The Oakland Raiders put on the pads and hit the practice field in temperatures that touched 90 degrees. The soaring temperatures prompted a short scuffle between Brandon Underwood and Mike Goodson early in practice when Goodson took exception to a late hit. This was prior to Goodson being taken away on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance after a collision with linebacker Philip Wheeler.
Thankfully, Goodson is going to be fine. The team announced that test results were negative, and Goodson was released from the hospital and allowed to return to the team hotel, but the scary scene changed the entire dynamic of practice. The injury was described as a neck injury.
Dennis Allen said there was no thought given to stopping practice, but he acknowledged his team was affected.
“That’s hard when you see one of your teammates go down like that,” Allen said. “It was a distraction. I thought our guys tried to focus back the best they could.”
Although Allen didn’t stop practice, he said his original plan was to do another live-hitting, tackle-to-the-ground team session to break up the monotonous nature of camp, but he decided against it due to injuries.
Goodson’s injury, no doubt, played a role in that decision.
The Raiders did manage to finish practice in the warm temperatures. The heat is something Allen said is both a challenge and a distraction that is good for the team’s mental toughness and preparedness.
The Raiders will have to be prepared for the heat because they travel to Miami in Week 2, where the Dolphins will probably force the Raiders to wear their black jerseys.
Tight end Richard Gordon got reps with the No. 2 offense and showed off his hands on a couple occasions, including an impressive one-handed catch. Allen said that Gordon was the best blocker on Monday, and fellow tight end David Ausberry, known for his receiving ability, had a couple of drops and a pair of fumbles on the day.
In a drill, fullback Marcel Reece lined up as a tailback and took handoffs while the other fullbacks simulated being lead blockers. If the Raiders plan to use Reece in short-yardage situations, it makes sense to get him comfortable receiving a handoff.
When the No. 1 offense put three receivers on the field, the third wide receiver was Rod Streater. Streater has performed consistently well throughout training camp, and he’s received extra snaps because he plays the same position as the injured Denarius Moore.
Jacoby Ford lined up in Moore’s place with Streater in the slot, so it’s possible that Juron Criner—despite his abilities—might be locked behind Darrius Heyward-Bey at the split-end position.
Shawntae Spencer had a few passes defended against Ford in the team session. For whatever reason, Spencer seems to have Ford’s number. Spencer also broke up a pass intended for Heyward-Bey and another for Streater and striped the ball out of Ausberry’s hands. He’s flashy, and he's becoming more consistent every day.
Heyward-Bey made a catch down the center of the field on a post route for what would have been a 70-yard touchdown in a game situation. Heyward-Bey also had a nice end-zone fade catch over the top of Ron Bartell, but he’s still had difficulty hauling in passes contested by defenders. Working in the end zone, Heyward-Bey couldn’t secure a ball with Spencer all over him, and he was physically dominated by Bartell a couple plays later.
Joseph Barksdale, working at right tackle, had trouble in a pass protection drill against the defensive lineman. On one play in particular, Jack Crawford was able to blow past Barksdale for the would-be sack.
Linebacker Kaelin Burnett spent time with the defensive line, practicing pass rushing against the offensive line, but he was physically dominated by Mike Brisiel and the other offensive lineman and had trouble getting much push. He’s probably better suited for the outside rush.
Unless defenses want to commit a spy to Darren McFadden, he’s going to pick up a lot of yards as a check-down receiver. Whenever Palmer was feeling the heat of the pass rush, he’d get the ball to McFadden and let him turn and run.
Lamarr Houston and Desmond Bryant bottled up the running attack on more than a few occasions.
Should the Raiders have been the team to sign Terrell Owens?
"Coach [Pete Carroll] had reached out to me a couple times. Just knowing [Carroll's] style and the way he goes about teaching and leading his team, I just thought that T.O. would be a great fit.
"I had the opportunity to play with T.O. and really enjoyed playing with him. It was a great relationship, and we continued to work out afterwards. Didn't have anything negative to say about T.O. It was a great relationship when I was there.
"I thought I would let Coach know that I thought he would fit in really well with his style, and I think that they will have a lot of success together." -Carson Palmer on his conversation with Pete Carroll about Terrell Owens.
Matt Shaughnessy (ankle bruise): Returned to practice but was wearing sweats and appeared to be held out of several contact drills.
Jack Crawford (foot): Was held out of the second half of practice, but was walking normally after practice.
Richard Seymour (ankle)
Denarius Moore (hamstring)
Eddie McGee (hamstring)
Taiwan Jones (hamstring)
Shane Lechler (knee): NFI list
Aaron Curry (knee): PUP list