The Raiders were the first team to open training camp, thanks to their appearance in the Hall of Fame Game in two weeks, and the start was deliberately slow. The pads don’t come into place until Wednesday, and coaches have insisted on being in the right position every play and communicating what you see to your nearby teammate.
Did the defensive players accomplish everything coordinator Patrick Graham wanted in the first three practices?
“Hellllll no,” Graham said saturday morning.
He smiled and admitted he would never say yes to that question.
“I’m a coach now. We have a lot of things to improve,” Graham said. “They work hard, but no. The standard is the standard. … Sorry for the language. Don’t tell my mother.
The team ran a lot, because in the rounds after the games they screw up in training. Quarterback Derek Carr and rookie center Dylan Parham went for a little walk after a sloppy snap on Thursday, and other players also stopped what they were doing and took a turn after mistakes, just as they l did at pee wee or high school prom a decade or two ago.
“It doesn’t matter who’s fault: if it happens between two people, hit it,” Carr said Friday. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whose fault it was. ‘Let’s go.’ It is a question of responsibility. It’s a learning lesson because we can’t fight.
“So just have that attitude. You may have a bad attitude about it, or you may just say, “Hey, we need to grow and improve. I think that’s something that’s part of the philosophies here, that we’re all in this together, and that’s what we’re going to do.
There are plenty of wrinkles in the new offense and defense, and while coaches dismiss talk of the New England way, it’s a first for returning Raiders players.
“It’s all in the details,” center Andre James said after running a round with backup quarterback Nick Mullens on Thursday. “These coaches are very detail-oriented, and we love that. Yeah, we have to clean up some cliches. You know, the first day back, you have different QBs, different centers making trades, so that’s just something that we need to clean up and something that we will continue to work on.
“I think (the towers) would be a good image to show you what’s going on here. … We’re not going to let little things slip by.
Former Patriots safety Duron Harmon was one of the stars of camp, and more for his leadership than his play (although Saturday marked the first day he started eating Johnathan snaps). Abram with the first team).
“Mistakes cost you, so at this stage of training it might not cost you the game, but it will cost you a lap,” Harmon said on Thursday. “And if you ask those guys after running that lap you get a bit tired and then you have to go back and you still have to focus. Like you said it’s just part of the responsibility that we want to have on this team.
Receiver Mack Hollins isn’t a former Patriot, he’s more of a dolphin (he was the one who caught the pass after Arden Key ripped off Ryan Fitzpatrick’s helmet in the last-minute loss in Las Vegas there two years old). And he made everyone run a mile after lifting weights this offseason.
applying. pressure 🏴☠️🖤 pic.twitter.com/AT5B8FcADm
— Mack Hollins (@mackhollins) July 23, 2022
“After every run, every comeback, every practice…we go the miles with Mack Hollins,” tight end Foster Moreau said Thursday. “And I’m guilty of missing a few because the guy is a different race. But it’s an amazing experience to be able to learn from these new guys. We have a lot of new faces on this team, but one constant is hard work.
The “Mack Hollins Mile” may not be a mile.
“It’s definitely a little over a mile — which tends to get on the nerves of some people,” Moreau said. “But we get it and we run it and we shut up and do it. Some people take shortcuts, some don’t.
We here at Athleticism predicted a career year for the 6-foot-4 Hollins, quicker than you might think, and he’s off to a great start, to say the least.
“Mack Hollins, man, he’s an amazing guy, man,” running back Josh Jacobs said Saturday. “He’s fun. And he’s a hard worker, man. He comes over there every day and he works. And I’m glad to see him. He’s smart too. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guy commit an offense that fast, honestly. … I really think he’s a guy people can look up to and try to follow.
Tight end Darren Waller pumped the brakes a bit.
“I mean, I don’t want to give this guy too much credit,” Waller said Saturday, “but I’ve known him for a few months, and he’s probably one of the top five funniest guys I’ve ever had. never met in my life.”
