ALAMEDA – The Raiders workout on Tuesday was a practice in name only. The session was limited to young players, exclusive to those with four years experience or less. Veterans were at Raiders headquarters, logging time in meetings and the training room. They will do the same thing on Wednesday.
While the Raiders will work out some kinks, this week’s focus is on rest and rehab. It’s a break from last season’s schedule, one that head coach Dennis Allen deemed necessary.
“This is different than what we’ve done,” Allen said. “With the health of the football team, I thought the veteran players needed time to take care of their bodies and get healthy and ready to go for next week.”
Young players went through individual drills and skill players had a seven-on-seven session that highlighted a short, light practice. The heavy lifting took place indoors, where coaches gave the team a progress report, identified deficiencies and how to correct them.
“We’ll spend a lot of time on ourselves,” Allen said. “We’ll look at what we’ve done well and what we have to improve on. We’ll decide who has done well and who needs to get better. We’ll use that time this week and focus on Pittsburgh next week.”
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Allen’s theme focused on why the Raiders aren’t better than 2-4. They have to learn how to finish games. That’s a by-product of having a young team that, in general, hasn’t experienced sustained NFL success.
“We’ve given ourselves opportunities to win games,” Allen said. “We have to continue to put ourselves in those positions. The more experience we get, the better we’ll do in those situations. We need to come out on the plus side of those games. We have a good team, and we have to learn how to train our minds to make the clutch plays necessary to win games.”
Players get four mandatory days off starting Thursday, and the coaching staff will take the weekend off.
Allen and McKenzie will meet before then and decide if transactions are necessary. Acquisitions will depend on health over anything else. They might go after an extra offensive lineman, especially if Stefen Wisniewski and/or Andre Gurode won’t be ready for Pittsburgh on Oct. 27.
They’ll be in the market for a third quarterback if health permits at other spots.
“Reggie and I will sit down, monitor where we’re at and decide what we need to do. As we get closer to the end of the week, we’ll get a better feel for where we are health-wise and if there’s anything we need to do about it at the end of the week or next week.”