Recently acquired TE Kevin Boss practiced for the first time since joining the Raiders. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
Saturday, The Oakland Raiders welcomed several fresh faces, three new and two familiar, at their Napa Valley Training Complex as Training Camp 2011 continues.
Restricted free agent RB Michael Bush re-signed and reported to camp, WR Shawn Bayes returned for another chance to make the squad, and newcomers WRs Chad Jackson and Derek Hagan, and FB Bryson Kelly signed in time for practice.
Bush was happy to be in camp and to reunite with his teammates.
"My body has to get used to being on the field again, making cuts and things like that, but for the most part it was just good being back with the guys," Bush said.
"He looked good. Absolutely, he is in shape," Raiders Head Coach Hue Jackson said. "I haven't been around him to know what kind of shape he is in but he looks great. We are glad to have him back."
The team recently announced the acquisition of free agent TE Kevin Boss who arrived in Napa Friday night, signed his contract and attended evening meetings.
Approximately an hour before the Silver and Black's afternoon practice, Coach Jackson introduced Boss to the assembled media.
"I'm so excited that he's a part of our organization now," Coach Jackson said. "Obviously we had a need at a position there, and watching tape of him, knowing him a little bit through the league, and watching what he's done in his career, it was just a great fit."
After the introduction Boss fielded questions and expressed that Coach Jackson's passion for the game and the Raiders was a determining factor in his decision-making process.
"The moment I met Coach Jackson I could feel his energy and that was exciting for me," Boss said. "Within moments of meeting him I felt on board with his ideas and his passion for the game and his energy is really exciting to be around, and I'm just thrilled to be a part of it now."
Boss hit the field with his new teammates and participated in the full practice. Coach Jackson was impressed with how quickly the offense's new weapon fit right in.
"I thought he was awesome. I mean for him to step in and walk right in…I mean we do a lot of different things on offense," Coach Jackson said. "He picked it up and I think we are a couple days away at seeing Kevin at his best."
Chad Jackson, Bayes, Hagan and Kelly were also on the field for afternoon practice and were consistently in the mix. Coach Jackson said that with a few players missing time with a variety of injuries, it was important to bolster the roster.
"I think the key is that we have to be able to practice and as you guys see we practice pretty fast and really hard," Coach Jackson said. "So if you only have five guys it is hard for those five guys to keep taking a bunch of reps."
Notes: Coach Jackson announced that veteran guard Justin Smiley has decided to retire from football. The Raiders will resume practice Monday after taking Sunday off. The Raiders open the 2011 preseason Thursday against the Arizona Cardinals at O.co Coliseum. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. PT.