The Raiders changed their practice schedule in recent days, making Sunday and Monday’s workouts less physical days with walk-through practices.
They went back with a padded practice Tuesday and the team’s brass loved what they saw. Las Vegas general manager Mike Mayock said the practice was intense, which is a good sign with the season opener looming in 19 days at the Carolina Panthers.
“I thought today’s practice was as competitive of a practice as we’ve had this year,” Mayock said. “I think Jon [Gruden] and the coaching staff did a great job. Gave (players) a couple of days to rest their legs, a lot of walk through stuff. Today, they came out with great energy. What that means to me is today’s as a good a practice as we have to evaluate. I can’t wait to get upstairs and see the tape.”
His response was in reply to a question was about the rookie class, but Mayock was excited about the whole team’s practice. In fact, he said the way the team is competing has been a highlight of training camp thus far.
“I got to be real, I mean the bottom line with most things is that we compete,” Mayock said. “If you can give a coach or a GM a compliment, that’s the highest compliment you can give them, is your kids compete. And that’s what I think we’re seeing. We got to get better.
When Jon and I started this thing together that’s what we talked about. That was pretty much our number one goal, we got to compete. Our kids have to compete. We believe we’re slowly getting to where we want to go.”
During the last two offseasons, the Raiders have focused on bringing in high character players who love the game. That’s why we’ve seen the likes of Clelin Ferrell, Jonathan Abram, Maxx Crosby, Hunter Renfrow, Alec Ingold and Damon Arnette, to name some, brought into the program. The result is you get competitive practices.
Have players that love to compete doesn’t guarantee a winning team, but it’s a big part of the puzzle and we’re seeing it take shape with the Raiders and that’s something you should be excited about.