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Vegas Raiders Training Camp Notes: Latest News and Information

Vegas Raiders Training Camp Notes: Latest News and Information

Throughout the remainder of Las Vegas Raiders training camp, we’ll update you daily on the latest news and information from the team’s training camp in Henderson, Nev.


Highlights:


August 29 – Raiders Trade Draft Pick to Miami for Linebacker Raekwon McMillian

Raiders trade draft pick to dolphins Raekwon McMillan
The Las Vegas Raiders trade draft pick for LB Raekwon McMillan

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Reports indicate the Raiders have traded a 2021 fourth-round draft pick to the Miami Dolphins for middle linebacker Raekwon McMillian. The fourth-year pro is expected to come in and compete for a starting role but does add depth. The Raiders rookie linebackers Tanner Muse and Javin White have had flashes here and there, but both aren’t seen as ready to shoulder the load just yet.

McMillan played in 13 games for Miami last year, missing three games due to a hamstring injury.

August 28 – Raiders Training Camp Ends with Allegiant Stadium Practice, Mariota Ruled out 3-4 Days, Gruden Says Team Will Address Social Justice Issues Their Own Way

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Las Vegas Raiders training camp officially came to an end at Allegiant Stadium on Friday afternoon as the team, again, did a game day run through to prepare for the start of the regular season on September 13th at Carolina.

With roster cuts coming later this week, the Raiders intimated they weren’t going to give opponents, the media, or fans much information to work on with which direction the’re leaning with their final depth chart. They also didn’t want to talk about any strengths or weaknesses observed in camp either.

“Yeah, I’m not going to give anybody any billboard material,” coach Jon Gruden said after the practice. “We’re a young team and we’re improving. Our guys are working hard.”

Mariota To Miss Most of Next Week

Reserve quarterback Marcus Mariota was again held out of practice with an undisclosed injury. The team has said Mariota’s ailment isn’t serious but he is not expected to return to practice until later next week.

“Yeah, he’s going to be okay,” Gruden said Friday. “He’s going to be out probably for another three or four days, but he’ll be back on the field, I think, by the middle to the end of next week.”

Raiders Taking Time to Reflect on Social Justice This Weekend

With protests by professional athletes widespread across all major sports, the Raiders are taking their own approach to address the concerns of their players, coaches, and community.

“And I told our team, especially our leadership after visiting with them, I want them to take tomorrow (Saturday) off,” Gruden said. “I’m going to give them a portion of Sunday off to research what’s really going on and educate themselves on where we are. And when we do come back together as a 53-man team, you’ll see the Raiders are going to do something to make life better for somebody.”

The Raiders, as an organization, have long embraced diversity and done work in their communities of Oakland, Los Angeles, and now Las Vegas, to bridge gaps and address difficult issues.

“We are going to make an impact, not just protesting and not just tweeting,” Gruden said. “We are going to do something as a football team and we’re going to prove it. So, the big thing is get away from the game here for a little bit, gather your thoughts, do some research, don’t make an emotional statement, make an educational one. And I think our players are excited to do that.”

August 26 – Radiers Offensive Lineman Trent Brown Returns, Mariota Misses First Practice, Big Mo Manhandles OL

HENDERSON, Nev. – On a day when the temperature looks to top 100-degrees again, the Raiders training camp was abuzz with the addition of new but familiar face – offensive tackle Trent Brown attended his first practice since the beginning of camp.

The Raiders coaching staff wasted no time in inserting Brow into the first offense where he worked on pass blocking drills and more. Brown is an important piece of that Raiders stout offensive line which coach Jon Gruden is looking to stay healthy and dominate in 2020.

Mariota Misses First Practice

No word why but reserve quarterback Marcus Mariota did not attend practice this morning. Derek Carr and Nathan Peterman handled all snaps for the Raiders on Wednesday.

Mariota has struggled mightily during camp in his bid to overcome injuries to back up Carr in 2020. Although many expected Mariota to compete with Carr during training camp, that hasn’t materialized as Mariota struggles to learn Gruden’s system.

Big Mo Making Offense Pay

According to a report by Raiders Wire writer Levi Damien, Maurice Hurst had another good day at practice.

According to Damien, Hurst had the best-looking rushes of the day and was able to penetrate the backfield three times. He’s been working hard with increased competition for snaps from newly added Maliek Collins. Collins has been earning praise from the Raiders coaching staff but Hurst has responded.

August 25 – Derek Carr Continues to Light Up Raiders Training Camp, Team Workouts Amp Up Intensity, Mayock says Carr has Made Raiders His Team

HENDERSON, NEV. – While many in Raider Nation still doubt the talent and ability to win, Derek Carr looks like a quarterback possessed at the Las Vegas Raiders training camp in 2020.

