The Oakland Raiders completed their first group of Organized Team Activities last week with three practices. Today, the Raiders will start their second group of OTAs and it will be open to the media. The team is in the infant stages of building for the season, but these sessions are important to the Raiders because of all their new pieces.
General manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen have preached competition this offseason which begins during the OTA sessions. The Raiders have very little set in stone at this point. They will have competition at nearly every position to help develop and push all the players on the roster. Some of the more interesting battles to watch for over these sessions and into training camp will be wide receiver, linebacker, defensive line, tight end, and running back to see who can shake out of the mix.
During the first week, the Raiders got their first glimpses of quarterback Matt Schaub and what he can bring to the new offense. That is going to be an ongoing theme until the season. Schaub talked about having more control with this offense than he did in previous years. The Raiders have handed the keys to Schaub as the starter so his improvement from a terrible 2013 season is paramount to the team's 2014 hopes.
Although these OTAs are voluntary, the Raiders had close to 100 percent attendance. They only player missing from the sessions was linebacker Kevin Burnett. Allen did not seem very concerned about Burnett's absence from the first session and was in communication with him. With the drafting of Khalil Mack in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Burnett is fighting for a spot in the linebacking corps. It will be interesting to see if he shows this week.
Oakland will hold their OTAs today, tomorrow and Thursday. They will come back for a third session from June 9-12 and hold their mandatory mini camp June 17-19.
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