Joe Ahlert asks:
"Which offensive and defensive player have been most surprising so far?"
The answer to this question is two players that I highlighted in Thursday's Training Camp Notebook.
Both Lester Cotton Sr. and Tre’von Moehrig are two players that I think have made great leaps this offseason to potentially take on bigger roles. Cotton has seen a lot of reps in the first week of camp and has gained the respect and admiration of the locker room through his maturation. The guard could have a lot of eyes on him this preseason.
"Lester has just come in and put his head down," Head Coach Josh McDaniels said Thursday morning. "The Lester Cotton that I know from this offseason and now going into Training Camp, he just works hard. He's been in condition, he's gotten stronger, he did a tremendous job in our offseason program. He's been vocal, he's led by example and with his voice. He's brought others along with him.
"He's earning the opportunities that he's getting, and we'll see where that goes," continued McDaniels. "Lester knows he's competing like everybody else is, but really excited for the growth I've seen in him and the growth that I've heard from people that were with him before."
Moehrig is a little less of a surprise than Cotton, considering the safety had an exceptional rookie season in 2021. Nevertheless, Moehrig has looked more comfortable and fluid on the practice field. It's not surprising that Moehrig could take a leap going into his second season, the question will be how big this leap could be.
Daniel Salazar asks:
"What's the plan for losing Denzelle Good?"
The plan is to keep competing.
While the team will miss Good's contributions, the Raiders are deep at offensive line and are still in the process of plugging guys in to make the right fit. McDaniels made it clear that everyone is going to have to work for their spot in the trenches.
"It's too early to sit here and try to say where it's at, but there's multiple guys in there that are competing," McDaniels said Thursday. "They know that. They all know it. We're going to try to play the best 11 guys in every snap. It's the right thing to do. It's the best thing for the team."
Scott Boe asks:
"After watching AJ Cole's press conference Wednesday I have to ask – who are your top three players to interview?"
AJ Cole is definitely in the top three – the man is comedy.
He always brings a good blend of seriousness and light-heartedness to his press conferences. There's also hasn't been an AJ Cole media availability in which he didn't make me laugh at least once.
For the other two, I'll go with the most recent Craig Long Award winners Maxx Crosby and Darren Waller. The Craig Long Award is presented annually to the player who best exemplifies professionalism and collaboration with the media at large, and I can attest that Crosby and Waller fit the bill. What I personally enjoy about the two is their willingness to go beyond football and be open about their journey within life.
Great question, Scott.
Head out to Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center for exclusive photos of the Silver and Black's 2022 Training Camp practice.