Oakland Raiders Training Camp News
NFL teams have started their training camps, which means that the 2016 NFL season is just around the corner. Going into the season, one of the teams a lot of experts believe can make some noise this season is the Oakland Raiders, who addressed a lot of the holes on their team during the offseason. After a surprising 7-9 finish last season, the Raiders now have one of the best online NFL betting odds of making the playoffs.
The Raiders received some good news on Monday after Kelechi Osemele, who missed practice on Sunday for undisclosed reasons, returned to the field.
Jon Feliciano, who played in Osemele’s spot on Sunday, substituted for center Rodney Hudson with the first team on Monday.
Head coach Jack Del Rio told reporters that it is good for a team to have versatility during the season, which is why he has played Feliciano in several positions on the offensive line so far. Del Rio said Feliciano has matured both physically and mentally, and can play the guard and center position.
Del Rio also said that Feliciano has been impressive so far at training camp, and has taken advantage of the opportunities he had when other players on the offensive line weren’t able to play. According to the coach, whenever a player can step up when given an opportunity, it benefits the team in the long run.
New addition Bruce Irvin, who left the Seahawks to sign with Oakland, said he wasn’t brought in to be a follower. Irvin has been very competitive in the team’s offseason programs, and it’s unlikely he will stop being very competitive after getting into two separate skirmishes during practice.
The first skirmish Irvin was involved in was with tight end Lee Smith, who had to be led away by other players. The second time around, running back Taiwan Jones wasn’t happy about a hit from Irvin, which resulted in both players getting in each other’s face. Teammates eventually separated them.
The first real fight of the Raiders training camp was between receiver Johnny Holton and cornerback Kenneth Durden, two players trying to make the final roster. One of the people that observed the fight said it was like a hockey fight and the other players let them fight until they went to the ground.
Del Rio told reporters that Dan Williams and Justin Ellis, who often played together last year, will be competing for the same position this season. Williams, who started 15 of the team’s 16 games last season, was seen working with the starters, but Del Rio and his staff believe that Ellis is currently ahead of Williams. The coach made sure to note that the season is still a few weeks away, and he hasn’t made a final decision about which one of his defensive linemen will start on the interior this season.
Kick returner Taiwan Jones also has some competition this year, and will try to hold off rookie running backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, as well as rookie receivers Joe Hansley and Jaydon Mickens.
Although the players were practicing in pads, they were not going full speed. If they were, tight end Ryan O’Malley would likely have been hurt by safety Brynden Trawick on a slot pass from Connor Cook.