Head Coach Jack Del Rio
The first official day of Raiders' Training Camp is in the books, and the team appears to be off to a good start. After an exciting day filled with fans and alumni, Raiders' head coach Jack Del Rio addressed the media and spoke of his initial first thoughts.
Here are a few of Coach Del Rio's highlights from the presser:
Coach Del Rio talked about safeties Reggie Nelson and Karl Joseph getting back on the field.
"Yeah, it was great to have them out. Of course, they were here for the pre-camp portion of it, so they've been working the last four of the last five days, but good to see them out today. Obviously, it's the start of camp, official start of training camp. You know, see them both moving around, moving around well, communicating and beginning to put in the work that needs to happen in the back end so that you feel real good about the adjustments that need to be made."
The first day of training camp was loaded with takeaways, but the one thing that stood out to Del Rio were the alumni in attendance.
"It was great to see all of the former Raiders here supporting us and obviously the military is out here today as well, but in particular, the number of former players that have come back to support us and we welcome them back… Great to see them, lot of guys I grew up cheering for and we welcome them. Super excited to have them out here."
Coach Del Rio acknowledged the buzz around camp and what the expectations have been since his arrival.
") I think there's a genuine excitement level. I think for us, last year when I got here, I really thought it was important to reestablish expectations, high expectations. We didn't back down from that. We're always going to make winning our division the first goal; it has to be… we come in expecting to win our division, that's our goal, that's our goal every year and I started that last year. We're certainly not going to back away from anything like that. For us, that's a goal."
The priority for this team is achieving the division champs title, Del Rio spoke a little bit about how to accomplish that goal.
"You put in the work. There's no shortcut to it. We've had tremendous participation throughout the offseason. There's an eagerness here because the guys that are here see the work that's being put in, they see the accountability around them and you know, when you do good things, you can expect good things to be a result."
With safety Charles Woodson in retirement, the leadership role on defense is up for grabs.
"With Charles not here, they realized they can't look to Charles and lean on Charles. So, I think you see guys like Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin, Sean Smith and Reggie Nelson, Malcolm Smith, those guys are all taking it upon themselves. I think we have a really good core of guys that are assuming leadership positions within their respected groups and I feel really good about that."
In quarterback Derek Carr's second year with Del Rio, he feels more comfortable with the game plan and is prepared going into 2016.
"Derek coming back, he's more comfortable in Year 2 in the system. He's not having to learn things new. He's had hundreds of reps at certain concepts. You can expect him to do things a little sharper, a little crisper. He expects that of himself. With his teammates and the communication, it's so crucial, the timing. The work that's being put in is to do that. So that when we go out and perform on Sundays, the execution is crisp. If you're going to go out and throw the football in this league, you're going to have to be quarterbacks and receivers on the same page, and good blocking up front. Those are all things we're working hard to do right now."