Blogging with Coach Carrillo

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JT The Brick interviews Radames Carrillo along wth the other International Guest Coaches - Andreas Proller, Shuan Fatah and Lee Rowland. Photo by Tony Gonzales.

Radames Carrillo is the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator for the Universidad del Valle de México-Torreón Linces.

Hello friends!

It's time to talk about the game Saturday afternoon against the San Francisco 49ers, as icing on the cake ends my visit to the camp of the Oakland Raiders as seeing these two teams face each other is truly a delight. These rivals play each year and whether it's a pre-season or a regular season game, there is no truce between them in the battle to be the best of the Bay.

I would love to someday to see these two teams face off in the Super Bowl. That possibility cannot be ruled out excluded as they are in different conferences and a Bay Bridge Super Bowl could happen.

But let me tell you about what we experienced the day before the game. We woke early and packed our bags as it is our last day at camp.

Later we went to the meetings by units which took around 30 minutes to polish the details seen a day earlier, at 11 am came the buses to the Raiders Alameda office where I had the opportunity to see the three Super Bowl trophies as well as many pictures of great stars who have played for this team. At 12:30 the food was served at the facility, which is really well equipped. We headed to San Francisco after eating and it was exciting to see that we were escorted by police motorcycles, everyone was waving to us on the road.

We reached Candlestick Park and saw the crowded parking lot of cars and people tailgating. I found it very interesting that there were families and tailgate parties with a mix of Raiders and 49ers fans.

Upon entering the stadium I could not resist the excitement of taking pictures everywhere and even walking through the parking lot talking to people waiting to get into the stadium early. My roommate (Andreas Pröller) and I decided a visit to the press box, radio and television booths was in order. We were amazed at everything that is there, as all rooms are equipped and how each medium has its place to accomplish its job, something that had never seen and I liked it a lot.

The game was tight in the first three quarters and especially in the first two during which both teams used their first teams quite a bit. In the end, the 49ers won 17-3.

Everything in life has a beginning and an end, and so my visit ends, but I really enjoyed everything. I want to thank the whole organization of the Oakland Raiders for all the care they showed on my visit. I hope to someday return with new accounts of my experiences because this is something you treasure because you learn from the best. For my part is all I hope to continue writing for the organization and let them know how fans follow them in Mexico because the Raiders are very loved in my country.

Thank you very much friends for your attention and hope to see you again soon.

My best wishes to all
Radames Carrillo


August 20, 2011

Hello friends,

Again sharing with you my experience in the camp of the Oakland Raiders in Napa, Calif.

Today was total review for all units. We were very aware of special teams, which is a spectacle to see as John Fassel, special teams coach, ensures players to do their jobs 100 percent. His intensity and inspiration help implement the strategies. I've seen during the drills very interesting things, I've learned a lot from this coach and hope to implement what I have learned.

My favorite is the  offensive line which is directed by Bob Wylie who is constantly leading and teaching, all the time we hear his direction in the drills. It is very normal to hear his strong voice, I have learned many new drills of this unit. It can be said that they almost do the same almost every day in their drive blocking drills. That ensures that work to refine the technique takes place every day and that is very is important. The techniques are very interesting...hands, hips and legs are the foundation. I love that they use different devices such as medicine balls, tennis balls, straps, etc., to carry out the work with these huge players.

Today I had the good fortune to introduce myself, talk and take a photo with the Hall of Fame member Rod Woodson and that wasn't all. I also had the opportunity to salute the great legend Willie Brown, also a member of the Hall of Fame. This picture will part  of my memories. In 2066 I also had the good fortune to take a picture with Hall of Famer Jackie Slater.

They treated me very well and they asked me how it was going and who I was hoping to observe in the next game in San Francisco.

That's all for now friends, I hope that you like my observations. Just wait for my next article which will be full of emotion because of this local rivalry - the Battle of the Bay.

Best regards
Radames Carrillo


August 19, 2011

Hello Friends, 

Following is a recap of my third day of activities at the Raiders Training Camp in Napa, Ca.

