Over the last couple of weeks, the Las Vegas Raiders have lost important members of the team in President Marc Badain and running backs coach Kirby Wilson. Though they have yet to find permanent replacements for those two guys, they have added to their coaching staff. According to Tashan Reed of The Athletic, the team is hiring former Canadian Football League quarterback Damon Allen this offseason as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Fellowship program.
Notably, Allen is the brother of Raiders legend and Hall of Famer Marcus Allen. Though he didn’t get a shot in the NFL, he was one of the best CFL quarterbacks ever. Allen was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2012 and won four championships. He should also be very familiar with the Raiders organization due to his family ties. He’ll be an interesting addition to the coaching staff.
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Raiders Closing in on Training Camp
The Raiders are set to start training camp very soon on July 27. It will be a very important training camp for the team. Las Vegas has missed the playoffs in each of the last four seasons. Jon Gruden has yet to have a winning record since taking over as the team’s head coach three seasons ago. He has a very long leash but another losing season could start to shorten it.
Last year, the offseason was unorthodox due to COVID-19. Things should be a bit more normal for the Raiders and that should help the young players. The team got almost no contribution from last year’s rookies. The fact that they didn’t have much of an offseason likely played a role in that. The Raiders should be in a much better spot heading into this season. The team is getting counted out early but they could end up being a surprise team.
Raiders Named as an Overlooked Team Heading Into 2021
With the Raiders, nobody is going to believe in them until they get over the hump. They’ve disappointed far too many times over the years. In fact, they’ve only made the playoffs once since 2002. They will continue to get overlooked until they make the playoffs. However, this could be the year they finally break out of mediocrity. Chris Roling of Bleacher Report believes that the Raiders are one of the five most overlooked teams in the NFL right now:
The good news? Carr is a stable, high-upside passer, Ruggs should be better, the ground game will get a boost via Kenyan Drake alongside Josh Jacobs and the offensive line should improve thanks to first-rounder Alex Leatherwood. The defense also revamped with names like Yannick Ngakoue, Solomon Thomas and Casey Hayward Jr. Ngakoue is especially notable because he’ll make life easier on Maxx Crosby (seven sacks last season) and 2019 fourth-overall pick Clelin Ferrell. Second-round rookie Trevon Moehrig will help the secondary as well.
Add in the pressure of expectations on a staff that should have plenty of lessons learned after three seasons, and the mixture could catch those who sleep on the Raiders off guard.