NAPA — It’s not really football until the pads come on. With that in mind, let’s look ahead to Monday’s practice, the Raiders first in the full gear.
1. Line battles: When teams put on the pads for the first time, it doesn’t get much better than watching offensive line and defensive line go up against each other. Those 1-on-1 pass rush/block drills are as mano a mano as it gets, especially in these days of lighter practices with limited hitting and tackles. But when the big guys go after it, it’s all business and they get physical. In fact, they got fairly physical going through the same drill without pads on Sunday when it was more of a hand-to-hand combat battle.
“You can just tell today how it ramped up a little bit and physicality is going to get even more and you’re going to hear them popping,” tackle Marshall Newhouse said Sunday. “Guys are definitely eager to put our best foot forward. We’ve got a lot to prove this season, a lot of expectations to live up to. So, it’s going to start with the fronts on both sides of the ball. I think we’re absolutely ready for it. I think we’re excited for it. It’s going to be a lot of fun, I think.”
2. Rookies in action: Fifth-round pick Marquel Lee earned himself some first-team repetitions at inside linebacker on Sunday and it would be a big development for the Raiders if he can take hold of that job. His big question will be whether he can handle the physical nature of the job, so seeing him in pads with a chance to hit is important. It’s not a surprise, but second-round safety…
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