ALAMEDA – I just thought I’d throw out some more quotables from Jarrod Cooper, one of my favorite Raiders to talk to.
On similarities between what Lane Kiffin is doing and what John Fox did in Carolina that led the Panthers to a Super Bowl appearance: “Once he got it weeded out it was Super Bowl, playoffs, playoffs. And I see that in Coach Kiffin and I want to be here for it.”
On the improvement under Kiffin and why the coaching staff shouldn’t’ be messed with: “The games are lost by one or two plays now as opposed to last year when they were lost at the coin toss. So you’ve got to build off that and I don’t think you need to change anybody. If so then you’re just starting all over again. Then you’re looking for another rebuilding year. Well this was the rebuilding year, build off of that.”
On the mood of the team this time a year ago: “Everybody was gone. Everybody had their plane tickets already. At least here, guys are still talking about the next opponent, talking about Jacksonville, opposed to going to Miami for a vacation. There's a team in here. Everyone's still in each others' back pocket until the last second ticks off on the clock, which is nice.”
Cooper’s comments speak to the difference Kiffin’s made in a season. The Raiders weren’t going to win the division this season, but there is a noticeable difference in their attitudes.
They look like a team that wants to compete, even though the playoffs aren’t a possibility. They haven’t quit and haven’t tuned out Kiffin.
Coop is one of the more honest players on the team.
If he’s right, the Raiders are headed for better days.