With training camp underway, quotes begin to fly. The Raiders kicked off camp with cameras and microphones buzzing about. With that said, this translation of last week’s quotes should give you a peek into the early mindset.
Jon Gruden, on second-year tackles that need to elevate their game.
“If we are going to have a chance to compete this year some of those guys are going to have to step up,” Gruden stated. “We need Mo Hurst to step up; we need P.J. Hall to step up. We didn’t see it from them last year; we need to see it this year.”
For what it is worth, Gruden makes a solid half-point. With focus on the interior linemen, other questions arise. First, where Does Arden Key and his struggles fit? Everyone could see the woeful lack of strength. Next, Hurst did lead the team in sacks? From a defensive tackle, with
Mayock, on the younger players, in general:
“Jon and I have had an awful lot of conversations about these kids and the passion for the game and setting the foundation and all of that. When you see the fact that they not only show up in shape, but they only show up and they have their heads in the books, man. When Jon starts going quads empty on the first day and the defensive backs know what the proper adjustment is, it’s pretty cool. That’s what we’re juiced about.”
In typical Gruden style, the Raiders expect rookie production from the first day. Identically, Mike Mayock wants the rookies up to speed now. Unlike days past, where players ease into their spots, the Raiders want results.
Gruden, on the signing of veteran, Jonathan Cooper
“Played in a system last year that was very similar to the one that we run. I’m really impressed with Cooper. He came in healthy. He’s really smart and athletic, and to have a couple veteran guards play next to Kolton Miller is something that we’re excited about, but we’re certainly going to have some competition this summer at left guard.”
Denzel Good, Incognito’s presumptive backup, underwent back surgery. Cooper, the former first-rounder , takes his place. With so much riding on the first two weeks of the season, Cooper needs to play well. With questions surrounding Kolton Miller, the Raiders need the interior three linemen to give Derek Carr a solid pocket.