Watching practice today, I was struck by Carr’s continued mastery of just about everything he’s doing in camp. Yes, it’s practice and it must translate to wins on the field when the season kicks off but he’s off to a fantastic start. Even with a critical eye, it’s been hard to find flaws in anything Carr is doing.

As my partner on Raider Nation Radio 920AM Q Myers points out, one big question mark still remaining is can Carr also make things happen with his legs? That will be something we’ll have to see when the season kicks off in Carolina next month. With no preseason games or scrimmages, it’s hard to tell, but every other facet of his game is on point.

Raiders Training Camp Intensity Ramps up on Tuesday

I was struck by the level of competition at Tuesday morning’s practice. Offense/defense drills were full of talk but both veterans and rookies were brining their best. There were no players with hands on hips, and the feeling all of them are working to earn a roster spot was palpable.

Since Gruden returned two seasons ago, he’s created a higher level of competition in camp each time. Despite the weirdness of the COVID-19 camp, it’s still there. With the influx of better talent, and another year of the Gruden/Mayock culture taking hold, it feels different.

Damon Arnette and Amik Robertson Are Beasts

While both rookies didn’t always make the right play, both were impressive and flew around the field like two men possessed. They embody the Raiders attitude of yesteryear and will make fans happy in 2020.

Mayock: “Derek Carr Has Taken Over This Football Team”

I think that statement speaks for itself. If Derek Carr has a big year, and the Raiders win and make the playoffs, maybe the Carr hate subsides.

“I’m just really pleased with the way Derek Carr has taken over this football team,” Mayock said. “And it goes back to the offseason. It goes back to all the workouts he had with the players and the players just confirming their buy-in.”

Pretty simple: Just Win Baby.

August 24 – Raiders Training Camp Practice Switched to Walkthrough, Williams Injury Confirmed, Alec Ingold Talks About Second Season as a Pro

HENDERSON, Nev. – The Raiders, after taking a maintenance day yesterday amid questions about the reliability of COVID-19 tests in the NFL, returned to the field today for walkthroughs.

Although originally scheduled for a full practice this morning in Henderson, the team switched things up at the last minute opting for a lighter workout. Although all players were in camp today, wide receiver Tyrell Williams received bad news concerning his shoulder. Williams was seen at Friday’s scrimmage in a sling and it was confirmed today he has a torn labrum.

Williams, who battled a bad case of plantar fasciitis last season in both feet, again must battle injury to take the filed for the Raiders in 2020. Although the injury usually requires surgery, he will forgo the knife and instead try to play through it. It’s unknown how much he’ll be available or how much he can approach 100-percent. It’s the first major injury to hit the Raiders training camp in 2020.

Raiders Honor Legends with Jersey Tribute

The Raiders training camp tradition of wearing the jersey of a great player who played at a current player’s position again gained traction today as the players once again, thanks to coach Jon Gruden, donned the number of the men who made the storied franchise what it is.

Fullback Alec Ingold said Gruden’s desire to instill a sense of tradition and honor excites the current roster and he’s glad to take part. He also said teammate Josh Jacobs was pretty excited to get one number in particular.

“He got Bo Jackson (34). ‘Bo Knows’ so, he was pretty pumped about that,” Ingold said. “I think he snuck his jersey shirt out. I don’t think he gave that one back. And I had Mark van Eeghen, so another legendary fullback from the 70’s. Really cool to kind of get to exemplify what Raiders have been in the past and hopefully bring some of that legendary
success into the future.”

Ingold’s Weight Loss Was All About Being the Best Pro He Can Be

We asked Ingold about his off-season workout plan and weight loss which has a trimmer but stronger second-year fullback in Raiders camp this week. He said his rookie season was one of growth that will lead to a better player in 2020.

“It’s about knowing my job and understanding that my body is a huge part of what we’re trying to do here and being prepared to play 16 games, 20 games; you know that’s the goal,” Ingold said. “So, to be able to be healthy, I think I needed to put my body in the best position possible. Down the road, if there are running backs, if it’s tight ends, whoever it is – injured, needs help – I need to be able to step up for the team and be ready for those opportunities when they come.”

August 21 – Scrimmage at Allegiant Stadium Looking for Clues to Who Will Make Raiders 53-man Roster, Stadium “Wows” Players and Coaches

ALLEGIANT STADIUM – There weren’t fans in the stands and its wasn’t an official game but the Las Vegas Raiders ran a full dress rehearsal and scrimmage inside their new $1.9 billion stadium just off the famed Las Vegas Strip on Friday.

