Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave has been leading, teaching and installing his system over several weeks of the offseason program and likes what he's seen on his side of the football. He has a mix of young talent and experienced veterans and has watched them improve throughout Organized Team Activities and Mini-Camps.
Coach Musgrave spoke with the media after the final practice of Mandatory Mini-Camp and the last time the team will be together until training camp begins in late July.
Derek Carr Making Strides
"Each day he has gotten better. But there is some rust. He still has that ability, and he was able to get back on the bike and feel natural and normal. The timing and the rapport with the receivers, that will come with time."
Satisfied with Wide Receivers
The Raiders added veterans, draft picks and undrafted free agents to the wide receiver mix throughout the offseason. Coach Musgrave is confident in the group.
"I am pleased with our group. I think [Head Coach] Jack [Del Rio] is also. So is [wide receivers coach] Rob Moore. We're proud of the way that they've really worked and gotten better. They've really engaged in our system and learned all of our concepts."
Teaching the System
It's always interesting to see how players are able to adapt to new coaches and the new systems they bring. Coach Musgrave seems to think the players are catching on well.
"We've done a nice job of putting this system together. It's not some system from Philly or Minnesota or Atlanta, but we've really tried to build it from the ground up to make it make sense to us as teachers and also our pupils. I think they've done a fantastic job. We feel like the guys are getting more comfortable so they can play faster ultimately."
Tailoring the System to Players' Strengths
"So we have our framework, our structure, our language, and then once we find out what Clive [Walford] does best or what Amari [Cooper] does best of Jon Feliciano or what throws come out of the hand of the quarterback the best, we try to customize and tailor the system to fall in line with those strengths."
Impact of Rodney Hudson
The Raiders added center Rodney Hudson during free agency. His importance to the offensive line is not going unnoticed.
"Rodney has done a terrific job. I think he is more than what we anticipated. He has better movement than I think we expected from our film study, seeing him from the other sideline over the years. But he's done a nice job of pulling when he needs to. Our guards and tackles pull a bunch in our system, but the center needs to at times and he's definitely able to do that."
Fostering Competition at Every Position
One of the things that's helping the Raiders improve is the competition at each position. The players have to earn their spot.
"I think all of our groups are going to have good competition. They really are. We have good depth at the running back spot. The offensive line, of course, is really working to become a unit. That's the way they'll be judged ultimately, even down to the tight ends. So we've got good depth."
Consistency is the Name of the Game
"I know guys flash on the field, but we're looking for more consistency. You guys have seen practice a couple of times. We have our moments, but we have to be much more consistent. I think we all recognize and acknowledge that. That will be our goal, of course, going up there to training camp so we can get good in a hurry."