NAPA -- Raiders general manager Mike Mayock referred to HBO's "Hard Knocks" as an "intrusion" Friday. A clear sign the Silver and Black weren't thrilled with having the documentary series thrown in their lap as they look to cultivate a new culture in Oakland.
Quarterback Derek Carr, however, has a different opinion of the army of cameras and microphones that have invaded Napa along with Jon Gruden and his players.
"To be honest with you, we had some fun with it, man," Carr said after practice Saturday. "You know, coach and I have had a lot of fun with it. They're not in coach and I's meeting room, so we get to plan some stuff and have some fun with them. It's been really cool, to be honest with you, because people get to see us in our real environment. People don't get to see coach Gruden telling our rookies how much he loves them, they just see him yelling at people and stuff like that.
"They don't get to see me competing and talking trash and stuff like that. What I think it does is it just opens up the world to show who we really are. And I think that's a good thing, if you have nothing to hide then I think it's a good thing. So I've really enjoyed them honestly, it's been cool. It's not really a distraction, to be honest with you. There's so many cameras around all the time. Coach is always filming his presentations, so we're kind of used to it. It hasn't been a distraction as much as I thought it would be. It hasn't been at all. They've been great to work with and we've really enjoyed it."
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The HBO cameras, fans and media got their first real look at Carr and the 2019 Raiders on Saturday during Day 1 of training camp. Even with Antonio Brown not suiting up, Carr looked crisp and had good chemistry with a number of his receivers, including free-agent acquisition Tyrell Williams and rookie Hunter Renfrow.
After a 4-12 season a year ago, the Raiders reshaped their roster and have big expectations for 2019 despite a tough schedule. If the Raiders are able to go last to first, "Hard Knocks" will have given fans their first look at a new dawn of Raiders football.
Las Vegas has long been a city where Americans go to escape the mundane aspects of their lives and dive head-first into the debauchery and freedoms that come with “Sin City.”
Once the 2020 NFL season kicks off, there will be a new mode of entertainment for those who descend on The Strip, as the Raiders will open up play at Allegiant Stadium and re-brand as the Las Vegas Raiders.
Primarily known as a vacation destination, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock is confident the organization’s new zip code can help attract some of the best free agents the NFL has to offer.
“I think first and foremost, we go from a 13-percent state tax in California to a zero-percent state tax in Nevada,” Mayock told Raiders.com's Eddie Paskal. “The players and their agents are very aware of that.”
In addition to the financial savings, Mayock says the new digs for the Silver and Black will be on par with the best organizations in the NFL.
“I've heard more comments about what our new stadium looks like. You know, that black exterior, the sleekness of it. People are fired up about the Raiders in Vegas.
“I think there's a real excitement about Jon Gruden leading the Raiders into Las Vegas and it extends financially, extends to our facilities, we're gonna be a first-rate operation in every single facet and I think that energy will trickle through into free agency.”
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Will free agents indeed flock to Vegas to join Gruden and what was a 7-9 team in 2019?
The front office certainly thinks so.
Free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown is a suspect in a felony battery case stemming from an alleged incident outside his Hollywood, Fla. home.
Brown and his trainer, Glen Holt, allegedly battered the driver of a moving truck, Hollywood police said Tuesday.
Holt was charged with one count of felony burglary and one count of felony battery. Police attempted to speak to Brown regarding the situation but were unsuccessful.
Police hoped to contact Brown in order to determine whether to bring battery charges against him.
The receiver hasn’t played since Week 2 of the NFL regular season after being released by the New England Patriots. Prior to that, Brown spent training camp with the Raiders before demanding his release following a bizarre sequence of confrontations with management.