Fans screaming Jimmy Garoppolo's name as he stepped on the practice field Wednesday could be heard from miles away in Henderson, Nevada.
The fans in attendance, like all of Raider Nation, were heavily anticipating seeing the quarterback sling around the ball to his new teammates. Not only was it the first practice Training Camp 2023, but Garoppolo's first official practice since December. The quarterback suffered a foot injury last season with the San Francisco 49ers, forcing him to miss the rest of the regular season and their playoff push.
After Garoppolo signed with the Silver and Black this offseason, pundits wondered what would be his status going into Training Camp. When asked if he had any doubt about his health, he grinned and shrugged off any speculation.
"Never really a worry. We had a good plan here," Garoppolo said. "The strength staff, the training staff – I tip my hat to those guys. They did a great job of getting me back and getting me to where I need to be.
"I'm not fully there yet, but working in the right direction. ... It was cool to get back out there with the guys. It felt right."
While he's still getting adjusted to his teammates on the field, he's made a good first impression on Davante Adams and Maxx Crosby. The quarterback described having a receiver the caliber of Adams as "a luxury." While today was the first Raiders camp practice with the two together, Garoppolo's "openness and eagerness to learn" is something Adams has greatly appreciated.
"He's a great guy. Easy to talk to," Adams said. "Super coachable, from the coaches to him, and listening to my feedback and the way I view the game too. Today was very productive. A lot of conversation out there. We've just got to stay on that, continue with it to get to where we want to be come Week 1."
"You see the tip of the iceberg out there," Adams continued. "Obviously, the rest is underwater. That's what we're doing throughout the day with the rest of the 23 hours we're in the building. It's a really fun process because you get to see that progress over time."
Crosby appreciated the energy and swagger his new quarterback has brought to the team so far. In the limited number of snaps they've played against each other, Crosby said they're already starting to talk a little bit of smack to each other. It's all in good fun between the two though.
"Jimmy's cool as hell. I've been here all offseason with him," said Crosby. "He's been training, working his ass off to get back. So, I'm fired up that he's out there with us. … He's a competitive dude. I love him. He's a dog. I'm not just saying that because he's my quarterback. There's certain guys that are dogs, and he's definitely one of them."
While this isn't Garoppolo's first rodeo, he had a child-like giddiness about him. As practice wrapped and he stepped off the field, the shouting from fans resumed as he signed autographs for kids. The quarterback told the media he was able to buy a house in the Las Vegas valley, and has felt at home in the community since arriving to the desert.
"Vegas has been really cool. Honestly, I've loved it," Garoppolo said. "The people here are very inviting, I want to say. They like talking, even if you don't know them. It's a cool interaction. I haven't had that in a long time. Being from the Midwest, it's pretty refreshing."
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View the best photos from the first day of Raiders 2023 Training Camp practice at Intermountain Health Performance Center.