Oakland Raiders Embracing Minicamp Competition Under Del Rio


Jun 9, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders assistant defensive backs coach Rod Woodson (right) supervises drills with safety Jonathan Dowling (23) at minicamp at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With Oakland Raiders 2015 Minicamp officially underway and with it the countdown to Training Camp in July, the competition to make the 53 man roster is on as players are all fighting to make good first impressions for a new coaching staff in the early stages of the team’s preparations for the upcoming season. A group that is a mix of young talents looking to make a name for themselves and veteran players looking to prove that they still have what it takes all fighting for the starting jobs starting with this week in Alameda.

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That friendly competition to make an impression on the coaching staff is something that new head coach Jack Del Rio finds exciting and important as players all are working hard despite it being early June with the chance to make a splash still out there even if there are a few months before the first official round of cuts come in August during the 2015 Preseason.

During Tuesday’s press conference following Day 1 of Minicamp, Del Rio praised the competition going on so far. Noting that the linebackers, secondary and other positions are all seeing some sort of competition that has the players on the roster working hard.

“There’s great competition throughout the roster at different spots,” said Del Rio on Tuesday. “Our secondary is competing hard. Our linebackers are competing and working hard. Our defensive line; really it would be hard to find a position that doesn’t have great competition going on in it, so that part of it is exciting this time of year.”

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Del Rio also noted that the right side of the offensive line has stiff competition that will likely go on throughout the entirety of the offseason program through training camp and then during the four preseason games before Week One of the regular season.

“There’s always competition until there’s not competition. Until it’s settled we’ll let the guys compete. There’s not a timeframe on it. We want to make sure we give the different combinations a look. We’re going to need to have the ability to be versatile and have utility players that can do more than one job. At this point we’re just trying to first settle on the best five. We feel like the right side is a place where there is some competition taking place.”

Competition exists on every team, but with the Raiders having a new coaching staff and few guaranteed starters coming into Training Camp the compete level during practices is sure to be high with many players desperate to make the 53 man roster at the end of the process. Whether it be on defense or on the offensive line, Del Rio and the Raiders coaching staff are expecting competition all summer long, which should keep things interesting as fans fill the time waiting for the start of the 2015 season by keeping up with the tight roster battles that are sure to come to the surface.

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