During Raiders training camp practice today the moving trucks were busy in the background to pack up the team's stuff for the haul back to Alameda. Today was the final day of this year's training camp in beautiful Napa.
There is beauty to be had on the camp field as well, amidst the work being put in to prepare the Raiders for the coming season.
Following that final camp practice, Derek Carr took to the podium to give the final wrap of his camp experience this year.
"Camp is always a grind," said Carr. "Camp no matter what is always a grind. Obviously the two-a-days are different; it's a walk-thru and those kind of things, but it's always a grind physically and mentally, emotionally, as you have all seen, you know, with everybody. That's always gonna happen."
The emotions to which Carr is referring are those that erupted into a few training camp scuffles, one in particular saw Kelechi Osemele and Mario Edwards kicked out of practice. Another fight that occurred in practice between Damontre Moore and Jalen Richard saw Moore cut from the team. Those weren't the only fights for sure, but they were certainly the worst of them.
Carr himself doesn't fight. In fact, at times he was the peacekeeper. Keeping the spirits up on this team is a job Carr has taken on since his rookie season. He is the spirit of this team. It's a role he plays happily, even during the rare instances he may not be up to it.
"99.9% of the time it's real," said Carr. "I love people, I really do. I love being around people, I love especially being around my teammates because those are the guys you have so many memories with and all those things. But there's a .1% of the time, seriously, where you wake up and your body hurts, or something bad happened with a friend or a family member and it bugs you but you always gotta remember who you are and what you stand for. You gotta be the same guy and it's a really hard thing to do on that day when it happens. But it definitely happens, man, I'm human, it's gonna happen."
For anyone watching, despite the spats here and there, this team is having a lot of fun with each other. They get along great, they joke around, and they are there for each other. The atmosphere was upbeat and playful on a regular basis. It makes the grind of it all far easier to push through.
"I will say this; camp was fun," Carr continued. "It was a lot of fun. A lot of plays being made and even when the defense would make a play on me. It sucks and I was mad and all that, but . . . it's nice to see that because they're that good. They're that talented to cover that well or have a good blitz or those types of things. This camp was a lot of fun to see our team grow, it really was."
From here the Raiders players will hop on a flight to Green Bay tomorrow to play their second preseason game. When they return, they will be back at the facility in Alameda where they will train all through the season.
Until next year, Napa.