Mike White studies Raider quarterback Jay Schroeder lofting passes to receivers. Noticing a hitch in Schroeder's throwing motion, White pulls him aside to correct the mistake.
Hired as quarterback coach last spring, White's role is to tutor quarterbacks Schroeder and backups Steve Beuerlein and Vince Evans, although Beuerlein reported only Monday, after missing training camp because of a contract dispute.
"He's been a big help," Schroeder said of White. "He's very fundamental in everything he does, and everything starts with the fundamentals. We've needed it around here. Not only that, but he knows the passing game. And it's helped the football team."
Can White improve Schroeder, who had more interceptions than touchdowns last season?
"Obviously, I feel I can," White said. "Jay has been scarred. He's not only been scarred himself, but he's been scarred in the eyes of other people. And that's the toughest one to come back from. He needs support.
"I'm sort of like the teaching pro a golfer goes to every so often to tighten up his fundamentals. I don't want to overstate it, but that's basically my job. I'm responsible for the quarterbacks' mechanics and techniques and that's it. I'll try to help them mentally and emotionally. That's my role.
"The one thing that was made very clear to me by the Raiders is that that's my role and no more. The rest is a learning experience."
White's coaching credentials are impressive.
A disciple of Bill Walsh, former coach of the San Francisco 49ers, White, in a 32-year career, has coached an all-star list of quarterbacks, among them Jim Plunkett, Steve Bartkowski, Vince Ferragamo, Joe Roth, Rich Campbell, Tony Eason, Dave Wilson, Jack Trudeau and Jeff George.
White, 54, who had an 82-71-4 record in 14 seasons as a head coach at California and Illinois, joined the Raiders after being out of coaching for two years.
If Art Shell, in his first full season as a head coach, were to falter, the Raiders would have a proven head coach in White. Does he hope to use his job with the Raiders as a steppingstone to becoming an NFL head coach?
"In total candor, I have no idea," White said. "I've been humbled by how little recall I have of the NFL. I really have no idea. I'm going to take it a day at a time and then I'll see what I've accomplished and take it from there.
"Some guys have to be head coaches. I'm not sure that that's what I need. I just want to be happy and get some fulfillment from what I'm doing, and I am.
"As a young coach, everything looks to the future. In my case, I'm grateful to be working again. I don't have anything to prove. I've proved my executive ability and I've proved the ability to take two programs that were down and out and turn them into successful programs."
Hired at Berkeley in 1972, White led the Bears to the 1975 Pacific 10 co-championship. Then, he led the Illini into the 1984 Rose Bowl, losing to UCLA, 45-9.
Yet White's success has been tarnished because his recruiting methods have come under scrutiny.
He resigned from Illinois on Jan. 18, 1988 in the wake of an NCAA investigation into recruiting violations. An assistant coach paid for the lodging of a recruit, Hart Lee Dykes, who eventually enrolled at Oklahoma State, and White and an assistant coach made an illegal visit to another recruit. Illinois was also placed on NCAA probation in 1984 for earlier recruiting violations.
"I've always had a cloud over my head," White said. "When I got to Cal, I inherited three years of probation. In both cases, where I was forced to leave, I feel bad that I affected some people's lives that I really didn't have control over. That's not fair, and I feel bad about that."
Although White said he has strong feelings about how the NCAA administers college athletics, he declined to discuss them.
Asked if he would consider a return to college coaching, White said: "I basically suffer from the fact that I stayed too long in two places. I was shoved out the door at two different places (Cal and Illinois). I'm the kind of guy who wore people out with my work ethic and attitude and enthusiasm.
"That's why I'm not so sure that head coaching has to be my next step, because I know what the head coach goes through. I spent more time solving problems off the field than I did coaching football.
"Now that I've been around the pros, I think I can get as much enjoyment out of this as I did out of college."
After leaving Illinois, White moved to Newport Beach, where he worked for Pro Scout, Inc., in 1988. He was a consultant to Tex Schramm, president of the World League of American Football last year, researching the acceptance of American football in Europe.
White was interviewed for the San Diego Chargers' head coaching job in 1989 but the job was given to Dan Henning.
The only coaching he did was as an assistant at Newport Harbor High, where his son, Matt, was a senior last year.
That made White realize how much he missed coaching.
"I've had some hard knocks, but I'm still addicted to coaching," he said.