As Day One of Oakland Raiders Rookie Minicamp comes to a close, the new wave of Raiders have shown already that they're eager to get to work.
Friday was the first time the rookies took the field at the team's facility in Alameda, Calif., and they'll be out there again Saturday and Sunday to show Head Coach Jon Gruden and the rest of the coaching staff what they're made of.
Following practice, Gruden took the podium to speak with the media about the afternoon, and what he's seen from members of the 2018 Draft Class.
Head out to the practice fields for the first day of Rookie Minicamp.
"That was a real exciting day today," he said. "A lot of Raiders with their first NFL practice. It's always really neat to see these guys come out and start a new career, but good work today. We've got a long way to go, obviously."
Coach roamed the field commanding each position group, and even took a moment to demonstrate his technique during a few drills. Gruden wasn't the only one on the field to show the young guys how it's done though, Hall of Fame cornerback Willie Brown got in the mix with the defensive backs, watching as they participated in their workout.
Brown, like many Raiders alumni, is an important part of the history of the organization, and having him in the building to mentor the next generation is something Gruden values quite a bit.
"I wish we had more of the Hall of Famers here," Gruden said. "When I was here the last time, Fred Biletnikoff and Willie Brown were on my staff and we leaned on those guys a lot. I'm hoping we can get Fred around more. Willie's presence is huge. We're going to try to get [Ted] Hendricks and a lot of the ex-Raider greats to come around. We had an outing a couple of weeks ago. We got to see Lester Hayes and Jim Plunkett, [Daryle] Lamonica, some of my favorite Raiders. It is very important, I think, for our young players."
Donning the Silver and Black is a tradition like no other, and the next generation will be held responsible for keeping that tradition going for years to come. Gruden has high expectations for the team in 2018, especially the rookies.
"There is a lot they have to learn and I don't really want to just spend time teaching them a couple of plays," Gruden said. "I think they have to learn how to be Oakland Raiders and how to be part of our future. That was a big part of today and it'll continue in tonight and into tomorrow."
Coach touched on a variety of topics during his media session, take look at what he had to say regarding defensive tackle P.J. Hall, and the competition at the punter position:
"P.J. Hall has a lot of production getting to the quarterback in college. He's got some measurables – quickness and speed and strength that are important at that position as well. To get those two guys, we felt they were the top two inside rushers in this draft."
"We drafted Johnny Townsend from Florida. We are happy he was there. He was our guy, I think, from the beginning. He's an excellent directional punter. He has a strong leg. When you talk about punters, no one really looks into what kind of holders they are. The holder is as important to the operation of a field goal than almost the kick itself. This man can put the ball down, he can field a bad snap. He's an excellent punter. He can handle a bad snap and he's a great kid. He's an outstanding athlete, so we're happy to have him."