In his ten years in the N.F.L., Richard Seymour has never had an offseason quite like this one. With the 2011-12 season in jeopardy and with players and coaches barred from communicating from one another during the lockout, the responsibility of conducting organized team workouts falls squarely on the shoulders of the players. But despite this hindrance, Seymour and quarterback Jason Campbell have taken it upon themselves to lead a group of their teammates through a four-day stretch of workouts in suburban Atlanta.
In the first two days of the voluntary workouts, a group of thirty-plus Raiders have met at Buford High School and another indoor facility in nearby Duluth. Among the notable names in attendance are veterans Darren McFadden, Rolando McClain, and Kamerion Wimbley, and rookies Stefen Wisniewski, DeMarcus Van Dyke, and Chimdi Chekwa.
Seymour and Campbell have led the defense and offense, respectively, while also receiving help from the staff of Competitive Edge Sports (CES), an athletic training service based in Georgia. According to Ben Beitzel of the Gwinnett Daily Post, Seymour had been planning the four-day workout session for over a month, and has personally paid for the services of CES.
Thus far, training has included work with heavy ropes and weights, and the team has also conducted non-contact, 7-on-7 passing drills.
"We can't control what's going on with the NFL lockout, but we wanted to come out and be able to run some drills and do it in an organized fashion," said Seymour. "When the lockout is lifted, we want to make sure we're ready to go."
Campbell, who has never played in the same offensive system in consecutive seasons, said that the workouts and drills have been a good opportunity for returning players to re-acclimate themselves to the plays and for new players to familiarize themselves with the terminology.
"You are trying to get the guys to hear it as much as possible before we leave this week so when the lockout ends it won't take guys so long to catch on," said Campbell. "For the guys hearing it for the first time, it's a different language."
Among the notable observations from the two days include the absence of wide receiver Chaz Schilens and right guard Bruce Campbell splitting time at right tackle. Campbell, who played left tackle while at Maryland, said he just wants to re-familiarize himself playing outside.
"I am going to practice both positions, but I am going to practice more so at tackle because I haven't done it in a year," said Campbell.
Also in attendance during Wednesday's session was a group of non-Raiders that were brought in for a workout session by trainer Tom Shaw. Notable names included James Farrior, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Santonio Holmes, and former Raiders wide receiver Javon Walker.
Media availability was only scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.