Sunday will mark the final game at RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland as the Raiders prepare to make the move to Las Vegas in the 2020 season. The Jaguars will be entering a sold-out stadium that includes some of the most passionate fans in the NFL, who have continuously showed their loves in rather interesting ways throughout the years.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone says he does not exactly know what to expect on Sunday, but knows it’ll be a crazy atmosphere.
“I don’t know, but I talked to the players. It can be a bunch of different ways, but it’ll be a crazy atmosphere. I can’t define crazy for you, but it’ll be a crazy atmosphere.”
Fans in Oakland have long expressed their passion for football and specifically Raiders football for years, oftentimes donning spiked shoulder pads and masks. Marrone remembers from his time coaching with the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills what type of atmosphere it can be.
“It was always a very difficult place to play, just from a fan standpoint and all the other stuff. And then you have to do a good job, the locker room’s not the best locker room, and you want to make sure – and we kind of went over that [in meetings this week] to try to describe to our players, I did that today, the type of atmosphere that it’s going to be.
“The last game in the Oakland [Alameda County] Coliseum. The type of fan base that they have, the following that they have. The locker room. I think those things, that’s what I’ve learned before is that you want to get them a little [information] so they can become familiar with what’s going on there.”
Jaguars right guard Will Richardson Jr. says Marrone asked the team Wednesday morning which players had been to Oakland in order to get a general feel of preparation for the unknown, mentioning it is usually a hostile environment.
“He’s kinda unsure of how it will be because of the team leaving there,” Richardson Jr. said shortly after practice on Wednesday. “Whether they’ll be on their side or against us, or what. He just kinda gave us a fair warning. Just come in and expect the unexpected.”
While it might be a hostile environment, Richardson Jr. says he thrives on the energy, having played in some of the “worst” environments in college such as Death Valley at Clemson while he played for NC State.
“It kinda gives you adrenaline as a football player. You got 80,000 people rooting against you. I mean, yeah they’re chanting words that you don’t like to hear, but deep down inside for a lot of people it’s more fuel than it is.”
The Jaguars will have an opportunity to test the Oakland crowd on Sunday and will perhaps feed off the energy provided to ultimately secure a victory.