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Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie agrees they can be a playoff team

Oakland Raiders Introduce New Head Coach Dennis Allen Getty Images

For a team that hasn’t had a winning season or a playoff berth since 2002, there’s a lot of confidence flowing through the Raiders organization.

Quarterback Carson Palmer declared last weekend he thought they were a playoff team, and new General Manager Reggie McKenzie doesn’t disagree.

“I think after being around these guys the whole offseason, being around the coaching staff and the players, I definitely think we have the makeup of being a playoff team,” McKenzie said, via Monte Poole of the Bay Area News Group. “I feel what Carson is saying, as far as where we’re headed. We’re headed in the direction to where we can get there.”

It’s not as if either Palmer or McKenzie are out buying ads in the newspaper promising a Super Bowl, as it’s a more subtle approach than Raiders fans are perhaps used to.

“But I’m encouraged by what I saw during the offseason, No. 1 being that everybody seems to be on the same page,” McKenzie said. “We just need to keep progressing. We can make this happen.”

After going 8-8 the last two years, the sense of purpose from the Raiders this year seems clear. McKenzie and new coach Dennis Allen have a chance to put together a team that could contend in a shaky division, and they’re starting to believe it.

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21 Responses to “Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie agrees they can be a playoff team”
  1. raiderbeck says: Jul 26, 2012 10:38 AM

    Need Dmac healthy for the season and the defense to actually play some defense. Playoffs sound good to me.

  2. joetoronto says: Jul 26, 2012 10:39 AM

    You’d have to be in denial to think the Raiders aren’t a playoff team.

    Even with losing Al Davis, Darren McFadden and Jason campbell, they missed the playoffs by 1 game.

  3. justwinbaby29 says: Jul 26, 2012 10:39 AM

    If Palmer and McFadden stay healthy, the WR continue to improve and the defense is just average – the Raiders will win 9 or 10 games and be in the mix for the AFC West title and Wildcard.

    This team is underrated by many. This team aren’t the same old Raiders!

  4. robgilman says: Jul 26, 2012 10:40 AM

    Sleeper team of 2012. Palmer will have a career season

  5. RaiderMight says: Jul 26, 2012 10:44 AM

    If the team doesn’t start believing it first, no one else will. Cut down the penalties in half and that’s a few wins alone. The season won be as close as it was las year. Jamaal Chales is back, and both Peyton’s are in the division now.

    I hope the confidence doesn’t come from how close they came to sneaking into the playoffs last year, but instead in what they see in practice.

    McFadden plays at least 15 games, Carson having a full offseason helps. Hopefully it helps in cutting the interceptions.

    The defense is the biggest question. Will they allow a lot of these run heavy teams on the schedule run all over them or finally strat to stop or at least slow down the run.

  6. jeremyb91 says: Jul 26, 2012 10:44 AM

    Why not expect the playoffs? They have a very good offense that will have one of the league’s best rushing offenses, a dynamic wide receiver group, and the best QB Oakland has had since Rich Gannon.

    The defense can’t be any worse than last year with a scheme from the 2012 instead of the scheme Al Davis ran from the ’70s despite the loss of several players. Now that they are going to zone coverage, the team’s D line which is among the best in the NFL (Seymour, Kelly, Houston, and Shaughnessey) will have the ability to put pressure on the QB, something they haven’t been able to do under Al Davis for several years.

  7. dabutcha114 says: Jul 26, 2012 10:46 AM

    Let’ go Raiders! Let,s get back to excellence!

  8. jenniferxxx says: Jul 26, 2012 10:51 AM

    Let’s be fair … what else could he, or any GM, possibly say?

  9. spellingcops says: Jul 26, 2012 10:56 AM

    I think the division is going to be one of the more competitive divisions in the AFC. I see improvement from each team.

  10. Matt says: Jul 26, 2012 11:12 AM

    Before people call homer, here’s some reasons why they’re right:

    1. pre-lisfranc Darren McFadden was the best RB in football last year, by a mile. Look at the stats. Look at the press. It’s not far-fetched to think a healthy McFadden would’ve won the Raiders at-least ten games last year even with the Campbell injury. We won 8 without Run DMC, after all.

    2. Kansas City fans love to complain about their injuries, but the Raiders were arguably the most injury decimated team in the league. They lost not only their most dynamic player and MVP candidate Darren McFadden, but also their starting quarterback, starting corner (Chris Johnson), and had nagging injuries to several players that cost them games. Rolando McClain missed the second Broncos game which led to Darryl Blackstock getting torched by Tebow. Michael Huff missed the game against Detroit where Calvin Johnson famously caught a 70 yard pass past Rolando McClain covering underneath because his coverage up top (backup Jerome Boyd) couldn’t stay home. The Raiders were beat up. We’re not even getting into the whopping power vacuum created by losing their owner and general manager in the middle of the year.

