HENDERSON, Nev. — Getting into his third season as Las Vegas Raiders normal supervisor and after 7-9 and 8-8 seasons, Mike Mayock has a selected objective in thoughts for 2021.
“Jon [Gruden] and I’ll each inform you that we really feel like we have to be a playoff staff this 12 months, and I do not suppose there’s any doubt about that,” Mayock mentioned Wednesday in his first assembly with reporters because the NFL draft. “You guys are all going to place that in your headlines, and I perceive it, however that is what the expectation is. We predict we have executed the infrastructure work needed to place us in place, and we have to maintain enterprise.”
Raiders proprietor Mark Davis was unmoved by Mayock’s viewpoint.
“It is all the time good to listen to anyone say that,” Davis mentioned, “however let’s exit and do it. I might be way more impressed in the event that they did it.”
Three years in, Mayock’s drafts have yielded extra first-round questions — defensive finish Clelin Ferrell, security Johnathan Abram, cornerback Damon Arnette, proper deal with Alex Leatherwood — than Professional Bowlers (solely operating again Josh Jacobs). However Mayock mentioned the Raiders, within the midst of a youth motion, had been unusually affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which primarily eradicated any semblance of a traditional offseason program in 2020.
“The dearth of coaching camp, I am undecided if folks actually perceive — all 32 groups handled it, so I am not complaining, please do not take it that method — but it surely’s only a totally different developmental path for the younger guys, proper?” Mayock mentioned.
Mayock used cornerback Amik Robertson for example of a 2020 rookie who fell flat however has had a powerful camp this 12 months.
“We did not see any of the quickness, vitality, disruption and explosion final 12 months that we’re seeing this 12 months,” Mayock mentioned. “It is actually cool to see this 12 months. It is cool to see the sunshine go on, and a variety of that’s not having any offseason program [last year], being confused, enjoying sluggish.
“I used to be annoyed as a result of I felt like, in our system, on each side of the ball, it is robust on younger guys. The quantity is hard, particularly on offense. It is robust. So no offseason camp was brutal. COVID, managing COVID was exhausting.”
Now, Mayock mentioned the possibility to be “again to sort of regular” is fueling his motivation.
“I am fired up, and it is a part of A) being again to regular, however B) extra simply the buildup of three years,” Mayock mentioned. “My dad used to say, ‘Don’t be concerned about whether or not or not the horse is blind — simply load the freaking truck.’ That is the place we’re. We have assembled 53 gamers. We predict we’ll be a fairly good soccer staff. We’re not hiding from expectations.”