NAPA -- For the Raiders under first-year coach Dennis Allen, discipline begins at the Napa Valley Marriott chow line.

"I mean, they're real strict on discipline now as far as showing up to meetings (on time), they're even making us check in for lunches an dinners now,'' safety Tyvon Branch said.

When the Raiders take the field for the first time Monday morning, the theory is that being punctual and structured will help with sticky issues such as penalties and poor run defense that have been long-standing problems because of individuality.

"We know that our discipline is what got us in trouble in the past,'' Branch said. "That stuff trickles down on the field, and we need to cut down on the penalties if we want to be the team we want to be.''

Allen said all players were present and accounted for Sunday. The Raiders endured a conditioning session, went to meetings and began to sense the tone for a camp where time is of the essence.

The new collective bargaining agreement has placed strict limitations on practice frequency and intensity.

"There are only so many days that you get to practice,'' Allen said. "Our ability to get the most out of the limited opportunities is critical.''

Branch said the new staff has "come in with a whole new mind-set. Changing the schemes, we're changing the culture. So we're just going along for the ride and following the leaders.''

In the best-case scenario, the discipline will be self-policed, rather than forced upon the roster by a new head coach.


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"It's up to the players to enforce that amongst ourselves that work is being done and we're getting better,'' Tollefson said. "Now, more than ever, a wasted day can hurt you.''

"We're all grown me and we should all know how to follow the rules,'' defensive tackle Richard Seymour said. I don't think that's a big adjustment if that's who you are.''

  • Fifth-round draft pick Juron Criner was the last player to sign his contract one day after an ESPN report said a difference of $14,000 on his signing bonus was causing the delay.

  • Allen doesn't plan on having officials at practice other than the three days when an NFL crew is on site. The Raiders set NFL records last season with 163 penalties and 1,358 penalty yards.

    I've already tried to show through visual aids how it has an effect on winning and losing games, and we'll monitor the situation as we go through practices,'' Allen said.

  • Former Raiders quarterback and current CBS analyst Rich Gannon was in Napa to address the team about how to best deal with the media, before flying out and doing the same thing for the Miami Dolphins.