Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff knows a thing or two about football, wide receivers in particular.
During his 14-year NFL career, Biletnikoff hauled in 589 passes for 8,974 passes and 76 touchdowns – winning a Super Bowl in the process – and is currently the franchise's second-leading receiver.
Earlier this week he was available via conference call, discussing the 12th Annual Fred Biletnikoff Hall of Fame Invitational golf tournament, but while the call was mostly about the upcoming tournament, he also spoke about the current state of the Silver and Black.
Biletnikoff believes the Raiders' front office is building a competitive team.
"I really feel, [Head Coach] Jack [Del Rio] and the entire coaching staff and [General Manager] Reggie [McKenzie], they've brought something back to the Raiders that had been missing for a number of years, as we all know. To be able to see the excitement with the fans, and obviously with the players and seeing the excitement with them and how they're out there competing, and really competing to win, and they're all dedicated to the program. It looks like they love Jack. I believe that Jack was such a great fit to come in here and be the head coach. I was really happy about that, believe me, when that happened, but it's just a whole different atmosphere."
The Silver and Black are close to returning to the postseason.
"One thing that everybody saw last year, is the fact that, these guys are right there. They have a chance. They really have a great chance to keep winning, and to get in the playoffs, and be a great team. They have a good nucleus."
Signing Sean Smith was a big move for the Raiders' secondary.
"I like bringing in the corner [Smith] from Kansas City over to the Raiders. I like that. I love seeing that. You need corners. That's the bottom line, and that kid's a hell of a player, and then with the entire group there's youth on the team and they're all outstanding players."
Biletnikoff believes things are looking up on the offensive side of the ball too.
"I've always believed the addition of [Michael] Crabtree was a great addition. Amari Cooper, those receivers are doing good, excellent for a group of young guys, and having a nice, veteran leader with them – and the rest the team, the quarterback, I think the quarterback's excellent."