Carr credits Del Rio's leadership for Raiders' turnaround

Carr credits Del Rio's leadership for Raiders' turnaround

ALAMEDA – The Raiders enter their bye week at 7-2, considered a true contender in the AFC West. No team has more wins through nine weeks, as the Raiders have emerged among the class of their conference.

This is a major step towards the team’s first playoff berth and winning season since 2002. That following season started a long, hard winter. A particularly deep freeze struck in 2014, when the Raiders started 0-10 and finished 3-13.

That was quarterback Derek Carr’s rookie season, and it certainly left a mark. That group wasn’t good but never quit, and eventually dragged itself out of the muck.

“A lot of mental toughness (was required), with a lot of hard days where you still had to come into work as the same person,” Carr said. “I think that when you do those things, there’s a lot of character that goes into where we’re at today. Not just myself, but I’m saying the whole team.

“It was tough to come in 0-10. It was tough to come in 0-8, 0-9 and keep doing it. We kept our heads down, and we knew that there was an end goal in mind.”

There was a vision shared by Carr, edge rusher Khalil Mack and rest of the 2014 draft class. They wanted to be part of a turnaround, and were willing to work to get there. They still needed a leader, and one came in 2015 when head coach Jack Del Rio was hired.

“Coach Del Rio has done a great job of giving us a vision and a format of how that looks, because he’s been there,” Carr said. “He’s done those things. It’s also us making it up in our mind, obviously, as players, but it takes a vision and a plan laid out by our leader. I think it’s just a perfect mesh of both.”

This turnaround has worked with a proper mesh of talent, coaching and character. Things started to swing during a 7-9 campaign in 2015.

“It started happening last year,” said left tackle Donald Penn, who signed with the Raiders during the 2014 offseason. “Our season got cut a little short with a few losses, but we had good momentum heading into the offseason. Then, with a couple moves (general manager) Reggie McKenzie made some smart moves and, when we all got together, it was time to compete. The coaches did a great job of helping us improve through competition.”

The Raiders are thankful for an improved lot, with full knowledge they can be better by season’s end.

“Things are coming together,” Penn said. “I can’t wait to see where it’s going to go next. I’m excited about the future, because we’re building something special here. There’s a lot of work ahead of us, and when we come together, that’s what I’m excited to see.”

Rashaan Melvin says he cheated Raiders fans during season with the team


Rashaan Melvin says he cheated Raiders fans during season with the team

Rashaan Melvin said his goodbyes to the Raiders after the Lions announced a deal that would bring the cornerback to the team.

But Melvin's farewell to the Silver and Black was a bit of a sad one. Melvin said he felt as though he cheated the fans:

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Im thankful for every opportunity God has placed in my life. We all must go through some things to get to what is actually meant for us. I greatly appreciate the Oakland organization for giving me the opportunity to further my career this past season. I respect the raiders organization, I respect the tradition, and I respect the die hard fans that has and will forever believe in raider nation. I feel like I cheated the fans, and organization, and a long list of players that came before me that made the organization what it is. It was always a life time dream of mine to wear the silver and black. It really hurt me that I wasn’t able to be myself, and play the style of play that I know I was capable of playing. To all my guys in that locker room I appreciate you guys for making the year special through everything. I cherish the relationships that were created on and off the field. I respect you guys, and I wish you boy’s the best!! Y’all ball out for the City of Oakland 1 more time or for however long y’all there! Respect!! #22 #raidernation ✊🏾✊🏾

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This, of course, appeared to be more of him not feeling as though he played to his potential. Playing for the Raiders had been a dream of his.

Melvin only started in seven games last season which could be partly why he's feeling the way he's feeling. 

"To all my guys in the locker room, I appreciate you guys for making the year special through everything."

'Stop playing:' Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown takes jab at Bills

'Stop playing:' Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown takes jab at Bills

Antonio Brown is now a member of the Raiders -- which means he is not going to play for the Bills despite some strange rumors he would be Buffalo-bound.

So, naturally, Brown made sure to put a reaction on Instagram to double-down on this:

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Stop playing #FakeNews #Historical

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"Stop playing."

This is in addition to him saying it was "Fake news" at the beginning of the month: 

And anything sports-related and bring Drake into the mix is very much appreciated.

It appears Brown is more than happy with his decision to sport silver and black.