The Oakland Raiders are in the midst of their first practice as a whole squad for training camp in Napa. For this practice, fans and the media get to see some live football being played for the first time since the season ended. The team hasn’t strapped on pads yet, but these practices are more intense than what we see in minicamps. There are a lot of new players on the team, so this is the first look at how these guys are going to play together. These early practices will allow the team to work out the kinks and things probably won’t start looking cleaner until after there have been several practices. However, there’s one connection that is already shaping up nicely.
Derek Carr & Tyrell Williams Showing Off at First Training Camp Practice
One of the biggest and most underrated moves the Raiders made in the offseason was the addition of former Los Angeles Chargers WR Tyrell Williams. Williams got lost in the shuffle in a loaded WR corps in Los Angeles, but he has big play ability and elite speed. He’ll fit in perfectly next to fellow new Raider Antonio Brown. Those two could make one of the best-receiving tandems in the NFL. Starting QB Derek Carr has to be happy about his new wideouts and he’s already been taking advantage of one of his new toys during the first practice.
All reports from the boots on the ground in Napa are that Williams and Carr are lighting up the defense so far with deep balls.
The early success of the Carr-Williams connection should be really exciting for the team. Oakland’s leading receiver last year was tight-end Jared Cook and they didn’t get much production from wide receivers. Williams isn’t the only one impressing, however.
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Young WRs Making Plays
The Raiders have a ton of depth at WR to start training camp. There are a lot of intriguing young options that could add really nice depth for the team in 2019. Chief among the team’s young receivers is rookie Hunter Renfrow. He’s already been seen embarrassing veteran DB LaMarcus Joyner.
However, LB Vontaze Burfict humbled him with a nice hit.
Renfrow isn’t the only young stand out. Second-year Raider Marcell Ateman made a nice grab on Daryl Worley. He’ll be fighting to make the roster this training camp.
Keon Hatcher, a name many won’t be familiar, has also made a couple of impressive plays and even beat Gareon Conley on a few one-on-ones. The third-year WR is in his second stint with the Raiders and he’ll have to keep making plays if he’s going to force a spot on the roster.
Antonio Brown on the Sideline
After yesterday’s reveal, it’s no surprise that Antonio Brown is on the sidelines watching today’s practice. The superstar WR is nursing an unknown injury and seems to just be sitting out as a precautionary measure. Brown has proven to be one of the best there is in the NFL, so he probably needs to practice less than anybody. That being said, he should hit the field soon so that he can continue to build chemistry with Derek Carr. He’ll be really fun to watch once he hits the practice field.