Everyone involved proclaimed Camp 2010 a success.
Just as they did last year under Tom Cable and as they did under Lane Kiffin, Art Shell, Norv Turner . . . you get the idea.
Words will give way to deeds on Sept. 12 when the Raiders visit the Tennesee Titans, and until then, there are two more preseason games to help sort out the roster and fine tuning to be done when practice resumes without the prying eyes of the media in Alameda Monday.
A few notes as relayed from those actually on the scene while I finish my stint on the disabled list:
– Cable seemed most gratified that in his judgement, there were no backward steps during camp.
“We came with our plan, we got through everything, we installed everything that we wanted to. The mission was to try and get better every day, not have those days where you’re really disgusted or disappointed as a coaching staff, that, ‘Man, we really went backward today.’ We didn’t have any of those days.
“So, well done by this football team. Now the real issue is to continue that when we go home. Eliminate the distractions that come with living back at home and all those kinds of things, travel and such, and being able to handle that and eliminate those distractions.”
– Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha believes the Raiders will enter the season with more confidence than in years past.
“We’ve accomplished a lot, and being able to put out good practices and win games in the preseason, it goes a long way,” Asomugha said. ` Just getting the wins, even though it’s preseason, it’s just getting those wins builds your confidence and gets you used to it.”
– Asomugha believes Cable is a better coach and the Raiders are a better team for handing the offense over to Hue Jackson rather than making another change at the top.
“You know, it’s always a big impact when you don’t have a coaching change, because guys are used to the person who is calling the shots,” Asomugha said. “So I think it’s had a huge impact. We have had, like I was saying earlier, the coaching change with the coordinator, but like I said, he plays to the player’s strengths so there hasn’t been any head-butting there and Tom has been good with just giving that portion to Hue and letting him just take it.”
– More Asomugha . . . he’s gratified that he now has company in terms of players sticking around and getting more work after practice.
“You’ve noticed it, I’ve noticed it. Other guys have come up to me and have noticed it too. And every camp you guys have been here, that’s been the thing — work after practice, work after practice. And now, there’s like, you know you’re seeing like seven, eight guys, nine, ten guys doing it, and you’re like, ‘well this is new,’ and it’s great.
– Quarterback Jason Campbell on Jackson: He’s brought so much to this team, especially offensively. His mindset. His attitude. He pushes everybody each and every play. There’s not a day off, there’s not a play off. In order to be a champion in life, you’ve got to work like one. That’s what he preaches everyday, to work like a champion.”
– Campbell is giving the 49ers-Raiders preseason game the hard sell, apparently unaware it wasn’t popular enough locally to be on local television except on tape delay.
“This is probably the biggest preseason game I’ve aver been a part of, talking about the two teams in the Bay,” Campbell said. “San Francisco is a really good football team. They’re well-disciplined, they’re well-coached and they don’t beat themselves so it’s a great challenge for us heading into the regular season because you get to face an opponent in San Francisco that there’s a lot of different things offensively. Defensively, they move around a lot, they bring different blitzes, so it will be good for us to get a lot of stuff on tape, see what we need to continue to work on and what we need to do.”
– Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (sort of) compared 49ers-Raiders to the blood war that is the Terrapins vs. the Midshipmen.
“I mean, you always want to battle for it, you know, a team that’s in the same area as you,” Heyward-Bey said. “At Maryland, we never had a chance to do that because we’re the only team in Maryland. Matter of fact, we play Navy this year so I guess that will be something.”