The Oakland Raiders completed their three-day voluntary veteran mini-camp on Thursday. The players and coaches had a chance to work together on the field, install plays, focus on fundamentals, and understand coaching and learning styles.
"Mini-camp was great," said offensive tackle Jared Veldheer. "All the team was able to get together with all the new pieces. I think we're definitely building; you can see guys getting better at certain techniques and everybody working toward the goal we want to accomplish, which is to win a championship. So it's a great first step and looking forward to starting back again when we start up OTAs."
WR Louis Murphy enjoyed the first mini-camp of the 2012 season. "It was good," said Murphy. "It was good to be back with the entire team, see some new faces, and good to get out with the coaches and get these new plays put in. It was a real good experience."
The mini-camp was beneficial for many reasons, one of which was getting to know the coaches in a practice setting. "It was good, a lot of fun," said LB Carl Ihenacho. "Actually had an opportunity to get together with the coaches, the d-coordinator. [It was] lots of fun; saw a lot of guys running around."
The coaching staff emphasized fundamentals throughout the three-day mini-camp. "Fundamentals are the important thing because the first thing that goes in a game with fatigue is fundamentals," explained Veldheer. "So if you build those fundamentals up, the more tired you get in the 4th quarter, those fundamentals are still going to be there. So the emphasis on that, I think it makes us a stronger team down the stretch."
Murphy also understood the importance of focusing on fundamentals. "It's going to help us out a lot," said Murphy. "In the 4th quarter, when it's gets tough, it goes down to your fundamentals. It was just good to learn the new staff and to get out there with the fellas."
The Raiders off-season program continues next week as the players head back into the weight room to work with the strength and conditioning staff.