Players check in to the hotel in Napa, Calif., for Training Camp 2012. Photo by Tony Gonzales
The Oakland Raiders reported to their Napa Valley Training Complex on Saturday for Training Camp 2012. This will be the first training camp under General Manager Reggie McKenzie and Head Coach Dennis Allen and the players are eager to get started.
"I'm ready, everybody's been putting this work in, it's here now," said RB Taiwan Jones. "A lot is expected of me; this should be a break out year for me, to be able to show the fans and the Raider Nation what I can do and I'm excited about that."
Under the rules of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the players want to take advantage of their limited practice time as they head into the preseason and regular season. "Now, more than ever, a wasted day can hurt you," said DE Dave Tollefson. "You have to take advantage of every single day you have on the field whether that's a walk-through or a padded practice. Obviously the walk-throughs become exponentially more important. Now more than ever you have to make sure you take advantage of that."
In those padded practices and walk-throughs, the team will work to perfect the plays and schemes introduced during the off-season program. "When we first put it in it was in OTA mode, we were just introducing it, we were in our shorts and stuff," explained T Khalif Barnes. "The second time we do it it's going to be live, we're going to have pads on and we're going against our defense and have a great defense, especially up front, and we get to put some of that to use and we get to actually physically put it on people. This time around it's getting real. It's the start of what we're going to do this year."
Tollefson's goal for training camp is to improve as a player. "Just to get better, I think that's everybody's goal," said Tollefson.
The Raiders training camp in Napa is a unique opportunity for players to get away and focus solely on football. "You get away from the family and focus and are around the guys and get that camaraderie going, it's kind of neat."
The team will take the practice field for the first time on Monday, exactly two weeks before their first preseason game. Log on to Raiders.com, the Raiders official Facebook page, and Twitter for complete coverage of the Raiders 2012 Training Camp.