NAPA While the Raiders put on pads Wednesday for the first time in training camp, quarterbacks, of course, remained off-limits. That didn't diminish a strong showing by rookie defensive end Jack Crawford, who had two would-be sacks in a scrimmage.
"Coming into this practice, I didn't know how it was going to be with putting the pads on," said Crawford, a 6-foot-5, 281-pound lineman out of Penn State. "After this practice, I feel good. I feel like I had a pretty decent practice, so I know I can compete. Now it's just about getting better."
Crawford, a fifth-round pick, didn't start playing football until his junior year of high school after moving to the United States from England to play basketball. So far, coach Dennis Allen has been impressed.
"I'm pleased with Jack," Allen said. "Obviously he's a young player, so he's still learning the game, but he's a big guy that's got athleticism, and he wants to be good."
Asked to elaborate on what he meant by "wants to be good," Allen said he sees Crawford as "willing to do the things that are necessary to be good" rather than trying to cut corners.
Crawford was appreciative of Allen's comments and said he is simply trying to earn a roster spot. He gave an interesting explanation of how he developed his work ethic.
"I think that happened when I first came to America in high school," Crawford said. "I didn't have friends out here. I didn't really make any friends quickly, and all I could do was just practice basketball.
"I saw an opportunity to really get better, not having any friends, no distractions, and that helped. I carried that on to football when I started playing."
Moore out Wide receiver Denarius Moore did not practice because of a hamstring injury. Allen did not go into detail but said it is the same issue that sidelined Moore during minicamp in June.
Tight end Richard Gordon did not practice because of a hip flexor. Neither did punter Shane Lechler (knee), cornerback Ron Bartell (hamstring), linebacker Aaron Curry (knee) or defensive tackle Travis Ivey (conditioning), who have been out all week.
Rough stuff Two plays highlighted the Raiders' first day in pads. The first was running back Darren McFadden lowering his shoulder into rookie linebacker Miles Burris, who fell backward.
"I was a little tentative on, 'Do I hit (No.) 20 or not? How does this go?' " Burris said. He added that, in a game situation, "I would like to think that anybody with a ball in their hands, I would get him down."
The second was a tussle between safety Tyvon Branch and wide receiver Thomas Mayo that was quickly broken up. Branch dismissed it as "out of character for me."