For the first time this offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders starters had a chance to play some meaningful football against the Los Angeles Rams. The two teams are holding joint practices ahead of Saturday’s preseason game. While it’s just practice, these will be a telling couple of days for a young Raiders team.
The Rams have one of the best squads in the NFL and will provide a great test. Fortunately for Las Vegas, the team is off to a strong start. One of the most notable things to come out of the first practice was Hunter Renfrow’s performance versus Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey was lining up in the slot on Wednesday and Renfrow had his way with him.
The Rams Pro Bowler is widely considered the best cornerback in the NFL so this is big for Renfrow, who is developing into one of the league’s better slot receivers. Despite his unassuming appearance, it’s clear that the Raiders wide receiver has serious skill. Multiple reporters at Wednesday’s practice reported on Renfrow beating Ramsey but the cornerback believes it’s exaggerated. Without directly addressing Renfrow, Ramsey tweeted out that people are just saying things “for clicks.”
He wasn’t done with that message.
Renfrow’s performance clearly irked Ramsey but it’s just one practice. It will be interesting to see if he gets another shot at the wide receiver during Thursday’s practice.
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Renfrow Talks Battling Ramsey
Renfrow is as humble a player as there is in the NFL so he’s not about to get into a war of words with Ramsey. He’s going to let his game do the talking. After Wednesday’s practice, Renfrow made sure to give the Rams cornerback his credit.
“If I can beat Jalen Ramsey, I can beat anybody in the NFL. Because he’s one of the best … he beat me a couple of times today, too,” Renfrow said, via ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez.
A Renfrow-Ramsey rivalry wasn’t something that anybody expected to come out of this practice considering the two wouldn’t normally line up against each other in a game. With another practice and a preseason game on the docket, it will be really fun to see how the two battle out in the coming days.
Sean McVay Calls out ‘Sloppy’ Practice
The first joint practice was a success for the Raiders. The defense looked great and intercepted Matthew Stafford three times. The offense also hit some big plays. However, it wasn’t perfect. Rams head coach Sean McVay wasn’t a fan of how the practice went.
“I didn’t like how sloppy it felt overall. There was a lot of breaks in the action because of unnecessary stuff,” McVay said, via Pro Football Talk. “And it wasn’t exclusive to one side or the other, but for us to get the work that I know coach Gruden and his group wants and for us and our group, we’ve got to clean up some of the mechanics. And I’ve got to do a better job of managing some of the things as well. But there’s going to be a lot of good things that we can learn from.
“But it just didn’t feel good the way it ended based on a lot of unnecessary things that took away from football. There’s still some things I know we can take away and be able to learn from it. But it was a lot of unnecessary things that I know both of us want to be able to eliminate to try to get better. And we’ll figure out what that looks like for tomorrow.”
The Rams will get another crack at the Raiders on Thursday. It will be very interesting to see how Las Vegas responds to a motivated Rams team.