Programming note: For comprehensive Raiders coverage from Napa, tune in to SportsNet Central tonight at 6, 10:30 and midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
NAPA – The Raiders spent less time in Napa this year than others. Head coach Dennis Allen hacked some dates to make room for a pair of joint practices with the Dallas Cowboys and to establish a regular-season routine earlier on.
Despite the shorter schedule, he still thinks the Raiders got quality work in at the Napa Valley Marriott.
“We got a lot of good work done here,” Allen said after Monday’s final camp workout. “I like where we’re at. We’re still in training camp mode going to Oxnard and practicing against the Cowboys for a couple of days. I think that will be great for our football team. [We] get a chance to go against somebody else for a change. Then we’ve got the second preseason game, the home opener, vs. Detroit. Then we’ll get into kind of regular season mode when we get into the Green Bay week. We’ve got a lot accomplished. We still have a lot of things that we need to get better at, but I like the direction we’re headed.”
Training camp offers complete immersion for a team with several new players in key spots. They believe they’re leaving Napa a stronger, tighter group ready for the rigors of the regular season.
“I think camp went well because we were able to progress continuously while we were up here,” defensive end Justin Tuck said. “I think we all know a lot more about each other and how we respond to different scenarios. The chemistry is strong, which is a real plus. … There is a lot we still need to work on during the preseason, but we’re off and running now.”
Tuck admitted it will be nice to get back to a normal routine, one that doesn’t involve living out of a hotel.
“I’m ready to go,” he said. “I’m already heading down I-80 in my mind.”