The Oakland Raiders wrapped their Wednesday Training Camp 2013 practice, presented by California National Guard, just about 50 hours prior to kickoff of the team’s preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys. Team photographer Tony Gonzales and Raiders.com’s Rebecca Corman have been passing on photos of O.co Coliseum as the stadium is prepped for football and the return of the Raider Nation.
Head Coach Dennis Allen spoke to the media after practice and discussed several different topics. He fielded questions about the line-up, the rotation of players and the logistics involved in getting the team from Napa, Calif., to Oakland.
“Today we’ll have meetings, we’ll watch practice from today, we’ll start the install process on Dallas. We’ll come back out tomorrow morning with some more meetings, install-wise prep for Dallas, we’ll go through kind of a dress-rehearsal practice tomorrow against them – really a light practice without pads,” Coach Allen explained. “Then we’ll head down to the [hotel] and get ready to play a game. [It’s a] normal home schedule with the exception of we’re leaving out of Napa as opposed to leaving from Alameda.”
Several players on the roster, including holdovers from last year’s practice squad, will be making their first appearances in front of the O.co Coliseum crowd. Some of those players like QB Matt McGloin played college football in jam-packed raucous environments, while others like G Jason Foster played college football at small schools like Rhode Island. Regardless of their background, to a man, the Raiders are excited to take the field.
McGloin played at Penn State in front of one of the largest crowds in all of college football. Although he is used to playing in front of big crowds, he realizes that playing in the NFL is a different ballgame.
“Everybody dreams of getting to this level, now that you’re you definitely don’t take it for granted, you make the most of every day, you try to be better than you were yesterday,” said QB Matt McGloin. “Come Friday, I’m definitely looking to make a good impression in front of the Raider Nation and do everything I can to get their approval.”
G Jason Foster joined the Raiders practice squad last fall. This Friday night, he’ll be afforded the opportunity to suit up for the Raider Nation for the first time. He played his college football at Rhode Island.
“I’m very excited, very anxious, can’t wait get on the field and get out there and play a game,” Foster said. “Camp’s a grind. It’s a grind for every team. It’s to the point where we want to hit somebody else instead of our own teammates after two weeks. I couldn’t be more excited for these fans. These fans are amazing. The best fans in the NFL in my opinion.”
Coach Allen emphasized the importance of the preseason with regard to competition for starting jobs and roster spots.
It’s huge. Obviously there [are] certain guys on the team that we have a pretty good idea of where they’re at, but there’s a lot of young guys that we have to get an evaluation on and really there’s a lot of veteran players that we have to get a feel for,” Coach Allen said. “We have a lot of change, a lot of turnover on this football team, so we’ve never been to battle with a lot of these guys so we want to put them in those situations and see how they respond. This, for our football team, this preseason is a big deal as far as the evaluation process.”
The Raiders have a light practice Thursday before they take on the Dallas Cowboys Friday night in the preseason opener for the Silver and Black. Dallas topped the Miami Dolphins 24-20 in the Hall of Fame game this past Sunday night. We’ll have more on the match-up in our game preview Thursday.
Tags: California National Guard, Dallas Cowboys, Football, Head Coach Dennis Allen, Jason Foster, Matt McGloin, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Preseason, Training Camp
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