ALAMEDA First-year general manager Reggie McKenzie said Thursday he believes the Raiders are ahead of schedule as they break until training camp.
"I personally think we're further along than I thought we would be," said McKenzie, who hired a new coaching staff and introduced a new system over the past two months. "I knew they were going to throw in a lot on both sides of the ball. But it was good to see things going right a whole lot more than wrong, as far as coaches yelling and screaming, running a play over and over again.
"Every day, you didn't hear a lot of that. That's a good indication that players are getting it and coaches are coaching it."
One positive, McKenzie said, was the absence of major injuries. McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen said they expect all 90 players on the roster to be healthy when the team reports for training camp on July 29.
McKenzie said he doesn't expect any problem signing offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom and wide receiver Juron Criner, the team's two draft picks not yet under contract.
He also said the Raiders have discussed a long-term deal with representatives of safety Tyvon Branch, who signed his franchise tender in May.
"Nobody's slamming the phone on each other, so that's positive," McKenzie said.
A few of McKenzie's remarks from a half-hour discussion with reporters:
On linebacker Rolando McClain, who is appealing his conviction on third-degree assault and other charges stemming from an incident in Alabama last November: "I'm not going to hold anything over his head about what he's done in the past. We're only concerned with what he does from here on out. We'll take care of the issues as they come."
On Allen, his first-year coach: "From a standpoint of big picture, he gets it. He's always a step ahead, which is good. I like the way the players are responding. He's all over that defense, which I like. He's talking to the offense, too. You can't tell he hasn't been a head coach before."
On whether the Raiders are looking for a power back to replace departed Michael Bush: "We don't have that big back, but we've got a couple of backs that are playing fullback for us that can be that guy. We'll continue to beat down the doors and see if we can bring guys in."