LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Raiders are not shying away from expectations in 2021. The Silver and Black have not been to the playoffs since 2016 and general manager Mike Mayock says that skid has to come to an end this season.
"I’m fired up. It’s part of A.) being back to normal and B.) just more the accumulation of three years. At this point, my dad used to say, ‘Don’t worry about whether or not the horse is blind, just load the freaking truck.’ And that’s where we are. We’ve assembled 53 players. We think we’re going to be a pretty good football team. We’re not hiding from expectations. I think Jon and I will both tell you that we feel like we need to be a playoff team this year, and I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. You guys are all going to put that in your headlines, and I understand it. That’s what the expectation is. We think we’ve done the infrastructure work necessary to put us in position, and we got to take care of business."
And those expectations have only excited the players as well. After more than a month of preseason practices, the team says they're ready for show off their hard work and it starts Week 1 on Monday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens.
"Most definitely, we have dogs out there that are ready to hunt," said Raiders linebacker Cory Littleton. "They're ready for this game, they're excited for it. I'm excited to see them hunt."
"This team is hungry, really good energy here,"said Raiders linebacker KJ Wright. "Everybody wants to be successful in this building, I love it, really good vibes. We got to make sure we start on Monday, come out first and be ready to work."
Aside from their linebacker room, the Raiders escaped the preseason relatively healthy. The biggest question mark heading into week one will be starting left guard, Richie Incognito who hasn't been seen on the field since the joint practices with the Rams in Los Angeles.
“He’s getting better," said head coach Jon Gruden. "He doesn’t say much, but we hope to have him on the practice field at the middle of next week when we get our revved-up preparation started.”
The first official injury reports of the season will come out on Thursday.