ALAMEDA, Calif. — An emotional moment became a coachable one Tuesday for Jon Gruden.
The Raiders coach oversaw a two-minute drill at practice. The high-leverage situation is predicated on execution and clock management, the defense and offense working to convert and prevent a score before halftime or end of regulation. Looking for poise, Gruden saw defensive end Fadol Brown and rookie right tackle Brandon Parker engage in a postplay scuffle.
He didn’t like it. At all.
An especially vocal Gruden ejected Brown from practice, the second-year NFL veteran departing to the locker room and later the weight room while the team concluded the first day of its three-day minicamp. Parker, a third-round pick, wasn’t deemed the aggressor, so he remained.
A penalty was assessed against Brown, and the Raiders moved into field-goal position.
“I didn’t like what happened today, particularly in the situation,” Gruden said. “You hear all this ‘situational football’ talk around the league. We’re in a two-minute drill to win the game, and we got a guy ejected for fighting. That’s a 15-yard penalty, and (kicker) Eddy Pineiro ended their day with a game-winning field goal.
“I’d hate to fly back from London or wherever the hell we got to play — Miami or all these road trips we got — losing a game like that. So, sorry for getting unglued.”
Brown has been a bright spot overall this spring. Earlier, he batted a Derek Carr pass at the line of scrimmage.
Kickers continue to battle, rotate
Tuesday was Pineiro’s day.
Next comes Giorgio Tavecchio’s.
One of the better position battles this summer is at the Raiders’ kicker spot. Pineiro, an undrafted rookie, appears to be the early favorite — the team almost drafted him in the seventh round, Gruden has said. But Tavecchio should challenge as the incumbent.
Tavecchio received no reps Tuesday during team drills. He is expected to see all of them Wednesday.
“It’ll be a battle into camp,” Gruden said. “Tavecchio has had a heck of a camp. It just so happens that it was Eddy’s turn to kick today. We’re not going one kick here, one kick there, taking turns and rotating. It’s ‘Tavecchio’s day.’ It’s ‘Pineiro’s day.’ It allows these guys to mentally go out there and be better instead of rotating. It’s going to be a battle. The young kid can kick the ball, and Tavecchio’s proven he is an NFL kicker.”
Tavecchio, 28 in July, made 16 of 21 field goals and 33 of 34 extra-points last season.
Pineiro was a college teammate of rookie punter Johnny Townsend, who will serve as the Raiders’ holder this season.