The Oakland Raiders practiced in full pads today as the Silver and Black participated in their eighth practice of Training Camp 2013, presented by California National Guard.
Head Coach Dennis Allen has implemented something new for Training Camp 2013 – the silver jerseys. The intention is to heighten the daily competition between offense and defense.
“We talk a lot about competition and we’re going to compete,” said Coach Allen. “There will be practices throughout training camp where we’ll put the jerseys up for grabs and the side of the ball that competes the best is the side of the ball that wins. Because, at the end of the day, we’re judged on winning and losing.”
Coach explained the jerseys in a team meeting at the beginning of camp. “This is how Coach explained it to us – the extra effort, going beyond the call of duty to do your job to help the team win,” said Cribbs.
The jerseys can be up for grabs at any time. “It was pretty simple,” explained LB Nick Roach. “The whole premise of it is competition is every day. At any point and time the jerseys go up for grabs based on how a certain period goes, or maybe even a certain play in practice, based on the performance of either side on that given test, the silver jersey would be awarded.”
As soon as the competition was revealed, each side of the ball was determined to win. “Offense and defense, we heard it, immediately defense was like, ‘oh yeah, we’re going to earn those for the rest of camp,’” said Young. “It’s one of those things that just keeps you fresh, keeps you mentally on something new. Keeps those dog days of camp going a little faster.”
Offense earned the silver jerseys initially, but defense won them back after yesterday’s practice. The silver jerseys were back up for grabs today and it came down to the last play of practice.
A touchdown catch in the red zone by WR Denarius Moore sealed the return of the jerseys to the offense. “[Coach] gave us one play and Denarius Moore came through for us on that one play,” said WR Josh Cribbs. “Even though I feel like we deserved it regardless of that one play, we had to do a little bit more just because Coach is a defensive coach and we had no problem doing it.”
The jerseys may only be symbolic in appearance, but the players understand their significance. “They represent what the Raiders stand for, what we want our goals and accomplishments to stand for each and every day,” said Cribbs. “The side of the team, the unit, that exemplifies what we stand for as a team gets to wear the silver jerseys.”
The silver jerseys are a testament to the production of a unit. But it’s also a way to keep the practices interesting as the guys get into the middle of an exhausting training camp.
“It’s a competition, competition amongst offense and defense,” said FS Usama Young. “It’s one of those things every day we go out to compete, but competing for actual symbolic jersey is a good thing for us. In camp you get kind of tired going against the same guys, but you go out every day and we’re trying to get that silver jersey.”
Earning the silver means a lot to the players competing each day. “It shows that Coach really likes what we’re doing,” said WR Rod Streater. “To be the winner at the end really means a lot to us just to come out here in the silver jersey and show everybody that we had the better day.”
Highlighting intensity and competition in practice is helping to prepare the team for game day. “Every day we’re competing against not only ourselves and not only our offense, we’re competing against the 31 other teams in the league,” said Young. “So when we go out and know we beat up on our offense, and we worked harder than the other 31, that’s one of those things where we say, ‘hey, we’re getting closer and closer to our goal and that’s winning.’”
With the jerseys awarded to the offense, will they hold onto them after the next competition or will the defense win them back?
“I can understand their excitement,” said Roach on the offense’s win. “But camp is far from over.”
Log on to Raiders.com to see how it plays out.
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WR Jacoby Ford got back in the mix after a minor injury.
A deep pass from QB Terrelle Pryor to WR Brice Butler for a touchdown was the highlight of practice. The play drew “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd of season ticket holders.
Former DT John Parrella was on hand for practice as well.
WR Josh Cribbs is happy to be out on the field for training camp after recovering from an off-season surgery. “It feels great. I’m still knocking off the dust, running around trying to get 100 percent, but it feels great to just be out here with the guys, sweat with them, work out with them, knowing that I’m working out and earning my paycheck just like anybody else.”
Tags: Competition, Josh Cribbs, Nick Roach, Oakland Raiders, Rod Streater, Silver Jerseys, Training Camp, Usama Young
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