Graham “don’t reinvent the wheel”
One of the popular storylines was the complexity of Graham’s defense versus Gus Bradley’s Cover 3 defense for the Raiders last season. Graham smiled at that one.
“I mean, football is not as complex as everyone thinks,” he said. “I mean, football, you have a one-tier area, you have a one-tier man. They played that here last year. You have shared security, zone shared security, man, they played that here last year. I mean, we’re not reinventing the wheel. … Of each system, it’s usually the language – that’s probably what’s different. And the guys adopted him. I mean, it was a very successful defense last year, and we’re just trying to build on that.
Don’t try to get him to talk about going 3-4 or 4-3.
“However we deploy the forward in Game 1, we’re going to do what we think is best,” he said. “So if it’s 3-4 or 4-3, whatever they call it, we’re going to do what we think is best. Guys are learning multiple positions. Here’s the problem: the roster is so limited that we “We only have a certain number of players. Guys have to be able to do more than one thing. That’s how you increase your value, that’s how you increase the possibility of you staying here, that you are part of the team.
“So a lot is asked of our guys, whether it’s up front, second tier or third tier, they’ve been asked to learn more than one thing. And now… if you only know one thing, you better be really, really good.
Harmon said it would be a “fun” ride for players new to the system.
“It’s multiple defence, can be submarine, can be base,” he said. “A lot of different personnel, and it’s fun because at the end of the day, we just try to match our personnel with the attacking personnel, and when you have a young, talented defense like this, we have good chances of matching staff with lots of different teams.
We’re starting to see more first-team rotations with the offensive line. Here are four of them on display on Saturday, starting with the most common:
- LT Kolton Miller, LG John Simpson C James, RG Lester Cotton, RT Brandon Parker
- LT Miller, LG Simpson, C James, RG Cotton, RT Alex Leatherwood
- LT Miller, LG Simpson, C Parham, RG Cotton, RT Leatherwood
- LT Miller, LG Parham C James, RG Cotton, RT Leatherwood
Denzelle Good is slowly coming back from knee surgery, and is expected to slip in soon enough for Cotton. Well, though, that might not be the lock we once thought, as he took a massive pay cut this week. Good was to receive a base salary of $3.09 million, but this was reduced to $1.04 million. He can recover $425,000 through incentives.
Jacobs is impressed with Leatherwood, his former Alabama teammate who lost the starting right tackle position last year after being drafted in the first round.
“I see ‘Wood working hard every day,” Jacobs said Saturday. “I’m excited to see what he does this year.”
Cornerback Nate Hobbs got a few snaps lined up outside with the first team (otherwise it was Rock Ya-Sin and Anthony Averett), while Jayon Brown and Divine Deablo shared snaps of the nickel linebacker at the alongside Denzel Perryman.
Crosby’s New Improved Jab
Defensive end Maxx Crosby has already relied heavily on Harmon.
Crosby asked Harmon, “How does (Tom) Brady work and what are the things he does that he can do for so long?”
“And (Harmon) said when he got to New England, Brady said to him, ‘There’s no offseason. So for me, that’s sort of my approach,” Crosby said. “Even after the Bengals game, for me it was like, OK, there are a lot of guys who go on vacation for a month and eat whatever, and then you have to lose weight and do that. Like for me, I was still doing my normal routine, I was still cooking my meals because that’s what the big guys do.
When he wasn’t at the Raiders facility, Crosby was at the boxing gym.
“Boxing is amazing when it comes to timing, speed, conditioning, all those things…movement,” Crosby said Wednesday. “I feel like that will definitely help going into this season.”
Davante Adams on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ move to former Fresno State teammate at Carr: ‘Changing quarterbacks from a Hall of a Famer to a Hall of Famer,’ he said. he told CBS on Friday. “It’s been a lot of fun getting back on the same page with Derek.”
Waller on contract extension talks between Raiders and his agent: “I’m focused on the game. … Whatever happens there is what happens there, but whatever the outcome, I’m playing here.
Tashan Reed contributed to this report.
(Photo by Josh McDaniels: John Locher/Associated Press)