QB Carson Palmer gets the play to the huddle. Photo by Tony Gonzales
The Oakland Raiders practiced today for the first time as a 53-man roster and eight-man practice squad. New editions to the roster – DB Phillip Adams, LB Keenan Clayton, T Willie Smith, CB Joselio Hanson as well as DT Vaughn Meatoga and RB Jeremy Stewart – were on the field for the first time donning the Silver and Black.
"I'm happy," said Hanson. "I'm back in California. I grew up in LA a Raider fan, so this is a dream come true."
The energy was high for the first practice of the regular season. "Today it was pretty upbeat," said CB Ron Bartell. "Training camp is over so you know that light was at the end of the tunnel, we finally got through that, which is always the toughest part. So it's upbeat. Guys are looking forward to going out there for real now. Everybody is excited to get the season kicked off."
Veteran safety Matt Giordano thought the first practice was lively. "Today was really good," said Giordano. "You can tell the attention to detail is cranked up and it's going to continue to progress throughout the week. It's going to be good and it's going to be competitive and we'll be ready."
During the past six weeks all of the players have traveled down an arduous road, even the veterans who have been through the process of training camp, cuts, and regular season before. "It's been smooth," said Bartell. "It's tough because you make a lot of relationships with guys through the past few months, to see people come and go, you never get used to it, no matter how long you've been around, it's something you never get used to, so from that standpoint it's been tough. But everything else has been smooth, just getting your body back together and cleaning up some things before we hit the opener. So it's been pretty good."
Now that the guys have made it to the first week of the season, they are ready to put in the work for San Diego. "Now these things are for real; these things count," said Giordano. "We're going to get mentally and physically ready. We've got a great test coming in on Monday night. I know the stadium is going to be rocking, so we're going to enjoy that and hopefully we'll get a win."
Log on to Raiders.com throughout the week for updates on the Raiders upcoming regular season opener.