Here is a transcript of Raiders offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele’s conference call with local reporters.
Q: What drew you to the Raiders and what ultimately made you want to sign with them?
Osemele: “They have a really up-and-coming young team. That was sold to me a lot. Going through the roster, I kind of saw what everybody was saying, and the emphasis on building the offensive line, coming from a place where [it’s] not really appreciated, you know? Coming to a team where offensive line play is a focus and it matters and they want to build that up, that was a big factor.”
Q: How much has the impression of the Raiders changed around the league?
Osemele: “I think it’s changed a lot. We went down there when I was with the Ravens and we got our behinds shocked. They were explosive. [They] just have a lot of weapons, a lot of tough, young guys that get after it, that are aggressive. You really don’t see that with every team in the NFL anymore. You see a lot of passing and a lot of different coverages and things like that, but you don’t really see a lot of things that are out there just flying around and hitting people and just creating havoc.”
Q: Has the team talked to you yet about where they expect you to play on the offensive line or is a lot of that going to be determined by how the rest of free agency plays out?
Osemele: “It definitely is going to be predicated on how the rest of free agency turns out. I played both positions. I think I can play both at a considerably high level. I’m comfortable with either, so whatever position I have to play to help us win games is where I’ll probably be at.”
Q: How did you think you played at left tackle at the end of last season and how comfortable do you feel playing that left tackle spot?
Osemele: “I think I played really well. I think I locked guys down, didn’t allow sacks, kept my quarterback clean and I felt good out there. It felt just like college. It was fun. It was challenging. I got to move my feet more and show that off a little bit, so that felt good.”
Q: Do you think the gap is closing between the Raiders and the Broncos?
Osemele: “I think it is. They definitely have lost some pieces and I think we gained a lot. This is the NFL though, you never really know how things are going to turn out in the end when the roster is all said and done. Regardless of what goes on from here on out, we definitely have more than enough pieces to where there can be no more excuses as far as there being a gap. We definitely have what we need. We just need to put it together, build chemistry and go out there and execute on Sundays.”
Q: You were the first guy to jump on board. How exciting has it been the last couple of days to see the other guys get on board?
Osemele: “It’s been really exciting. Being one of the first ones to agree to terms and see the fan base just go crazy. Then to see more guys join the team and see the fans engage even more. It’s been exciting to see. I’ve never really seen a fan base like this that has responded in such a big way to welcoming new players. That definitely makes it easier for you to go out there and do your job. It’s been great.”