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Veterans out to restore Raider image

A franchise that likes to revel in its tradition been assigned an unwanted reputation throughout the NFL.

“A lot of people say you go Oakland for your career to die,’’ defensive end Justin Tuck said Tuesday as the Raiders began their offseason program. “I’m not looking at it like that. I’m looking at this as an opportunity to revive a storied franchise.’’

If the Raiders manage get to .500 and beyond after consecutive 4-12 seasons, much of it will have to do with a core of veteran free agents signed by general manager Reggie McKenzie, most of them between the ages of 29 and 32 and with a history of having played and won big games.

Tuck, wide receiver James Jones and running back Maurice Jones-Drew spoke to the media Monday. The Raiders also brought in defensive lineman Antonio Smith and Lamarr Woodley, left tackle Donald Penn and cornerbacks Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers, with all expected to play key roles.

Yet with the Raiders not having had a winning season since 2002 and with their failure to lock up young talents Jared Veldheer and Lamarr Houston, many reviews of their free agency splurge have been negative.

“You hear these reports about how this is a great team for 2009,’’ Jones-Drew said. “Whatever. Everyone here has something to prove and they’re going to work and we all know we have something left.’’

Attendance for the offseason program is voluntary and the Raiders would not confirm who attended. Fullback Marcel Reece put it at “very close to 100 percent, and couple of guys that aren’t here, I know why they’re not here.’’

Talking to reporters at the Raiders commitment to excellence dinner, Reece said he wanted McKenzie to make “bold, Raider moves.’’ He believes he got his wish.

“We weren’t looking for any saviors to come here and get in this locker room,’’ Reece said. “We were looking for help to bring the tradition, the winning attitude and a championship pedigree back to this locker room and I think we did that.’’

Jones, who brings a level of professionalism and experience to a very inexperienced receiving corps after seven productive seasons with the Green Bay Packers, said the veterans were of a similar mind.

At age 30, Jones, after catching 59 passes for 817 yards, found the free agent market only lukewarm for his services. He signed with the Raiders for three years and $11.3 million with a $3.65 million guaranteed.

“We have a lot of guys with chips on their shoulders, a lot of guys coming from teams that didn’t want them, didn’t want to pay them a certain amount of money, didn’t think they were worth it, didn’t think they had enough gas left in the tank,’’ Jones said.

Tuck, who had 10 sacks last season with the Giants challenged critics to “go watch the film last year and tell me I can’t play the game . . . to me, age is a number. I’m 31 and I feel like I’m 25.’’

Jones-Drew, coming off foot surgery at age 29, says he’s healthy and looks forward to competing with incumbent Darren McFadden.

“I will see where I am, see if I still have it,’’ Jones-Drew said. “that’s what you want . . . my goal is try and do whatever I can to help this organization get back to where it belongs. If that’s starting, then it’s starting. If it’s backing up, then it’s backing up.’’

In their last winning season in 2002 veteran acquisitions such as Rod Woodson, Bill Romanowski and John Parrella helped the Raiders win an AFC championship.

“I’m glad the Raiders have finally gotten some veteran players in that locker room,’’ wide receiver Tim Brown said in a recent phone interview. “That’s always been a big part of their tradition and I’ve been saying that for the last 10 years.’’

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Ian

    Every game the Raiders play we are underdogs. Even against the Browns, and thats just sad.

    But hey there is nowhere to go but up from here.

    … Our division is weak but Peyton Manning is a cyborg that needs to be stopped. That comes first all those other games we play are winnable maybe except when we play the Hawks and 9balls.

  • JV.

    with manziel and maybe bortles available at 5 there are going to be trade suitors…

    mock:

    clowney
    LT
    Mack
    sammy.
    trade down.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I know it’s funny, that’s why I said it. But ,jesusraiderjimjim, he did actually say it.

  • irjonny

    if we could get a 5th for D.Moore in a couple weeks im stoked

  • r8ter4evr

    and that’s why you draft DEFENSE

  • NYOakRaider1

    I respectfully disagree. The Raiders are not that bad. The narrative needs to change.

  • Ian

    Can I get an AMEN????

  • JV.
  • JV.

    4th.. by reports.

  • r8ter4evr

    On the Moore trade
    Why give up on a young potential star when you really don’t know his true potential
    Until we have stability at QB it’s hard to truly read any WR

  • NYOakRaider1

    D Moore is not a 1 wr. Jones is a 2, and Streater a 3. Oakland needs a 1 wr threat.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    The Cowboys game was the scary one. Peyton routinely eased off with 2+ TD lead. 18-21 pts was ideal.
    Romo challenged him to a freaking 100 pt. duel and Peyton just kept ahead, like, no problem, when’s the game end?

  • r8ter4evr

    He was a leader in college in YPC at Tenn

  • JV.

