The Oakland Raiders, with help from head coach Jack Del Rio and general manager Reggie McKenzie, have assembled a formidable roster, ready to take the next step. Although Derek Carr’s unfortunate injury last season put an end to their Super Bowl aspirations, the Raiders return hungrier than ever going into the 2017 season.
The Raiders hope to join the recent northern California trend, attempting to join the championship representatives in the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors. The Warriors joined basketball immortality Monday night with their second championship in three seasons, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Del Rio was at the Oracle Arena last night, basking in the glory of an ecstatic crowd, witnessing the championship at home. During his first media session at the mandatory minicamp, Del Rio was asked about the experience and stated that he was grateful to witness it in person, via Jimmy Durkin of the Bay Area News Group:
“Yeah, it was awesome to be there last night and at the game to see the, first of all, see the Warriors come through in a big way and win a world championship. To do it with that crowd, the crowd was spectacular last night. Full of energy and a lot of happy people. It was great to be a part of that.”
This championship fever certainly has passed onto the Raiders, who envision themselves contending in the AFC against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots. The addition of Marshawn Lynch, along with Carr and Khalil Mack, add to the dominant offensive line and unit that is poised to make a splash.
The fan base in the northern California area has increased tremendously over the past decade, adding to the already ecstatic fans at the black hole. Del Rio commented on the possibility of having a playoff game at the Oakland Coliseum this season, stating that the Raiders have to earn it:
“Playing at home is something you have to earn. Our fans here are the best and atmosphere here last night was electric. Great to be a part of it. We’ve had big games here, regular season games, but obviously it all gets ramped up when there is a playoff game. So yeah, we’d love to earn it. That’s what it’s all about”
With the mandatory minicamp starting this week, the professional attitude took another step in the right direction. The Raiders now prepare for training camp, with their eyes set on that Super Bowl LII victory.