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Oakland Raiders’ Fan’s Look at Player’s Thoughts During First Week of the Offseason Workout Program
The Oakland Raiders began their 2012 offseason program on Monday, April 2, with new and returning players getting to know their new coaches as well as their teammates and to get the opportunity to work with equipment manager Bobby Romanski to receive new gear for workouts and get outfitted for the season.
Everything seems to be falling into place, and on Monday, offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski commented, "The offseason was nice, but it's about time to be back to work. Three months is a good break and much needed after a long season, but it's time to go to work now. We want to win. We want to win the AFC West, make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. We have the talent to do it and this is the first step here-getting the talent to work together to reach those goals."
The players are working hard to achieve their goals this year, with workouts and meetings continuing throughout the week. A number of Raiders have echoed the sentiments we've heard about the excitement of getting back on the field this year. Over the last few months many have been hard at work getting ready of the 2012, including offensive tackle Jared Veldheer who was named most improved player in the AFC West last year according to ProFootballFocus.com.
Veldheer talked about what he's been doing recently, commenting, "I was back training in a gym that I opened in Grand Rapids, [Mich.], staying in shape, getting bigger, stronger, and faster and I'm excited to be back out here."
Safety Michael Huff also had quite a bit to say. Huff, as you probably recall was involved in one of the most memorable plays in the history of the team last fall when he intercepted the ball in the end zone in the game against the Houston Texans the day after Al Davis passed away.
Huff remarked on Tuesday, "I got to meet a lot of new faces in the defensive room. We've got all new coaches so it's good putting names with faces and players and all that good stuff. We have a new weight staff so it was good to see them. The new weight program is going to be a beast. It's going to have me in phenomenal shape, and I'll look good too, and I'll play a lot better. Should be a great year. We have a new staff, new teammates, so really building that bond with your teammates in the weight room, film room and meeting room. That's pretty much the goal for the next couple of weeks."
When players returned on Wednesday, their schedule for the preseason was released. Defensive end Lamarr Houston said he was excited about the team's opportunity to kick it off with a Monday night game. He commented, "I'm excited. Any time we get to play Monday Night Football, it's an honor, so I can't wait to do that against the Cowboys. Just take it one game at a time and try to get better until the season starts."
Cooper Carlisle spoke to Jeanette Thompson yesterday and told her playing on Monday night will be a "fun way" to start the season. Carlisle had initially been released from the team, but on March 20 general manager Reggie McKenzie brought him back at a bargain price.
Many of us are looking forward to seeing what tight end David Ausberry will do on the field this season. We didn't get to see much from him in 2011 but after Kevin Boss left Oakland to head to Kansas City, many, including myself, feel 2012 is going to be the time for him to shine.
On Wednesday Ausberry said, "It's always fun to get to play against the Cowboys. It'll be a first for me. It's always fun to play against the Cowboys. Lions, we need to get those guys back, no matter if it's the preseason or regular season. Arizona will be another fun game. That was our first home game last year and against Seattle, it's always fun to play against my old coaches [from University of Southern California]. That's my old coaching staff up there so that'll be a lot of fun for me. I think it'll be good for our team, some nice physical games, and we'll see what we've got."
A little over four months to go before we see what the Silver and Black will do this year.
K.C. Dermody grew up in the Bay Area of California, and has been an Oakland Raiders fan for her entire life. She has continued her loyalty to the team through its many ups and downs over the decades, and has been privileged to meet several of her favorite players, including famed quarterback, Jim Plunkett. Follow her on Twitter @kcdermody or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kcdermodywriter.
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