It may come as a surprise to many, but the Oakland Raiders are 5-4 and have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs this season. They’re coming off a big win against a divisional rival in primetime and their schedule eases up significantly. While there are many reasons to be excited about the Raiders, general manager Mike Mayock was surprisingly negative during his appearance on The Rich Eisen Show after the host asked him about the team.
“On the positive side, Rich, I think we’ve got a group of kids that compete and that’s the most important thing to me as we’re trying to build a foundation,” Mayock said to Eisen. “But we’re 5-4. We’re not a great football team by any stretch. We’ve got a long way to go.”
It’s true that Oakland is far from perfect, but it’s sounding like Mayock doesn’t have much confidence in the current team. The new Raiders general manager deserves a lot of credit for the team’s improvement as his draft class has been incredible so far. Plus, Trent Brown was an excellent free agent pick up. Despite all that, it sounds like Mayock is going to exercise patience for the time being.
“I’m not worried about playoffs, I’m not worried about records,” said Mayock. “I’m worried about this young team keeping their focus and just trying to get a tiny bit better every single day.”
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Mayock Praises Josh Jacobs
Josh Jacobs has been a revelation for the Raiders. He may just be a rookie, but he’s been the offense’s best player and could easily be the Offensive Rookie of the Year at the end of the season. However, Mayock also threw cold water on the Jacobs bandwagon.
“[Jacobs is] nine games into his career and we’re cautiously optimistic,” Mayock told Eisen when the host compared Jacobs to Ezekiel Elliot.
“I think his lateral quickness, his ability to make people miss, his pass protection, his hands. The cool thing is, it looks like the play is blocked for one yard and he gets four. And then it looks like you’re blocking for four and he gets 10. If this kid takes care of all the details, he’s got a chance to be pretty good.”
Mayock is probably the only person who would say that Jacobs has “a chance to be pretty good.” Most would say that he’s already good and has a chance to be great. Obviously, Mayock is happy with Jacobs because he’s making him look like a genius, but it seems like the Raiders’ general manager is going to be a pessimist until this team fields a consistent winner. That’s probably a good thing considering how bad the team has been over the last two decades.
Mayock Defends Clelin Ferrell
One of Mayock’s picks that has been talked about quite a bit is Clelin Ferrell. The defensive end was considered a reach when the Raiders picked him and the first half of his NFL career didn’t quiet those who thought that. However, he had a breakout game versus the Los Angeles Chargers and Mayock is happy with the rookie.
“I think [Ferrell] is who we thought he was,” Mayock said. “And he’s not flashy. He’s going to be a really good NFL player.
“I don’t think we helped him at times. We asked him to play a bunch inside and that’s hard – he’s never played inside in his life. So he kind of took one for the team because we asked him to do some things he had never done before.”
One good game doesn’t mean Ferrell is the next Khalil Mack, but it’s the kind of thing a young player needs to help build confidence. He’s proven that he can get to the quarterback, now he’s just going to need to do it on a consistent basis.