The first practice of 2021 Training Camp is in the books and players are easing back into their preseason routines.
Derek Carr, Maxx Crosby, Andre James, Henry Ruggs III and Nicholas Morrow spoke with the media following practice on a wide range of topics from team chemistry to new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to leadership on and off the field.
Here are some of the best soundbites from Wednesday's press conference.
QB Derek Carr on defensive coordinator Gus Bradley:
"The presence that Coach Gus carries to the field, you can feel that. There is one voice. When he talks all 11 eyes on that defense are looking at him and that's impressive. When you go to their defensive meeting room you know who has the attention. I think it's good, I think it makes are guys excited."
On Charles Woodson and Tom Flores making the Hall of Fame:
"Growing up, I was a huge fan of C-Wood, huge fan of Mr. Flores because of where I grew up. Getting to know both of them has been a huge honor to me because I'm just a fan, really. I think we all are, at some point, a fan of somebody and when you get to meet them, it's pretty cool. C-Wood, I can't limit his leadership to just when I played with him. He still is a leader to me. He still texts me. He still calls me."
On WR Henry Ruggs III:
"You can tell the mindset was 'I'm going to go work to be better at what I think I need to be better at.' When he showed back up, the violence in which he was running his routes with, the speed he was coming off the ball with made you go, 'OK!' You could feel it. As Mr. [Mike] Mayock would say, you can feel his speed. You could feel his presence."
DE Maxx Crosby on defensive coordinator Gus Bradley:
"Coach Bradley has brought a different energy. You can talk to him about anything. It can go from football to life back to football in a matter of 10 minutes. He's a ball of energy at all times and that's what you want in a coach. He's a big positive influence in this building and I'm looking forward to playing under him."
On being vocal with his teammates:
"I just want to be the full version of Maxx Crosby that I envision myself being. Just being a leader, I think that's a role that I feel natural at. I feel I could be a positive influence. ... I don't care about having the title 'Alright, Maxx is leader.' Whatever. I'm just being myself and having fun when I'm out there."
On rookie OL Alex Leatherwood:
"He's a kid that doesn't say much. He comes in and works and that's all you can expect from a rookie. ... I feel like this whole rookie class has a lot of guys similar to that so it's encouraging to see."
C Andre James on what he learned from Rodney Hudson:
"Rodney was arguably one of the best centers in the league so everyday I came in here and just tried to get a little piece from him, a little information everyday. That's kind of the attack I still take on today. Just everyday just get a little better, just work on the little things and it adds up over time. Get a little better. So everything I learned from him, I'm still using today."
On his relationship with T Kolton Miller:
"Kolton's one of my best friends, man. Coming into the league, he was definitely a big mentor to me. Him, Richie [Incognito], hanging out with those guys just showing me the ropes ... Me and him were both real close at UCLA so to both end up here in the same place is awesome."
On importance of connecting with Derek Carr:
"Every day in practice, any time I get a snap from him or any time we're talking about meetings, it's super important. Got a lot of offseason work with him just going to the parks, talking over different situations, just getting a feel for it. It's been good. Every time we get together, always got to work on that chemistry."
WR Henry Ruggs III on his expectations for himself:
"I put a lot of weight on my shoulders on not only being a leader, but developing a larger role in the offense and even on the team. I feel like myself, I'm motivated to do some big things this year."
On experiencing his first regular offseason:
"It's an incredible difference. The biggest thing is confidence and going in with this new group of guys, just developing the chemistry throughout OTAs and minicamp. It's a lot better and the camaraderie is there..."
On the Raiders offense:
"We had a lot of the pieces last year and this year we know exactly what pieces we need to work on and what we need to do to take that next step. I feel like everybody's on the same page to do that."
LB Nicholas Morrow on defensive coordinator Gus Bradley:
"Coach Bradley's energy is always up and I think the whole defense feeds off it. He's been a great addition to us for sure."
On his mentality heading into the season:
"Every season I go into I've got one objective and that's to get better. No matter what it is, no matter what's in front of me. You never arrive in this league, every day you've got to earn it. So that's what I've decided to do this year -- go out there and earn it and get better."
On his relationship with Coach Gruden and the team:
"Coming back to the Raiders and re-signing with them, the big thing was just having a relationship with the guys in the room. Having a relationship with the team, growing that bond through ups-and-downs. I feel like a lot of us should consider as players is going somewhere where we can grow together. It's always cool to be a part of something that's already been established but when you have the chance to grow it and you're in the muck with it, you're fighting for it, it means a lot to you. This organization means a lot to me."
View photos from the Raiders' first practice at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center during 2021 Training Camp.