It’s been a few years since the Raiders faced another team in a training camp scrimmage. The last time was when they went down to Oxnard to Dallas Cowboys training camp. And that time, a huge fight broke out.
In fact, today another huge fight broke out at Cowboys camp. And they’re not even scrimmaging.
OL vs. DL drills erupt with a fight after Travis Frederick got in the face of Antwaun Woods and Woods pushed Frederick in the helmet area: pic.twitter.com/PFtRqIuwnU— Brandon George (@DMN_George) August 5, 2018
There hasn’t been any fights at Raiders camp. There was during the offseason program between Fadol Brown and rookie Brandon Parker that went to the ground. Brown started it and was scolded by his coaches for it while Parker was praised for standing up for himself.
And that’s been it. Gruden just won’t stand for friendly fire.
Today not friendly fire is in town. But the rule still applies. Gruden and Lions head coach Matt Patricia have spoken at length several times about how their practice will go down. They have laid the ground rules to try and have a professional joint practice.
“There’s an etiquette and a professionalism that we want to have, number one,” said Gruden. “We don’t want a bunch of screaming and yelling and brawling out here. We want to have good, solid, fundamental football. Teaching moments. See a different opponent, block some different looks and get better. That’s the number one thing. . .
“It’ll be exciting. Hopefully our players — I know they will — will maintain good professionalism and get something out of it.”
New linebacker Tahir Whitehead knows a lot of the players who will be taking the field today in the other silver helmets. A former 5th round pick of the Lions, he spent the first six years of his career in Detroit. He is looking forward to seeing some of his old teammates today
Whitehead left them sign a free agent deal with the Raiders. He said he and his old teammates have talked smack over facetime, so you know he’ll be ready. But will things get heated?
“Hey, man, that’s camp, guys get a little testy, tempers flare, but I think we shouldn’t have any of that,” Whitehead said. “I think [the Lions] do a good job of showing up ready to work, keeping it about football. I think we have a good group that’s pretty much looking forward to doing the same because at the end of the day it’s nothing but a distraction if that occurs.”
Whitehead knows the guys that coming in pretty well. He knows their personalities and tendencies. That could be helpful to this Raiders teammates.
This is the first time in Whitehead’s professional career he’s had to face his former team. But it is not the first time he’s scrimmaged with another team in practice. So, he knows a thing or two about it, as do his former Lions teammates.
“The biggest benefit is not hitting your own guy anymore,” said Whitehead. “But just to be able to get some fresh look. It’s a different energy about it when you have those joint practices. It’ll be the third time that I’m doing it personally, and it’s good work.”
They will scrimmage for two days, today and tomorrow, then have a day off before facing these same Lions in their first preseason game at Oakland Coliseum on Friday.