It was an eventful day for the Oakland Raiders as they welcomed back wide receiver Antonio Brown and he surprisingly made himself available for the media. Brown was pretty vague with most of his answers, but it does seem like his return is looming and Jon Gruden says he should be back by week one.
Starting quarterback Derek Carr also had the chance to talk about the return of his best wide receiver.
“It’s good to have him back,” said Carr. “Obviously, we’re excited to have him. Anytime a teammate comes back, it brings life to the team. We’ll be ready to go week one. We’ve got a lot of time until then.”
Brown may be on a new team and entering a new offense, but he shouldn’t have too hard a time trying to get acclimated. It’s doubtful he’ll see any preseason action, but indications make it seem like he should get plenty of practice reps before the season starts. Brown’s inclusion wasn’t the only notable thing to come from Tuesday’s post-practice press conference.
Starters Will See Some Action Against Cardinals
Though the Raiders didn’t play many starters against the Los Angeles Rams in their first preseason game, the team played well. The Rams also didn’t play many starters, so the win is taken with a massive grain of salt, but a win is better than a loss. The most notable starter that sat out was starting quarterback Derek Carr. However, according to Jon Gruden, he should get some time against the Cardinals on Thursday.
“We expect Derek to play a little bit,” said Gruden. “How long, I don’t know, but we’d like to see some of the starters play a little bit.
This will be the first action that Carr gets with his new-look offense. It remains to be seen if players like Tyrell Williams or Trent Brown will see the field, but Gruden probably wouldn’t put Carr out there without most of the players he’ll be playing with when the season gets here. Playing starters in the preseason has quickly been falling out of fashion for NFL teams because of the injury risk it brings. Carr will probably only get thrown out there for one or two drives before Gruden pulls him out.
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Gruden Talks Johnny Townsend
Before the team started practice, news dropped that the team let go of punter Johnny Townsend in order to make room for some cornerbacks. Townsend was in the midst of a battle with A.J. Cole for who would be the team’s punter. Well, Cole won out and Townsend will have to try his luck with a new team.
Townsend was a disappointment in his first year with the Raiders, so it makes sense they’d want to look elsewhere. The team is used to excellent punt play and that makes it harder when they receive bad play there. Cole seems to have won the battle, so now he’ll have to prove that he should keep the position.