    Deep WR draft… Al’s pick, inconsistent… Take your pick.. Your guess is as good as mine if reports are really true,

  • Ian

    In my eyes (and yours) the Raiders arent that bad, but if you look at it from an outsiders perspective–especially one with the narrow focus of a 10 year timeline–our team falls ranks low on the totem pole. Media representations of us dont help either, they usually take a slanted view.

  • Gdog

    Well with a new QB and what, 11 new starters, who knows really?

    There is a small chance you could be right. Maybe 10%

    I don’t trust our coaches or QB to make it so…

  • Ian

    Id be happy with either one. Sadly, both may be off the board when we pick so Im not going to waste too much breath over it

  • r8ter4evr

    Carson was his only established QB and he has had 3 since

  • NYOakRaider1

    D Moore drops too many passes, and disappears during games. He is the third/fourth best receiver on the team.

  • JV.

    Which is why I wouldn’t trade him.. But I’m not Reggie.

  • r8ter4evr

    Exactly
    Thank You

  • r8ter4evr

    A vet like Schauby can do wonders for a young WR

  • 2romes

    I prefer Streater over Moore. That is a serious thought with fairly good trade valve for Moore.

  • Ian

    The dude is a machine. I will never forgive Irsay–who was probably coked out for months– for releasing him.

  • NYOakRaider1

    Raiders aren’t a super bowl contender. They look like a 7 to 9 win team. As a Raiders fan I will always give them the benefit of the doubt. Manning, Brady and Rothlesberger are another year older. AFC is wide open.

  • r8ter4evr

    QB consistency!!!

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    He had Palmer for 22-23 games and Palmer got increasingly upset with him not sitting in zone, running thru man and such. Whether Knapp threw wrinkles in there that confused him, I don’t know. I kind of suspect it though.

  • NYOakRaider1

    Have faith my young padawon

  • DJ Johnny

    You don’t see that ridiculous onslaught by the Chiefs on our QB in the 2nd half of that game at KC if we had a decent o-line last yr and a good pass rusher maybe wins us 3 games last yr. Just needed one good rush vs Tenn, Indy and maybe the Giants and we win those games imo.

  • Ian

    Everyone is one year older. But I too always will give my team the benefit of the doubt…been doing it for the past 10 years and have been let down.

    Anyways… I think my original point was that the Raiders are underdogs. That doesnt necessarily mean we are a bad team though, its a more of a perception thing.

    Im perfectly fine with being an underdog. Totally fine with it; we will surprise people. Been an underdog all my life, and would rather see my team come out of the slump and become that perrennial powerhouse we know they can be too.

  • NYOakRaider1

    If the Raiders had Watkins, Jones, Streater and Rivera as the primary receiving threats for Schaub, I bet they could light up the scoreboard.

  • docta1232

    Who’s talking about Pryor still? And why?

  • r8ter4evr

    The only thing that was consistent about our offense for the last 2 years has been
    INCONSISTENCY

  • NYOakRaider1

    Agreed. The past decade has been especially tough. Let’s hope for a great draft.

  • docta1232

    I like him and root for him, but he reminds me of a Jerry Porter. Lot’s of hype and potential, too little consistency or production.

  • DJ Johnny

    Good point. They trade Schaub and think Fitzpatrick is going to pacify a fanbase like Houston’s? Lol. Good luck with that.

  • RaidO

    The Raiders 2014 Opponents

    Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers

    Away: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks

    It’s early but not looking to good….Browns, Dolphins, Bills, Texans, Maybe?? Not sure i see 8 wins here.. DA needs at least 8 Wins..

  • Ian

    Despite the speculation I still think we should keep Moore. The guy tears it up when we throw it to him deep and on deep posts. The problem with him is hes not good running inside routes. he gets skiddish.

  • Ian

    Thx man. didnt mean to give you a hard time.

  • r8ter4evr

    Our whole team has been inconsistent, we have some stable vets now let’s not give up on a potential star

  • r8ter4evr

    He can learn from Jones who learned from Favre and Rodgers

  • jumpnjiminy

    New post

  • NYOakRaider1

    I see 9 wins. Home wins – KC; SD; Buff; Miami; Houston; Az. Road wins – NYJ; Cleveland; Rams

  • Back-N-Black

    A split with San Diego and KC gives us 2, the Bills, Dolphins, and Texans are winnable games at home for 5, then take the Jets, Browns, and Rams on the Road to get to 8… looks like a 6-10 to 10-6 type of year.

  • RaidO

    They always lose at least one of the so called “should wins”

  • r8ter4evr

    Jets, Chiefs and Carson’s Cards in Oak Browns Rams Chargers once Bills Dolphins
    We HAVE TO BEAT broncs once
    Texans again also

  • NYOakRaider1

    have faith my young padawon

  • Back-N-Black

    unless Schaub faceplants…

  • RaidO

    Rams got Bradford back..That’s a ?
    Jets with Vick..”?”Dolphins have been improving..”?” Texans should be a win..

  • Back-N-Black

    no guarantees from me… just said winnable… could also be losable. lol