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Raiders will be careful with Jimmy Garoppolo as training camp begins

Updated July 25, 2023 - 3:19 pm

Jimmy Garoppolo will be under no work restrictions when the Raiders open the first day of full training camp Wednesday.

But that doesn’t mean the club will be careless with their new quarterback.

As is the case with any player at the start of camp, there is a fine line between preparation and prudence. That’s especially so with Garoppolo, whose history of injuries makes it incumbent that the Raiders keep a watchful eye on him.

That includes the broken foot Garoppolo suffered in December while playing with the 49ers, an injury that required surgery after his signing with the Raiders in March and cost him the on-field portions of the club’s offseason program.

It wasn’t until Garoppolo passed his physical Sunday that his status for training camp was finally cleared up, meaning he will take the field with his new teammates for the first time Wednesday.

“We’ll do what we always do with players that are coming off of any type of rehabilitation … we’ll do it the right way,” coach Josh McDaniels said Tuesday. “It might not be 100 percent of the repetitions first day, but we would never do that with anybody.”

Garoppolo participated in all other phases of the offseason program. It was a chance to get acclimated to his new surroundings and create a bond with his new teammates. He even was seen at Golden Knights game with some of them.

Garoppolo always has been viewed as a popular locker-room presence. McDaniels, who coached Garoppolo for almost four seasons in New England, said he thinks it’s a trait that will serve the 31-year-old well as he develops relationships that will be critical to on-field chemistry.

“You have to care about the person, and Jimmy gives a lot of time and effort into conversations nonfootball related,” McDaniels said. “It’s how much you put into it, how much you care about where they came from, what their family situation is like, where they’re at in their life or their career. That’s important for anybody that’s trying to create relationships and especially at the position of quarterback in the NFL, where (if) you want to be a leader on your football team, you have to be an elite communicator on the field.”

It has been seven years since McDaniels and Garoppolo worked together. Garoppolo, who wasn’t made available to the media Tuesday, credits McDaniels with grooming him into an NFL quarterback, but his experience playing under 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan since 2017 now means McDaniels taking some lessons.

That was evident during the long talks and study sessions McDaniels and Garoppolo had during the spring.

“Any player that has played a significant amount of time somewhere else for a coach that I respect tremendously, it’s always interesting to hear some of the things that they did or how they called something or other things that maybe we don’t do that they did well and he likes,” McDaniels said.

McDaniels said he expects a smooth process as Garoppolo relearns his offense.

“Most of the terminology … if you spent four years doing something and then you change languages a little bit, you come back to it eventually,” McDaniels said.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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