The top two draft picks in 2014, first-rounder Khalil Mack and second-rounder Derek Carr, really bought into what Jack Del Rio has brought to Oakland.
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Mack howled when he saw the images, saying Del Rio’s passion has not faded since that nearly 30-year-old incident.
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“You could tell he was a heck of a ballplayer,” Mack said. “He played at a very high level, so he knows what it takes and he knows the attitude and he can see and feel the different things from his players. He just has a total awareness.”
“He understands what we’re going through,” Jones added. “He’s willing to take our feedback and he gave us ownership of the team … that’s why people bought in. We were able to see the change. He wasn’t just talking.”
“When he showed up, it was like, ‘Man, this is awesome, because this is exactly the things we’ve been talking about,'” quarterback Derek Carr said of Del Rio and the pledge he and Mack made as rookies in 2014. “Our whole class, we just wanted to go out and show people how to work and how to compete. We didn’t care how old we were … we didn’t care about any of that. We cared about winning and one day winning here.
“That was really important to us, and when coach Del Rio showed up, man, that spark kind of lit the fire.”
Kiper: I don’t think so, but the Jets shouldn’t draft a QB early just to get one. They just took Christian Hackenberg in the second round last year — 84 spots ahead of Dak Prescott, by the way — and they need to try to develop him to see if he has a future. He needs major, major development, though, and that takes time. He’s almost certainly not the guy in 2017. New York might be better off surveying the backup market. Tony Romo or Jay Cutler, maybe? How about Mike Glennon?