Raiders OTAs

Las Vegas Raiders OTAs Week Two Update

The first two weeks of OTAs that just wrapped up are voluntary, so seeing Las Vegas Raiders players amped up to be on the field is always admired. Head Coach Antonio Pierce and team leaders on both sides of the football are setting a tone for the upcoming season with great energy thus far. Along with young players looking to prove themselves and plenty of competition to be had at multiple positions, the Raiders need to find out whether or not they have what it takes to take the division away from reigning champs the Chiefs.

Key Takeaways From Raiders Week Two OTAs


Kolton Miller’s health

Starting Left Tackle Kolton Miller still hasn’t participated in OTAs thus far. Players who miss OTAs are usually taking care of injuries for training camp. This is likely the case for Miller who missed four games in 2023 due to a shoulder injury. It’s probably a good thing he kept himself out if he is trying to be at 100 percent this season after finishing 2023 playing through injury. Freak accidents happen, even coveted second-round pick Jackson Powers-Johnson had to exit a practice and sit out as a precaution after an unspecified injury earlier in the week. Miller has evolved into the blindside protector that the Raiders drafted him to be in the first round of the 2018 draft. He still showed up and did stretches, but was non-participatory for the most part on Wednesday.

For a player this important and proven, why take the risk when you know a veteran like Miller will show up ready to go on the first day of camp injury-free? This is likely the case for all of the Raider veterans who didn’t make it this portion of OTA’s thankfully. Team leader Davante Adams was reportedly in the building as well showing support.

Battle On The Offensive Front

One of the more important stories coming out of this spring’s voluntary practices is Thayer Munford’s move to right tackle and competing with third-round pick D.J. Glaze for the starting position. Munford has started on both sides at tackle and seems eager to prove that he can be a dependable starter for the Raiders. This likely means that Glaze will back up both tackle positions this season if he doesn’t outshine Munford, which won’t be easy given his veteran savvy. 

The guard positions are still up for debate, but for the most part, it looks like second-round pick Jackson Powers-Johnson will beat out veteran signing Cody Whitehair for the starting left guard position. Two-year starter Dylan Parham was seen taking snaps at right guard and will most likely start there. However, it’s still possible for Parham to start back at Left Guard where he did last season, and Powers-Johnson to move to right guard. 

The Quarterback Battle

Whenever there is a Quarterback battle heading into camp it takes up the bulk of the conversation heading into training camp. This one is no exception. Head Coach Antonio Pierce has given Aidan O’Connell the nod to take the first snaps with the first team. This is all based on O’Connell’s response to adversity last season with games like his second matchup against the Chargers late in the season for the highest-scoring game by a Raiders team ever. 

Proven vet Gardner Minshew is coming off a Pro Bowl season and looking to show that he can be a starter in this league by taking a team to the playoffs. On and off the field Minshew has a style that Raider Nation should be able to appreciate more so than any other fan base. From Gunslinger antics on the field to living that van life in the southwest’s most beautiful regional parks or rest stops, Uncle Rico incarnated is a worthy signal-caller for the silver and black. Both Minshew and O’Connell are getting used to new coordinator Luke Getsy and handling it quite well. Even so, O’Connell will not be easy to supplant for the starting job this offseason, so hopefully this battle brings out the best in whoever starts for the Raiders.

Promising Rookies

Dylan Laube, Jackson Powers-Johnson, and Brock Bowers are names that can’t stop ringing from the mouths of every spectator who tunes into the Raiders OTA’s. The common theme among these three players, and this year’s draft class as a whole is that all these rookies embody head coach Antonio Pierce’s desired culture. Hard-nose Raider football that puts the success of the team above all else. Sixth-round Running back Laube put it best during his draft call with coach Pierce telling him,You got a ****** dog coach”. Of course that was music to Pierce’s ears as he knew his draft class was full of them. The first of which came with the University of Georgia’s own Bulldog, Brock Bowers. The generational talent seems like the real deal so far and Luke Getsy isn’t shy when it comes to moving him around to get both him and Michael Meyer on the field at the same time. Bowers and the offense as a whole looks like they are using these practices exactly as intended by throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks. And there’s no better weapon to throw at the metaphorical wall in this draft than Bowers.

The aforementioned Laube is living up to his promise of offensive production through the air, ground, and special teams. OTAs don’t tell everything about the way things will play out in camp, but Laube’s versatility and explosivity look like they will translate to the NFL level. And if they do, the FCS’s leader in all-purpose yards could get a significant amount of playtime in the Raiders’ running back by committee. 

Powers-Johnson technically isn’t a lock to start this year, but it’s hard not to see based on the way he’s been carrying himself on and off the field that a starting position would evade him come week one of the season. He carries himself like the perfect protector and enforcer for the Raiders Offensive Line who could use some nastiness upfront to help set them apart next season. So far he’s been rotating at the starting left guard position. The allure of a Miller and Powers-Johnson left side is extremely promising given the center position is also locked down by Andre James.

As the first two weeks of offseason practices come to a close, everything seems to be going as planned so far. Although the silver and black underwent yet another head coaching change, the entire team has bought into what Antonio Pierce and Co. are selling, which is a lot more than what could be said of the last two off-seasons. There are three more days of workouts starting June 3rd and the storylines look to be about the same for these early practices.

Main Image: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

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