The Las Vegas Raiders‘ best signing of the offseason may have come in the middle of training camp. The team turned some heads when they added six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. He missed all of 2020 with a ruptured quadriceps injury. Considering he’s 33-years-old, it’s fair to question if he can return to form.
If he does, the Raiders just landed one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL on a discount. However, he’s not too concerned with getting on the field right now. He’s focused on doing the best he can while helping the younger players come along.
“It’s not just about getting on the grass, but what I bring to a team, whether it’s mentoring the young guys, my experience or bringing my overall passion to this game to a locker room that has so much talent,” McCoy told Vic Tafur of The Athletic. “And I believe that talent is really slept on in this league.”
McCoy is just a year removed from a five-sack season. It would seriously help the Raiders if he could put up similar numbers for them. That said, he brings a lot of veteran leadership to the team even if he doesn’t put up numbers.
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McCoy Is High on Raiders’ Defensive Personnel
For the first time in a long time, the Raiders appear to have a very good defensive line. It’s been years since that was the case but the team has done a great job of stacking the group with talent this offseason. McCoy believes that Las Vegas has plenty of talent throughout the defense.
“We have a great group of guys on the D-line,” McCoy said. “We have so much talent. That’s what I am saying. With the knowledge I have of the game, the talent is here.
“You just got to teach guys how to watch tape, teach guys how to prepare, teach guys how to do certain things. Everything that people think was missing in that D-line room last year is there. It’s in there. They just needed some vets to come in and really show them how to do this thing.”
McCoy didn’t stop there. He believes that Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby are in for big years.
“I believe our two ends can be double-digit sack guys,” McCoy said. “I believe Carl Nassib can be a seven-, eight-sack guy. I believe we will have a couple of defensive tackles who are north of five or six sacks.”
If McCoy is right about the Raiders’ defensive line, the defense would go from one of the worst in the NFL to a respectable group.
McCoy Is a Fan of the Raiders Colors
It’s often heard that certain players would look good in silver and black. That’s definitely the case with McCoy and he was excited to see how he looked. He was also excited to join a historic franchise.
“It was dope,” McCoy said. “I always thought the Raiders colors were dope. And to be able to wear them and wear them with some pride, inside the stadium, it was a great experience. I can’t even describe the feeling I had.
“Being back out there for one of the most historic franchises in the NFL — Dallas, Pittsburgh, the Raiders and Green Bay — is incredible. It’s a dream come true for a kid who was a historian of the game and just loves this game.”