In his first season with the team, LaMarr Woodley believes the Raiders will accomplish something it’s failed at for the last 11 seasons.
Make the playoffs.
“I can definitely see us as a playoff team,” Woodley told KGMZ-FM on Tuesday, via NFL.com. “Last year going back and watching some film on the Raiders, there were a lot of opportunities here where they just didn’t close it out. Some games good in the first half, they just didn’t close it out at the end of the game. So now we just have to learn how to close out games and it’ll be more wins than losses.”
Oakland finished 4-12 in 2013, largely in part to a depleted and inexperienced roster. General manager Reggie McKenzie, taking a page out of Daniel Snyder’s playbook, aggressively infused veteran talent this offseason, signing Woodley, Justin Tuck, Maurice Jones-Drew, Carlos Rogers, and acquiring Matt Schaub in a trade with the Texans.
Schaub, in particular, was an important pickup, as the Raiders suffered through inconsistency at the game’s most important position.
“(The veterans) didn’t come here just because, oh, we are just trying to get a few more years in in the NFL. No, we come here to win and help play a role to take this team further,” Woodley said.
It’s a drastic change for Woodley, the former Steelers linebacker of sevens seasons, who’s transitioning from the penthouse to the outhouse. If — and it’s a big if — the Raiders are to finally escape the AFC West basement, they’ll need all of the new moving pieces to gel together in a hurry.
(Photo credit: Tony Gonzales/Raiders.com)