The Oakland Raiders kicked off their fourth Organized Team Activity Tuesday, and the players were eager to get back to work. It was a beautiful day in Alameda, Calif., perfect for practice. Following practice, several players met with reporters to talk about, among other things, Head Coach Jon Gruden’s intensity.
Here are the quick hits from their media sessions:
Quarterback Derek Carr
No. 4 shared how Gruden is trying to help him grow.
“He is trying to take it to another level of just making you uncomfortable, giving you the toughest looks. He wants you to throw the ball away. He doesn’t want everything to be perfect every day. Game-like. It’s been awesome. Just making smart decisions and doing those things every day, I think those are just some of the things that have stuck out the most about him.”
He commended running back Doug Martin for his work ethic.
“He’s been one of the hardest workers since we got here in Phase 1, hands down. He’s been one of the guys out there that just every day sticks out doing something where you see why he’s a Pro Bowler. I guess you don’t see why he got let go, but you’re thankful that we have him.”
Running Back Doug Martin
Martin is grateful for his new opportunity with the Silver and Black.
“I just want to play for the Raiders and I want the Raiders to be successful. Playing for my hometown and playing for my family that’s out here. Just show everybody that I can bounce back.”
He talked about what it’s been like running behind the Raiders dominant offensive line.
“A lot of big guys. As a running back, you’d love to run behind them. They’ve been doing an awesome job and they have been in the previous year. We just got two other big guys on the line, the rookies. They’re learning the play book and they’re going to come along real well.”
Tight End Jared Cook
Cook said he feels rejuvenated with this coaching staff in place.
“You kind of enter it cautiously a little bit at first. But, I think he definitely has guys buying in. I mean, I bought in for sure, because he knows what he’s talking about and you can tell a difference in a coach that knows what he’s talking about and a coach that does not. He knows what he’s talking about.”
Fullback Keith Smith
The former San Jose State Spartan broke down what it’s like being on special teams in Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia’s scheme.
“Special teams is a lot about experience and trust. Especially with Bisaccia, he has a pretty hefty playbook. He’s all about trust. If he doesn’t trust you to do your job, then you’re not going to be on the field. That’s one thing that they bring: consistency. [Linebacker] Kyle [Wilber] is a great leader, especially within the special teams, even if he’s not playing defense. He’s a vocal dude. He’s a guy of example. He’s out here holding everybody accountable just like we are.”