Raiders, Packers players renew friendships before game

Updated August 24, 2018 - 10:48 pm

OAKLAND, Calif. — Derek Carr threw a deep pass to Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams. Aaron Rodgers found Raiders wide receiver Jordy Nelson on a slant.

For old times’ sake.

Warmups for the third exhibition resembled a reunion Friday evening. Carr and Adams were college teammates at Fresno State. Nelson and Rodgers were Green Bay teammates for the past 10 years. The foursome reconnected with some throws and conversation before the Raiders’ 13-6 exhibition win.

Their catching-and-catchup was not an isolated event.

Raiders wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett, who coached on Green Bay’s staff from 2005 to 2017, hugged former players and colleagues. He played an instrumental role in Nelson signing with the Raiders after the Packers released him in March. Bennett also played for Green Bay from 1992 to 1997. Now-Raiders coach Jon Gruden was his position coach as a rookie.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie chatted with various front-office members. He worked for Green Bay from 1994 to 2011.

Key stops

Ideally, come Week 1, the Raiders won’t have to ask Arden Key to help fill the void of their best edge defender.

On Friday, they were without their top two.

Defensive end Bruce Irvin had an “excused absence” from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, a team spokesman said. Contract holdout Khalil Mack, of course, remains away from the club. Key, a rookie third-round pick, saw his most significant action of the preseason in their void.

Key was introduced pregame with the Raiders’ starters, but he did not start.

He entered on the third snap at right end. He was more active on the second series, drawing an offensive holding and false start from left and right defensive end. Later, he arrived at the quarterback around the same time as defensive linemen Maurice Hurst and Fadol Brown, but the latter two were credited with a split sack. This was Key’s second exhibition appearance after an ankle sprain cost him the Aug. 10 opener versus the Detroit Lions.

The Raiders believe Key can develop into an impact pass rusher in 2018.

They hope to have Mack and Irvin to lead the way.

Notable

— The Raiders used a rotation at outside cornerback Friday. Rashaan Melvin opened at left cornerback and had a tough start; he was flagged for defensive holding and allowed a 31-yard catch on the first series. Gareon Conley rotated in at left cornerback on the second drive. Daryl Worley worked at right corner on both opening drives. In the third, Melvin returned at left corner with Conley at right. Leon Hall saw heavy work in the nickel spot.

— Quarterback Connor Cook underwhelmed in relief of Carr. He went 6-for-15 with 72 yards and an interception. Quarterback EJ Manuel didn’t fare much better, losing one of two fumbles.

— Defensive end Fadol Brown was credited with 1½ sacks, three quarterback hurries and a forced fumble. Linebackers Nicholas Morrow and Shilique Calhoun each recorded a sack.

— Cornerback Nick Nelson, a rookie fourth-round pick, exited the second half with an apparent left hamstring injury.

More Raiders: Follow all of our Raiders coverage online at reviewjournal.com/Raiders and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at mgehlken@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

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