NAPA – Raiders offensive and defensive linemen have squared off during every training camp practice in pads. These pass-rushing drills are generally one-on-one, occasionally two-on-two working from either side of center.
They're entertaining as heck, providing physicality and a little drama with a clear winner and loser. There are some excellent matchups inside and out, especially with rookies and veterans going at it.
Bruce Irvin vs. Kolton Miller has been a main attraction. Maurice Hurst vs. Kelechi Osemele (or Gabe Jackson) has been just as good.
The Michigan man is an excellent interior pass rusher, and believes he's getting better facing some of the NFL's best blockers.
They don't hand out trade secrets, but they are open to assist to this talent rookie trying to develop this summer.
"They throw a few crumbs every now and then," Hurst said. "They don't want you to beat them every time, but they've been extremely helpful. There are no better guards in the game than those guys. Every day I go to work against the best guys in the country. That's only going to make me better."
Hurst has a big fan up front, a respected veteran who sees potential in the young buck.
"He's got a lot of ability. Smart rusher," center Rodney Hudson said. "He's asking questions. We talk back and forth, o-line to d-line. He's always attentive and asks questions like ‘why did you do this' or ‘why did you do that' and like I said, he's got a lot of God-given ability. He's quick. He uses his hands well to be so young."
Harris has surgery
Safety Erik Harris had surgery Friday to repair a spiral fracture in his right index finger, a league source told to NBC Sports Bay Area. The injury was sustained on Wednesday, and practiced through the injury the following day. Ultimately, Harris had to get it surgically repaired.
It's a setback for someone who made such a solid impression on Jon Gruden's coaching staff, but he shouldn't be out long. He's expected to miss a week, maybe more, and then play with a cast. Time will tell on the exact recovery timetable.
Gruden said earlier this week Harris is in the mix to start at safety. He's also a valued special teams contributor only now starting to shine on defense.
Raiders offensive line banged up
The Raiders have several offensive linemen on the shelf, most of whom play on the right side.
Starting right guard Gabe Jackson left Thursday's practice early and skipped Friday's practice, though offensive line coach Tom Cable told reporters the ailment was minor and shouldn't miss much time. Brandon Parker has been out several days with an ankle injury, per the San Francisco Chronicle.
Right tackle Breno Giacomini was also out for an undisclosed reason.
That left super-sub Jon Feliciano to man Jackson's spot inside. Ian Silberman was the first-team right tackle with David Sharpe on the second unit.
Also Donald Penn ran well in side work on Friday, looking agile in change-of-direction drills.
Ateman continues to shine
Seventh-round receiver Marcell Ateman has had a strong start to training camp, using his body to box out defenders and make plays downfield. He doesn't have breakneck speed, but the Oklahoma State product is adept creating separation with the ball coming his day.
Ateman's a big guy at 6-foot-4 and 213 pounds – he almost looks like a tight end – and has been an attractive target for Raiders quarterbacks. He has an uphill battle to fight for the fifth (and likely final) receiver spot on the roster, but has made a solid impression thus far.
"This guy can be one of those matchups for us," quarterback Derek Carr said. "It's nice and he has to continue to do it because there's a very competitive receiver room trying to make this team. We love Marcell, I think he's doing a great job."
This ‘n that
Starting quarterback Derek Carr seemed to jam his finger on a snap late in Friday's practice. He shook his hand in pain afterward, though it's uncertain if it will impact him in future practices. … The Raiders went live for a few rushing plays near the goal line, with success on most attempts. Doug Martin, for one, smashed through the line for an easy score. …Second-round defensive tackle P.J. Hall, activated from the PUP list on Wednesday, is fully back in the mix now, and has shown solid push on the inside. …Undrafted receiver Saeed Blacknall made a nice catch down the right sideline, beating Rashaan Melvin to reach an EJ Manuel pass rocketed downfield. …Marshawn Lynch took off on a long run, showing solid burst and open-field speed. …Former Chargers punter Mike Scifres, who knows special teams coach Rich Bisaccia from their days in San Diego, is in Raiders camp working with rookie Johnny Townsend.