It's Mayock szn.
The Silver and Black have a lot to look forward to in the next several months with the 2021 Senior Bowl and NFL Draft nearing. General Manager Mike Mayock is busy at work building on a young, talented Raiders team that went 8-8 this previous year.
Despite what Mayock would label a "disappointing" season after missing the playoffs, there is a lot the Raiders have to work with next season that can only get better with experience and new pieces brought in to expand the depth of the roster.
Mike Mayock is currently at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, for the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl, and this will be the first year the Senior Bowl will be in the newly constructed Hancock Whitney Stadium on USA's campus.
He spoke on Upon Further Review with Eddie Paskal about the virtual offseason process, the lack of consistency in the Raiders 2020 season and the future of the Raiders defense.
On how critical the 2021 Senior Bowl is this year:
"This is going to be our best opportunity by far to get to know over 100 guys, to get the opportunity to interview every single one, to watch three days of practices, prioritize one-on-one drills. So we're working from 5:30-6 in the morning to 11:15 at night and this is probably going to be the best week of information gathering in the offseason because the combine isn't going to be the same; it's going to be another offseason of virtual meetings, so that's why the value of the Senior Bowl, I think, is maybe more valuable than it's ever been.
On grading the Raiders' 2020 season:
"No excuses: I would categorize it as disappointing. We were 6-3, and we controlled our own playoff lives, and we didn't take care of business. The year before we were 6-4. I think the difference this year, if I had to say where did you make a jump, we beat some really good football teams this year. We beat Kansas City, we beat Cleveland, we beat New Orleans, but the problem is we didn't do it consistently enough, especially at the end of the season."
On the Raiders' 2020 first-round draft picks:
"I was disappointed in the productivity of our rookies, I'll be the first person to admit that. You can make excuses, you can have a conversation why. Henry Ruggs, I think is who he is, I'm not disappointed in Henry; I think Henry has to get better. We knew how fast he is, but he has to get stronger, and he has to get in and out of his breaks better. You got to feel him coming out his breaks more for him to get to the next level, and I think he will, but we have a long-term view on Henry Ruggs.
"(Damon) Arnette was the other first-rounder. In training camp prior to injury, he was playing really well. We were really excited about Damon Arnette. He's instinctive, tough and fast, but concussions, a broken hand, COVID — he's got to take care of business in the offseason. Nutrition, strength coach, consistency of a day-to-day program."
On the hire of new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley:
"I've known Gus for 18-20 years, and what I know about Gus is, he's got a consistent philosophy about defense: All of his defenses has played fast and hard. I think he'll be 100 percent accountable of his players, and I think the players will buy into what he's teaching. I think all of those are things are important, especially given how young we are on defense.