Editor's note: Scott Bair is in Alameda Tuesday through Thursday for the Raiders' three-day minicamp. Stay logged on to CSNBayArea.com and tune in nightly to SportsNet Central and Yahoo SportsTalk Live for comprehensive coverage.
ALAMEDA – The next five weeks are a silently stressful time for NFL coaches. They don’t have direct contact with their players, no way to influence their work ethic or decision-making.
The goal is to wake up every day without a player’s mugshot in the paper, and then arrive at training camp with a roster in great physical shape.
Raiders head coach Dennis Allen will leave for a family vacation in Florida without much concern. He has faith in a veteran group that stays off the police blotter and remains committed to the club.
He didn’t heed warnings or make an impassioned plea for good behavior on Thursday, the final day of the offseason program. He believes these Raiders will be responsible.
“So you always try to tailor your message towards what your team is and what type of football team that you have,” Allen said. “We have a lot of veteran players here, so I expect those guys are going to do the things we need to do to be ready for camp.”
The Raiders want to hit the ground running when training camp starts July 24 in Napa, and build off what they consider a productive offseason program.
Raiders players spent time in a weightlifting program, a rookie minicamp, 10 OTAs and a three-day mandatory minicamp during an offseason period where a roster with significant turnover learned schemes and came together as a team.
“I think we’ve had an outstanding offseason,” Allen said. “I think our team from the day that we started the offseason program to where we’re at now, we’ve improved tremendously.”
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It’s important for the quarterback to echo that sentiment, especially a new one. Veteran Matt Schaub believes the Raiders are on pace for an excellent training camp after making huge strides as an offense during the offseason program.
“I feel like there’s never enough time to get everything you want in but I feel like we were efficient in the use of our time as a group, on the field, in the meeting rooms, away from football getting to know guys, developing that chemistry within the team,” Schaub said. “I feel very comfortable with where we’re at heading into the summer break.”