Siamo arrivati all’ultima settimana di OTAs per i Raiders.
Il LB Bruce Irvin (51) durante una sessione di OTA. (Foto: Raiders.com)
E’ arrivato il momento di riepilogare quanto accaduto in questi ultimi sette giorni.
Ad inizio settimana i Silver & Black hanno ufficializzato l’acquisizione del rookie WR Marvin Hall Jr..
I Silver & Black hanno messo sotto contratto il WR Marvin Hall Jr. (17). (Foto: Raiders.com)
Hall, undrafted dall’università di Washington, aveva partecipato in prova al rookie minicamp di maggio. Certamente guardando le statistiche del college non c’è molto per cui esaltarsi, ma il giocatore avrà la possibilità di mostrare il suo valore per conquistare l’ultimo posto della depth chart o almeno un posto nella practice squad.
Ecco le statistiche di Hall a Washington: 42 partite giocate in 4 anni, 25 ricezioni per 409 yard e 1 TD, 7 corse per 23 yard, 12 ritorni di punt per 105 yard (8.8 di media) e 16 ritorni di kickoff per 357 yard (22.3 di media); Hall ha anche completato i 3 passaggi tentati, per 91 yard e 2 TD.
Hall indosserà il numero 17.
OTAs WEEK 3
Ci sono state poche informazioni in merito alle presenze in campo e dobbiamo affidarci alle fotografie pubblicate dai Raiders. I LB Jimmy Hall e Malcolm Smith sono tornati in campo con i compagni. Per lo meno questo è quello che si evince dalle foto pubblicate sul sito ufficiale della squadra.
Dietro le quinte
Questa settimana ci sono state quattro sessioni di OTAs e i reporter hanno avuto accesso solamente ad una giornata.
Ed ecco dei brevi video:
Back to work: amp.twimg.com/v/8e1a41b5-c77…—
OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) June 06, 2016
OTA No. 8 is in the books. amp.twimg.com/v/2edade92-a26…—
OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) June 07, 2016
"I make this look good. Easy." Silver and Black looks great out on the practice field: amp.twimg.com/v/6eecad73-cf7…—
OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) June 08, 2016
Today marked the last day of OTAs. We got better. amp.twimg.com/v/b6e0734c-f96…—
OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) June 09, 2016
I reporter hanno avuto accesso all’OTA numero 9 che si è tenuta mercoledì 8 giugno.
Hanno parlato l’head coach Jack Del Rio (video/trascrizione), il DC Ken Norton Jr. (video/parziale trascrizione), il LB/DE Khalil Mack (video/parziale trascrizione) e il WR Michael Crabtree (video/parziale trascrizione).
La sessione aperta ai media è stata caratterizzata dal fatto che è stata l’unica della settimana nella quale i Raiders si sono allenati senza il casco. Del Rio ha detto che questo accadrà alcune volte anche durante il training camp, ed era importante spiegare subito ai giocatori che è necessario mantenere alta la concentrazione anche quando si tira il fiato fisicamente.
“We have to learn how to practice in shorts and sometimes with taking the helmets off and lightening it up. We have to be a team that understands what it looks like to maintain that mental intensity and back it down physically. We’ll do that in training camp. It’s just an opportunity for us to show them what it looks like.” [Jack Del Rio]
Sia Del Rio che Norton hanno sottolineato che l’acquisizione di veterani come Sean Smith, Bruce Irvin e Reggie Nelson permetterà alla difesa di migliorare rispetto all’anno scorso. Non solo sono giocatori capaci che hanno già dimostrato il loro valore nella NFL, ma sono anche d’esempio per i compagni.
“We’re growing our package, things that we want to be and having a player like Sean, having good players, helps a lot of design come to life. Having guys like Bruce Irvin and Sean Smith and Reggie Nelson, those guys that are veterans, that have been there, that know what it looks like to compete at the highest level. Having those guys being a part of what we’re doing right now along with the players we’re developing that are here, that remain here, that are returning. We’re hard at work getting ready, but certainly having a guy like Sean, having that veteran presence and that understanding allows you to take things to another level.” [Jack Del Rio]
“They’re really good football players. Anytime you add really good football players to your team, you get better. They have a way of making everybody else around them better. They’ve played a lot of football and had a lot of success. They are veterans and they know how to work. They know how to make the group better. They know how to study. I think those are areas that we needed to improve in. Just having them on the campus, having other players look at them, we are already better right now than we were when we finished.” [Ken Norton Jr.]
