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Derek Carr: 7-9 isn’t going to cut it

Oakland Raiders v Minnesota Vikings

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The Raiders saw the impact of drafting players like linebacker Khalil Mack, quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Amari Cooper last season when they went from winning seven games over to seasons to a 7-9 record.

It was a big step forward for the organization that left a foundation that the team has buttressed through free agency this offseason. Guard Kelechi Osemele, cornerback Sean Smith, safety Reggie Nelson and linebacker Bruce Irvin are all slated for big roles on a team that looks very much like a playoff contender on paper.

Carr said Monday that the team doesn’t want to be paper champions, though, and that “none of that matters unless we put the work in” leading up to the 2016 season. The bar has been raised for the Raiders and Carr knows the Raiders will have to step up to reach it this time around.

“It’s a great thing that people are talking about us in that light. When I first got there, they certainly weren’t doing that,” Carr said. via “It’s a credit to where we’ve come from, but that’s about it. What we did last year on the field was better, but we want the same kind of jump again this year. We want to be better than 7-9. Honestly, 7-9 is not going to cut it. It felt good last year, I think we were close to winning 10 games. We have to continue to push ourselves to do better than that.”

Everyone feels optimistic about what’s coming down the pike in April and the positive vibes around the Raiders feel justified, but you can’t argue with Carr’s belief that the big work is still to come if more than hope is going to be generated this season.