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Derek Carr ‘100 percent’ at Raiders minicamp

The Oakland Raiders welcomed a familiar face under center at the first day of mandatory mini-camp as Derek Carr was cleared to participate after missing most offseason training activities due to an injury on his throwing ring finger.

The Raiders’ plan was to ease the starter into practice, but that didn’t appear to be the case as Carr looked at full go throughout practice, saying that he’s been ready to “rock” for quite some time:

“I’m 100 percent. If you could be more than 100, that’s where I’d be. I’m fired up to be working and I’m ready for training camp.”

Head Coach Jack Del Rio didn’t get into the injury specifically, only that the injury was minor:

“I think it’s a non-issue. I haven’t talked about it a lot to this point and I’m not going to start now.”

Carr said that the whole situation was “blown up so much.”

Del Rio was glad to see Carr continue where he left off:

“It was great to see Derek looking like nothing had ever happened. … He stepped in and performed. That was good to see. It was good to have him back in the full rotation of things.”

Carr admitted he was a bit rusty due to the injury, saying he hadn’t fully thrown a football in more than a month since the injury:

“There was definitely some of that, not necessarily with my eyes and where to throw the football. … There were some minor issues, but that happens when you haven’t thrown a football in 30-40 days now. That’s going to happen. There’s nothing you can do about it, but the good thing was to get back in the huddle and be that eye in the huddle, be that leader.”

Tuesday was Carr’s first chance to work with new weapons, first round pick wide receiver Amari Cooper, and third round Miami tight end Clive Walford. Carr said:

“It was nice to get out there and see how quick Cooper is in his breaks. There was one ball where I put on his right side of his facemask instead of the front and it would have led to a big play. That’s just the stuff of us getting our timing down. It made me see that he can really get in there and I could let it go.”

Carr said his competitive nature made it difficult for him to stay away from throwing the ball at practice, but his teammates reassured him to rest, as games aren’t won at this point:

“I just had to go through the necessary process with what everyone believed we had to do. I just trusted in our team. It made it easier because I’m so competitive. I don’t care if it’s an OTA, were just throwing routes, but I want to be the best and beat everybody. When I don’t have the opportunity to do that it’s kind of hard.”

Del Rio praised Carr’s work ethic and leadership:

“It’s a great sign when your quarterback leads the way with his work ethic. I think he’s on the right path that way as a young player in this league.”

Minicamp takeaways

Veteran safety Charles Woodson hailed rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper, even comparing him to his former Green Bay Packers teammate Greg Jennings:

“At Green Bay right off the bat you knew Greg Jennings had it. Amari is the same way.”

Offensive Lineman J’Marcus Webb has found a new home on the offensive line, taking snaps with the first team at right guard. The right side is the team’s biggest question mark on the O-line as the left side is already solidified with starters Donald Penn and Gabe Jackson.  Webb may be pushing rookie guard Jon Feliciano and veteran Khalif Barnes for the starting right guard spot. Webb has a history with new offensive line coach Mike Tice playing for him in 2013 for the Minnesota Vikings.

There is also competition on the right side of the Raiders offensive line with Webb at guard and also at tackle. Menelik Watson got reps with the ones today as Austin Howard saw time with the twos.

Cornerback is another spot up for grabs, as projected starter D.J. Hayden took snaps with the second team. Keith McGill took first team snaps alongside T.J. Carrie.

Del Rio said he has faith in his young corners:

“He’s (McGill) had a good solid offseason. We’re demanding working and driving and letting them compete. I think the team has gotten into better shape and that position is at a premium. We feel like there is some talent in that group, and they need to be developed.”

Linebacker Sio Moore practiced as he looks to ease his way back from a hip injury he suffered last season. Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton Jr. believes he’ll be ready by training camp:

“He hasn’t been 100 percent. So far what I’ve see I’m impressed. He studies, he loves ball, he’s always talking ball and he’s always enthusiastic.”

Del Rio believes that the Raiders’ big free agent acquisition this offseason, center Rodney Hudson, is a rising star in this league:

“I think he’s an excellent football player. I have a lot of respect with his abilities as a player and he’s going to fit in great with what we want to do.”

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