NAPA, Calif. — Derek Carr got the look he wanted on his last rep of a live practice session against the Rams.
His pump fake both froze corner Nickell Robey-Coleman held the safety long enough to free Tyrell Williams down the right sideline for what looked like a certain touchdown.
It would have been an ideal way for the Raiders to wrap up the day had Williams not allowed the ball to slip through his hands for an incompletion just before he reached the goal line.
Instead it showed there is still plenty of work ahead for the offense before the regular season opens in just more than a month.
“We were able to hit a couple touchdowns,” Carr said after practice at the team’s training camp facility. “We had four or five, but then you want six or seven.
“That kind of stuff is going to happen. It’s not alarming to anyone, but there is stuff we need to correct off the film and things we can do better.”
Despite the dropped touchdown, Carr preferred to accentuate the positives of the play rather than viewing the missed connection as a disappointing conclusion to the day for an offense looking to gel several new pieces .
“We definitely executed there,” Carr said. “He ran the route perfectly and we got the spacing we wanted. Earlier, I missed probably the easiest throw of my career on an out route. I just sat there and thought, ‘Really? What the heck?’ I’m sure Tyrell feels the same about that one.
“But we definitely look at that play as a positive because we trust him and he’s made that play a ton of times.”
Carr’s first rep of full team work against the Rams red-zone defense didn’t go much smoother.
He heaved a ball to Williams in double-coverage that was intercepted by Aqib Talib in the end zone on a play the sixth-year quarterback admitted he forced to try to set an early tone for the first of two days of joint practices leading up to a preseason game Saturday night in Oakland.
“These days are better than the preseason games,” he said. “We get blitz work, third-down work, second-and-long work, different situations all over the place and we get to see a different defense. That right there is so valuable because now you can go to the film and coach off of it, teach and correct.”
There will be plenty to go over on tape.
The offense experienced mixed results in between those two plays, though Talib proved to be a pest throughout the session with several pass breakups.
Jalen Richard made a spectacular one-handed catch out of the backfield, and backup quarterback Mike Glennon made consecutive plays downfield to Dwayne Harris and James Butler. The Raiders also got a look at rookie first-round pick Josh Jacobs’ competitive side in his first action against another team.
“That little fiery spark came out of him,” Carr said of the running back who got plenty of first-team reps. “It was really good to see that he had that in him.”
Jacobs made a couple of big runs behind a starting offensive line that hopes to take a big step forward with the addition of veterans Richie Incognito and Trent Brown.
Anchor Rodney Hudson, a steadying presence at center, said he likes the group’s progress.
“It’s good to go up against other guys and compete,” he said of the session. “Right now, we’re just trying to work. We’re not trying to look forward to week one. We’re trying to get better tomorrow. We practiced today, and now we’ve got to our meeting rooms and learn from it and what we can improve on.”
Of course, any wounds on the offense could be soothed by a healthy Antonio Brown. The star wide receiver missed another day of practice with foot issues and seems unlikely to participate in Thursday’s session.
Carr said his presence changes not only what the Raiders call on offense, but how the Rams would try to defend them and could dramatically change their potency as a unit.
All of the work they put in during the offseason after Brown was acquired in a high-profile trade has Carr eager to try out his new toy on the field. For now, he’s working with the guys that are there and hopes to elevate the offense to an even higher level for when Brown does return.
Thursday provides another opportunity to do so.
“It’s fun to get different looks against different players and just let our guys compete and see who can get open and who we can block,” Carr said. “This is good work.”