CB Conroy Black, out of the University of Utah, participates in his first mini-camp as a pro. Photo by Tony Gonzales
The Oakland Raiders opened their three-day rookie mini-camp at the team's Alameda facility Friday. The rookies put on a Raiders uniform, worked with the coaches on the field, and went to meetings, all for the first time as professional football players. "It felt real good," said P Marquette King of putting on the Silver and Black. "I felt honored to be in it and get an opportunity to."
The rookies, as well as players who have been on the practice squad, and those who have joined the team of late, were enthusiastic about the first practice. "I'd say it went well," said DT Jamie Cumbie. "It was a lot of those guys' first day in the NFL, so nerves were out there, but I think it went well. There was a lot of good effort; definitely something to build on."
Rookie CB Conroy Black, out of the University of Utah, felt like Day 1 was a success. "It felt great," said Black. "It was a great experience, great opportunity. It's just good to get the first practice out of the way and I felt like I made some plays, did a good job overall, so it just felt good wearing the uniform and being out here on the first day."
QB Rhett Bomar joined the Raiders in January, but is taking full advantage of his opportunities during the mini-camp. "I was looking forward to it, just knowing that coming in here I'd get a lot of reps," said Bomar. "[I was here for] the veteran mini-camp, so that helps me and gets me ahead than all the other guys, but I just want to go out there and get reps and get the repetitions I didn't get two weeks ago. So it felt great to be out there working."
Both Bomar and Cumbie, having been with the team already, took a leadership role out on the field. "I've been helped by a lot of veterans in my time here, so definitely if they have questions, I'm there to help them," explained Cumbie. "You do lead by example and I've been here so I definitely try to set the tone when I'm out there."
Bomar, especially as a quarterback, is embracing his role as a leader. "You have to be more of a leader," said Bomar. "I'm still learning too, but you help guys out, get their assignments right and stuff like that. I should be more comfortable and take charge out there."
For the first-timers, the rookie mini-camp is a time to impress, but also soak up everything from the coaches. "I'm learning a lot already," said Black. "It's the first day so you are just learning on the fly right now, but it's been going real well. I'm learning a lot from the coaches. I love the DB coaches already and the defensive coordinator, so overall I'm just willing to keep learning and finish up this weekend."
King hopes to prove to the coaching staff that he belongs. "Hopefully impressing the coaches," said King on his goals for the weekend. "Hopefully I'll be what they want and they feel like they can work with me."
Black hopes to do the same. "Just get better every day and make plays," said Black. "That's my main thing right now – I just want to make plays and show them that I'm a playmaker and know my assignments and get better on my technique. Overall just have a good camp, a good rookie mini-camp."
DB Terrail Lambert, who joined the Silver and Black on the practice squad during the 2011 season, wants to be as helpful as possible to the incoming rookies, while he perfects his own technique. "Don't be afraid to ask questions," Lambert said on the most important advice for the rookies. "Be a sponge, and in my experience, being quick to listen and slow to speak has served me well."
As the weekend progresses, the players want to leave a good, lasting impression. "Just keep improving, just keep getting better," said Bomar. "As a team, we made a lot of mistakes this morning, but that's going to be there with a lot of young guys, new guys, new offense, but keep getting better and being consistent."
The rookie mini-camp continues on Saturday with an on-field practice. Be sure to log on to Raiders.com, follow us on Twitter and "Like" us on Facebook for complete coverage.