With team staff, stadium staff, and the media present, the Raiders did everything from pregame introductions to mocking a second half return to the field.

“I just want to say it was very exciting being it that stadium,” Gruden said. “We are really appreciative of what [Owner] Mark Davis, [President] Marc Badain and these guys went through to put us in a place like this. I just can’t wait to share it with the city of Vegas, sports fans, entertainment fans from around the world.”

Raiders running back Jalen Richard was also impressed his first time inside Allegiant Stadium, including its natural grass playing surface.

“It’s very impressive,” Richard said after practice. “The yard keepers for the field have done a really great job, it’s really fast. It’s comfortable. I know a couple of guys thought it was going to be artificial turf, but it turned out to be real grass. So, we’re very excited for this.”

Gruden: Likes Progress but Much Hard Work Ahead.

Although some Raiders veterans got snaps in, much of the exercise in this shortened training camp was to see what the team has with younger players.

“Well, I could just say we’re young and we like the progress that we’re making,” Gruden said. “We’re missing some players obviously a little bit right now that are nicked. But, I’m not going to say anything really. Just working hard. Doing the best we can being creative with protocols that are in place and proud of our team, proud of our coaches.”

With the lack of the preseason hampering evaluation, Gruden was happy to have some live hitting and real-game scenarios.

“Oh, there is no substitute for live football,” Gruden said. “You can only have so may walk throughs and staged drills but we got a little live work today on the goal line. We had some live work at the end and competition is great. We got to take a look at the film. But losing these preseason games, I don’t care what anybody says, in my opinion, it’s tough on coaches.”

Richard Impressed by Bowden

The dynamic Lynn Bowden Jr. returned kicks on Friday and saw action at running back as well. Jalen Richard came away impressed by the rookie due to his poise and work ethic.

“One thing about him, he’s a grown man,” Richard said of the third-round draft pick out of Kentucky. “One thing I will say that is hard for rookies coming into the league is just being real confident and not scared. It’s really a confidence thing knowing this is real grown, man stuff in the NFL. That’s what I’ve been seeing from Lynn mostly is just his willingness and want to play the game and learn the running back position, because again, he’s never really played it before. He’s been really hands-on with trying to learn and take in what [running back coach] Kirby [Wilson]is saying. He’s asking me questions, Josh [Jacobs],
everybody in the room is just helping him as far as this running back transition goes for him. I think he’s going to be fine.”

August 20 – Guenther Talks About Young Players, Mariota Struggles

HENDERSON, Nev. – Las Vegas Raiders training camp was back open to the media on Thursday and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther held his weekly Zoom call. A wide range of subjects was discussed but a focus on rookie cornerback Damon Arnette and free-agent defensive tackle Maliek Collins took center stage.

Arnette, who the Raiders drafted 19th overall in this year’s NFL Draft, made an eye-catching grab against fellow first-rounder Henry Ruggs this week in practice turning many heads. But according to Guenther, he’s got to prove it on game day.

Damon Arnette is already impressing observers at Raiders training camp.

“He’s a talented corner, that’s why we drafted him,” Guenther said. “He’s not scared, he’s real patient of line of scrimmage and that’s a really what we expect each and every day when he gets out there.”

Allegiant Stadium to Host Friday’s Practice and Scrimmage

While the disappointment lingers this year’s inaugural season in Las Vegas won’t be in front of a full house at the Raiders new Allegiant Stadium, the team is getting an early look tomorrow as they’ll practice and give the natural grass surface its first test.

While details aren’t complete, the Raiders will practice at the new $1.9 billion stadium off the Las Vegas Strip sometime Friday afternoon.

Mariota Struggles as Expected

For the fools who thought Marcus Mariota – a good quarterback who makes the Raiders better behind Derek Carr – would supplant the starter in a year without any preseason games, we give you Exhibit A from our teammate at Raider Nation Radio 920AM Vinny Bonsignore:

Without the benefit of a full offseason, it will take Mariota time to adjust and expect him to be ready to be a competent backup to Carr. But, no matter how much some wish, there is no one challenging Carr to start.

Raiders Not Participating at Practice Today

According to our friend Tashan Reed at The Athletic, Trent Brown was again held from practice on Thursday. I addition, TE Foster Moreau, WR Tyrell Williams, OG Denzelle Good, CB Damon Arnette, and S Damarious Randall also did not participate. There is no indication any of the players have health issues.

August 19 – Practice Closed to Media but Yannick Ngakoue Rumors Heat Up

Henderson, Nev. – The Las Vegas Raiders training camp was closed to the media today but that didn’t mean the team didn’t find it’s way into the news.

