Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Las Vegas Raiders and all other NFL teams have not been able to conduct any workouts or meetings in person this year.
While the organization and coaches have been limited to virtual meetings, the players have taken it upon themselves to get together and workout regularly so they are ready for the 2020 season.
Derek Carr has posted numerous videos throwing to his teammates, and each time, more and more players seem to be showing up.
In an interview with Vic Tafur of The Athletic, Raiders tight end Darren Waller spoke about how good the player-led workouts have been this offseason:
“There has been some good competition this last month, with everybody pushing each other,” tight end Darren Waller said in a telephone interview on Sunday. “It’s been real productive.”
Carr will have a ton of new weapons at his disposal this season after the organization added some talented offensive players through free agency and the draft. Waller believes these offseason workouts are crucial for the offense to begin building chemistry:
“Knowing where you end up in certain routes,” Waller said. “The quarterback gets a feel for how you do things against certain looks, and that only comes from repetition, trying new things and challenging yourself. This time is especially important for the young guys who don’t have the normal OTA periods.
“This is the foundational period for what type of season you want to have.”
The only issue with working out outside in Las Vegas in June is that temperatures often reach triple digits. While that seems like it could be bothersome, Waller said that it will ultimately help them in the long run:
“We can deal with extreme temperatures, we go right at it and we work, no excuses,” he said. “I feel like that can pay dividends for us in the season, knowing that we can go into any kind of environment, hot or cold, and do our thing.”
The Raiders’ new home, Allegiant Stadium, will have a roof, so they won’t have to worry about playing outside in Las Vegas. Weather will certainly be a factor in some road games though and it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
With so many roster changes this offseason, expectations will be high for the Raiders in 2020 as they look to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2016. It is good to see that they are hungry and ready to work despite the current restrictions in place.
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