Norton ha anche parlato in termini molto positivi della prima scelta di quest’anno, Karl Joseph, dicendo che è esplosivo e che ha la capacità di farsi trovare al posto giusto al momento giusto. Le aspettative sono alte per il rookie.
“You see in the film, the guy is explosive. He loves ball. He’s around the football a lot. He’s a pack of dynamite. He’s a really good football player. […] Anytime you have a first-round draft pick, you expect an impact player. We expect him to be that.” [Ken Norton Jr.]
Qualche settimana fa Bruce Irvin ha detto che è sua intenzione assumere il ruolo di leader nello spogliatoio (I’m not stepping on any toes, but if I have something to say, I am going to say it.). Khalil Mack ha confermato che Irvin si sta facendo già sentire.
“Bruce is a funny dude. He’s not afraid to say what’s on his mind at any point of time. It’s good to have him in the room to have that different kind of mentality and different mindset.” [Khalil Mack]
Michael Crabtree è arrivato ad Oakland con la brutta fama di avere atteggiamenti da diva e di dividere lo spogliatoio. Il Crabtree nero-argento è stato tutto il contrario: mai una parola fuori posto, grande feeling con i compagni (soprattutto con Derek Carr) e disponibilità a condividere i suoi trucchi con i ricevitori meno esperti.
Crabtree ha paragonato Carr a Brett Favre, sottolineando la sua propensione al lancio lungo, alla giocata spettacolare, ma ha specificato che sta lavorando per evitare di forzare i lanci e ridurre i rischi.
“I’ve seen him grow. My first year with him, last year… The guy is amazing. He’s got talent. Like I said, we talk all the time on ways to get better on the field and I feel like he has taken that step, taken control of the offense, doing more managing of the game at the end and the beginning. I feel like that gunslinger, he is always going to be a gunslinger and I love that. That’s the old Brett Favre-type of quarterback, but really managing Brett Favre.” [Michael Crabtree]
Subito dopo il Draft Reggie McKenzie aveva detto, parlando del LB di Colorado State Cory James, che la squadra lo avrebbe testato come weakside LB ma che gli avrebbe fatto fare pratica anche nelle due posizioni da ILB. Questo è stato confermato questa settimana dalle parole di Jack Del Rio, che rispondendo alle domande degli abbonati ha detto:
We drafted a kid named Cory James out of Colorado State and he’s also training at middle linebacker [Jack Del Rio]
JACK DEL RIO SU TWITTER
E’ arrivato come un fulmine a ciel sereno il primo tweet dell’head coach dei Raiders.
JackDelRio (@coachdelrio) June 08, 2016
Sono diversi ormai gli head coach che hanno scelto di avere un profilo ufficiale su Twitter (Pete Carroll, Mike Tomlin, Dan Quinn, Bruce Arians), ma di certo nessuno si aspettava che Del Rio si sarebbe fatto coinvolgere da questa nuova moda. Non resta che aspettare per vedere come deciderà di usare questa nuova (per lui) piattaforma di comunicazione.
“I just wanted to make a quick statement since I did elect to become a little more current. I did launch the Twitter [account] today, so I joined that, did it in front of the team first. That’s why I talked to the guys. Just an opportunity to I guess be a little more current and share a little insight. Give you a little peek into what we’re doing here and how hard we’re working.” [Jack Del Rio]
LA PROSSIMA TAPPA
L’ultima settimana dell’Offseason Program coincide con il minicamp del 14-16 giugno.
GRIDIRON GREATS HALL OF FAME
Cliff Branch e Daryle Lamonica sono stati inseriti nella Hall of Fame di Gridiron Greats, una associazione guidata dall’ex Bears Mike Ditka che sostiene finanziariamente gli ex giocatori NFL in difficoltà e li aiuta a pagare le spese mediche.