Like every day we woke up at 6:30 a.m. so that we could be ready at 8:00 a.m. for the team meeting and then later at the special teams meeting. 

Following that we did go into the position meetings in which we saw the plays that are to be implemented as well as correcting the details. 

At 9:30 a.m. the players had the warm up period with the trainers who do a great job making sure the players are in top form before the start of practice. They are in charge of making sure that the players stretch the best possible way in order to avoid injuries. This takes 20 minutes and some players combine it with doing the bicycle, walker, stair climber and some weights.

The person in charge of this department is Brad Roll and he has Chris Pearson and Chris DiSanto working under him. They are in charge of the conditioning of each player. In the morning they make sure that players follow routines that focus on strength and resistance and believe me they do make sure that that players work hard. This routine consists of a circuit where they use different equipment, which go from a bar all the way to a medicine ball. The routine lasts between 15 and 20 minutes depending on the rhythm. The whole thing is to not stop until the end. The trainers are always pushing them along since they do end up exhausted. 

The gym is an open-air one, which allows the players to be more comfortable. In this gym they have around 70 dumbbells of different weights, a bench press, medicine balls and different equipment to work different muscle groups. It's a fully equipped gym.

They have a very structured training program and everything is supervised with control sheets. The players are monitored daily for weight and body mass so that they can detect any issues with exhaustion and lack of performance. 

During practices, the trainers not only watch, but also they are ready in case there is any issue with the players and also oversee the hydration, which is fundamental for performance.

At 10:00 a.m. they have the walk-thru, done by position groups and it takes an hour and 15 minutes. You would think that it is rather relaxed, but it helps to see every detail on each play and they really fix the details since all the coaches are watching attentively every play. The most interesting thing is to see how well connected are the coaches since they know each step and each play and the one that follows, this because of the detail planning and organization that they have. 

After the walk-thru, we rested half an hour before heading to lunch. The meals are prepared according to the needs of the players since they work hard all day. At the dining room you can find from salads to giant hamburgers, juices, lemonade, iced tea, desserts, etc., and everything is prepared previously by a nutritionist, who assigns the number of calories that each player must consume. 

It is truly a delicious menu. Much appreciation for all the people that work so hard in the dining room and kitchen, they do a great job and have treated me great.

At 12:30 p.m. we go into position meetings again in which we watch film form the previous day's practice as well as film from the team that they will face, which in this case are the San Francisco 49ers. 

At 1:45 p.m. they do something that I like very much so far. They tape the players. I was amazed at how fast the trainers do their job, especially on the injured players, not that they do not pay attention to the other players as well. 

The rehab room is fully equipped. It has benches, hydro-massage tubs, ice available at all times for bumps and bruises as well as a variety of equipment and apparatus for rehab.

At 3:15 p.m. they do another walk-thru of about 20 minutes, then they go into the actual practice, which was intense. Today we got to see Darren McFadden and Richard Seymour work with the first team and you can be sure that Seymour is very intense. It is amazing de size of this front man of the defensive line and even more when he goes against another great player, offensive guard Daniel Loper, when they are trying to develop the pass rush.

It is a spectacle to see the linemen go against each other with the strength, technique and speed that they use during the drills. 

Today what got my attention was the precise order that Coach Jackson gave the other coaches: Do not let them walk! And they did not. The practice was intense after that order from Coach Jackson. 

During practice I talked to the coach from Germany, Shuan Fatah. We exchanged points of view in regards to the offensive play selection and we both concluded that the offense is very balanced and we have no doubt that it will be one of the best. 

In general we see a team very balanced and they have the presence of a great kicker, Sebastian Janikowski, someone who will be of great importance during games. The defense is fast, organized and physical. It is amazing the speed with which each play develops, wherever the ball goes all 11 players go. 

That is all for now on my third day at the training camp of the Oakland Raiders, I hope you like it. 

Greetings from Napa
Radames Carrillo


August 18, 2011

Hello friends,

After a day worth of rest yesterday for all the players, we got back to activities early this morning, but I´ll talk about our day off.

