Raiders rookie WR Denarius Moore runs after the catch during the team's 6th training camp practice. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
The Raiders held their sixth practice of Training Camp 2011 on Wednesday afternoon. Four new players joined the Silver and Black on the field in Napa, Calif. Offensive linemen Justin Smiley, Stephon Heyer, Seth Wand, and LB Darryl Blackstock are finding ways to adjust and fit in with their new teammates after missing a week of camp. The Raiders also welcomed back C Samson Satele.
"It is different," said Heyer about signing with a new team. "It is fun and exciting and a change of venue, and something new for me because I have been with Washington my entire career. But I can't wait to see what is in store for me."
Smiley is embracing the opportunity to come into camp and work with the Raiders. "It is always a little different, but the good thing about this situation is that I played in San Francisco for about four years and I have in-laws out here and that makes it a lot easier," said Smiley. "I have played against a bunch of these guys; I played with Satele in Miami and a couple of the guys. It is always a little tough coming into a new team and trying to prove yourself because every time that you step out there that is what football is, you are only as good as your last play. You have to prove yourself everyday and that is my mindset going into this deal."
Head Coach Hue Jackson believes the new offensive linemen will fit in well with the team. "We'll find out exactly where to play those guys, but those are big, athletic men. There's a certain performance level I'm looking for; those guys understand it, we talk about it, and that's why they want to be here. They know that we're going to chase perfection here and that's exactly how we're going to do it."
Blackstock joins the Raiders after spending last year with the UFL's Virginia Destroyers. He's excited to be back in the NFL and continue to play professional football. "I think it is good to have teammates again, the fact that the lockout is over; the fact that we have a team is a good thing," said Blackstock. "At first we did not know if we were going to have a season or not, but now that it is over we are just getting into the flow of things; it was great."
Adjusting to a new team after coming into training camp a week late is not a problem for Blackstock. "It felt good. There is nothing like having teammates," said Blackstock. "Being around the guys feels like I'm at home. Guys are more than welcoming and the coaches and the staff have welcomed me since the beginning and it felt just great to be back on the field."
While the new Raiders additions watched practice, WR Denarious Moore, the Raiders 5th round draft pick, showed off his receiving skills. "Wow. You guys know I like using that term 'wow,'" said Coach Jackson. "He's a tremendous young player; he's very talented. That young man played at Tennessee and everything he did at Tennessee, he's doing out here on our field. When you look around, every time you look up there's number 17 making a play. I talked to our guys, this game's about performance. He comes out every day and he performs."
Moore is taking camp one day at a time and doing his best to prove himself to his team and his coaches. "I just make plays when I'm called upon," said Moore. "When your plays are coming, just expect them. I think I came out here and had a productive day and got better along with the team."
The rookies, newcomers, and veterans are all working to prove themselves during the Raiders 2011 Training Camp and will participate in the seventh practice tomorrow afternoon. For continuing coverage, log on to Raiders.com, Facebook, and Twitter.