The Las Vegas Raiders held their first practice of training camp on Wednesday and the press conference afterward sounded like a high school science class as the word ‘chemistry’ kept coming up. That’s understandable seeing as the Raiders are breaking in a new starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, who will be throwing to All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams for the first time.
“I mean, it’s different,” Adams replied when asked about catching passes from a new QB. “It’s guys timing, the ball comes out differently, different way you release the ball, but it’s all just throwing at the end of the day. Nothing that the reps can’t get you used to.”
The former Packer and current Raider certainly has plenty of experience working with a new passer seeing as he’s caught balls from Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr, Jarrett Stidham and now Garoppolo over the course of the last three seasons. From the sounds of it, Las Vegas’ new signal-caller is taking the advice of his new running mate.
“It’s coming. I mean, it’s definitely coming. We’ve gotten some good reps over the summer,” Garoppolo explained on how he’s adjusting to working with his new teammates. “Training camp I think will only get better and better as we go. I mean, running routes against air is one thing, but once you get out there with the defense against you, and you really can see what guys can do and can’t do, and they can say the same with me. I think that’s when you really start to build your chemistry.”
As the old saying goes; “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” so it’s understandable that Las Vegas’ new tandem might take a while to get in sync. Garoppolo admitted that there were a few reps they’d probably want back, but both he and Adams seemed to be happy with how their first practice together went.
“Well, first it’s good to be together and finally get to work,” the wideout said. “But yeah, he looks good. It’s a process though, we have a lot of things to work through and get on the same page and keep working at it together. But it was definitely a good first day.”
“I thought we had a pretty good day today, Garoppolo added. “A couple [plays] here and there that we could have hit a little better. But overall, I thought it was pretty good.”
Both players also shared what traits the other guy has that will help make this a seamless transition and were very complementary of each other.
“He’s a great guy, easy to talk to, super coachable from the coaches to him and listening to my feedback and the way that I view the game too,” Adams explained of Garoppolo. “Today was very productive, a lot of conversation out there, and we just got to stay on that and continue with it to get to where we want to be, obviously, come Week 1.”
Those conversations made a big impact on the quarterback as he walked away impressed with how the wideout was able to communicate his thought process on his route running.
“We’re throwing some routes on air today and we were just talking; just hearing him talk and how he sees the picture, and how I see it, It’s pretty cool,” Garoppolo said. “I mean, he sees it very similar to a quarterback, which as a quarterback, makes you feel great.
“...He just started talking, like most receivers just tell you the route they want, and they run the route. He was kind of talking the talk, and I was like, ‘Okay, this guy’s seeing what I’m seeing. Throw it earlier rather than later.’ Just little things like that, and it’s pretty cool, man.”
Adams also walked away from those conversations feeling more secure about his new partner, stating that he thinks Jimmy G’s “openness and eagerness to learn” will help the duo hit the ground running. As for how long it will take them to get in sync, it’s hard to pin down a specific timeline but the quarterback likes where they’re at so far.
“We’ve got a long way to go, me and him, but we’re off to a good start,” Garoppolo concluded.