Head Coach Jon Gruden: "Today Was A Little Bit Of An Examination"

Head Coach Jon Gruden

Day One of Veteran Minicamp is in the books.

Tuesday, the Oakland Raiders kicked off the first day of Veteran Minicamp, with the players participating in on-field drills. Head Coach Jon Gruden was vocal from the start, and met with media members following practice to talk about the day’s work.

Here are the quick hits from his press conference:

Gruden shared what he’s looking to see from his players during Veteran Minicamp.

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An exclusive look at photos from the first day of Veteran Minicamp at Raiders HQ.

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“We’re finishing Phase One of this offseason conditioning program, and for the most part they’ve been with the strength coaches getting in shape, learning the new routine, and they’ve spent an hour a day learning our system. So, today was a little bit of an examination, we get a chance to see who can learn this stuff fast, who’s a quick study, and who isn’t. That may impact how we go in the draft.”

He couldn’t help but smile when asked about what he saw from quarterback Derek Carr Tuesday.

“I got really excited out there today. You can have a real creative imagination with that guy at the quarterback position. He can make every throw, it comes out of his hand fast and accurate, he’s mobile, he’s sharp, he’s a great leader. We tried to give him some audibles, give him some different situations on the first day, he didn’t blink. He’s a real, real good player. We just have to do our part as coaches, and we have to improve the positions around him.”

Gruden talked about the addition of Defensive Backs Coach Derrick Ansley, and many new members of the coaching staff.

“I’m excited to have added him to our staff, I just don’t want to focus on Coach Ansley. I want to focus on all these coaches. [Wide Receivers coach] Edgar Bennett, former coordinator of the Packers is here. [Offensive Line coach] Tom Cable’s been in Super Bowls. We have [Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator] Rich Bisaccia. We have a number of other really good coaches, but I think it all starts with [Defensive Coordinator] Paul Guenther. This is not going to be a scheme on defense… guys are going to know what to do, they’re going to play hard, and I know Ansley is going to do really well.”

At the moment, he has no updates to share regarding defensive end Khalil Mack.

“No I don’t have any updates on his situation, I’m sure Reggie can update you if you have any questions, but we’re just focusing on the men that are here, and that’s all we can do right now.”

Gruden says that new Raiders wide receiver Jordy Nelson will grow into a leadership role with time.

“I think his leadership style will be unveiled as time goes on. Right now he’s learning the offense, he’s getting a rapport with Derek Carr, it’s a little bit different obviously than playing with Aaron Rodgers for all those years. Right now I think he’s totally focused on learning our system, and he’s playing two, three positions today already, so I think once that happens I think he’ll be a real asset behind the scenes for this football team. I have no doubt about that.”

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