One of the problems teams face when rebuilding a roster through the draft is the high expectations young men have put on their shoulders.
These young players are pushed to perform at the highest level right away.
We've seen how teams without a supporting locker room, many of those young players do not reach their expectations. And it leads to fans overreacting when their team does not meet their demands.
Raider Maven's Editor and Publisher Hondo Carpenter co-hosts Silver and Black Radio on Monday and Wednesday on Raider Nation Radio (LINK TO LISTEN LIVE). He recently interviewed Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow on how the Raiders have the talent and leadership to reach the next level.
"You had Darren Waller, who was brand new, Josh Jacobs, me, Foster Moreau, Alec Ingold, Zay Jones, all these receivers, everybody was just brand new and didn't know each other, and now I feel like we're such of a tight-knit group and we're able to lean on each other for those sort of things," Renfrow said on how much the locker room presence has grown from a year ago when everyone was brand new.
In 2019, the Raiders went 7-9, with a bunch of new guys. There wasn't any chemistry among the players, and the Raiders seemed as if they were still figuring things out as a team.
"It's just like every other job out there, right, the more people you know, the more comfortable you are, the better you're going to do your job and that's certainly the case in football as well," Renfrow said on how important it is to know the players in the team, to perform well on the field.
The move to Las Vegas put the Raiders under a microscope, the expectations were higher than before, and everyone was watching.
The Raiders have the talent to beat great teams. They had quality wins over the New Orleans Saints and the Kansas City Chiefs, but they also had losses to teams when they could have closed out the game with a win.
It was heart-breaking to see so many games come down to the wire and see the Raiders self-destruct.
Many of those games came down to the lack of experience on the defensive side, yet they finished the season 8-8.
Most of the players in the roster need time to develop and learn from their experiences.
With that being said, in 2020, the Raiders brought in players like Jason Witten to help others learn the ways of the NFL and direct players on the right path.
Among those already in the locker room, some also have benefited and taken the challenge of stepping up as leaders in the locker room.
It takes a maturation process to transition from college to the NFL. Learn that the game they love is now your business.
The Raiders have built that foundation with key leaders and are now concerned about improving on the field.
The Raiders looked a lot better than a year ago and hope to make that jump next year with the help of its core veteran players carrying the young guns.
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