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Las Vegas Raiders Coach Antonio Smith Feels Training Camp Move About Team Bonding

by News7

The Costa Mesa City Council unanimously approved the Las Vegas Raiders’ move of this year’s training camp to the Jack Hammett Sports Complex. There will be many benefits for the Raiders in making the move. The move puts the team closer to many of their fans, and there will be much cooler temperatures in Costa Mesa than in Las Vegas during the summer. 

However, for Coach Antonio Pierce, the move provides more benefits than connecting fans or weather. When Pierce was a linebacker in the National Football League, he and his teammates regularly left the training facilities during training camp. For Pierce, the move to Costa Mesa allows his team to get quality time together outside the regular daily routines built by spending so much time in the same environment daily. 

“I don’t think it’s more about the heat. It’s about team bonding,” Pierce said. 

“When I played in the National Football League, we never stayed at our facility. I was used to traveling and going away, and kind of bunkered up us and 90 or 85 players at a time or whatever it was. Team bonding, getting together, and getting to know one another are also important to get away from all distractions.”

Pierce expects the change of scenery to help the players focus solely on football and perfecting their craft this offseason. He’s looking forward to the team building the chemistry they lacked during the early part of last season. Pierce hopes the team can build upon the progress they made as a team after he took over the helm halfway through last season.

“It’s all about ball, just ball,” Pierce said. 

“I told us I want us to be the tightest group of Raiders that hopefully this organization has seen. And that’s what we’re going to grow and build on and get that physical toughness that we want to build on to training camp,” Pierce said. “And yeah, does it help that it is a little cooler? No doubt. But more importantly, I think it’s just good for our team to bond, to get away, and just focus on us.” 

As the Raiders begin a new era under new leadership, even a small change like moving their training camp to a different location—as some other teams around the league do—can pay off for them down the road.

Source : Sports Illustrated

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