Oakland Raiders cornerback TJ Carrie is about to begin a very important season.
Entering his second year as a Raider, Carrie is not only adjusting to a new coaching staff, but will also be in the mix for a starting job in the Raiders secondary.
The second-year cornerback addressed the media Thursday at the team's Napa Valley Training Complex, and addressed these topics as well as his excitement for the season ahead.
AN EXCITING DAY
Carrie and several other veterans arrived at the team's Napa Valley Training Complex via bus Thursday morning, and the young cornerback was already itching to get back to work.
"I'm excited, man. A lot of energy has been boiling up. A lot of hard work has been prepared and put in to come down to this moment and start Day 1 of training camp. So we'll get it kicked off today with the conditioning test and go from there."
IT WAS A BUSY OFFSEASON
Carrie had a quality rookie season, appearing in 13 games, but there was still plenty for him to improve on this offseason.
"A lot of working on technique and focusing on learning different aspects of the defense. We've got a new system going in and things like that. So just getting acclimated to what we've got to perform on the field and definitely working on my craft."
FEELING AT HOME AT TRAINING CAMP
One year ago, Carrie was a rookie cornerback about to enter his first NFL training camp.
Today, he's a year older, a year wiser and knows what to expect from the grind of training camp.
"A lot has been asked from all of us as individuals to perform at a high level coming into season two. The coaches have put a lot of trust into us as far as the prior draft classes and things, so the expectation is high for each and every one of us. I'm glad we've been able to put in some work as a team and as a unit in OTAs and mini-camp. Today we'll be able to hash out some more things and be able to become more one as a team."
LESS ROOM FOR ERROR**
Entering 2015, Carrie is one of the young players that will be expected to shoulder the load in the Oakland secondary this season.
If Carrie does indeed secure a starting role, it'll be a new challenge for the former Ohio Bobcat.
"When you are looked at as a starter, the mistakes and errors have to be limited to pretty much none. So last year as a rookie, they're willing to give you those mistakes and opportunities to fail because you're learning, you're getting acclimated to the NFL and to the season and the different aspects of what you have to do. But coming into the next year and you're projected to be a starter, they expect more of a higher level from you as an athlete. The pressure is definitely building higher. That's something that we live to play this game for, is to be in the pressure. All pressure is good pressure."
AMARI COOPER HAS LIVED UP TO THE BILLING
The Raiders selected Amari Cooper in the first round (No. 4 overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft, and since his arrival in Oakland, Carrie has been impressed with what he's seen from the rookie.
"Amari has been able to do tremendous things on that field. He's coming in and he has a business mind-like, a professional mind-like at a young stage, which is very good, because the pressure they're going to continue to put on him and the rest of the receiving corps is going to be vital. "I think he's made everyone on that defense better as far as him and, like I said, the other receivers. Bringing in more receivers and their expectation of being great challenges us to – iron sharpening iron as far as us being able to go at each other and battle each other every day, day in and day out, and sharpen each other's skills."