Monday is a big day for Raiders new coach Dennis Allen. It will mark the first time he is able to meet with his new team and start talking football. It is a pretty exciting day for the first time head coach. He will finally get to see the players he inherited as well as those he recently acquired.
"April 2, we get the players in for the offseason program." Said Allen."We get to report really two weeks earlier than anyone else (as a team with a first-year coach). We get the opportunity to have one extra mini-camp. I think after going through what we went through last year, I'll take anything I can get.
"It's a challenge. Obviously as coaches, we always want more time. These are the rules we've been given, so we'll find ways to adjust, and find different methods of getting our point across in a shorter period of time."
Allen will walk into that room as the head coach with an entire football team looking to him to guide them. He has his visions of how he would like to run things and what he hopes to see from his new players, but it is impossible to know for sure how it will play out without ever having had a football conversation with any of them.
Allen is not the only one feeling his way through this. The Raiders have an almost entirely rebuilt coaching staff and front office taking their maiden voyage.
"We're going to go through this offseason program." Said Allen. "The owners, players, the GM's, the coaches, we're all going to monitor how this process goes, and then there'll be things the players are going to want to adjust, there'll be things the coaches would want to adjust, and there'll be changes, I would expect, when you get into next offseason."
This is just the first steps between rookie head coach and his team looking at a fresh start. The coach doesn't yet know what he has in the locker room and the players don't have much of an idea of the kind of head coach they have.
Oddly enough, even with the turnaround among head coaches in Oakland, the last two head coaches were promoted from within. This means for many Raider players, it is the first time they are meeting a new Raider head coach for the first time.
"I need to figure out exactly what we have on the whole team." Said Allen. "I don't think you ever really truly know until you get out on the field and get an opportunity to work with them. I'm excited about a lot of the pieces to the puzzle that we have. But I don't think you fully know what you have until you get on the field with them. That's why I'm really looking forward to this mini-camp starting on April 17."