After months of waiting, the NFL season is finally almost here. The Las Vegas Raiders had a big offseason and added some really talented players. However, they were also able to keep some of their best players in-house.
One player the Raiders locked up really quickly was starting left guard Richie Incognito. He had a great first season with the team and he’s now an important member of the squad. He was given a contract extension early in the offseason and has quickly become a fan favorite. You can tell he loves the Raiders and sent a strong message with the season starting soon.
“It’s great to just be able to come back and contribute,” Incognito said Wednesday. “I’m forever grateful to the organization for giving me the opportunity and now it’s just time to go out there and kick some a**.”
Incognito Addresses Raiders Top-100 Snubs
The Raiders have put together one of the most impressive and imposing offensive lines in the NFL. Regardless of that fact, not a single offensive lineman for the team has landed on any top-100 list this offseason. The fact that at least Rodney Hudson didn’t land on a list is absurd but Incognito isn’t worried about it.
“Those lists don’t mean much to us,” Incognito said. “What means a lot to us is winning ball games, protecting the quarterback, and Josh Jacobs getting a lot of yards. We take great pride in the way we play and those lists are more for the fans than for us.”
Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller were the only ones to get any respect on the NFL’s top-100 list but Trent Brown and Hudson were the only players on the team to get Pro Bowl nods last year. While it is nice to see Raiders on those types of lists, they aren’t a great source for who the actual top-100 players are.
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Rookie Compares Himself to Incognito
Despite his troubled past, Incognito has become a leader for the young Raiders. He helped left tackle Kolton Miller improve drastically last season and now he’s mentoring a rookie. The Raiders drafted John Simpson in the fourth round so that he could hopefully start one day. When asked who he compares himself to, he offered an interesting answer.
“I kind of model my game after [Richie Incognito] I guess,” Simpson said.
Simpson even went on to praise the veteran.
“I’ve met with Richie a few times,” Simspons shared, “Me and him have actually hung out a few times, and he’s a really good guy. He shows me the ropes of everything. He shows me what he needs to do — he’s been in the league going on 15 years I think. He’s a guy that I definitely look up to because he plays like how I want to play.”
Several years ago, not many people would’ve given this kind of praise to Incognito. It’s a testament to how much he’s changed as a person over the years.
Follow Austin Boyd on Twitter: @austincjboyd