If the Raiders are to have a joint practice session with the Rams that looks anywhere near as good as the ones they had against the 49ers, they’re really going to have to pick it up. Because the first day was considerably disappointing by that standard.
Teams sessions were lacking on both sides of the ball for the Raiders.
Last week in joint practices, the story was interceptions. The Raiders had four in team sessions and another four in seven-on-sevens. Today the only turnover was an interception by Sam Webb off a deflection of a bad Stetson Bennett pass. A very similar play to the one Webb had in the game against the 49ers last Sunday from Brandon Allen.
But whenever Matt Stafford stepped on the field, he was carving up the Raiders secondary. It was pretty if you were the Rams offense. Not so much if you were the Raiders defense.
“As practice goes on, everybody’s watching the same thing that’s going on on the field. We can all feel it,” said safety Roderic Teamer. “We know as a team that we can perform better. And we always expect to dominate no matter what, so if we don’t do that then after practice we know we got more work to do.”
The Raiders’ battery is Maxx Crosby. He was not happy with what he saw at all.
“The standard is you show up and get better. For me as a leader it’s unacceptable,” said Crosby.
“Some days you’re going to feel like shit, some days you’re going to feel great. It is what it is. You got to get better and find ways to improve. Those are the days you get better; when you don’t feel like you want to go. When you’re feeling bad for yourself. That’s when you really got to go to that dark place. So, for me, no matter what it is, I’m trying to get to that place. No matter what and just bring my teammates with me.”
Late in practice, Maxx’s aggressive practice tendencies weren’t well received by Cam Akers. Akers lowered his helmet into him on a run, then Crosby chased Akers down and swatted the ball out of his hands. This led to a mad fury of Akers swinging on Crosby and the fight was on.
Said Crosby of the altercation “I was just doing what I do and he didn’t like that, so he got what he got. It is what it is.”
What Akers got was in a fight with a much bigger dude and then thrown out of practice for throwing the first punch, not to mention full on coming to blows.
For Maxx, it meant being relegated to the sideline for the rest of team sessions. He was replaced in the lineup by Jordan Willis.
And that was just the defense. The offense wasn’t exactly on point either.
It was good to see Davante Adams out there looking like 100% for the first time since he left practice with a right leg injury a week ago. And he did catch a few passes in team sessions.
But the drives rarely ended in a score and at the end of one session, several attempts at touchdowns fades — including to Adams — all ended with incompletions. Some were not on target, and some were knocked down by the DB. These same fades were successful against the 49ers last week.
“We have a lot to learn from the tape and that’s kind of the point of these,” said guard Greg Van Roten.
“You’re seeing a different front, different personnel, we’re running different plays than we have against a different team, so it’s kind of like this is what training camp is and this is what joint practice is for, it’s to get a different look and work on new techniques.”
Sunday’s hero in the preseason opener struggled as well. Aidan O’Connell came in at QB to close out practice with a drive in which he completed just one pass. All others were either dropped, defended, or off target.
Clearly, the Raiders will have to regroup, study the tape from today, and put in the work to try and put together a better practice tomorrow. It’s their final joint practice, and if last preseason is any indication, many starters’ last chance to go against an opponent prior to the start of the regular season.