Team sessions were more extensive on day two of the Raiders and Rams joint practices. And with the starters not expected to play in the preseason, it was their last opportunity to face an outside opponent before the start of the regular season.
Jimmy Garoppolo has one of the best receivers in the game in Davante Adams. Adams can stretch the field and make all the catches to make a quarterback look good. But not if the ball doesn’t get to him.
Twice in team sessions the Raiders sent Adams on a deep route, and both times, it fell incomplete.
The first was a pass up the left sideline from Garoppolo which was short, allowing Ahkello Witherspoon to knock it down.
The second saw Adams go deep on a post route, and the pass was thrown too far ahead of Adams, who was also in double coverage with Witherspoon and a safety coming over. That one was lucky to not be intercepted as the defensive backs had a better shot at it than Adams did.
Garoppolo shrugged it off as getting his timing down with his receivers.
“Yeah. I mean that’s why we’re out here,” said Garoppolo. “You want to try different things. Game time comes, it’s a bit different. Bullets are flying, you know what you want to do, know who you want to go to, but out here you can try different things. It’s always nice to mix it up, try and mix in a deep ball here and there and see what the guys can do.”
These issues can be written off as timing if you’d like. However, Garoppolo’s ability to take advantage of Adams on the deep routes has long been a question. One that has yet to be answered with an affirmative.
Where Garoppolo has done well is in his short and intermediate throws, especially in the middle of the field.
He was enjoying having Hunter Renfrow back in the mix today and seemed on the same page with the savvy slot receiver early in practice.
“Hunt’s been awesome, man. He sees the field very well, makes it easy on me. Very decisive in his routes,” Garoppolo said of Renfrow. “But all those guys. I mean, him, DC (DeAndre Carter), tight ends even that work the slot. All those guys have done a good job. They give me easy targets, so it makes my job a lot easier.”
Garoppolo didn’t mention Jakobi Meyers, but the two of them finished a late session in the two-minute drill with three straight completions, two on slants and one on a comeback route.
Practice concluded with both team throwing for the end zone.
One the side with the Rams offense, Matt Stafford had his first throw for the end zone knocked down by a leaping Nate Hobbs. But his next shot was complete to Tutu Atwell for the TD crossing along the back of the end zone with Marcus Epps the closest to him.
The Raiders side saw Adams streak to the right side of the end zone and Garoppolo find him. What looked like a catch was ruled out of bounds and thus ended the joint practices with the Raiders offense doing pushups.
Though Garoppolo disagreed. He insisted it was a catch and replay would have proven it.
“[It was a] catch. I think we have video footage too,” Garoppolo said confidently. “We just needed a red flag to be thrown.”
So, once again, it would appear his timing with most his receivers on most routes is on point. Just those deep balls that still need work.