Quick Slants: Raiders are “all in the same lane” now

“Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno.” Translated into English, that Latin phrase becomes the all too recognizable, “One for all, all for one” phrase of Three Musketeers fame. How in the blue hell does that relate to the Oakland Raiders?

I’ll let Gareon Conley explain:

Quick Slants: Raiders are “all in the same lane” now

“They’re all in. There’s no blaming or complaining or anything,” the second-year cornerback said of the differences between the 2017 and 2018 Raiders. “We handle ourselves and take responsibility for everything and hold everyone accountable to the highest standard.”

Conley, a player expected to be one of the top two corners this season after being selected No. 24 overall in the 2017 draft, expanded upon the stark comparison between the now Jon Gruden-led Raiders and the version captained by Jack Del Rio.

“Just seeing the way the whole thing was set up, it wasn’t how we are now,” Conley began. “People weren’t together as one. Everybody was kinda in their own lane. I feel like we’re all in one lane right now.”

Is what the 22-year-old all that appalling? It surely did appear the Jack Del Rio-led Raiders compartmentalized and went into siloed shells when the manure hit the fan. That resulted in a fractured team who could never put itself back together again.

Don’t discount Conley’s words just because he is young. He knows what a winning pedigree is coming from Ohio State.

“You go from a winning program, and then that (2017 Raiders), you see the difference,” Conley said. “You see why it happened, and how it happened because you were on a winning team and so you know what it takes to win and why you lost.”

In comes Gruden, with the “F what happened last year” mantra and it’s the organization has apparently done a 180. Conley described how the now close-knit atmosphere has helped incumbent players and free agent additions come together this offseason.

“They bring a lot. They’re all in,” Conley said of the veterans. “We’re all on the same page. When you’re on the same page, you can talk to people. We talk football on and off the field like regular conversation. When you’re always talking about things being better, you have that teammate you can talk to about everything — personal and football level — and that elevates your game.”

Last year’s dilapidated Raiders was a showcase of one aspect of the team deep into chapter 15 while another portion of it was still on the table of contents. Not so this year — allegedly.

“I think we’re well ahead of where we were last year at this time,” said safety Karl Joseph.

Or perhaps, I’m “reading too much into it” or “blowing it out of proportion”?

Let’s hit those quick slants!

  • Gruden highlighted safety Erik Harris as a “stunner”. The coach had to look him up and see what he’s all about. Gruden added the special teamer is a player that’s on an incredible rise.
  • The signings of Frostee Rucker and Ahtyba Rubin added solid veteran presence as well as production. Gruden noted the nose tackle spot is a bit iffy as Eddie Vanderdoes hasn’t been able to practice while Mario Edwards Jr. has missed time due to injury.
  • Obi Melifonwu got the most run in camp thus far. While he’s running with the third team, it’s a start for a player who has missed valuable time.
  • Fifth-round punter Johnny Townsend displayed his booming leg on Tuesday dropping a punt near the one-inch line of the end zone from the opposite 30. He shanked a few, but the Florida Gator is showing why he was drafted.
  • Eddy Pineiro got the kicking duties on Tuesday and shined. The undrafted free agent and college teammate of Townsend is alternating kicking days with incumbent Giorgio Tavecchio.
  • Mauling guard Kelechi Osemele noted the Raiders got a steal in Maurice Hurst. The fifth-round defensive tackle is running ahead of second-round pick P.J. Hall.
  • Rookie offensive tackles Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker got kudos from Osemele on their intelligence and athleticism. Miller and Parker were beat at times but both rebounded on ensuing snaps.

Quote Of Note:

“It’s frustrating to me. I have high expectations for myself. I know there’s a lot of plays i missed that i wish i could get back. Going into my third year, I have high expectation for myself. I definitely have to elevate my game. I have to be the player they drafted me to be. i put that on myself. i just gotta keep growing and keep learning from older guys and keep growing. I think we’re in a good spot right now. I’m excited about where we’re headed.”

— Raiders safety Karl Joseph on how he views his career up to now

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