Paul Gutierrez's Nov. 30 Chat Transcript


Paul Gutierrez's Nov. 30 Chat Transcript

NOV. 23 CHATTRANSCRIPTRAIDERS PAGE RAIDERSVIDEOEditor's Note: Paul Gutierrez chats regularly. Be sure to join him for free-flowing Raiders discussion.
Paul Gutierrez CSN
Greetings, Raider Nation. Lots to talk about today. Fire away...From r8trrail
what is the teams attitude after 2 losses and heading to san diego for a must winPaul Gutierrez CSN
They seem a bit down, to tell you the truth. Though there is a glimmer of hope in their eyes as they realize they are still the same team that won 3 straight and are 3-0 in the divisionHow did Tom Cable's switcheroo at QB affect "your world" last week?Not at all( 45 )
Messed with my emotions( 18 )
Unnecessary drama( 36 )
Free Kyle Boller!( 0 )
From Tichie
At what point does it become obvious that DHB is not an NFL receiver? They passed on Hicks, Crabtree and Harvin, and got lucky with Jacoby Ford. Why not cut bait with the chronically injured Schillens and ineffective DHB and be done.Paul Gutierrez CSN
Ouch. I feel ya, but I also think the Raiders fear cutting bait with someone too soon, lest they come back and haunt them with another team. Not saying it's right...just sayin' From Vijay
I always say "MUST WIN" game in every chat. I think this game against SD will go a long way to tell if the season's done or we're still in it. Huge challenge but Raiders do have a chancePaul Gutierrez CSN
Yeah, the Raider are two games out now, but hold tiebreakers.From Juan Jorge (Santa,Rosa)
Is cable in jeopardy?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Are the Raiders' colors silver and black?From Jigsaw
Do you think this game is do or die?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Um, yes...for the simple fact that the Chargers may not lose another game all season, until the first round of the playoffs, that is.From Eddie
Who are the Raiders looking at for a 3rd QBPaul Gutierrez CSN
Great question. Especially since Colt Brennan was just on a serious car accident in Hawaii...JaMarcus, anyone?!? I joke, I joke....From Jigsaw
Is Cambell the starter for this week?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Well, according to Cable, sure. But he did leave the door open for a potential competition with Boller. Check back tomorrow. Or, better yet, check back at about 1:15 on Sunday. Can never be too sure. RELATED: Tom Cable's confusing QB carousel
From Guest
cable seems a bit tense do you get the same feelingPaul Gutierrez CSN
You see his media conference on TV yesterday? Um....yes.Are you interested in a Tweet-up in San Diego?Yes, absolutely( 27 )
No thanks( 9 )
What's a Tweet-up?( 64 )
From Juan Jorge (Santa,Rosa)
why didnt cable pull gradkowski for having a poor performance?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Again, great question...seems that Cable just has the utmost confidence in BruceFrom @tQ2123
Will Jeremy Ware be back next week? Walter McFadden was put in a tough spot being inactive for so long and then being thrust in there. With CJ out they need Ware back ASAPPaul Gutierrez CSN
Yeah, McFadden's baptism by fire did not go so well, did it? I wrote about it on the Web Site today. RELATED: Secondary a primary concern for Raiders
From bambino2678
Do you think the raiders will go after plex this offseasonPaul Gutierrez CSN
Not if Jacoby Ford continues to ascent to stardom...From luke
When is Ford going to be a consistant threat everyweek? i feel that the coaching staff won't commit to him except for kick returnsPaul Gutierrez CSN
Depends on who the QB is, and if he has trust in him, methinks....From Jigsaw
I picked the Raiders to go to the Super bowl, every thinks im crazy but then agian remember what the Saints did? and the Cardinals?Paul Gutierrez CSN
OK...From Juan Jorge (Santa,Rosa)
no paul there colors are midnight and greyPaul Gutierrez CSN
Touche....From @tQ2123
Cable is in Jeopardy although he shouldn't be. Best draft in a decade and best team in 8 years with him at the helm. Raiders shouldn't give up on him and shouldn't on DHB either because Ford will be most effective from the slot where it is harder to jam himPaul Gutierrez CSN
