As the dust settles on the Las Vegas Raiders’ Organized Team Activities (OTAs), it’s time to take stock of the key developments, standout players, and what to expect as we inch closer to the upcoming NFL season.
Raiders OTAs: A Focus on Player Health and Readiness
As part of their off-season program, the Raiders have already completed the initial sessions of their OTAs, with several more scheduled in the coming weeks. A crucial part of the NFL offseason, OTAs provide an opportunity for teams to come together for practices and workouts before the intensity of training camp begins.
However, the Raiders’ head coach, Josh McDaniels, emphasized the importance of player health during these practices. He noted that several key players, such as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and first-round pick Tyree Wilson, were not going to participate in OTAs as they recover from previous injuries. The Raiders’ coaching staff is firmly prioritizing the players’ health, ensuring they are 100 percent ready before getting back on the field.
The Raiders’ Rookie Class: A Source of Excitement
McDaniels expressed optimism about the Raiders’ new rookie class, citing their attitude, leadership, intelligence, and skills. Among the rookies, third-round pick Tre Tucker from Cincinnati was specifically singled out for his versatility and speed, which could see him playing a significant role in the upcoming season.
NFL Rule Changes: Potential Impact on the Raiders
Recent NFL rule changes could have a direct effect on the Raiders. These changes include the NFL’s ability to flex Thursday Night Football games, a third quarterback not counting against the active roster on gamedays, and placing the ball on the 25-yard line following a fair-catch kickoff. With the Raiders scheduled to play the Los Angeles Chargers on a Thursday night in Week 15, these changes could prove significant. However, McDaniels has expressed readiness to adapt to these changes, with a clear focus on player safety first.
Standout Performer: Divine Deablo
One player who has stood out in the Raiders’ OTAs is linebacker Divine Deablo. The third-year player, a converted safety, has been granted the defensive signal-caller role, symbolized by the “green dot” on his helmet. Despite his season being cut short due to a broken arm last year, Deablo’s performance led the Raiders in tackles at the time of his injury. His new role as the defensive signal-caller adds another layer of responsibility to his game, and he will undoubtedly be a player to watch in the upcoming season.
As the Raiders head into training camp, watch for further updates on player performances and potential roster changes. The Raiders’ focus on player health, coupled with the promising rookie class and the standout performance of Divine Deablo, sets the stage for an exciting season ahead.