Oltre a Branch (video) e Lamonica (video) quest’anno sono stati eletti l’ex Raiders Dan Pastorini (video), Billy Kilmer, Don Maynard, Ed Flanagan, Ron Jaworski, Robert Brazile, Danny McManus, Eddie Meador e Jim Taylor.
Lo scorso anno avevano ricevuto questo onore altri tre Silver & Black: Al Davis, il TE Raymond Chester e il WR Fred Biletnikoff.
Mark Davis ha donato 30000 dollari all’associazione (video).
“ASK ME ANYTHING” SU REDDIT PER EAST E OMOILE
Due giocatori nero-argento, Andrew East e Oni Omoile, hanno recentemente tenuto una propria sessione di domande e risposte su Reddit.
East e Omoile hanno parlato di aspetti personali della loro vita, delle loro passioni e ovviamente hanno toccato anche diversi aspetti sportivi.
Ecco alcune delle domande e risposte più interessanti:
Domanda: Would you say Long Snapper is the biggest gravy train position that still sees the field every game?
East: haha. Thats the common perception. It is definitely not as demanding as other positions in a lot of aspects, but its on par with a kicker as far as the mental challenges
Domanda: What does your practice regimen usually consist of?
East: I get about 12 “live” snaps during practice in team field goal or punt. But spend 20-30 minutes warming up for that. Its more mentally challenging than physical
Domanda: Being on 3 teams in a little over a year, does it a take major toll on you emotionally? Having to find a new place to live, and leaving family, moving your family etc?
East: Yea its tough. The new cities part is fun, the uncertainty isnt. The hardest part is the fact that you want to have loyalty to a certain team but you really cant
Domanda: Has the weather ever impacted your long snapping? If so how much?
East: Rainy weather doesnt bother me that much. But cold weather really changes the feel of the ball and the way your fingers are able to grip it. Grip is important, thus deflategate
(prima di scatenare le ire dei tifosi dei Patriots)
Domanda: What is your opinion on “deflategate?”
East: I think its way overblown. But grip on the football is important..
Domanda: What’s the strangest item you’ve ever long snapped?
East: A pack of hamburger buns
Domanda: After the snap, how important is your role on punt coverage?
East: While its my favorite part, the coaches do not expect the snapper to ever make the tackle
Domanda: I’ve always been curious about friendships on football teams. You’ve got guys from every state, every neighborhood, and every upbringing possible. Has one situation ever been a total culture shock for you? What one friendship have you found that might have never had happened if it wasn’t for football?
East: The locker room environment is pretty diverse and thats what makes it so awesome. I think the only time Ive experience culture shock was my first day in the NFL locker room meeting all these stud players I had always watched. Most friendhships wouldnt have happened- the locker room is such a melting pot!
Domanda: How much towel-snapping actually happens in NFL locker rooms?
East: hahaha. never seen it done
Domanda: Who is the funniest guy on the Raiders?
East: Khalil Mack!
Domanda: How is Jon Condo as a mentor?
East: Completely unselfish. Amazing.
Domanda: Who do you hang out with most on the team?
East: Giorgio Tavvechio (sic) and Marquette!
Domanda: What motivated you into becoming a long snapper instead of any other position? Also, how often do you get recognized?
East: I used to play linebacker. My dad taught me to long snap at a young age since he did it at Purdue. I never do, but my wife does ALL the time!
Domanda: What music do you jam out to when you’re training?
East: Usually a playlist consisting of Abba and Queen
Domanda: How does the locker room feel about the proposed Las Vegas move?
East: It is rarely talked about
Domanda: What was your childhood team?
Domanda: You an Kelechi are cousins correct? Who do you think wins in an arm wrestling match?!
Omoile: K.O would literally rip my arm off holy shit lol. His upper body is far stronger than mine. I probably have him beat lower body wise
Domanda: why dont O linemen do more celebrations like after a pancake mime pouring syrup over them or some shit
Omoile: Because the essence of being an O-Lineman itself goes against showy bullshit like that (usually).
