It’s been a long time since the Raiders were consistent winners.
Aside from a 12-4 season that resulted in a playoff appearance in 2016, the Raiders haven’t had a winning record since they went 11-5 in 2002 and lost to former-and-current head coach Jon Gruden’s Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.
The team finished at 8-8 last year, improving a game on its 7-9 record in 2019. But both years included late-season collapses that prevented the club from making the postseason.
Enough is enough for one of the Raiders’ recent first-round picks.
“All of us are tired of losing,” defensive end Clelin Ferrell said Wednesday, via Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It’s not just the fact that we’re losing, it’s the fact we get right there to the playoffs and just can’t get over the hump.”
The Raiders’ defense has been a significant factor in those issues. Last year, coordinator Paul Guenther was fired after Las Vegas allowed 200 yards rushing in back-to-back weeks in December. The Raiders ended the season 30th in points allowed and 25th in yards allowed.
Ferrell admitted he’s heard the (loud) criticism of Las Vegas’ defense.
“The question is what to do with it,” Ferrell said. “You take it and evaluate it. When you break it down, it’s people who don’t wake up and do what we do every single day speaking on what we do every single day.
“We understand people have opinions, but you can’t tell me how to drive a car you never drove. That’s how I look at it.”
Whether or not one agrees with the driving analogy, Ferrell and the rest of the Raiders need to play significantly better in their first year under coordinator Gus Bradley, or more changes will surely come.