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What We Learned in Veteran Mini-Camp

The Silver and Black concluded their three-day veteran mini-camp Thursday at their Alameda, Calif., practice facility, and following the day's work on the field, several players addressed the assembled media.

The group spoke on a wide variety of topics, so here are the best nuggets from Thursday's media session.


I. Trent Richardson is looking forward, not back.**

Richardson is entering just his fourth year in the NFL, but the Raiders mark his third team during that span.

However, the Alabama product isn't wasting time looking back at his past; he's solely focused on living up to his potential while wearing the Silver and Black.

"It's a fresh start," said Richardson.  "It's just really getting back to being myself, like [Head Coach Jack Del Rio] always tells me. Don't talk about what you could have done and should have done, just get back to loving the game and having fun. For me, it's just getting better every day, strengthen my skills, cleaning up a lot of stuff, because you can always get better."


II. Today's word of the day is "intensity."**

Veteran DE Justin Tuck has only been able to spend a limited amount of time with the new Raiders coaching staff so far this offseason, but in those interactions both on and off the field, one word has jumped out to the two-time Super Bowl Champion – intensity.

"They're [the coaching staff] very intense," Tuck said.  "We need some intensity. This staff is great. They've been around. They're a very experienced staff with a lot of different pedigrees as far as 3-4, 4-3, no huddle, pro-style, whatever it may be. They've pretty much seen it all and coached it all."

**III. Curtis Lofton is one cool customer.


After spending the past three seasons in New Orleans, LB Curtis Lofton now finds himself in Oakland for 2015. Lofton has to learn a new defense, from a new coaching staff, in a new city, so it's understandable that he could be a little overwhelmed, but that's not the case for the former Oklahoma Sooner.

"I've been around for a while, so it's understanding concepts, and plus the hard part right now is just getting to know your guys," Lofton said.  "Just going around to see what they need from you, what you can do to make their job easier as a middle linebacker, and that's what I've been trying to do. It's just fun to get out there and play football."


IV. Nate Allen is confident in the young cornerbacks on the roster.**

After relying on veterans on the outside for the past several seasons, the Raiders are going young at cornerback in 2015.

Newly-signed safety Nate Allen will work closely with those young corners, but isn't worried about having to keep an extra eye on the youngsters.

"They're great players," Allen said. "They know what they have to do out there, and they're professionals too. They'll make a lot of plays for us, and just having C-Wood [Charles Woodson] back there is big for the entire secondary. He's played, corner, nickel, everything. He can give us perspective on a lot of different things. It's beneficial having him."


V. The Tay Train doesn't need any maintenance.**

RB Latavius Murray didn't come into 2014 healthy, but that's not the case this year. Entering 2015, the third-year running back is healthy, motivated and ready to compete for the starting job in Oakland.

"Being injured last year, this offseason I was able to do a lot more in the offseason," Murray said. "I was able to work a little more just because I didn't have any limitations with my foot or my ankle. It's been a good offseason for me and now that we're back here, it's just definitely good to go out there and get back on the field and compete."


VI. Derek's already making new friends.**

Derek Carr has a new weapon on the outside this season in WR Michael Crabtree, and although the two are still getting to know each other, the second-year quarterback is pleased with the progress they have made together thus far.

"He [Crabtree] works hard," Carr said. "He stays with me after practice. He told me the first day here, 'whatever you need, I'm here.' Whether I call him at midnight and I need him, he said, 'whatever you need, I'm here.' That's all I can ask, as long as we're out here working. We hit a deep ball and then we missed one, so I told him, 'now we need to get the timing.' It was good to throw it to the right spot, but now we have to get the timing right. That's what Phase II is for, and I'm looking forward to it."

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