Multiple reports say disgruntled Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is on the verge of being moved over the next few days. As first reported by The Athletic’s Michael Lombardi, the Jaguars are close to a deal with a suitor.

Is that suitor the Las Vegas Raiders? There’s nothing to confirm that but as our own Raider Nation Radio 920 teammate Vinny Bonsignore said on our show today, there’s definitely smoke.

Ngakoue could be a huge addition to a young defense that looks to be much improved in 2020. Although Ngakoue isn’t great against the run, he’s a pure EDGE pass rusher who could spark a whole lot on Paul Guenther’s defensive front. Bookended with last year’s big star Maxx Crosby, you could look at Ngakoue as a piece that could vault the Raiders defense into a new stratus.

Ngakoue finished 2019 with eight sacks and one interception and has missed just one game his entire career.

August 18 – Carr and Renfrow Speak

HENDERSON, Nev. – The Raiders were back at practice at 7:30 am and both Derek Carr Raiders quarterback and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow met with the media after practice. The team has just 12 more fully-padded practices before they open the season at Carolina against the rebuilding Panthers. The Panthers notified fans today there will be no attendance allowed for the first two games of the 2020 season which means the Raiders will play their first two games with no fans.

That includes the team’s first-ever game in the brand news $1.9 billion Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.

Carr Excited But Tempers Expectations with Young Additions

With all the talk and praise of young players like Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards, Damon Arnette, and Amik Robertson, Derek Carr was quick to point out that media and fans need to settle down a bit until the guys earn it on the field.

“So, in pads, not in pads, they look the same,” Carr said of the Raiders young players. “And usually when you put pads on there is a big discrepancy, a big difference in some of these young guys where you’re like, ‘Oh, he’s not going to make the team. He’s not going to play long.’ And sometimes they end up not playing long.

“And with these guys you’re like, ‘’Oh, these guys are football players.’ So, very excited about them, but we can be excited about them and have the hype and all that, but it doesn’t matter man. We got to put the work in everyday and we got to go do it on the football field on gameday. We are excited, but I’m going to downplay that one a little bit. No predictions, no nothing. We’ll just let their play do the talking. I think that there is a long way to go for them. I think that they have some details that they need to iron out, that we were ironing out today. But, great communication leads to great execution, so hopefully, we can continue to get on the same page and good things will happen.”   

Renfrow No Longer Afraid of the Raiders “Principal”

Second-year wideout Hunter Renfrow is just one of those guys you root for. Not only is he a good young player on the field, but off the field he’s the kind of kid you’d like your own kids to grow up to be as a young man.

When we asked Renfrow about his close relationship with Carr and how it’s evolved in the past year, Renfrow compared his quarterback buddy to a school principal.

“I’m, like, not scared to ask him a question anymore,” Renfrow said. “I’ll joke with him and give him a hard time. Last year he was like the teacher, I wasn’t going to mess with the principal. It’s been cool just to have a friend like that.”

Not only have they developed a tight friendship, but Carr has helped Renfrow significantly with becoming a better football player.

“The game has slowed down so much for me where I can see what he sees a little bit,” Renfrow said. “He’s still lightyears ahead of me, but just little things like if I’m trying to run a choice route – just being able to see two-high verse one-high. What we’re trying to get done on the play and kind of know his progressions. It’s been a lot of fun, it really has.”

Flores Earns Nomination for Pro Football Hall of Fame

In the “should have happened a long time ago” column, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced today that former Raiders player, assistant coach and 3-time Super Bowl champion Tom Flores is a finalist for enshrinement. Flores, the only coach in the category this year, has been passed over multiple times despite having the resume of one of the greats.

Long-time Raiders writer Paul Gutierrez has long championed Flores’ enshrinement and it looks like it’s about to happen.

Flores posted a 105-90 overall career record with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders and the Seattle Seahawks and led the Raiders to victories in Super Bowls XV and XVIII and was the AFC Coach of the Year in 1983

Flores won 91 games losing just 56 (.619) as Raiders coach and compiled an 8-3 (.727) record in the playoffs. According to NFL.com, his career wins total trails only Hall of Famer John Madden in franchise history.

Raiders Remain Healthy

With the rash of serious injuries that hit the NFL on Monday, the Raiders have reported no moderate or serious injuries through two days.

Stay with us every day for more reports from Las Vegas Raiders training camp each day…

Scott Gulbransen is an accomplished broadcasting, social media, public relations, writing pro, and thought leader and the founder, host and executive producer of Silver and Black Today on the Raiders flagship station Raider Nation Radio in Las Vegas. He has managed and led public relations, social media and digital marketing at some of America's largest brands and is the former Global Head of Digital Content at Haymon Boxing, creators of the Premier Boxing Champions series.

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