The Oakland Raiders finally seem to be building toward something, as they showed plenty of improvement last season under head coach Jack Del Rio before adding pieces this offseason.
On Tuesday, however, they reminded everyone that they’re still the Oakland Raiders and they still have some things to work out before joining the AFC’s elite.
Three fights broke out during the Raiders’ second organized team activities (OTA) session open to the media, according to CSNBayArea.com’s Scott Bair. It’s a rather strange occurrence because contact is not permitted during OTAs. By rule, NFL players aren’t supposed to wear pads until training camp.
It’s unclear whether the Raiders took a page out of the Baltimore Ravens’ playbook and violated any practice rules. Perhaps they didn’t, and Tuesday’s tension stemmed from Oakland having an overanxious bunch going into this season.
Or maybe, just maybe, the Golden State Warriors’ epic Western Conference finals comeback and Game 7 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night had everyone amped.
“I guess they enjoyed the long weekend or were fired up watching the Warriors close one out (Monday night),” Del Rio told reporters of the OTA fights. “I don’t know.”
Kelechi Osemele and Jihad Ward were among those who reportedly mixed it up, with punches even being thrown. The dust-ups began with Jon Feliciano and Leon Orr exchanging shoves, according to Bair, and they ended with Vadal Alexander and Damontre Moore tussling late in the session.
Del Rio called the practice “sloppy,” but there’s still an opportunity to turn the extracurriculars into something positive.
“I think it was great opportunity to teach,” Del Rio told reporters, per Bair. “ … There some of spats going on, which really aren’t a part of what we do. That’s not how we work or how we have respect for each other. In most every case, it was a new guy. I take it upon myself there to let guys who weren’t here know what the Raider way looks like.
“Hopefully we won’t waste time doing things like that. We want to play hard, but being respectful. Real toughness is playing hard without hurting the team. We wanted disciplined players, and we expect those things to occur at a real minimum moving forward.”
Let’s see if the Raiders clean it up before the season kicks off.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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