up on the opposite field and went through drills with undrafted rookie Jordan La Secla throwing passes to him. He also did some blocking drills. From what I could tell, he looks very good. He is certainly a formidable specimen. That is obvious even from a good distance away.
Hue Jackson was not willing to say he was content with the group of tight ends the Raiders currently employ, saying, "We're going to always look to get better. This process isn't over. We're going to continue to find players."
Then he went on to admit that Kevin Boss was indeed on the premises to workout for the team.
Raiders' defensive line coach Mike Waufle is familiar with Boss as they won a Super Bowl in New York together. Boss started that Super Bowl with Jeremy Shockey out with an injury. That was the beginning of Boss' career as the starting tight end of the Giants. Quite a beginning for the young tight end out of little Western Oregon University.
I am going to go out on a limb and say, after the Zach Miller debacle, the Raiders will not let Boss out of their sight until he has signed on the dotted line. Expect that announcement right around 3:30 pm tomorrow.
Tomorrow is slated as the day the newly signed veterans report to camp. If the players sign off on the CBA, that will happen. If they don't, then they will continue to stand on the sideline watching their teammates practice. Let's hope it gets done so we can begin to get a better idea of who will be the Raiders' starters and at which positions.
The Raiders' current most veteran tight end, Brandon Myers, continues to be what he has always been -- great at blocking, lackluster as a receiver. He does well in blitz pickup drills but gets outplayed by the two rookies in the receiving game. At this moment I am putting him on the bubble.
Demarcus Van Dyke had the first interception on a quarterback I have seen this camp. Hue Jackson has been stressing turnovers so no doubt that made him very happy. It was a high pass by Campbell that he leapt up and plucked out of the air on the sideline.
By tomorrow the top 51 highest paid players on the team must fit under the $120 million cap.
Darrius Heyward-Bey practiced for the first time this camp. It was never revealed what his injury was or how long he would be out. I asked him yesterday what his timetable was and he said "day to day." I guess he was not lying about that.
Louis Murphy and Cooper Carlisle were on the sideline with what Hue Jackson likes to call "nicks."
Jacoby Ford wore his new soft cast and will be out all of camp with a broken hand.
Mike Mitchell was on the sidelines late in practice and afterward he tweeted "prayers needed." No one knows exactly what that means but I will keep my eyes peeled.
Other injuries are Bruce Campbell (knee), Trevor Scott (rehabbing ACL), Chimdi Chekwa (shoulder), James McCluskey, Joe Porter, Eddie McGee, Taiwan Jones.
Follow me on Twitter @LeviDamien to keep up with all the training camp action. Or befriend me on Facebook.
It is going to be interesting to see how well Routt performs without having the luxury of Asomugha opposite him. Greatness brings out greatness, and that was one of Nnamdi's gifts to the team, he made the other players around him better...
From day one, I have been saying how good a draft pick Denarius Moore was. The Raiders really did their homework on this guy, and I believe he will be a starter by mid season. Like Jacoby Ford, he has the potential to be dominant, and the real question comes down to DHB. What are the Raiders going to do with him??? DHB cannot compete with Ford or Moore, and he is certainly not at the level of Louis Murphey and Chaz Schillens. If Al Davis doesn't interfere with the lineup, personally, I see DHB as a 5th string wide receiver who will be on the borderline of being cut...
Man, you spent all last season telling us how awful Routt was playing. Even though everyone could see he was playing very well. Matching Asomogah in completions, and general efficiency!
What I’m saying is, sorry to say this, but your opinions and observations on Routt, just can’t be trusted.
That’s the price you pay as a pundit, for just plain disliking players based on no logic.
Other than the logic that you had a boner for NA21, and hated any other DB getting any credit for our elite pass defens
@ChristopherMooney That's the price I pay? um, ok. Try reading some of the other articles and tweets from sportswriters and reporters who were there. They all say the exact same thing. And you are dead wrong about me supposedly spending all of last season talkign about how awful Routt was. That was only in my Ballers & Busters and thati is not opinion, it is observation. Yours is opinion. Not logic. And I have lauded the play of Chris Johnson so yet again, you have selective memory.
Oakland had the 2nd best pass defense last year. And one of the worst run defenses in the NFL.
Stanford Routt, was and is one of the guys doing his job. And far from losing us games, he was one of the reasons we were winning.
We lost games as Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly, John Henderson, Lamarr Houston, Rolando McClain, and Cameron Wimbley weren't very good at tackling guys.
Routt was targeted more than nearly any CB in the league, and constantly had to take on the oppositions best receivers, and still had a better completion % than NA21. He was very close to Revis for the best completion % in the entire league.
So other than teams not being able to complete passes to the guy he's defending, he's terrible!
@ChristopherMooney Not really sure what sport you're watching. Routt is horrible. I call him Mr. P.I. His defenders like to point to the low completion percentage against him, but they seem to ignore all the P.I.s that don't show up in that stat. Haven't you noticed that every time the opposing team needs a first down, they simply chuck the ball up in Routt's general direction, and usually it's an automatic first down due to Routt tackling the guy while the ball is in the air. Brutal. Mark my words ... it's going to be a mess.
HE DIDNT TORCH HIM..HE WAS IN HIS HIP POCKET ...THOSE WHERE GOOD CATCHES..KEEP IT U ROOKIE..THATS HOW U FEED THE FAMILY..
@CalvinConners Routt kept tight coverage on only one of those catches. And it was the long catch inside the five yard line.
THIERS A DIF; BETWEEN HURT AND DWICKED.. LOOK AT TODAYS PHOTOS HES LIFTING WEIGHTS U THINK HE WOULD BE DOING ALL THAT IF HIS INJURY WAS THAT SERIOUS....COME ON THINK ALITTLE
See the thing is that Jackson's has got to push the team hard. a team that get's pushed to tthe limits is always going to be a great team. And im thilled to see how that rookie Moore does. an Dmac hasn't had a good year yet. he drops the ball. A good amount. but i do think this could be his break out season.
i read Dmac is injured too. I think hue is pushing way to hard and all our starters are getting hurt. Im a bit worried