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State of the Silver and Black From Raiders Legends


WR Cliff Branch

The NFL Alumni Northern California Chapter held the 33rd Annual Charity Golf Classic at Harding Park in San Francisco last Friday.

In between the golf and live auction, was able to catch up with the numerous Raiders and NFL legends in attendance and get their thoughts on the state of the Silver and Black heading into 2015.

WR Mervyn Fernandez

"I've watched some stuff when he [Amari Cooper] was in college. I haven't seen any of his mini-camp stuff yet, but just from what I've seen, he looks big, strong, confident, running great routes, good speed. I'm looking for big things from him. I think he might be the guy that gets us to the next level. We obviously have our quarterback and a few other pieces in place, so it's an exciting year this year."

"I met [Head Coach Jack Del Rio] over at the [Fred Biletnikoff Invitational Golf Tournament], and he just seemed like one of those guys that when he opens his mouth, you just listen. He just has that presence. He has that aura. I think it will transfer to the guys in the locker room, and that will transfer to the football field."

OT Lincoln Kennedy

"Just as any other NFL fan out there, every season brings a feeling of optimism, and I'm enthralled with the fact that Jack has taken over tenure. I'm hoping we can create some stability at the coaching position – create some stability at all the other positions – because I do believe you have a franchise quarterback in Derek Carr. I do believe that [General Manager] Reggie McKenzie has done a good job in building through the Draft and building a solid foundation of this team. We're just waiting to see it translate into wins."

WR Cliff Branch

"I watched him [Amari Cooper] in college and he's definitely going to be an All-League player in the NFL for many years. I think with his leadership and his playmaking ability, I think we're going to have a lot of scores from Amari Cooper, and I'm really happy that we drafted him. We needed a number one receiver and he was the best receiver coming out of college."

"From what I understand, his [Clive Walford] number one attributes are his blocking skills and his pass-catching skills. That's what we need, a big tight end that can block and catch passes, so that's going to be a big plus too."

LB Ted Hendricks

"Hopefully [Head Coach Jack Del Rio] will get things turned around. We're anxious to see what happens in the exhibition season. They helped themselves out in the Draft, and picking up people outside of the Draft, so we'll see what [General Manger Reggie McKenzie] has assembled out there and hopefully we'll do well this year."

Former Defensive Backs Coach Ron Lynn

"I like where they're going. I've known [Head Coach] Jack [Del Rio] a long, long time – in fact I recruited him when he was in high school. Jack is a really good coach. I think Reggie McKenzie has a great plan in place. I think they're taking the right steps and we just have to be patient from a fan base standpoint that it's going to happen."

"I was fortunate enough to be coaching Charles [Woodson] when he was a younger guy in that time that I was there, but he's really a good player. He understands what's going on. I think [Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.] will add a good direction for them, in terms of injecting his personality into that team. If the team can play the way he did – they'll be really good."

Former 49ers DE Dennis Brown

"I think you guys have a fine nucleus. I think you've built around that quarterback and I think that quarterback is going to be the next superstar in this league. You have Michael Crabtree. I can see Michael Crabtree finally taking his game to that next level. You guys play great defense. I think you have some good, young guys on the defensive side of the football. I think you're going to be very, very competitive this year."

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