Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree
One of the themes of the Oakland Raiders' Offseason Workout Program? Continuity.
For the most part, the faces are the same, the scheme is the same, and there's a sense of familiarity that wasn't surrounding the team just a season ago. That continuity will be crucial for the team heading into 2016 – just ask wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
"I think that's very important in football to have the same coaches, same quarterbacks, same receivers," said Crabtree after Wednesday's OTA. "We just know each other and we're just going to feed off each other and get better, and really just try to take that step up from last year."
While most of the offensive players taking part in the Offseason Workout Program are the same, there is one key addition compared to last offseason – quarterback Derek Carr, who missed last season's OTAs due to injury.
Carr has spoken about the benefit of being able to get the extra work compared to last year, and Crabtree is hopeful that the extra time they get together this offseason will help the pair take the next step in their productivity.
"My first year with him [Carr] last year, and the guy is amazing," explained Crabtree. "He's got talent. Like I said, we talk all the time on ways to get better on the field, and I feel like he's taking that step, taking control of the offense, doing more managing of the game at the end and the beginning. He's always going to be a gunslinger, and I love that, that old Brett Favre-type-quarterback, really managing Brett Favre, and Brett Favre is one of the greatest players to ever play."
Crabtree didn't mince words either when explaining what Carr's continued development means for the future success of the Silver and Black.
"It's football, the quarterback runs the team. If I had to pick any guy it'd be Derek Carr," Crabtree said. "I'm just ready to just go out there and show the world."
Crabtree and Co., will get a chance to show the world soon enough, as the team hosts Mandatory Minicamp next week, and then will report for Training Camp 2016 in late-July.
-This week presented a long block of work for the Raiders – Wednesday was already the team's third OTA of the week – and as such, Head Coach Jack Del Rio elected to dial down the action a little bit. Players wore hats instead of helmets, and there was more of an emphasis on special teams than earlier in the week.
-Before practice, Head Coach Jack Del Rio announced that he joined Twitter. You can follow him @coachdelrio.
-Defensive back Dewey McDonald hauled in an interception during one of the team's seven-on-seven periods after a pass deflected off the hands of the receiver and popped into the air.
-Wide receiver Andre Holmes has enjoyed an impressive few days on the practice field, and his hot streak continued Wednesday as he acrobatically rose up and hauled in a touchdown pass right at the pylon, jumping over a defender in the process.
-NFL Network reporter Steve Wyche was also in attendance at Wednesday's OTA, taking in the Silver and Black for the first time this offseason. While he's excited to see how the additions of cornerback Sean Smith and linebacker Bruce Irvin change the landscape of the team's defense, one player he's looking forward to watching in 2016 is linebacker Malcolm Smith. Wyche believes that Smith's versatility will pay huge dividends for him, and that he could be poised for an even bigger season in 2016.
-Offensive line coach Mike Tice is on the mend from some type of leg injury. Tice was able to participate in Wednesday's session, but did all of his coaching from a golf cart with his leg elevated. The golf cart is pretty impressive though, as it's been customized for Tice with flames on the front and a "Coach Mike" nameplate as well.
You Can Say That Again:
"I just wanted to make a quick statement since I did elect to become a little more current. I did launch the Twitter [account] today, so I joined that, did it in front of the team first. That's why I talked to the guys. Just an opportunity to I guess be a little more current and share a little insight. Give you a little peek into what we're doing here and how hard we're working. – Head Coach Jack Del Rio.
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