The Raiders were a long way from good in 2018. Their 4-12 record came courtesy of a leaky defense, an inconsistent offense and plenty of injuries in Jon Gruden’s first year as head coach.
Most NFL analysts think the Raiders have a long road to travel before they can be respectable again.
But quarterback Derek Carr believes otherwise.
He looks around the roster and sees some good, young players. With some additions this offseason in free agency and the draft, the Raiders could have a quick turnaround, Carr said.
“We need some guys who can come in and help us now,” Carr said recently in an interview with radio station 940-AM in Fresno, his hometown. “We have some good building pieces. We have some foundational pieces. Obviously, we have a quarterback so we don’t need one of those. That’s the good thing.
“We just need some players who can help us win now. We’re building this thing. We’ve been building this thing. We’ve built this thing a couple of times. It’s time to get people who can just come in and help us now.
“There are a lot of veterans on this team who signed contracts or signed extensions or free-agent deals to come play here because we want to win and we believe in this system and what we’re doing.”
The Raiders have the resources to have a big offseason, with three first-round draft picks (Nos. 4, 24 and 27) and lots of room under the salary cap.
Gruden will get a running start on the offseason by coaching the North team in the Senior Bowl Saturday. That means he’ll get an up-close look at some of the best players coming out in the draft this spring. The Raiders need to upgrade at wide receiver, edge rusher and linebacker, in particular. New general manager Mike Mayock also will be along, so the two should get plenty of scouting done this week to add some talent around Carr in the draft.