AT A GLANCE
This week’s schedule
All practices at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center, unless noted:
Wednesday — Practice 7:30-9:30 a.m.
Thursday — Off
Friday — Practice 7:30-9:30 a.m.
Saturday — Practice 7:30-9:30 a.m.
Sunday — Practice 7:30-9:30 a.m.
Monday — Off
Quotes of the day
For the second consecutive day, Nick Kwiatkoski intercepted Marcus Mariota for a touchdown. Jon Gruden joked the throws were so out of the ordinary from how well Mariota has been playing that it had to be a conspiracy.
“It’s the only two interceptions we’ve thrown,” he said. “I think Marcus and Nick are roommates or something. I don’t know what the deal is on that. Mariota is off to a great start yesterday, looking like the Galloping Ghost out there. Today he throws four incredible passes.
“I think he and Nick are probably having a beer down at Caesars Palace right now. I don’t know what the hell that’s about. But Nick is an instinctive player. When you’re in zone, you’re reading the quarterback. He telegraphed both of those throws and it’s really kept him away from having an outstanding camp. He is having a good camp, but he could be having an outstanding camp.”
Kwiatkoski laughed when informed of Gruden’s comments.
“I think Marcus is a little mad at me right now,” he said. “I messed with him after practice, but it’s all in fun.”
Play of the day
Henry Ruggs and Derek Carr hooked up for the kind of play Raiders fans hope to see a lot more of this season. Ruggs ran a post corner route and got behind Nate Hobbs and Dallin Leavitt in the secondary just as Carr floated the ball into open space, which allowed Ruggs to run under it for a touchdown. It was a reminder of why Ruggs was the first receiver off the board in the 2020 draft.
“They made big plays last year in big moments,” Gruden said of the combination of Carr and Ruggs. “Kansas City, the Jets. At the end of the New Orleans game, the pass interference won us the game. They’re getting better. The big thing with Henry is he’s out here, he’s practicing and he knows the offense. He anticipates what’s going to be called instead of reacting to what’s called as he’s lining up. We’re seeing really good things from Ruggs and also (Bryan) Edwards. Really proud of them so far.”
For the third time in less than a week, a Raiders player has abruptly retired. Veteran tackle Sam Young on Tuesday joined running back Theo Riddick and linebacker James Onwualu in announcing his retirement.
Young spent all of last season with the Raiders and played in 11 games, including making a career-high seven starts.
The 34-year-old Young was originally a 2010 sixth-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys out of Notre Dame.
Rookie defensive back Tyree Gillespie still has not been seen on the field, but Gruden said that should change soon. He believes Gillespie will practice within the next couple days and confirmed he was dealing with a “mild soft tissue problem.”
Tight end Darren Waller did not practice on Tuesday, though right guard Denzelle Good returned after his off day. Veteran Karl Joseph was also absent.
Pads are cracking
The hitting and intensity were dialed up during Tuesday’s morning practice as the players were in shoulder pads for the first time this training camp, though they were still in shorts. Kwiatkoski felt the increase in work rate was tangible.
“I think that’s standard first day with pads,” he said. “Guys are excited. Guys are ready to hit. We haven’t had the pads on in months, so it’s an excitement thing. Guys are just out there hitting. It feels faster. It’s just kind of one of those things you circle on your camp schedule.”