LB Rolando McClain. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
News and notes from Napa: The Raiders re-signed LB Sam Williams and OT Khalif Barnes. They also signed free agent QB Trent Edwards and undrafted free agent DT Derrick Hill. FB Marcel Reece, DT Desmond Bryant, LB Bruce Davis and LB Jarvis Moss reported to camp.
The Raiders held their first practice in pads, fostering high-energy competition. It was the team's first opportunity to get back to their hard-hitting style of football. Head Coach Hue Jackson was pleased with the hard work he saw from his team. "I see a team that is building something, trying to become something and working every day," said Coach Jackson. "I am most impressed with our player's retention and the effort. As a head coach that is what you look for that your team is working and these guys are giving me everything that they have. I couldn't be more pleased in what they are trying to accomplish."
FB Marcel Reece, able to watch his first practice of Training Camp 2011, was impressed with what he saw. "It looks good, you love the fast tempo, and you love the hard hitting and I just want to get back with the team," said Reece.
Rookie TE David Ausberry felt good about his first professional football practice in pads. "The first practice in pads went very well overall. The team looks fast and we are progressing really quickly," said Ausberry. "Overall I think that it was a great day."
Raiders third-round pick DeMarcus Van Dyke was impressed with practice, but knows it will take some time to adjust. "It went really well. A lot of guys were conditioning out there and it was a lot of fun. It is kind of new because I haven't done it since the Senior Bowl, but I am starting to get the feel for it again."
The team competed with each other, bringing up their level of play. "It went well," said veteran offensive lineman Cooper Carlisle. "It is always good to get in pads. It is tough more physical, but it is good. We need it. We have a lot of work to do, but we are headed in the right direction."
Coach Jackson was particularly impressed with the leadership of second-year MLB Rolando McClain. "What an improvement and a different guy. The guy has a lot more confidence, takes control of the defense, wants the responsibility, and understands that it is time for him to play like he can. It's not that he didn't a year ago, but he knows I expect him to play. The real guys play every day, so he brings that attitude to practice and demands it from the rest of the defense. He, Richard [Seymour], Tommy [Kelly] and those guys are doing a good job."
Ausberry noticed the competition level about which Coach Jackson spoke. "Everybody is big and everybody is fast and strong so you have to compete at a high level for every snap. There are no drop offs anywhere so there is going to be tough competition all over the field."
The team will be back at it tomorrow morning for conditioning and hold their fourth practice in the afternoon. Stay up to date with camp news, notes, and quotes on Raiders.com, Facebook, and Twitter.