Domanda: Are you actually a Nigerian prince?
Omoile: I see someone looked up that DMR article of me haha. Yes it’s indeed true, although it’s not a very big deal ultimately, just a neat fun fact about me.
Domanda: Sir, sir prince I must respectfully disagree with you. That is so bad ass.
Omoile: Unless I pull a Red Wedding and massacre all the people ahead of me in line for succession it’s not like I’m gonna be king or anything lmao
Domanda: What NFL team did you want to play for when you were in college?
Omoile: I was a Cowboys fan growing up, especially since their OL has almost always been great from back to the Leonard Davis/Gurode/Colombo days to especially now with the guys they have in place there. I also have a lot of respect for coach Pollack who I got to meet during a pre-draft day camp in Dallas
Domanda: Why did you choose the Raiders as an UDFA? Were there other similar offers that you rejected because you wanted to play for them?
Omoile: When I talked to my agent after it ultimately came down to which team has the best situation for me to potentially make the roster and Oakland happened to be that very place.
Domanda: I remember reading that you are cousins with Kelechi Osemele. How big of an impact did he have on you as a football player, and did he play a part in you signing with the Raiders? Thanks!
Omoile: He was honestly a large part of why I committed to ISU in the first place. I definitely wanted to take after him especially with what he’s done in the NFL now
Domanda: How much do offensive linemen eat?
Omoile: I regularly try to eat around 5-6K calories a day if I’m doing something physical that day. I try to tone it down a bit on my off days so I don’t come into work bloated and slow. Honestly if I wasn’t playing football I’d be a lot skinner, my metabolism is outrageous.
Domanda: How many girls are you talking to on your DM across all social media? Just want a number.
Omoile: Not nearly as many as you think. Keep in mind that I’m an ogreish OLineman not a pretty boy skill player with washboard abs
Domanda: How big of a difference is NFL, not necessarily talent wise but just in how people treat the game compared to college?
Omoile: These guys eat sleep and breathe football. I said in an earlier post that we spent about 6ish hours from when we first got to the facility to when we leave after practice/meetings but very rarely do any of the veteran guys stay there for just that long. They’re almost always doing something extra whether it be watching additional film, getting an extra lift in, treatment. That’s honestly the biggest difference to me. In college most guys would just do what we had on the schedule
Domanda: What did you do with your first NFL check ?
Omoile: Straight into the savings account, just like nearly all the money I’ll make in the NFL for the first few years
Domanda: I thought NFL players aren’t paid unless they make the roster?
Omoile: We do get a little stipend and in my case a signing bonus as a PFA
Domanda: Who do you want to model your game after?
Omoile: When I was learning how to snap and playing center in general in the middle of my senior year since my coach Brandon Blaney believed I had a great shot at the league if I built that skillset I was watching film of Ryan Kalil and Maurkice Pouncey almost every single day
Domanda: Who’s the quietest guy on the team?
Omoile: Probably Karl (Joseph). I swear the only guy he speaks to is Bruce (Irvin) since they’re both WVU guys
Domanda: What’s on your pregame music playlist?
Omoile: I’m actually a pretty big rock/metal guy. Avenged Sevenfold / Disturbed / FFDP / Judas Priest being some of my favorites for pregame. Then there’s my super secret guilty pleasure of Daisuke Ishiwatari (almost none of you will recgonize the name, but he composes the OSTs for Guilty Gear/Blazblue games I used to play a ton in HS and that shit gets me hyped EVERY TIME)
Domanda: Do you have an offensive linemen, either current or historical, that you look up to as an idol or as an ideal that you strive to become?
Omoile: I thought Larry Allen was basically jesus back in the day
Domanda: Hey Oni, thanks for doing this AMA! Have you been starstruck in the NFL yet? Had that moment of “damn it’s player who I’ve been watching forever?”
Omoile: I definitely had that moment when I walked into the facility the first time and saw guys like DC and Khalil just casually strolling around. After spending a month with them it honestly feels pretty normal now. At the end of the line they’re just people like you and me.