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The Black Hole: Go Inside the Las Vegas Raiders

RaiderMaven
RaiderMaven
 2021-07-26
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Henderson, Nev.--People are hungry for information on their beloved Las Vegas Raiders, and I am here with a smorgasbord of food. Let's dig right into the latest on your beloved Silver and Black.

I get a lot of nuggets and information that alone are not big enough for a story. When I have a few that I can assemble, I will. So, welcome to The Black Hole:

I can tell you this: Raider Nation has a ton to be excited about. This article is already long, or I could give you many more reasons and players to be excited about. Keep your eyes out for the next "Black Hole," and please tell your friends about it by sharing it on social media.

  • I will make this prediction right now. I believe if Derek Carr remains healthy, this will be the best season of his career.
  • I also believe that while it will be Carr’s best campaign, it will NOT be his best year statistically.
  • The revamped offensive line and the addition of Kenyan Drake will allow the Raiders to run the ball more, and most importantly, more effectively.
  • The NFL Draft Bible is a highly respected draft service. All 32 NFL teams utilize their work.
  • Zach Patraw, the President of the NFL Draft Bible, said on my radio show that I co-host on Mondays that teams had a late first-round grade on Malcolm Koonce.
  • On social media, “Raiders fans,” called him and me several names, but make no mistake, the Silver and Black could have the steal of the 2021 NFL Draft if he is anything close to that good.
  • Andre James has the complete faith of his team. While not giving much of a chance last season to show Raider Nation what he could do, he did his teammates.
  • I am not saying that the team didn’t like Rodney Hudson. They did, and he is a good man. But, there has been zero concern privately voiced about James.
  • He has to prove it, but the faith of his teammates speaks volumes.
  • Yannick Ngakoue is everything that the Raiders thought he would be. What they didn’t see coming was his leadership.
  • Since the OTAs and minicamp, he has been a workhorse leader.
  • One member of the organization explained Ngakoue off the field like this.
  • “We know what he brings on the field and that alone made him worth every penny. But off of the field he is a teacher, a mentor, a counselor. That man has already earned his salary. What a special human being.”
  • D.J. Turner is a name you don’t want to forget. He is a UDFA out of Pittsburgh. We have a story coming on him Wednesday. D.J. Turner is a weapon and offers the Raiders a massive amount of flexibility on a roster abundant with the talent to give them some excellent options.
  • Despite Darius Stills starting camp by not competing, I still expect him to make the roster and do well. I was told moments ago: “I will be shocked if he doesn’t play in the preseason.” If that is accurate, and this person would know, don’t be concerned.
  • Guard John Simpson is a guy who I like as a player and a person. A lot of people are overlooking him, and that is a significant mistake.
  • None of the rookies from the 2020 class got a fair shot. I am not saying that the Raiders did them dirty, but COVID hindered them greatly.
  • Simpson is poised, hostile, agile, and mobile, and watching him, it is evident that he sat humbly under the tutelage of Tom Cable, and it has paid off.
  • I am not predicting Week 1, but I would not be shocked if he moves in as a starter in 2021.
  • Sam Young and Brandon Parker are two reliable men.
  • I heard an old football coach once say I want FAT players. Faithful, Available, and Teachable. I loved that line, and when you look it up in the dictionary, I think it says: “See Sam Young or Brandon Parker.”
  • Every day that goes by, Coach Jon Gruden and his offensive mind continue to think of new ways to use Kenyan Drake. He is going to be all over the field.
  • His presence is going to make Josh Jacobs even better in the fourth quarter.
  • Here is a nightmare haunting every defensive coordinator on the Las Vegas Raiders schedule. How do you cover the Silver and Black aerial attack with Kenyan Drake and Henry Ruggs on the field as wide-outs on the same play?
  • There are a lot of eyes on Tanner Muse. He is an outstanding player. If 100 percent healthy, he has always succeeded. Watching his development is going to be fun. He is another young man from the 2020 class, who was injured early, has all the tools and talent to be great at the OLB—looking forward to watching him in camp.
  • There are going to be multiple players in the NFL this year who have great success that do not have the God-given talent of Damon Arnette.
  • I do not dislike Arnette, and you must know that. But the reality is, he has to flip the switch.
  • If COVID had not hindered the evaluation process so much for the 2020 class, I am unsure he would have been picked as high as he was.
  • With that said, he has every reason to succeed, and it now rests 100 percent on him.
  • Casey Hayward, like Yannick Ngakoue, has been a rock star addition to this team.
  • I expect him to be a starter.
  • He has brought the same teacher, counselor, mentor role to the defensive backfield and as one member of the organization told me last week: “Mike (Mayock) went out in free agency and cleaned up. Great men on and off the field who made us better. Bringing the young guys along.”
  • Trevon Moehrig is a flat-out beast. A man child. I can’t wait to see him in camp.
  • Some guys get picked, have a ton of talent, and you can project them getting to where they need to be. Some guys come in and are ready. He is a star.
  • Don’t sleep on seventh-round, blue-chip, boy next door Jimmy Morrissey.
  • The kid is a flat-out assassin.
  • Fantastic work ethic plays multiple sports, and Tom Cable loves him.
  • Both of the young pups from Pitt, Jimmy Morrissey and D.J. Turner, could turn out to be real Raider Dawgs.
  • Tyree Gillespie and Nate Hobbs are a couple of rookies that have legit shots at making real contributions.
  • Both young men have attributes that make them unique. Please keep your eyes and ears open for nuggets from them.
  • Last but not least, Johnathan Abram. He had the best offseason of any Raider. I am expecting a monster 2021 out of him.
  • He has done everything you could ask for to be ready for 2021, and Abram should soar this year.

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