QB Carson Palmer hands the ball off to RB Mike Goodson. Photo by Tony Gonzales
The Oakland Raiders took the field for their ninth OTA day at their Alameda practice facility on Wednesday. Spirits are high as the team gets more comfortable running the new offensive and defensive schemes. The offense is particularly excited about where they are headed as a unit.
"I'm excited to see the growth, especially from some of the young players, from the offensive line to the running backs, receivers and QB and tight ends," said offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. "It's good to see progress being made from practice to practice, in their assignments and techniques."
The offensive guys are using the off-season program to become comfortable with all the new offensive elements being thrown at them. "New terminology, new route running, but really exciting offense, really explosive," said QB Carson Palmer on ESPN Radio's Doug Gottlieb Show. "Houston has been running this offense for a long time and they've been very successful on that side of the ball. Personnel-wise, I think Coach Knapp's scheme really fits the personnel we have on offense."
Learning the new offense is a process, but WR Louis Murphy feels confident in where they're headed. "It's going good," said Murphy. "We've been working, just growing in the offense. It's fresh, it's new and it's going to take some time but I feel it's going in the right direction."
The Raiders running backs are excited about all the possibilities presented by the zone-blocking scheme. "I'm loving this offense; I can't even lie," said RB Mike Goodson. "The zone scheme - we run and show our speed, hit the holes, I love it."
RB Taiwan Jones feels the same way as Goodson. "I like it," said Jones. "The zone scheme works to my advantage. One cut and go. I like it."
FB Owen Schmitt, who joined the Raiders on May 15, is also thriving in the new-look offense. "The run game, I'm in love with it," said Schmitt. "The zone, it's just something that's really easy for us. Hopefully we can bring a lot of explosive plays to the field as far as offense goes."
Schmitt sees a lot of possibilities with the backfield of Darren McFadden, Goodson and Jones. "[They're] phenomenal," said Schmitt. "Very explosive, probably some of the fastest guys I've played with. All they need is a seam and, you can see out here in practice, they go the distance. It'll be interesting to see what happens once camp rolls around."