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Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie agrees they can be a playoff team

Oakland Raiders Introduce New Head Coach Dennis Allen

ALAMEDA, CA - JANUARY 30: New Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen (L) greets Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie (C) and team owner Mark Davis during a press conference on January 30, 2012 in Alameda, California. Dennis Allen was introduced as the new coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing Hue Jackson who was fired after one season. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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For a team that hasn’t had a winning season or a playoff berth since 2002, there’s a lot of confidence flowing through the Raiders organization.

Quarterback Carson Palmer declared last weekend he thought they were a playoff team, and new General Manager Reggie McKenzie doesn’t disagree.

“I think after being around these guys the whole offseason, being around the coaching staff and the players, I definitely think we have the makeup of being a playoff team,” McKenzie said, via Monte Poole of the Bay Area News Group. “I feel what Carson is saying, as far as where we’re headed. We’re headed in the direction to where we can get there.”

It’s not as if either Palmer or McKenzie are out buying ads in the newspaper promising a Super Bowl, as it’s a more subtle approach than Raiders fans are perhaps used to.

“But I’m encouraged by what I saw during the offseason, No. 1 being that everybody seems to be on the same page,” McKenzie said. “We just need to keep progressing. We can make this happen.”

After going 8-8 the last two years, the sense of purpose from the Raiders this year seems clear. McKenzie and new coach Dennis Allen have a chance to put together a team that could contend in a shaky division, and they’re starting to believe it.