During the off day for the players I took the liberty of being among the people who make it possible for the players and staff to develop their work and get everything ready for this to be camp to happen. Let's start with the people in charge of one of the most important areas and this is the equipment room. Bob Romanski is responsible for this area and he also works with his father, Mr. Richard Romanski, who has worked for this organization since 1962. Surprising right? Their job is to have all the the necessary equipment for practice, from a ball to a helmet, it's amazing the order in which they carry out their work, if you ask them for something, they know exactly where it is among hundreds of items that are in the storage room, they have at hand five other people whom have the opportunity to experience working in the NFL.

Bob has been working with a lot of stars that have gone through this summer camp for many years. Just to name a few: Bo Jackson, Howie Long, Art Shell, Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, Warren Sapp, among so many, that Bob and his father can´t tell us about all the experiences they have had over the years. I recognize their work, not so much by time but by the way they do it...I offer my admiration and respect for Mr. Romanski.

Going further on we found Woody Wheeler, who is in charge of the laundry and all the clothes of players, staff and guests of course. He has worked in the organization since 1985, he is a very nice person, I was very surprised that when he took a quick glance at me he mentioned that he remembered me from when I came in 2006, his job is to keep all the uniforms clean, towels and other materials used by players in their daily activities.

We kept on walking and we found Jim Otten, he is one of the people responsible for the video room, he helps coordinate all the cameramen and edits videos of both practice and games. It´s extremely surprising how he edits all the plays so both players and coaches see and edit every detail during the plays. Jim is responsible for five people shooting video of each area in every practice, these people work very hard and after each practice they have to take the videos to Jim and his brother John, so they can edit them, immediately after training sessions are meetings where the coaches and players see the practice video, so imagine having to edit special teams, defensive, offensive, overview between offensive and defensive plays. That's why these young people are always running throughout the camp, so your boss can have the videos on time, Jim has been part of the organization since 1983.

I want to share this part of my experience as these people are very important. They make everything a little bit easier for the whole organization.

Later on I will talk about food, medical, media room, gym and a very essential area of each team: the trainers who are responsible of having each player healthy and ready to play.

That is all for now, hoping to get more information for tomorrow.

Greetings from Napa California
Radames Carrillo


August 17, 2011

Hello friends, 

Once again I am in Napa, Calif., where the summer camp of the Oakland Raiders takes place, but now with different stars and especially with the presence of the great Rod Woodson, who does not remember him on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The cornerbacks are his responsibility this year and it is truly a sight to see his intense workout. 

Like every year, the Raiders invited coaches from different countries, this year from the SWARCO Raiders of the Austrian Football League - Andreas Pröller (Austria) who serves as strength and conditioning coach, Lee Rowland (England) who is the offensive coordinator and Shuan Fatah (Germany), the head coach. They had participated in NFL Europe when it existed. 

I arrived in Napa at 11 a.m. Monday. Immediately I was welcomed to join the team, I was assigned my room and roommate, Andreas Pröller. 

After some meetings with people and introduction of management and staff, I went to my first practice at 3:30 p.m. but not before seeing the walk-through, the walk-through is 20 minutes before regular practice and details the fine points of releases, hand techniques, receiving the ball, etc...all of this depending on your position.

In practice, which lasted two hours, there was a general review and it was very interesting, especially seeing that Jason Campbell is doing very well. Darren McFadden is injured so it was not possible to see his speed. 

The most interesting thing I saw at the first practice is the speed that Coach Jackson requires from his players, no one walks, you have to run all the time and Coach Jackson says, "it saves us time, time that can help us correct details." 

 After practice it was time for dinner, and after that go to different meetings. I started with the special teams looking to learn new tips and drills that can help me with youth players. 

This year I will be also mentioning what happens off the field like the diets for the players, gym, meeting rooms, offices, media rooms, the area of ​​rehabilitation, etc...all this to share with you what we live and learn at the camp. 

This is the review of my first day at camp, and I will be writing my experiences day by day which I hope you like.

Greetings from Napa California

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