What we learned this week
The Las Vegas Raiders ended their minicamp on-field work after two days on Wednesday, and coach Jon Gruden dismissed the club after meetings on Thursday morning until they report to training camp on July 27.
With the summer break officially on in Las Vegas, let’s look at some key developments from the minicamp:
Carr makes a statement:
Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr made the biggest headline of the week when answering a question about why he doesn’t complain like some other NFL quarterbacks. Carr said he would probably quit playing football rather than wear another team’s uniform. At some point, he may have to make that decision. But that type of rare loyalty and leadership has to be commended.
Depth looks good:
Gruden mentioned the improved depth this week and I don’t think he is blowing smoke. The Raiders look deeper, particularly at cornerback, the defensive line, receiver and running back. Depth is crucial in the NFL. This could be a factor down the stretch where the Raiders faded the past two seasons.
Bradley seems comfortable:
This minicamp was more about instruction than all-out practice time. So there is not a ton to gleam as far as how certain players are improving or not. Still, new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley sounded like a guy who is happy with the way the offseason has progressed and he feels good about the pieces he has to work with.
Again, there wasn’t a lot of action, but it is clear free-agent prize, pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue impressed his teammates and coaches in the minicamp after he worked out on his own during the OTA season. The Raiders feel pretty good that Ngakoue will finally give them a top-shelf pass-rush piece.
Jacobs seems ready:
Like Ngakoue, Jacobs worked out on his own during the OTAs. He arrived to the mandatory minicamp in shape and in good spirts. He talked glowingly of how new-agent backup Kenyan Drake will fit in with him. I get the feeling Jacobs knows Drake will be a good thing for him, allowing him to stay fresh and give more opportunities for more big plays.