The Oakland Raiders took to the practice fields for the first time at their practice facility in Napa Valley since their overwhelming victory against the Chicago Bears. The Oakland Raiders had a new adversary to challenge them at Tuesday afternoon's practice: heat. Throughout training camp, the temperature at afternoon practices had varied between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Today the temperature reached a sweltering 103 degrees. According to Coach Tom Cable, this dramatic increase in temperature was a definite positive for a team that is ending training camp shortly.
"It was great, it was exactly 103. It was perfect. We needed it, I talked before, we had a chance to head to Dallas it was 104 degrees when we got off the plane. We played in Chicago last week, we were hoping to have a lot of humidity, we didn't get it, it was actually a pretty cool night," Coach Cable explained. "What I'm getting at is that we have to go open at Tennessee so we are going to need to be in this environment a little bit. It was good for us. I'm really excited how we handled it today as a football team. We just went to work and that's what's cool about this group of guys. There's no complaining or moping about it; we just went right to work. Yeah it's hot, but so what? Just give me something cool to drink and we'll keep moving. I like that about our team."
For the team to have a successful start to the season, the players are going to have to adapt quickly to the heat in Nashville, Tenn., come September 12th. Most of the players were on the same page as Cable, welcoming the challenge that the heat wave brings.
LB Kamerion Wimbley also looked at the positive attributes that the heat brought to the team's practice with its season opener on the horizon. "I think anytime you can get work in the element that you are going to play in is definitely beneficial. It helps guys deal with the tough elements of a real game and hopefully we'll be able to push through that when the regular season comes," explained Wimbley.
Rookie offensive lineman Jared Veldheer commented on the fact that many of the players had football experiences in comparable weather conditions, but nonetheless it was a good time for the team to have the change in climate. "It's like every summer football camp; you're going to have some hot days. I thought we did a good job of pushing through the heat, not letting it affect us, and having a good practice. Any day that we are going to have adverse conditions, it challenges us and makes us better as a whole," Veldheer stated.
The heat looks to be in a decline as the Oakland Raiders close their training camp this Thursday, with the temperature at tomorrow's practice projected at 94 degrees.