NAPA Veteran Tommy Kelly walked off the Raiders' practice field Thursday without his helmet, as did the other veteran defensive linemen.
Carrying some of those helmets was rookie nose tackle Derrick Hill, an Oakland native who is as happy as anyone to be a Raider.
Hill, who played collegiately at Cal, has an affinity for Oakland that goes beyond the Raiders. He is planning to be a part of his community when football is over to serve as a mentor to children.
Until then, Hill is busy soaking up all he can from the likes of Kelly and Richard Seymour.
"I told a few people before that if it didn't work out here, my dream has already come true, being able to play last week on that field," Hill said. "I always dreamed of having that uniform on, so it's been a blessing and a perfect opportunity. Now it's just on me to take advantage of it."
Hill, the youngest of the interior defensive linemen in camp, is learning from Seymour, Kelly and John Henderson, each of whom has played at least eight seasons. Hill said the veterans have been like big brothers to him since he joined the Raiders as an undrafted rookie.
Hill saw much action last week in the Raiders' exhibition opener against Arizona as coach Hue Jackson pulled his starters early.
There's no telling how much Hill will play Saturday against the 49ers, since Jackson said he has not decided how long the starters will play.
Hill said that with the feedback he has received from the veterans, he is getting better every day.
Jackson agreed that being around the veterans will only help Hill improve.
"For a young player to see a veteran player work at it and work as hard as he can, it shows him that, 'Hey, every day I better go get it because I'm not as accomplished as some of these guys,' " Jackson said.
Regardless of his playing time, the lifelong Raiders fan is looking forward to this weekend.
"It's going to be fun because my pops (Derrick Hill Sr.) is a 49ers fan; even though he's from Oakland, he's a Niner fan," Hill said. "It's going to be real fun."
Hill said his plans to work in the community stem from his belief that inner-city youths, especially young males, need more role models. Hill said being an athlete gives him a platform, and as long as he is playing he plans to use it to give back to Oakland.
For now, being a Raider is "dream come true" that he is relishing.
"This is my community," Hill said. "At the end of the day, it's my job to let a kid know that he can do this. That's what I plan on doing if this works or not. I plan on going back into the community and continue to uplift our inner-city youth."
Still in it Jackson said second-year offensive lineman Bruce Campbell remains in the mix to start despite missing time in camp with a knee injury.
"It actually was nice to hear (that), because I mean, missing weeks in the NFL is like missing an opportunity," Campbell said.