Raiders tight end Darren Waller took a moment from his spot on the stage at the Aces’ WNBA championship parade Tuesday to check out the crowd on the Strip and think about what the future could hold.
“I was definitely visualizing the same type of celebration and the people showing up for us,” he said after Wednesday’s practice. “They show up for us day to day, whether we win or lose. The fan energy is always the same. To have a vision for that is what everyone should have, and now you just have to go about the process every day.”
A Super Bowl title might seem presumptuous for an 0-2 team, but Waller believes all the tools are in place to make a return visit to the postseason. But first, the Raiders must embrace the process of having a good week of preparation and finding a way to win Sunday at Tennessee.
Then repeat that process each week. He doesn’t have to look far for an example. Waller was a regular at Aces games this season and remembers well the midseason lull that had many experts questioning whether they could regain their form.
“They had patches where they lost a couple games and people were asking, ‘What’s going on?’” Waller said. “It’s all a process. You have to weave through the ups and downs and ebbs and flows. It’s about how do I have a good practice today, and how do I make sure I play fundamentally sound on Sunday.
“Then those things turn into championship parades.”
Waller won’t forget the one he attended Tuesday.
“It was just dope to be a part of,” he said. “I just loved how they acknowledged every single player individually and allowed them to come up on the mic and speak. They showed up for real. The Strip was lit.”
Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow topped a list of six players who did not participate in Wednesday’s practice.
Renfrow is in concussion protocol after taking two hits on the Raiders’ final drive in overtime of Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals.
Center Andre James (concussion), linebacker Denzel Perryman (ankle) and safety Tre’von Moehrig (hip) remained out after missing Sunday’s game.
Defensive tackle Bilal Nichols missed practice with a shoulder injury that forced him out of Sunday’s game.
Defensive end Chandler Jones got a veteran rest day after playing 78 defensive snaps Sunday.
Running back Brandon Bolden, who missed the game with a hamstring injury, returned to practice in a limited capacity.
Offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor (hip) and defensive tackle Neil Farrell Jr. (shoulder) were limited.
For the Titans, linebacker Bud Dupree (hip), offensive tackle Taylor Lewan (knee), defensive back Ugo Amadi (ankle) and offensive lineman Jamarco Jones (tricep) missed the team’s walk-through practice.
Cornerback Kristian Fulton (hamstring), running back Dontrell Hilliard (hamstring), and rookie wide receivers Treylon Burks (ankle) and Kyle Phillips (shoulder) were limited.
Linebacker Jayon Brown will return to Nashville, where he spent his first five years before signing with the Raiders in the offseason.
He downplayed the significance of playing against his former teammates, saying he’s just concerned about winning the game.
Brown did talk about the reputation of Nissan Stadium as a difficult environment for visiting teams.
“I played there, and we lost home games, so it’s possible (for road teams to win),” he said.