ALAMEDA – Raiders coach Lane Kiffin loves to reward effort.
And two players were rewarded for that today at the end of the team’s rookie minicamp with Raider helmets.
Every player this weekend had helmets without the Raiders emblem, but two players have the real deal now.
Marcel Reece and cornerback Darrick Brown were the recipients.
"Best effort guys, one on offense, one on defense, guys that just were examples that we talked about on Day 1," is how Kiffin described them.
I didn’t put a position with Reece’s name for a reason, and it’s the reason why he was recognized.
He played receiver on Friday, running back on Saturday and finished today at tight end.
Reece is listed as a receiver and was at the camp on a tryout basis.
At 6-3, 240 pounds, he showed two things the Raiders definitely like – athleticism and versatility.
He made a couple of nice catches today coming over the middle. On one catch toward the end of practice, he threw a stiff arm at safety David Lofton as he ran out of bounds.
“C’mon dog, you gonna stiff arm me in the face?” Lofton said with a laugh.
If Reece is signed, he validates the Raiders decision to hold rookie camp a week later than most teams.
Reece was waived last week after signing with Miami right after the draft. Had the Raiders practiced last week, they would have missed out on Reece.
Here's some clips of Reece in action:
Now for more minicamp observations …
*Brown is an intriguing prospect. He’s 6-4, 200 pounds and played cornerback this weekend. He’s still new to the position having played defensive back for just two seasons at McNeese State, where he was also a track and field standout.
The Raiders signed him after the draft. The Raiders are loaded at cornerback (you already knew that) but Brown might be an interesting player to keep around for a while.
*The other cornerback that saw a lot of work this weekend was Stanford’s Tim Sims. While many other defensive backs limped away over the weekend with minor injuries, Sims seemed to be on the field for every play.
*Tyvon Branch’s speed at safety was evident. His experience at cornerback helps too as he was covering slot receivers this weekend.
*Lofton played a lot of free safety during the camp. He’s in for a tryout and would have been able to level some receivers had they been wearing pads this weekend.
*Yes, watching linebackers attempt to cover Darren McFadden was funny at times. I’m looking forward to a potential McFadden vs. Thomas Howard matchup in practice.
*QB Jeff Otis “won” the final session for the offense with a touchdown pass to WR Todd Watkins. Otis was in training camp last year and signed during the offseason. He figures to be in training camp again with his familiarity with the offense.
The Raiders could still sign another veteran quarterback or keep Otis around this fall.
*Rooke WR Arman Shields didn’t practice today because he was at his graduation.
*RB Louis Rankin’s style fits the Raiders’ scheme well.
*In some one-on-one pass-blocking drills, rookie DE Trevor Scott showed good speed. We’ll see how that looks in a couple of weeks against players with NFL experience.
*Kiffin expects “97-98 percent” attendance when OTAs begin Tuesday. He didn’t divulge who wouldn’t be around, but good bets are DE Derrick Burgess (he’s never at voluntary workouts) and RB LaMont Jordan (who just wants out of Oakland).
*Kiffin clarified the status of WR Johnathan Holland. He was “hampered” by an injury but wasn’t eligible for the camp because he spent last season on injured reserve, which counts as an accrued year. He’ll be at OTAs.