Photo by Tony Gonzales
The Oakland Raiders returned to the field Wednesday afternoon for their fifth practice of Training Camp 2014, presented by California National Guard, after a players’ day off. It was another padded practice, but with fresher legs, as players had the opportunity to rest and recuperate on Tuesday.
“Every day is crucial so the biggest focus for me is recovery,” said LB
Each player has their own routine for an off day, but they all do one thing in common – get off their feet. “Went over some plays, got some time off my feet, make sure I was ready to go today,” said rookie G
The team went back to work and took a little while to get going, but eventually found their stride. “We’ve got to be able to come back after a day off and be able to regain our focus, but we worked on a lot of different situations, put the guys through a lot of kind of unique situations in a game,” said Head Coach Dennis Allen. “I thought overall with the exception of probably not as crisp as I would have liked, I was still pretty pleased with what we were able to get accomplished.”
“There’s always stuff you can clean up, things we can get a little better at,” added QB
The players are leaving each practice feeling as though they’ve improved. “It feels good to come back out here and work with the team and get a little bit better every day,” said Burris. “That’s the focus, to keep building.”
“I thought practice went pretty good,” added McGill. “There’s a couple plays out there I left on the field that I need to get back tomorrow and make up for it, but at the same time, the receivers out here are great and they’re doing their job so you just have to battle during one-on-ones and try to win as much as possible.”
Each practice, the players can feel the improvement of themselves, their position groups, and the team as a whole. “I think we’re gelling,” said Burris on the linebackers. “I think we’re building on what we did in the spring. We didn’t take any steps back and we’re building on what we did there and getting a little bit better every day and getting comfortable with each other.”
The rookies are working with the veterans and finding a rapport. Today, Jackson took reps with the first team. “The more reps I get, the more different looks I get, the better it is for me,” said the rookie guard. “I got the opportunity to go against [Justin] Tuck today. I have to make sure I’m doing my technique and everything right and be right all the time because he’s a great player. It helped me out a lot.”
The Raiders have three more practices (Thursday-Saturday) before another off day. They’ll take advantage of the opportunities to improve in all three phases of the game as the get closer to taking the field against another opponent.