The excitement surrounding the Las Vegas Raiders is the highest it has been in years. The team has undergone some big changes this offseason, including at head coach with the hiring of Josh McDaniels. Typically, expectations are tempered when a team hires a new head coach but the Raiders made the playoffs last season and traded for superstar wide receiver Davante Adams this offseason.
Las Vegas could be a popular sleeper pick to win the Super Bowl this season, which hasn’t been the case over the past several years. The Raiders roster isn’t perfect but they have an elite collection of offensive weapons. Tight end Darren Waller is coming off a down year that was derailed by injuries. He should have a big year now that Adams can take some of the attention that teams have put on Waller.
There’s still a lot that could happen across the NFL this offseason but the Raiders are feeling good right now. Waller hasn’t said much this offseason and he finally had a chance to reveal his expectations for the season.
“It feels like it has the makings of a special year,” Waller told TMZ. “For sure.”
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Waller Praises Quarterback Derek Carr
The Raiders can’t start buying into their hype too much as there’s still a lot of work to be done. Luckily, the team’s best players are all hard workers. Waller, Adams, Hunter Renfrow, Derek Carr, Maxx Crosby and more will have no issue putting in a lot of work this offseason to ensure the team doesn’t disappoint.
Carr will be at the center of discussions of the Raiders heading into the season. He’s a very good quarterback but is likely the fourth most talented in a loaded AFC West. Waller certainly believes in the quarterback.
“He’s a great player,” Waller said of Carr.
Waller and Carr have built a great rapport over the years and the two have a lot of respect for each other. Though Adams will be eating up a lot of targets, Waller should still be an important part of every offensive game plan this season.
Can Raiders Live up to Expectations?
For the first time in a long time, the Raiders actually have enough talent to compete with the best teams in the AFC. Sure, there are still some red flags on defense and on the offensive line but the team’s five best players are as good as any other team’s five best players in the NFL. Waller is a top-three tight end, Adams is the best wide receiver, Crosby is an ascending defender and Renfrow might be the best slot receiver in the league. That’s not to mention impact players like Chandler Jones, Josh Jacobs and Denzel Perryman.
How the Raiders perform this season could largely depend on how McDaniels does as a head coach. He failed with the Denver Broncos previously but that was a decade ago. The hope is that he’s learned from his mistakes and is ready to change the narrative about him. There’s no denying he’s one of the best offensive minds in the NFL and he’s certainly off to a good start. The Raiders might just be building something special.
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