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Pads go on for Raiders today "the first day we really play football"

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Levi Damien

Things get a bit more interesting in Raiders training camp today. The pads go on and the hitting can begin. This is where we get our first good look at how the linebackers and linemen are looking. Or as Dennis Allen said yesterday...

"Tomorrow's the first day we really play football. I think everybody gets excited about the first day in pads. But what we've got to ... We've just got to maintain our focus, alright? We've just got to focus in on trying to get better every day and not worry about whether we're in pads, not pads. Just do our job and do it right every single time, and if we do that, we'll continue to get better as a football team."

The young defensive players are really looking forward to this day when they can finally hit someone and try and distinguish themselves. Rookie fifth overall pick Khalil Mack is among those who has had this day circled on his calendar for a while.

"I'm very excited, very excited," Mack said Wednesday. "Just putting on pads and getting a feel for the game again, you know. It's been probably like six months (so it's good to) get back on the field."

The older players could mostly take it or leave it -- as Antonio Smith put plainly yesterday. Pads just means things heat up both literally and figuratively. That also means more chance of injury.

Also a good bet is we will see our first training camp fight. There's always someone who takes things a little too far and tempers flare. Should be fun.

To keep your finger on the pulse of camp today (and everyday), just bang that button below.