Oakland Raiders Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave addressed the media for the first time at Training Camp 2015 Thursday.
During his time behind the microphone, Musgrave addressed a variety of subjects, including the return of running back Trent Richardson to the practice field, as well as what kind of identity he's looking to build in his offense.
TRENT RICHARDSON RETURNS TO THE PRACTICE FIELD
After missing the first week of Training Camp 2015 on the Non-Football Illness list, running back Trent Richardson returned to the practice field Thursday, and Musgrave is looking forward to seeing what the former first-round draft pick can bring to the Raiders offense.
"Good for Trent to be out on the field, and he looked pretty good, he really did. He hit a couple of holes with good timing, so we were glad to have him."
THURSDAY WAS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE
After being relatively crisp through the first week of camp, the offense sputtered in several moments throughout Thursday's session, particularly when it came to letting the Raiders defense get their hands on the football.
While it was just one practice, Musgrave is looking forward to using Thursday's practice as a learning experience.
"Today was a day that we definitely want to learn from. As soon as we learn from it we want to forget it, because it wasn't the way you play winning football. Today we let the defense get their hands on too many footballs, that's for sure."
TAIWAN JONES CAN TURN ON THE BURNERS
This offseason, Taiwan Jones returned to the offensive side of the ball as a running back after previously lining up as a cornerback for the Silver and Black.
Musgrave addressed the reason for the switch.
"He's got speed to burn and he has done a nice job of learning our system. I feel like he has very few mental errors. It's hard to replicate speed like that. It's hard to simulate in practice, so when he gets in the game, he can definitely have an advantage against some defenders."
AN EVOLVING IDENTITY IN OAKLAND
During his career in the NFL, Musgrave has been around and implemented a variety of styles into his offenses.
This year in Oakland will be no different, as he will bring in several principles and evaluate what his team does the best.
"We want to be an effective [offense]. We want to end up in the end zone, but I think that's going to evolve over time, and we're still working through those stages. We're finding out what our guys are really good at now that we have the pads on, and we want to know what our guys can 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."
FOSTERING COMPETITION ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE OFFENSIVE LINE
While Donald Penn, Gabe Jackson and Rodney Hudson are firmly entrenched on the left side of the offense line, the right side remains open for competition, and Musgrave is pleased with how the battles are shaking out thus far.
"It's a spirited competition. Today Menelik [Watson] wasn't necessarily ready to go and so Austin [Howard] got more reps at right tackle, and we're taking a look at a number of candidates there at right guard. It's a good competition, again, we're just kind of scratching the surface because we just put the pads on recently."
THE CARR/CRABTREE CONNECTION
Through just a week of training camp, it's evident that Derek Carr and Michael Crabtree are building a budding on-field chemistry.
This chemistry has not escaped the watchful eye of their offensive coordinator either.
"He [Crabtree] and Derek [Carr] have definitely established a rapport in the short time they've been together. We love the fact that they're making plays in practice, because we want to play the same way in the game. They're working hard. They work hard together. I'm glad that Michael's part of our team."
YOU CAN ALWAYS BE BETTER**
Derek Carr, by all accounts, had a pretty impressive rookie year, but Musgrave believes that for him, and all other quarterbacks in the league, constant improvement is crucial.
"You're always looking to improve, your decision making, your footwork, your delivery, your touch, your accuracy. Derek, again, is just starting off on his career, and he got a little taste of it last year as a rookie, so we're ready for him to get immersed in our system, and we can develop him as well."
AMARI COOPER IS A WILLING PUPIL
Outside of his natural ability to go up and catch the ball, Musgrave has been impressed with rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper's willingness to learn in the classroom as well.
"Amari's working hard at it. I really appreciate his approach. He works hard in the drills, is very attentive in the meetings and I know we have a good one there, so we're thankful to have him."