Summary -- Crowds numbering 1,000 fans each for three weekend practices were gone and the Raiders got back to the business of practicing in front of each other. Referees worked the scrimmages for the second day in a row and right off the bat, the defense was called for jumping offsides as Lamarr Houston, Dominique Hamilton and Travis Goethel were all flagged. Cornerback Ron Bartell, meanwhile, got closer to returning to full practice status after missing most of camp with a hamstring issue. He lined up at left corner for drills in helmets and shorts but once hitting began, he had to leave the field.Offensive play of the day -- Rookie receiver Juron Criner, going from right to left about 15 yards downfield, went horizontal for a Terrelle Pryor pass, and scooped the ball in with one hand. Criner rolled over and lost a shoe, but he held onto the ball for the highlight reel reception.Defensive play of the day -- Michael Huff closed in quick on Rod Streater on the right sideline and arrived just as Carson Palmer's pass did to break up the play. It resembled a tip-drill, though, in that fellow safety Matt Giordano, trailing the play, dived for the ball and scooped it out of the air before it hit the ground for an interception.Injury report -- Defensive tackle Richard Seymour (knee), linebacker Aaron Curry (knee), punter Shane Lechler (left knee), running back Taiwan Jones (hamstring) and receivers Eddie McGee (hamstring) and Denarius Moore (hamstring) all sat out practice. Defensive end Matt Shaughnessy, meanwhile, appeared to roll his left ankle and did not finish practice.Notable -- Interesting to note that with Bartell on the field, fellow cornerback Shawntae Spencer, who has been victimized at times in camp, had what appeared to be his best practice of camp.Quotable -- "Reggie Roby, baby. That's what I'm talking about. Go and get yourself a job. Just not here." -- Tommy Kelly, to rookie African-American punter Marquette King, after a particularly booming punt.Eye on reps -- Under-the-radar offensive lineman Kevin Haslam, who signed with the Raiders after a pair of injury-marred seasons in Jacksonville, was the left tackle with the second-team offense on Monday.Extra work -- With Lechler and Jones out, the respective work loads for undrafted rookie punter King and offseason acquisition Mike Goodson have gone up dramatically. King, in particular has been putting in a lot of extra work as the only healthy punter in camp. "He's a young dude, man," coach Dennis Allen said with a grin. "He'll be all right."Coaching moment -- For the first time this camp, the Raiders went with live, to-the-ground tackling. "That was the plan all along," Allen said. "It was a short-yardage session where we wanted to see who would come off the ball and knock people back and who was going to play physical." While the offense won the short-yardage drills, the defense dominated in the third-down session.Next practice -- The Raiders return Tuesday with a 2:20 p.m. practice..
To celebrate his return to the sideline, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden threw a party for fans on Friday at Ricky's Sports Theatre and Grill in San Leandro.
Raider Nation showed up in droves.
In all, over 500 fans showed up, according to a Ricky's spokesperson.
"We are honored to be a part of the love story between Jon Gruden and this fan base," the spokesperson said. "It's incredibly special. And the significance of this event, at this time, is not lost on us."
The Raiders, Gruden, and Ricky's all collaborated on the event, which came together because of Gruden's relationship with Ricky's owners, Ricky and Tina Ricardo. Gruden paid for the catering and entertainment himself, according to the spokesperson.
Plenty of Raiders alumni attended, including Cliff Branch and Lester Hayes, according to ESPN's Paul Gutierrez. Branch even took the mic and made a guarantee.
Cliff Branch addressing the crowd: “We got the right man for the job. And believe me, you will see a championship in Oakland in the next two years.”— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) July 21, 2018
Gruden broke in as an NFL head coach with the Raiders in 1998, and coached Oakland for four seasons. It was in Oakland where Gruden was first given the nickname "Chucky," after the murderous puppet in the Child's Play film franchise. Gruden paid tribute to those roots at Ricky's with a... creative autograph signing.
Here’s Gruden signing the Chucky doll box pic.twitter.com/lzBJJsEDXq— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) July 21, 2018
Raiders training camp begins on July 27. Whether or not the team will be joined by its best defensive player remains to be seen.
Star defensive end Khalil Mack skipped the team's mandatory minicamp in June in pursuit of a new contract. Gruden told fans on Friday that the team will "find a way" to bring Mack back.
The Raiders made it official Thursday. Legendary broadcaster Greg Papa, who also serves as an analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area, no longer will be the radio voice of the team.
Raiders owner Mark Davis made the following statement Thursday:
The Raiders organization would like to thank Greg Papa for his two decades of service to the Silver and Black.. He wasn’t just given the job.. He earned it.. With intense preparation Greg was always ready for the call.. Just as my generation remembers Bill King and “Holy Toledo”.. The Raider Nation will remember Greg Papa and “Touchdown Raiders”.. We wish Greg and his family the best in whatever the future brings..
Brent Musburger reportedly will replace Papa in the booth. That hasn't been made official, however.