There’s no doubt there is a huge difference when practice can take place in person.
This summer saw the return of voluntary OTAs after a virtual off-season last summer due to COVID-19.
Las Vegas Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock is excited that veterans and rookies are together in the off-season.
“We’re pretty fired up just to have the guys back in the building,” Mayock said via the Las Vegas Raiders.
“All of a sudden, it’s completely different than the last off-season. Last off-season, this building was empty. Now, it’s vibrant.”
“We got veterans in the building, we got all the rookies in the building who are working together, the coaches are involved, there’s energy and excitement.”
Plus, it’s important for coaches and veterans to get an eye on the rookies in person. While Mayock noted that all draft picks from this year’s draft played at least 34 games in college, it’s still different when you meet the players in person.
“Everybody we drafted played 34-to-48 college football games, so we saw an awful amount of tape on them,” Mayock said.
“We felt good about their passion and how much they love ball, but you don’t know until you have a chance to meet them.”
Mayock also noted the excitement of the coaching staff during voluntary OTAs.
“Coach Gruden and our coaching staff are so energizing, it’s really cool.”
With a sense of normalcy finally returning to the Raiders alongside the rest of the NFL, it’ll be interesting the long-term effects when the regular season comes rolling around.
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