People normally jump at the chance to dissect anything a coach or player says that hints at any sort of possible dissension. Let’s face it, we’re soon wrapping up the first week of training camp for the Las Vegas Raiders, and people are dying for rumors or conjecture. Well, All-Pro punter A.J. Cole gave a little something recently that folks will now run away with.
Raiders News: The world wants to know who A.J. Cole III was talking about…
While addressing the media this week, Cole was asked about the new slate of Raiders players. We all know the names, but the Raiders’ star punter doesn’t pull any punches; he likes where this team is at in terms of the personalities, or lack thereof, perhaps?
“Everybody is awesome to be around. I can’t say enough about the quality of people we have in the locker room. Talking to them in the lunch room, getting to know them in the locker room, the weight room, all that stuff. Everybody’s awesome.”
It’s pretty run-of-the mill stuff with regard to Cole’s new teammates. What else can you expect at this time? It’s training camp; spirits are high, and confidence is as high as it’ll be unless the Raiders win some games. Still, what came after is what’s generating buzz, understandably so.
“We don’t have any divas, and we don’t have any headcases. We’ve got a lot of people that are fun to be around, competitive, motivated, and just regular people.”
Perception really is in the eye of the beholder. A.J. Cole III could simply be alluding to the lack of negative vibes at camp. It’s a roster full of contributors who have bought into what head coach Josh McDaniels is selling.
That’s definitely the optimistic, if not more realistic, takeaway. The second way to look at it—well, that depends.
Naturally, one can’t help but feel like Cole is referring to players no longer on the roster, i.e., Derek Carr, Darren Waller, etc. It’s a stretch, to say the least, and Cole’s words are rather ambiguous. To really think of Carr and Waller as “headcases or divas” says a lot, if true. For now, it’ll be interesting if, at some point, we ever get some clarification.
*Top Photo: Matt Aguirre/Las Vegas Raiders.