Surely there are Derek Carr loyalists who shriek every time they hear something positive come out of Las Vegas Raiders training camp. At least if it has anything to do with Jimmy Garoppolo—like it or not, though, the mood in Henderson has been different this year so far.
In case you missed it, punter A.J. Cole III set social media ablaze when he was asked about the team’s newest players. He mentioned that it was a nice change from “divas and headcases.” Who exactly Cole was talking about will likely remain a mystery to most of us; that’s just how it is. Even so, Cole was rather jubilant when asked about Garoppolo directly this week, if not highly flattering.
“Yeah, I mean, he’s just easy to talk to. He’s a very down-to-earth, normal guy, and we can sit down like yesterday, when me, Jesper [Horsted], and Ameer [Abdullah] were sitting there and we were talking about aliens. You’ve seen all this UFO stuff that they’re talking about.”
Maxx Crosby concurs with A.J. Cole III on Jimmy Garoppolo
The Raiders’ defensive leader and superstar, Maxx Crosby, echoed a similar sentiment to Cole’s.
“For sure. I mean, he’s a great guy, easy to talk to, super coachable from the coaches to him, and he’s listening to my feedback and the way that I view the game too.”
You could make the argument that Garoppolo is the new guy right now; everything’s gravy. However, you get the feeling that the Raiders are rallying around their new signal-caller, as everyone keeps chiming in with a similar tone. The tone that you get from a guy who’s exactly that, “just one of the guys,” Garoppolo’s center, Andre James, added his own two cents, identical to what Cole and Crosby have said thus far in camp.
Andre James snapped the ball to Jimmy Garoppolo for the first time this offseason two days ago. So far, his new QB has brought good vibes to the offense.
— Levi Edwards (@theleviedwards) July 28, 2023
Jose Sanchez III of Sports Illustrated, who covered Garoppolo during his stint with the San Francisco 49ers, cited a similar notion that Raiders players are stating. “Jimmy is definitely going to be more relatable and liked in the locker room. He always gave me the vibe when I talked with him of a dude just chilling, minding his business, and drinking a beer at a bar,” said Sanchez on Twitter on Friday.
Things are changing for the Silver and Black. Garoppolo was one of the key pieces that this current regime felt they needed to bring in; perhaps this sense of levity will pay dividends down the line this season.
*Top Photo: L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal