Raiders' Jimmy Garoppolo excited after first day of practice

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Jimmy Garoppolo said his first practice with the Las Vegas Raiders had a certain first-day-of-school feel to it, especially since it was the quarterback's first time on a practice field with his new teammates since suffering a season-ending foot injury Dec. 4.

"Honestly, last night going to sleep, just a little bit of excitement, a little kid feeling," Garoppolo said Wednesday after the Raiders' first training camp practice. "It's nice to feel every once in a while. And yeah, it was cool to get back out there with the guys.

"It felt right."

The former San Francisco 49ers star, who underwent surgery on his left foot after signing a three-year, $72.75 million contract with Las Vegas in March, said he had no concerns that he would not be ready for camp. He even signed a waiver/release that would have allowed the Raiders to part ways with him with little financial cost -- his $11.25 million signing bonus was converted into his already existing base salary of $11.25 million for 2023 -- were he unable to pass a physical.

He passed his physical this past weekend.

"Never really a worry," Garoppolo said. "We had a good plan here. The strength staff, training staff, really tip my hat to those guys. They did a great job just getting me back and getting where I need to be. I'm not fully there yet, but working in the right direction."

Garoppolo looked like a guy who had not practiced since last winter, let alone with his new teammates. He looked crisp at times, sailed a few passes on other occasions and was nearly picked off on a throw across the middle by linebacker Divine Deablo.

And still, Garoppolo impressed those he needs to impress the most.

"He's a great guy, easy to talk to," said All-Pro receiver Davante Adams. "Super coachable, listens to my feedback and the way that I view the game, too. So today was very productive. A lot of conversation out there and we've just got to stay on that, continue with it to get to where we want to be."

Garoppolo said Adams "thinks" like a quarterback on the field.

"On one of the routes I threw him, I asked him if he was going full speed," Garoppolo said. "He's just so smooth, man, he looks effortless. I thought I overthrew him on one of the deep balls and he ended up getting to it. So, it was just things like that. It's a luxury, as a quarterback, to have a guy like that. I've just got to get used to it."

The Raiders, under the second-year regime of coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler, have completely revamped Las Vegas' QB room, moving on from nine-year starter Derek Carr, allowing Jarrett Stidham to leave in free agency and waiving Chase Garbers.

As such, the Raiders, who also signed veteran Brian Hoyer in free agency and used a fourth-round draft pick in Aidan O'Connell, are primed to have an entirely new roster of quarterbacks to start a season for the first time since 1999.

And Garoppolo has acclimated himself in Sin City.

"Finally got a house, so that's a step on the right direction," he said. "Vegas has been really cool, man. Honestly, I've loved it. People here are very inviting, I want to say. They like talking, even if you don't know them. It's a cool interaction. I haven't had that in a long time. So being from the Midwest, it was pretty refreshing."

Garoppolo also made a "refreshing" impression on the Raiders defense.

"Jimmy's cool as hell," Pro Bowl edge rusher Maxx Crosby said. "I've been here all offseason with him. He's been training, working his ass off to get back. So, I'm fired up that he's out there with us. Literally before practice started, he's already talking s---. I love it. So that's the kind of guy I want to compete against."

What, exactly, did Garoppolo say?

"That's between us," Crosby laughed. "But he's a competitive dude. I love him. He's a dog and I'm not just saying that because he's my quarterback. There's certain guys that are dogs and he's definitely one of them. So I love it. I'm definitely looking forward to competing and getting after his ass."