Raiders

Raiders

NAPA -- There was a dynamic, game-changing receiver on the field for the Raiders on Saturday when training camp opened in Napa.

And it wasn't Antonio Brown. 

With No. 84 opening camp on the non-football injury list, the Silver and Black's other big offseason addition at receiver, Tyrell Williams, took center stage. 

The fast, lanky receiver became known for making big catches in traffic during his time with the Los Angeles Chargers. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound receiver showed how important he'll be to Oakland's offensive success Saturday, as Williams and quarterback Derek Carr connected on a number of deep passes down the sideline, with Williams leaping over cornerback Nevin Lawson to haul in a big one, much to the delight of the crowd. 

Williams, who went undrafted out of Western Oregon University, became a dynamic pass-catcher during his time with the Bolts, but he knows there's still more he can show people than the ability to go deep. 

"I feel like I'm one of the more underrated receivers," Williams said after practice. "I know I can run every route and obviously I can get better at it, but I know I can run all those routes, I can get open with every route. So, I definitely feel like I'm overlooked in my short game, but I do feel I can be a good short route runner."

Williams flashed his short-game adeptness Saturday as well, beating cornerback Gareon Conley underneath on a drag route before turning it up the field and motoring past the corner for an impressive gain. The drag route is something Wiliams ran a lot of while with the Chargers, and head coach Jon Gruden undoubtedly will look to get him a number of high-percentage looks in the short-passing game in addition to feeding him deep. 

 

When Brown is on the field, that will give Williams a number of one-on-one opportunities to go up and make big plays for Carr and the Raiders. The big-play ability of both Williams and Brown will give Carr more room for error. 

"I think it changes the calculus for y'all about what's a good throw," Carr said when asked about how Brown and Williams' ability to go get balls. "If I throw one of them and it's incomplete I'm like, 'Ah, who knows?' But these guys will make some of the worst throws look really good. If you underthrow a ball a little bit, AB and Tyrell are both really good at adjusting and making it look perfect because they understand where the defender is, the coverage, that kind of stuff. 

"So, yeah absolutely it helps and in my mind, I can take more chances, you know?"

Practice helps to show Carr what each of his receivers can and can't do, but he and Gruden already know what Williams is capable of.

"Coach is in my ear, 'Hey, get 16 that ball. Get him the ball. Throw that thing up to him. Give him that chance,'" Carr said. "And we're going to put it on his shoulders to go make those plays and that's what he wants."

The Raiders' offense should be much more potent this season with the addition of Brown, Williams, rookie running back Josh Jacobs and fellow receivers Hunter Renfrow and Ryan Grant. 

Carr and his receivers have been meeting throughout the offseason to develop good chemistry and hit the ground running. The Fresno State product was sharp on Day 1 of camp, threading a number of needles to feed Williams, Renfrow, Keon Hatcher and others. 

[RELATED: Carr excited for world to see real Raiders in 'Hard Knocks']

After a good summer working with Carr in "minicamps" around California, Williams believes he and his quarterback are in a great place as camp kicks off. 

"We got together in the offseason, in between minicamp and training camp," Williams said. "I feel like it's good right now, everything is starting to click. Obviously, there are still things we want to work on, but for Day 1 it feels good."