Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 8/11/12
Nfl-oakland-raiders-denver

The Oakland Raiders went back to practice in pads after a shell session on Wednesday and a day off yesterday. As the team gets closer to the preseason opener Monday against the Dallas Cowboys, injuries continue to be an issue as well as focus and execution.

“No, it wasn’t what we expected,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said on Friday's practice. “I thought our focus wasn’t there. I didn’t think the tempo was there. I thought the guys tried to battle through, but we have to practice better with less mistakes than we did today. I think the guys are trying but that’s all part of that mental toughness that we talk about and our ability to focus in and block out the distractions, whether it be the heat, whether it be the fact that you’re tired, whatever the case may be. We have a job to do and we have to execute better when we come out here tomorrow.” 

Four more players were added to the injury list during today's practice. Strong Safety Tyvon Branch was a no go with back spasms. Tight end Brandon Myers, who was just announced to be number one on the depth chart, left practice with a shoulder, offensive tackle Zach Hurd left with a head injury, and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey left with a knee.

“Well I don’t think any of them are real serious injuries but we’ll see as we go along,” Allen said. “Brandon Myers was probably the one that we’ll see.”

Those players joined linebacker Aaron Curry, who will see a specialist for his knee injury, punter Shane Lechler (knee), running back Mike Goodson (neck), defensive end Jack Crawford (foot), running back Taiwan Jones (hamstring), defensive lineman Richard Seymour (knee), and wide receivers Denarius Moore and Eddie McGee with hamstring issues.

“Aaron Curry went to see a specialist in L.A.,” Allen said. “He’s just not quite where we want him to be. We’re going to go down and basically let him get a second opinion and see if we can’t do something to get him better.”

Strong safety Mike Mitchell, who was seeing first team reps as he filled in for Branch, is showing energy and effort. While covering the tight end on a pass route, Mitchell stepped in front of a Carson Palmer pass for an interception. He is also capable of delivering so big hits while playing the run and to receivers in space.

“He’s competing,” Allen said of Mitchell. “At the end of the day you look for guys when you walk off the practice field or look at the practice tape you see something and say, hey the guy made a play today. He’s done that a couple times this camp. I think I’m pleased where he’s at. I want to continue to see progress from him. I’m looking forward to watching him play against somebody else and see how he does.”

With Denarius Moore's hamstring injury, the Raiders have been trying out punt returners in camp. Jacoby Ford is the primary replacement for Moore now and has proved he has the explosiveness and ability to make plays as a kickoff returner with four career touchdowns, but hasn't fielded punts since his senior year at Clemson.

“Totally different,” Allen said of returning punts as opposed to kickoffs. “The flight of the ball, you have got to be able to tell whether the ball is going to turn over or if it is going to go end over end. It is a lot more difficult to catch punts than it is to catch kickoffs. He’s getting better. Obviously with Denarius' hamstring he hasn’t been able to be out there. But I see Denarius fielding punts for us; I see Jacoby fielding punts for us.”

When it comes to playing time in the first preseason games, Allen will not tell the players how many snaps they will be on the field.

“I won’t tell them until they play the game and I tell them they are coming out,” Allen said. “Because there is only one way you can play the game and that’s getting your mind right to go out and compete. That’s what I want those guys to do regardless if they are ones, twos, or threes. I think a lot of times when you tell them, ‘hey you are going to play one quarter or 10 snaps,’ there’s a little bit of a mental let down and I don’t want that.”

 

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

John Daly taken to hospital after collapsing on course

Rex Ryan keeping Bills' starting quarterback a secret

Braves fan dies after falling from upper deck

Randall Cobb suffers shoulder injury vs. Eagles

WATCH: John Harbaugh, Jay Gruden get into shouting match

WATCH: Brian Hartline drags toes on great TD catch

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Julio Jones, Falcons agree on 5-year contract extension

WATCH: Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion blasts three homers, extends hit streak

WATCH: Usain Bolt does LeBron stomp dance after relay win

WATCH: Vick's first pass as a Steeler is a 63-yard bomb

WATCH: Montana's Ben Roberts makes amazing TD catch

Report: Robert Griffin III doesn’t believe he ever had a concussion

American Pharoah upset at Travers Stakes

Steve Smith joins family in stands after getting ejected from game

WATCH: Cordarrelle Patterson rips off 107-yard return TD

Steve Sarkisian giving up most of USC's playcalling duties

Animal shelter cancels fundraiser at Heinz Field

Mets acquire RP Addison Reed from Diamondbacks

WATCH: James Rodriguez scores unreal goals

Vin Scully: I believe next year will be my last

Charles Barkley wants to blow his former agent’s brains out

The Texas Rangers are firing on all cylinders

WATCH: Rutgers ends training camp with dance off

WATCH: Rays outfielder fooled by Tropicana Field catwalk

Ranking the five most dysfunctional NFL teams

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Fantasy football round-by-round draft strategy

Ronda Rousey's Carl’s Jr. ad

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

The Opening Drive: What happened to all the great Michigan tailbacks?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Red Sox

10 NFL players set for down seasons in 2015

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker