Quarterback Derek Carr
There's nothing quite like the loud roar of a stadium filled with fans.
This Sunday, the Oakland Raiders will take on the New Orleans Saints in there home stadium, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It'll be their first matchup of the NFL season and will be a good test for the team, for many reasons, particularly because of the crowd noise.
The Saints have a passionate and loyal fan base, and are most commonly known for their saying, "Who Dat?" The saying was established and adopted by the franchise back in 1983, when five players recorded a song over the sound of "When the Saints Go Marching In," in which they provided the "Who Dat?" chant.
From there, the "Who Dat?" chant took off, and fans have been screaming the saying at home games ever since. Their rambunctious nature in support of the team has caused many teams to struggle when playing in the Superdome.
Home field advantage truly plays an important role in all games, no matter who the team is, or where. Crowd noise can deter another team from communicating properly, causing miscommunication to happen, and mistakes to be made.
The Raiders will have to endure a raucous environment down in Louisiana. Part of the team's preparation for this week was to work on communicating in a deafening atmosphere. Head Coach Jack Del Rio and quarterback Derek Carr both shared their thoughts on the affect of crowd noise.
"We're completing our preparation. We've been working on this game for a while, as I'm sure they have," said Del Rio. "Both teams come into opening day with a lot of preparation. You just want to settle in and start playing really good football. Play one would be just fine for me."
The Silver and Black have been focused on preparing for the Saints all week, and with Del Rio's guidance they appear ready for the challenge. Carr added to Del Rio's comments by voicing his excitement for this Sunday's game in an ear-piercing environment.
"I love playing with the noise. I really do, because then you don't have to hear anything else," said Carr. "There's not all these side conversations or this or that. You're just in your own zone, you're going through your own process. I really, I love it. I love it."
When he takes the field on Sunday, it'll be about playing football, and the noise will help him tune out the world around him.
Running back and special teams returner Taiwan Jones has a similar outlook to his quarterback and weigh in on what the crowd noise will be like on Sunday. "I feed off that. I'm sure the defense feeds off that," said Jones. "Hearing the quarterback saying he feeds off that, it just shows the group of guys we have here. We like that."
When players embrace the atmosphere and feed off of it, good things can happen. This is a group of individuals who is battle-tested, and ready to take on the "Who Dat" fan base.