2018 Raiders Camp: Fact vs. Myth

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Oakland Raiders HC Jon Gruden
March 8, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden during the third quarter between the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Spurs 110-107. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-363195 ORIG FILE ID: 20180308_kkt_st3_037.jpg

During the first week of camp, expectations and worry seem to fit like hand in glove. As a results expectations and perceived failure resonate through the fanbase. The Raiders are no exception. With every passing day, the need to separate fact from fiction.

 

Myth: Khalil Mack and the Raiders have not spoken since January

This whopper of a fallacy originated recently. Somehow, the best player on the Raiders and the team that he works for stopped speaking almost six months ago. That does not seem right. In fact, that statement holds neither merit nor water. Reggie McKenzie conducted an interview with the Athletic, McKenzie, on record declared that he spoke with Mack’s representatives.

 

Myth: The Raiders will keep more than five receivers

Under Jon Gruden, the Raiders expect to bludgeon teams into submission with a strong running game. Additionally, two tight ends and a fullback look to see extensive time on the field. The only wideouts guaranteed a roster spot are Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson, and Martavis Bryant. That is to say, the others will fight for two spots, most likely.

 

Myth: Obi Melifonwu’s draft status earns him a second year.

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Granted, giving up on a second-year player with Melifonwu’s measureables seems rather hasty. However, Melifonwu’s injury robs him of valuable field time. Jon Gruden wants to win right now. As a result, he will construct a roster that strictly wants to win immediately. With this in mind, Melifonwu’s inability to stay healthy does not sit well with Gruden. Does Gruden ignore the draft status and release Obi, or does his allow Melifonwu to get right and play?


Myth: Hyping a player should get the fanbase excited about a certain player during preseason.

For the longest time, coaches use hype as a multi-purpose tool. When you see a coach, championing a player that few heard of, that could be a smokescreen. While enjoying a great camp, that player could play the same position as another who the coaches want to step up. In essence, the coach sends a message through media to get the attention of certain players. For instance, Gruden lauded Erik Harris’ play in May. That signifies that he wants the attention of his team. While we see Gruden as the camera-loving type, he skillfully uses the media to serve his end.

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