Safety Matt Giordano. Photo by Tony Gonzales
The Oakland Raiders started their second week of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) on Monday at the Alameda practice facility. The team continued to work on fundamentals and schemes as the players start to get more comfortable with the coaches and their teammates. "Things are going well," said T Jared Veldheer. "The team is coming together and we're making great progress."
The veterans are beginning to feel more comfortable with the playbook and the structure of new Head Coach Dennis Allen's practices and meetings. "They're going good," said S Matt Giordano on OTAs. "Just new defense, new regime, so you're just trying to get a handle on how things are run, where they want us, where they want me, and just trying to get better as a player day by day."
Second-year cornerback Chimdi Chekwa is starting to get into the groove on defense. "Getting back into the flow of things," said Chekwa. "Everybody has a good mindset, so I think we're getting better and having fun."
Offensive lineman Ed Wang, who joined the team at the beginning of May, is feeling good about the Raiders offense. "It's been going good, starting to get comfortable with the offense and everything," said Wang. "Things are starting to pick up and I'm able to play more without thinking about what I have to do."
The quarterbacks are using the OTAs as an important opportunity to understand the personnel on offense. "We're working on our timing with the receivers, getting the stuff down with the schemes with the linemen and stuff like that," said QB Terrelle Pryor. "It's just all around great effort. We're just trying to get better."
Pryor notices an improvement from the first week of OTAs." I think a lot of things are cleaning up from the first time and we're trying to get the rookies caught up as well, but they're doing a great job too," said Pryor.
The players are able to reach their current comfort level because they are buying into Coach Allen's philosophy. "It's been real smooth," said Chekwa on the coaching transition. "I think they're really trying to change the culture around here and I think they're doing a good job."
Giordano also feels positive about the transition. "It's great," said Giordano. "We've got great coaches and they're definitely getting us better and we're trying to build a new culture around here. It's going to take hard work and they're the right people to help us to do that."
While the veterans adjust to the new coaching staff, they are also helping the rookies acclimate to the National Football League. "With rookies, it's always a little tough learning a new system and getting used to playing at NFL speed, so we're trying to bring them along and they're doing a good job so far," said Chekwa.
Between learning a new system, getting used to the speed of the NFL, meeting new teammates, and meeting expectations, the rookies have a lot to get used to. "I remember when I was a rookie," said Giordano. "I understand that their heads are swimming right now, but they're working hard and they're going to catch on and they're buying into the system."
The team will head back out to the field tomorrow so head to Raiders.com, the Raiders official Facebook page, and Twitter for coverage.