Head Coach Dennis Allen addresses the team. *Photo by Allan Yuan
The Oakland Raiders have two weeks of on-field activities remaining before their off-season program concludes. The players have various goals they want to accomplish during the last set of Organized Team Activities (OTA) and the mandatory mini-camp, all of which revolve around being prepared for training camp and the 2012 season.
Rookie DE Jack Crawford is focused on fundamentals. "I just really want to correct all the little things that I can right now, just the areas that need the most work," said Crawford. "I really want to work them out with Coach [Terrell] Williams. Then also just learn the playbook from back to front; really focus on getting the playbook down pat and move forward from there."
Because of the new coaching staff, veterans and rookies have had to start from scratch as far as the playbook is concerned. "Make sure, as far as playbook wise, you try to get in everything now, so when we get to training camp it's not all new stuff so we can really hit the ground running," said DE Dave Tollefson on goals for the team.
Tollefson also stressed the value of strength and conditioning, in addition to knowing the playbook. "The weight program has been going great," said Tollefson. "That's probably one of, if not the most, important thing of this offseason is -- to get stronger and faster and quicker in the weight room and out on the field so when the season comes around you're ready to go. You want all those things to kind of meet and when you get to training camp you can put some pads on and thump a little bit and really you've got the mental part down so the physical comes in and you get ready for the season."
Head Coach Dennis Allen has made the point many times throughout the off-season that the goal is to get a little bit better each day. T Khalif Barnes agrees whole-heartedly. "These next two weeks, I want to just keep improving and make a steady incline and make sure we're getting more offense in and getting ready so when we come back for camp it's more of a review and not really introductions," said Barnes. "So these next two weeks are real critical. We're trying to build on what we have now. We're not where we want to be obviously, but these two weeks are very important and needed. They're needed for us to continue to build so we can get to where we need to get to be a well-oiled machine in September."