ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — After spending most of the past two months installing an entirely new playbook on offense and defense and building a relationship between a new coaching staff and players, the Oakland Raiders ended their offseason program.
The team held its final minicamp practice and meetings on Thursday before splitting up for the next six weeks. When new coach Dennis Allen next gathers his entire team, it will be to start training camp in Napa on July 29.
"I was pleased with the progress," Allen said. "Obviously, we're not near where we need to be yet, it's always going to be a work in progress. But I specifically thought over the last couple of days that I could kind of feel that we were kind of figuring out what we were asking them to do and I thought the guys really responded over the last couple of days."
Most of the players will head home for the next six weeks before reconvening in Napa. Injured players can rehab at the facility but coaches are not allowed to discuss football at all with the players.
Allen said he was extremely pleased that the team had no major injuries this offseason and everyone on the roster is expected to be healthy and ready to go when camp starts.
The coaches also will take a break after going full bore since the staff started getting put together less than five months ago.
"We got to relax and recharge and our coaches have put a lot of time and effort in this offseason, starting up a whole new program," Allen said. "For them to have a successful season and for them to be at their best they've got to have time to recharge, too. So we'll take some time off, get away from football for a little bit and we'll be back and ready to roll for training camp."
The Raiders are implementing entirely new systems this offseason as part of an overhaul in the first season since the death of longtime owner and architect of the franchise, Al Davis.
Reggie McKenzie was hired as general manager in January to run the front office and he gave Allen his first head coaching job at any level. Allen brought in new coordinators in Greg Knapp on offense and Jason Tarver on defense, as well as other new assistants, and McKenzie made key changes to the roster.
With an abbreviated offseason program under the new collective bargaining agreement, there wasn't a whole lot of time to implement the changes on the field.