Greetings from beautiful Napa, Calif., Raider Nation.
After our what seemed like a two-week offseason, the Silver and Black are back to work, and in just a few short days, they’ll hold their first full squad practice of training camp.
As expected, you all had a bunch of questions surrounding Head Coach Jon Gruden’s squad, so we’re going rapid fire style to get to as many of them as possible.
From Lori Louder Cabral: How much time is spent on the practice field and how much time is spent in the meetings room? And what things besides practicing do you spend time on, to bond as a team?
EP: On your average day here in Napa, practice is just under three hours, with meetings both before and after the team’s time on the field. In terms of bonding, since the Raiders go away for camp, they literally spend almost every minute throughout the day with each other, and that type of situation really forces you to get to know somebody in a hurry. For me, it’s really one of the biggest benefits about the team picking up and relocating to Napa for a month.
From George Mota: Which position has the most competition?
EP: Great question. For me, I’m going to say the wide receivers. From AB and Tyrell Williams all the way down to Keelan Doss and the young fellas trying to make the final roster, this group is stacked.
From Todd Sobieralski: Is Te’von Coney the biggest possible sleeper? It’s the biggest hole to fill on the whole team
EP: I like Coney. I mentioned him just a question ago, but I also really dig what Keelan Doss brings to the table. Keep an eye on him.
Rookies and quarterbacks report to the Napa Valley Marriott for the start of 2019 Training Camp.
From Vincent Macias: Out of all of our rookies, who do you see stepping into a leadership role early on?
EP: Clelin Ferrell. Dude is a born leader.
From James Peterson: Who do you see as a rookie being a definitive game changer?
EP: I like Ferrell a lot, and I think Johnathan Abram is going to be an absolute stud in ’19.
From Alice Schantz: I feel really good about this season. How is the team coming together?
EP: It’s still too early to really get a feel for what the 2019 Raiders will be like, but all indications are that the Offseason Workout Program went very well, and positivity abounds as we wait for the vets to arrive in Napa.
From Anthony Lovato: If Chris Warren III has another great preseason will he make the team?
EP: There it is, our traditional CWIII question! To answer your query though, if the big man plays as well as he did last preseason, you have to find a spot for him on the 53-man roster.
From Randy Larsen: The Raiders play most of the home games at the Coliseum, why don't they practice there?
EP: The Coliseum just doesn’t have the meeting rooms or space that an NFL team needs to operate day to day. Don’t forget, the Raiders have a full performance center at their Alameda facility too.
From Colin Spriggs: Who's going to be the starting cornerback with Conley this season?
EP: I’d be really surprised if it was anyone besides Daryl Worley.
From Guy Mann: Where does Karl Joseph fit in long term?
EP: To be determined, but he has a chance this year – in a contract year, no less – to be a part of what defensive coordinator Paul Guenther wants to build long term.
From Jason Smith: Does Ronald Ollie have a shot at cracking the 53-man roster?
EP: He’ll have a bunch of guys in front of him on the depth chart, but every year an undrafted guy makes a bid to earn a spot on the final roster. Can Ollie be that guy this year? We’ll find out over the next month.
From Louis Vanderstarre: No questions, just have a great Training Camp. I am ready for NFL to start. Go Raiders.
EP: All love, Louis, all love.
Let's take a look at the current 90-man roster as players arrive in Napa for 2019 Training Camp.