3 Observations From Day 1 Of Raiders Minicamp
The 2022 NFL season has officially entered the countdown stages folks as we are almost three months away from the start of the regular season. But before we get to that, offseason workouts need to take place as 12 teams officially began their three-day minicamps Tuesday, the first mandatory workouts of the NFL season.
Among those are the Las Vegas Raiders, looking to take the revamped AFC by storm this year with a new head coach in Josh McDaniels and the reunion of Fresno State teammates Derek Carr and Davante Adams after the Raiders acquired the latter from the Packers in March. The former Northern California team and its’ fans are excited to make a statement this season, hoping to make a deep run in the postseason for years to come.
None of that can happen however if we don’t get through the dog days of summer so let’s take a look at three things that stuck out to me from Day 1 of Raiders minicamp.
1. McDaniels’ New System Will Take Time
Entering the offseason, the Raiders had to make a splash with their head coach after Jon Gruden resigned in October of 2021 following the report of misogynistic and homophobic emails and that they did with the hiring of Josh McDaniels. The former New England Patriot brings the wisdom and prestige of New England after serving as their offensive coordinator for 14 non-consecutive seasons. With that comes many changes as the players and personnel adjust to a new way of life under the second-time head coach, players admitting the new system will take some getting used to.
“Our system is different than anything I’ve been in before,” Carr said after Tuesday’s session. “I see why it was so successful.”
The Raiders quarterback called his new coach “demanding” but added that he’s always been an admirer of Patriots’ system.
“Just being in it and learning it, the details of it. Having the OTAs to grind through, that has been huge, but drawing on past experiences helps me,” Carr said. “We can move on faster to get to other things. Hopefully, that’ll help us get everything in a speedy process, but I’m still learning like everybody else.”
“There’s a lot of new stuff to install and (offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo has) been doing a great job explaining it, getting us on the right page,“ offensive lineman Kolton Miller said. “Young guys, they’re trying to absorb as much as they can. And our job as old guys is we’re trying to show them the ropes.”
Clearly the players are still adjusting to life under McDaniels and while it’s still super early, expect some hiccups along the way this season as the team builds chemistry and understanding of the new playbook.
2. The Colin Kaepernick Workout Still Looms
Former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick worked out for the Raiders almost two weeks ago, but since then no real news has emerged from both camps on a potential deal.
The controversial QB has been a hot topic since his decision to kneel during the national anthem in 2016 as reporters asked Carr about the possible fit on the Raiders roster Tuesday, welcoming Kaepernick with open arms if he signed.
“For us, I think it’d be great,” Carr said on the potential addition of “Kap”. “I don’t want to speak for everybody…I know him and I would get along great. I know we have in the past, and I think we would again. I think for the most part, I think he’d get along just fine with our guys.”
We’ll see what happens with that but even if the team decided to sign the former Super Bowl QB, the Raiders have a full quarterback room already with Nick Mullens, Jarrett Stidham and Chase Garbers currently backing up Carr. Kaepernick would surely have some competition if he was to make the 53-man roster but we’ll cross that bridge if we get there.
3. The Vibes Are Immaculate
The Raiders used to be a cool franchise to root for. The silver and black, the bad boys of the NFL in the 80s. The Raiders are one of the most storied and popular organizations globally and finally in 2022, the team seems to be getting that swagger back after a long hiatus.
Whether it’s the reunion of teammates with Carr and Adams or the acquisitions of high-caliber players like Chandler Jones, the Raiders are looking to reclaim their spot as one of the NFL’s premier organizations.
The players and coaching staff seem to be meshing well from the start, admitting their admiration and respect for one another at the press conferences Tuesday. While the season still needs to be played, the organization is trying to turn a new leaf in the eyes of the public and so far, they’re passing with flying colors.
Make no mistake, there will be some hiccups along the way as I previously stated, but this will be a fun team this season, hoping to turn back the clock and return the Raiders to the glory days for years to come.