The team holds their Friday afternoon practice. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
The Raiders play their second preseason game tomorrow against the San Francisco 49ers. With a game already under their belt, players are feeling more comfortable with the Raiders pre-game routine and the offensive and defensive system. The coaching staff is also more confident in the way they work together and run the game. "I think we, as a staff, are more comfortable communicating with each other on the head sets," said Head Coach Hue Jackson. "You know we have been through that process now. I think the team is understanding me prior to the game of what I am looking for, just our demeanor on how we go about our business and how we go to the game. Now we have had a full game and I think that process is behind us. Now it is about performance all of the time; all of us."
Rookie DT Derrick Hill, out of the University of California, Berkeley, can feel the difference in himself and the team as they head into the second game. "It's actually extremely different now," said Hill. "The comfort level is almost to the way it was at college. Knowing the system, knowing everything like that, I think we're really going to see whole other players this week after this last week of development. Once it's all said and done it's going to be even more exciting than what we saw last week."
The game versus San Francisco is about winning, but also about developing together as a team. "We go to the game to perform at a high level and regardless of how many plays they play, that is what I am looking for that our players play at an extremely high level from the first play until the last play," said Coach Jackson.
Coach Jackson hopes to see improvement in all areas, but especially in particular segments of the game. "[I want to see] better execution on offense, cut down on penalties, defense flying around and making plays, being turnover free on offense, and make turnovers on defense," said Coach Jackson.
The daily grind at training camp is helping the players learn as much as possible in preparation for the regular season. "I'm definitely learning more each week," said offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski. "I felt pretty good week one, but you're always learning more. I've kind of been bouncing back and forth between two positions, which kind of makes you learn everything a little better because you have to think every play – what position am I playing, and then what do I have to do – so that helps the learning process."
Wisniewski didn't feel too nervous before his first game, but going into the second game, he feels even more confident." I didn't have a lot of first game jitters, to be honest," said Wisniewski. "I just felt good. But definitely I think they'll only get easier."
The coaching staff is helping the Raiders players chase perfection. They want to see movement toward that goal during the Battle of the Bay in San Francisco tomorrow. "All the coaches are pumped up," said Wisniewski. "If we want to be the best in the world, we have to start by being the best in the Bay. That starts with beating the Niners tomorrow."
The Raiders travel to Candlestick Park on Saturday, August 20, to take on the San Francisco 49ers. The game will air on KTVU Fox 2 at 5:00 p.m. PT. For complete game day coverage, log on to Raiders.com, Facebook, and Twitter.