Raiders break camp in Napa with eye on future

Raiders break camp in Napa with eye on future
August 23, 2012, 9:55 pm
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NAPA -- So how did Dennis Allen's first training camp as a head coach go for the Raiders' rookie head man?"I thought it was good work," Allen said after breaking camp with Thursday's practice. "I thought it was good work. I thought we had a chance to get better. Our guys worked extremely hard. We still have a long way to go and a lot of things we have to continue to improve on, but I thought it was a good foundation to build on."Mere coach-speak? Maybe, but what would you expect Allen to say?After all, incomingreturning offensive coordinator Greg Knaap compared the task at hand to a "start-up" company. And, with a new coach, new general manager, new schemes on both offense and defense and, well, a fresh philosophy trickling throughout the organization, you could make a good argument that the Raiders are the equivalent of an expansion franchise...with quality front-line players.And besides, the Raiders had a fairly uneventful camp in Wine Country -- transactions-wise, they only waived nose tackle Travis Ivey, signed linebacker Korey Bosworth and placed linebacker Mario Kurn and receiver Duke Calhoun on injured reserve. And the depth chart chart essentially stayed the same.Of course, there was the scary sight of Mike Goodson being strapped to a gurney, his facemask removed, and being loaded into an ambulance, but in 19 practices the Raiders simply worked. And worked some more."Grueling but fair," defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said of Allen's first camp. "It's been tough, probably the hardest camp I ever did, but I'm in good shape so I don't have no complaints."Especially not with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which did away with two-a-day practices. Allen and his staff still maximized the time available."He found time to make us bust the whole time," Kelly said."It is different. Everything is detailed. Everything's got a plan to it. It ain't just, wait a minute and we'll find out. You know everything. You know what you've got to do, down to the second."And for a team known as being as undisciplined as the Raiders were last year in setting league records for penalties (163) and penalty yards (1,358), accountability in camp is huge."If you want to be a good football team, theres got to be attention to detail," said 12th-year veteran defensive tackle Richard Seymour. "The coaching staff, theyve made it fun, but I...kind of relay it back to the safety belt. Its one of the things that you need (even if) you might not always want to do it. But its one of the things that you have to do if you want to be safe in a car, or take care of business and at the end of the day, winning football games."Seymour said Wednesday night's rookie talent show was the best he's seen since arriving in Oakland in 2009, "which isn't saying a whole lot," he said with a laugh.Details are sparse, though video cameras and a yellow security jacket were utilized...with smiles, of course."I'm excited about where we're headed as a team," Seymour said. "We had some good work, we bonded well."I look at training camp as one of the necessary evils. It's one of those things you have to go through, but at the end of the day, you'll be better for it."Now, we'll see if Oakland can carry that forward as the Raiders prepare for Saturday's preseason gameregular season dress rehearsal against Detroit."I enjoyed it," Allen said. "I think we have a great situation here in Napa. This is, as far as the setup, is the best training camp Ive ever been a part of from that standpoint. The weathers been great, the hotel has been outstanding. Thats been good. I think our work has been good. I was pleased with what we did here in training camp."

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