After Payton Manning’s Retirement, all Focus in the AFC West has been on The Denver Broncos moving forward without their future Hall of Famer. The Real Focus should be on the team that hasn’t visited the Playoffs since their loss in the 2002 Super Bowl, the Oakland Raiders. Derek Carr has hit the ground running, producing two 900+ yard receivers last year as well as throwing for 32 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions; falling just shy for the 4,000 yard mark. It looks like the Raiders have finally found their guy to build around. Not to mention a solid running back in Latavious Murry, with average run blocking on the offensive line.
The Start of the 2016 NFL Free agency showed exactly why the Raiders will be a force in the AFC West and will win 10 or 11 games in the upcoming season. With the defense needing to play with the same hunger and at the same pace as the offense, the addition of shutdown corner Sean smith from Kansas City and Seahawk Line backer Bruce Irvin Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton Jr. will be able to expand his packages and mix up things with his coverage.
The acquisition of Pro Bowl Guard from Baltimore Kelechi Osemele, will add to a line that has shown glimpses of playoff caliber play. David Carr ranked 13th in sacks last season, besides that, Murry has needed inside gaps to open up and Kelechi is an all around great blocker that should help improve both of their stats next season. I caught up with Man who just signed a near 60 million dollar contract to get his thoughts on his time in Baltimore as well as his new team out west.
Q. What’s your Greatest Memory in Baltimore aside from winning your First Superbowl as A Raven?
A. That’s definitely the greatest moment there is no greater moment then that. I guess I would say the parade afterwards and all the love they showed. The city took on new life it was surreal. Other then that I can’t pick just one. I loved hanging with friends in fed hill. Hitting up fells for the change up. Linking with T west and Pierce in Towson. I loved it all honestly it would be impossible for me to pick one memory
Q. What do you think about The Raiders Offense? Carr is getting better and all he needs is more time in the pocket!
A. I think the Raiders have a ton of weapons and young talent. I talked to Carr on the phone for about a half hour at 12 in the AM and you can tell he means business and he’s a natural leader. Seems like a very down to earth guy and he’s easy to talk to. On top of that he’s young and extremely talented so it’s not going be hard at all to block all day and night for a man like that.
Q. Who was the first person you called after the signing?
A. I didn’t get a chance to call anyone I went to bed and I woke up to my phone going off. It was really just like any other major life event that I’ve had a few times now. I think if gotten used to the reactions because none of it comes to much as a surprise. I’ve always known what I wanted, what I was worth, and how to work for it. I wouldn’t even say my family was too surprised when they found out. I couldn’t officially tell anyone because it leaked.
Q. Who has been the most fun/ hardest to go up against on the Line in your career so far?
A. I would say I enjoyed practicing with Timmy Jernigan we made each other better. I would say the same about Haloti when he was in Baltimore. Those two guys right there I have the utmost respect for.
Kelechi is exactly right. The young Raiders squad is only becoming better as a unit and I really see them taking over the division next season with their improvement as well as the key pieces they have added. Espn has been preaching the fact the Denver Broncos shouldn’t be worried. I say they very much should be, this Raiders team is a very real under the radar team that will cause alot of upsets do to the fact they didn’t see it coming sooner.