    3. Al Davis is a legend, but can we all agree he was the one constant in fifty years of Raiders penalty issues? If the Raiders could just cut down their penalties even a smidge this year, maybe 10%, one or two breaks might go their way. For two years, the Raiders have been a very talented team known for shooting themselves in the foot. Marty Schottenheimer used to tell his players on the sideline “We don’t need to beat the Raiders, let the Raiders beat themselves” and those days are gone.

    4. Using that same logic, consider that for the first time in thirty years, the Raiders will be implementing a “modern” scheme on defense. Gone are the days where opposing quarterbacks say in interviews that “You know what the Raiders are going to do, they keep it simple, yadda yadda yadda”. That has to count for something, right?

    Every year people love to look at teams on paper and forget that dark horses emerge. Who picked Tebow to start? Or even lead the Broncos to the division title? Just a little smidge improvement in defense and penalties and a little smidge improvement in health and the Raiders contend. It’s simple really.

  11. piratesofthecoliseum says: Jul 26, 2012 11:13 AM

    Ok, jamal charles I’ll give u cuz that guy is a beast but he’s not gonna neat u by himself and who else do they have?? And both peytons!! Please! A bust of a RB and a once great QB that nobody knows how his neck will react after getting hit over and over!! I mean tebow was running for his life cuz the donkeys oline can’t pass block!!! We’ll see how good that surgeon is come game time! I can’t wait to get this season started!!!! GO RAIDERS!!!!!!!

  12. vidae1 says: Jul 26, 2012 11:18 AM

    The Raiders were the most injured team? Are you kidding me? You lost McFadden, who is always injured, and no one else of significance.

    The Chiefs lost Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, Tony Moeaki AND Matt Cassel. Don’t give me this crap.

    And Raiders fans AND front office people must be delusional now to believe they have a snowballs chance in hell at the playoffs. They’re a bottom of the rung team in the NFL, period.

    Enjoy those four wins guys.

  13. RaiderMight says: Jul 26, 2012 11:26 AM

    Not saying Peyton will be as good as he once was, but he is certainly better than Kyle or Tebow were.

    And as far as not being concerned with the other Peyton, they couldn’t even stop an aging McGahee las year.

    Do the Raiders have a chance at the playoffs, yes, but no one, homer or not, can say it’s guaranteed or not. Too many unknowns in the team and division.

    Mike Bush is gone. Taiwan or Goodson are the backups? They have yet to show they can do anything of substance.

    The only thing I can guarantee is that I will be in Oakland for a bunch of the games! LOL

  14. JSpicoli says: Jul 26, 2012 11:44 AM

    For those that follow football and not stereotypes and hate speech, this is a pretty obvious comment. The Raiders are not bad team

  15. sloraider says: Jul 26, 2012 11:48 AM

    Well, anything is possible and we see it in the league year after year.

    I am just looking forward to seeing Carson Palmer, Darren McFadden and Denarius Moore all on the field at the same time, something that did not occur at anypoint last year.

  16. frankiemontana says: Jul 26, 2012 12:02 PM

    the staff that Mark,Amy,Reggie, have put together is amazing specially with what they had to work with, so I’m going to say we are Playoff bound baby, do it for AL,now cue the haters,
    representing the Nation from SW Montana

  17. rajbais says: Jul 26, 2012 12:23 PM

    Reggie McKenzie should also agree that he is the most boring interviewee in the NFL!!!

    The Al Davis days are gone, sadly!!!

  18. jbholcom says: Jul 26, 2012 12:23 PM

    Kool-aid is running through not only the fan base of Raider Nation, but the MG as well.

  19. r8rnuck says: Jul 26, 2012 12:47 PM

    i see the afc west being just as crowded as last years…i think its going to make for some thrilling drama thats for sure

  20. 1nationraidernation says: Jul 26, 2012 2:41 PM

    AFC west is up for grabs…..it all comes down to the QB’s. Rivers right now has the edge, but has the least upside. Mannin and Palmer have question marks, but in all reality are the best 2 QB’s. Which probably leaves the chiefs in last place because of Cassell.

  21. norcal031 says: Jul 26, 2012 3:03 PM

    They will be fine if they don’t give up huge 60 yard runs and get out of position.

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