Gil Brandt: Raiders Have "Most Loyal Fan Base"

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The Godfather, SiriusXM NFL Radio's Gil Brandt, poses for a photo with Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.
SiriusXM NFL Radio's Gil Brandt, along with Alex Marvez, made his annual visit to Oakland Raiders training camp in Napa, Calif., earlier this week. I had a chance to sit down with the Godfather and talk all things Silver and Black.

Jerry Knaak: What's been the buzz on the radio, around all the experts you talk to on the radio, what's been the buzz on the Raiders?

Gil Brandt: First of all the Raiders are probably either the first or second ranked team as far as people calling and being Raiders fans. It's just amazing. A guy will call from Bangor, Maine, and say, "I've been a Raiders fan all my life and what does our team look like this year?" There's a lot of interest in the Raiders. It doesn't seem to make any difference if they're 0-16 or 16-0. It's probably the most loyal fan base of anywhere in the country. I think that everybody thinks the quarterback [Derek Carr] building on what he did last year, with [Amari] Cooper, new wide receiver, a new coaching staff, I think that people think that there's a chance this team will be a much better team.

JK: You've been around the NFL a long time, you know everybody in this game pretty much. What's the word on [Head Coach] Jack Del Rio? I know you know Jack, and have known him a long time. What's the buzz on Jack and what are people saying about him?

GB: I've known Jack Del Rio since his junior year at USC. He was a heckuva football player and a good baseball player also. He was on our Playboy All-American football team, so I go that far back with him. I think Jack is a good football coach. I think he'll get maximum effort out of players. I think he's assembled a good staff. To be competitive today I think you have to have a good staff. You have to have a quarterback. I think they have the makings of a quarterback. You have to have a good staff. And if you've got that then you got a chance. Everybody who knows Jack thinks he's a really good football coach, and will do a good job here.

JK: How would you rate the last couple of drafts for the Oakland Raiders?

GB: I think that the jury is out on [cornerback DJ] Hayden. I know last year the Buffalo linebacker [Khalil Mack] is really a good football player. I think this year they got a future Hall of Famer [Amari Cooper] if he continues to play like he did at Alabama. In order to be successful now you have to have good drafts. And the reason you have to have the good drafts is because of how the cap works for you or against you however you want to put it. I think that last year they did well, I think the year before when you get a quarterback that starts for you and plays as well as he did in the second round. That's a start. But the cabinet was empty, there were no two pairs and a spare here, they didn't have any backup players. And they had a few starters.

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