The Oakland Raiders showed glimpses of their intentions during the previous season when they signed a ten-year contract with Jon Gruden.
Mark Davis didn’t want for his franchise to wander around anymore, so he decided to make one of the most extravagant moves in the history of the league. He gave a long-term job, along with the complete autonomy in decision making, to one of the most extravagant coaches of all times.
And now, the Raiders opened the rebuilding process by landing one of the most extravagant players in the league, in a deal which changed the landscape of NFL’s power.
Antonio Brown jumped from cold Pennsylvania to warm and sunny California.
He was yesterday officially introduced as the newest addition to the Raiders’ roster.
Mike Mayock, the new general manager of the Raiders, who found the way to persuade both the Steelers and Brown to take this deal, was proud to announce AB’s arrival.
The eldest of seven in his family, Mayock sat happily before the numerous reporters from all over the country and was glad to see Brown’s kids running around at the press conference.
He said that the sight in front of him is something wonderful, and that the youth and the energy of those kids are bringing life into the building.
Mayock expects the same from their father when it comes to results and the future of the franchise.
“These young kids running around, breathing some life into this building, and that’s what Antonio is going to do for this football team,” Raiders GM told the reporters.
There aren’t any big mysteries surrounding AB’s decision to pick the Raiders over other teams. They want the Super Bowl, Jon Gruden knows how to get it, and the player himself wants the same.
He has a chance to be the sole leader of the franchise which is currently in the process of reconstruction, and that is much better than being labeled as the disruptive factor in Pittsburgh where Ben Roethlisberger runs the show.
And his first addressing to the media showed Oakland fans what to expect from AB’s tenure with the Raiders.
“My goal really is to catch Jerry Rice,” Brown said.
Though it might be impossible for him to do so, the bar is set, and be sure that one of the best wide receivers ever, is going to do everything in his power to prove his worth and to justify his words.
AB added that to do so, he has absolute trust in coach Gruden, who knows what to do to make him reach the best ever.
“Playing with a guy like Coach Gruden, obviously he knows what it takes to keep me upright and fresh, and keep me out there for a long time, so my challenge every year is to prove my love for the game, and I’m taking it one year at a time,” Brown said.
The key factor for such a success will be no doubt Derek Carr, whose passes is AB going to catch. He spoke about him too, saying that he likes Carr because of his “hunger.”
According to Brown, Raiders’ QB is ready to take his game to the next level, and he sees in him the limitless energy, and the desire to become the best by overcoming all the obstacles.
And that is something they have in common.
“I think he’s hungry for success, hungry for turning the organization around, hungry to get on the winning side of things, and I’m just hungry for the same things.” the former Steeler said at the press.
The best wide receiver Carr worked with in Oakland was Amari Cooper who had 83 catches and 1,153 yards back in 2016. Now, Brown’s stats were better in each of the past six seasons, so you might get the clear picture of how big of a weapon Raiders got in this guy.
In nine years with the Steelers, the 31-year old posted 11,207 yards, with 74 touchdowns. He also recorded 3,932 yards returning yards, becoming one of the best punt and kickoff returners in the league.
During that time, Brown earned 7 Pro-Bowl appearances and was 5 times the NFL All-Pro. Besides that, he has numerous other achievements and landmarks but doesn’t have the most important one.
The Super Bowl ring.
And he’s ready to get one with the Raiders.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write, read, and bet on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a betting tips writer at WagerBop.