Photo by Tony Gonzales
The Oakland Raiders completed their second week of the 2012 off-season program at their practice facility in Alameda, Calif. During the first two weeks, players worked out with the strength and conditioning staff, met with the new coaches and connected with teammates.
The players have quickly learned the toughness of strength and conditioning coaches Al Miller and John Grieco. "Our strength coach, he's going to grind us every day," said CB DeMarcus Van Dyke. "I call him Killer Miller because his workouts are killer."
The team has also adjusted to the new coaching staff and is buying into their methods and culture. "It's been real good," said DB Chimdi Chekwa. "These coaches know what they're doing. You can already tell that there is a little bit of a change in culture here. Everybody is excited about it."
The off-season program has also allowed the players to get to know each other and work on their chemistry as they meet with the coaches. "As an offense, we hope to accomplish a lot of things – a lot of chemistry with Carson because this will be our first off-season with him, and hope the coaches have a great understanding of what we can do on the field, and we get a great understanding of how they want to coach us," said WR Darrius Heyward-Bey.
"Workouts have been going great, getting a lot of work in," said Heyward-Bey. "Chemistry is building up on the offensive side. There's a lot of stuff getting installed so everybody is just trying to get up to speed."
Heyward-Bey has enjoyed getting to know offensive coordinator Greg Knapp in the meeting room. "It's been cool; it's been fun," said Heyward-Bey. "Coach Knapp is full of energy and we like that, especially the wide receivers because we're young."
After two weeks, the one constant for the players is their acknowledgment that they are all here for the same purpose. "Everybody is here for one goal this year," said Van Dyke. "We're trying to win a championship and Coach has us on the right path."
Chekwa is pleased with how the off-season program has progressed thus far. "It's been going real good," said Chekwa. "I think everybody is here to work. Everybody has the same goals in mind and we have some new guys that are really going to help out the team, so I think everybody is focused and ready to go."
As the team continues the off-season program, they look to continue their Commitment to Excellence. "Guys are just trying to come closer as a team, get ready for the same goal," said Chekwa. "We all want to win the Super Bowl this year so I think a lot of guys are excited, a lot of guys are focused and ready to get after the task."