The Oakland Raiders have been in training camp for about a week and half and open up the preseason Friday night at O.co Coliseum against the St. Louis Rams.
Since the team arrived at their Napa Valley Training Complex, numerous players and coaches have spoken publicly, so here are some of the best quotes from Training Camp 2015 thus far.
Head Coach Jack Del Rio
On the Raiders young defensive backs:
Head Coach Del Rio:"We feel like we have a group there that has a chance to develop. Some young, talented guys, physically talented guys that need work. They're going to get that; it's going to be a very competitive camp and we'll let them be developed, be coached, let them compete against each other and let the guys who are the most productive play the most. We feel like we have a good, young group."
On the dynamic between coaches and players:
Head Coach Del Rio:"We're going to stress fundamentals and we have a staff that understands that and are good teachers. So that's going to be a strength for us. I think the atmosphere and the energy that they bring every day is great for us. For us, we're looking to create that high-performance climate, where players and coaches are excited to be here and are able to develop. That's what we're about."
On the camp battles between the offensive and defensive linemen:
Head Coach Del Rio:"We've got a big, strong group of men on our offensive and defensive lines. We have some big, active men, so it'll be good tape to go over."
On pushing the team mentally and physically:
Head Coach Del Rio: "I spent a camp with Jimmy Johnson in Austin, Texas. We went 21 straight days in double days, full pads, and we'd tackle in the morning and thud in the afternoon and run 110s after, the 100-plus [yards] at night. That's what camp was back in the day, so it's changed all right, but it's still demanding. It's still a physical confrontation. They're still exerting a lot of energy and you still have a lot of time in meetings and what not, and lifting. Training camp is still not something for the, I don't know, maybe the group that wouldn't want to be ready to push and work really hard."
On the importance of having the team translate what they learn in practice to the games:
Head Coach Del Rio: "Everything we do is geared toward performing well on game day. We want to have that heightened sense of urgency. We want to be able to take what we've been able to teach and accomplish on the practice field and be able to apply that in a game setting. You're typically looking for guys that when the lights come on and it's in a game situation, that they're at their best."
Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave
On what type of offense he will run:**
Musgrave:"We want to be an effective one. We want to end up in the end zone. But, I think that's going to evolve over time. We're still working through those stages, finding out what our guys are really good at now that we have the pads on. And we want to know what our guys could absorb. We don't want to put too many ingredients in the pot and dilute it too much. We want to be able to hang our hat on a few concepts and get good at them."
Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.
On Khalil Mack:
Norton: "Khalil is special. There are a lot of players that might be similar. But he's in a class of his own. Bruce Irvin in Seattle was similar. But, at the same time, Khalil is built. He's athletic. He's smart. And he's relentless. And those things, that versatility gives you the ability to move him at end, at back, or put him behind the ball. He's amazing."
General Manager Reggie McKenzie
On seeing his vision for team start to come together in Oakland:
McKenzie:"Nobody likes losing. But, I knew I had to take some. But yes, to see it come the way I had planned it, from building a roster and getting the team together, yes. Like I said from the beginning, it's the best I've felt going into Napa and training camp since I've been here. So I'm anxiously waiting for pre-season games now. I want to see how they gel and come together. I feel pretty good about this team. Really good."
Safety Charles Woodson
On wide receiver Amari Cooper:
Woodson:"He's going to be pretty special. He'll be pretty special, man. He can do it all. The sky will be the limit for that young man."
On wide receiver Michael Crabtree:
Woodson:"I thought he's been playing well. He's one of those crafty guys. He isn't going to be the fastest guy out there on the field, but he knows how to get open. And again, you guys have been out here every day and you've seen him making all kinds of catches. He has great hands; that's never been a question. But he just knows how to get open. He reads the defenses, knows where he needs to be and he finds himself open a lot of times."
Quarterback Derek Carr
On center Rodney Hudson:
Carr:"Oh man, I love Rodney. Every time I see him, I tell him I just want to hug him. I do. I love that guy. He makes my job a lot easier. He is a great veteran presence. He is the same guy every single day. Me and him, it's kind of nice. We have the same, if this makes sense, football personality. We both like to have fun. We're laid back. But at the same time, we like to try and know it all. "
Linebacker Khalil Mack:
On defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.:
Mack: "He's looking at us to take the torch as far as taking the energy onto the field. He can't be on the field with us, but we have to bring that spirit and his energy out there* *on the field and celebrate on everything we do positive as a defense."