It’s on. The Rams are in Napa, ready to face off against the Raiders in training camp practice. Today is the first of two training camp scrimmage days for the Raiders and Rams. The starters for the Raiders will get their best work of the preseason in these two days.
“[T]he starters will get a lot of work where they won’t in the first preseason game,” Gruden said of the two scrimmage days, “so we’ll be able to see our young corners against some great receivers and vice versa. And we’ll see how we stack up against the NFC champs and it will be a great challenge for us.”
You couldn’t ask for a tougher team to practice against than the Rams who were in the Super Bowl a few months ago.
This offseason the Raiders signed away one of the Rams’ top defensive backs, reeling in Lamarcus Joyner. He knows what’s at stake facing his former team.
“We just want to see who’s willing to play. Coach Gruden is starting something new around here. Trying to bring back the Silver & Black dread,” Joyner said after practice Tuesday. “Starting tomorrow we want to see who’s willing to play and who’s worthy of wearing that Silver & Black jersey.”
When these two teams faced off in the preseason last year, neither team played their starters in the game. Expect the same when they meet up in their first preseason game on Saturday.
In fact, we didn’t hardly see any of the Raiders starters last preseason, which seem to be somewhat of a trend. Teams are using the preseason games more for player evaluation than for prepping the established starters.
This approach makes it tough to get any real indication of what kind of team the Raiders will be fielding this season, though it could help give an indication of the potential depth on the team. It makes the next two days all the more critical for the coaches and the players to work against another team.
For that reason they’ve been anticipating this day since the start of camp. Practice begins at 9:50 am and is scheduled to go until 12:30 pm.