Good points all. I just think that Cable may have outsmarted himself with his Cloak and Dagger act this week. I've said all along that Cable's greatest achievement was changing the culture. But he's put that in peril with his actions this week. Even guys in the locker room are starting to scratch their heads....From Eddie
Dang Paul, you type slow as Campbels release.Paul Gutierrez CSN
Bahahahahahahahhha!!!!From MAX G
Scheme vs. passion. Simple as that. Offensively, they have had trouble with the 3-4 defenses of the Steelers and Dolphins the past two weeks. Guess what the Chargers run?From r8trrail
i hope they shock everyone and win the afc west they are a very talented team do you agree the sandiego game is make or break for this yearPaul Gutierrez CSN
Yes....From @tQ2123
Will Campbell be the QB next year or will Raiders do whatever possible to find a new 1. No much chance wtheir picks in the draft. Kolb, V Young... ?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Tough to find that franchise QB in the 2nd round, no?From luke
why don't you post my questions?Paul Gutierrez CSN
The force is strong with you, Luke....but you are not a Jedi yet....From Jigsaw
why Boller why would that be an option?! If Cable does that he will be looking for a job in 2011Paul Gutierrez CSN
Boller would be an option if Campbell is so shellshocked he can't playFrom bambino2678
What do you think about the raiders trading up in the first round to get a QBPaul Gutierrez CSN
Luck? Mallet? Locker? What do you trade to get up there? Nnamdi?From luke
when will cable make FORD the 1?Paul Gutierrez CSN
He's playing like a No. 1, right?From Jigsaw
Do you think Cable should worry about his job if they lose the rest of their games?Paul Gutierrez CSN
As with every other Raiders coach, he should worry after every game....From Maury
Is Bruce Gradkowski fragile or just unlucky? I feel for the guy.Paul Gutierrez CSN
Um, both?!? Great guy, though....From Tichie
Even with Routt and Johnson healthy, the cornerback play has been spotty. I know that the Raiders got burned with the DeAngelo Hall deal, but why didn't they take a look at Al Harris?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Too old. Plus, they've committed a lot to Routt and Nnamdi...From Marvin
Wins and losses aside, are the Raiders improving week to week? Is this a team headed in the right direction, or merely a team with enough talent to win here and there but not really make a difference in the division? Thanks.Paul Gutierrez CSN
That's the frustrating thing about them...they seemed to have turned teh corner entering the bye and then the past two weeks happen. Sunday will be another barometer gameFrom Juan Jorge (Santa,Rosa)
your thoughts on colleague asking cable a dumb rediculous question during his press conference (jerry mcdonald)Paul Gutierrez CSN
Honestly, I thought it was a great question. I realize that fans, for the most part, don;t care about what we as journalists endure, nor, really should they. But the question was framed well. I followed it up with a question about the locker roomFrom Joey
I know Gradkowski doesn't have a great arm, but some throws he made Sunday suggest that he was not completely health. Blame Cable or Med staff?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Gradkowski was cleared as 100...take it how you wantFrom Jeremy
What's going on with Thomas Howard? They had Goethel in there and he was getting absolutely abused. Is he still injured?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Thomas is active. Best answer would be he's getting outplayed by Goethel in practice or...doghouse.From Tichie
I've watched Rolando McClain all season and haven't seen him make much of an impact. He seems to float a ton trying not to make a mistake. I'm sure he wasn't drafted to make tackles 5 yards down the field. Where is the "wooo" factor with him? Even the INT was more on Henne than him making a play.Paul Gutierrez CSN
Agreed....a lot!From Michael, Livermore
What constitutes a successful season for the Raiders? 8-8?Paul Gutierrez CSN
After seven straight season with 11 or more losses...yes.From Silver&Black
Campbell's release (referenced earlier) ... is it a problem? Maybe it's just because he is so long and lean but his delivery looks ponderously slow. Can a QB coach change that or is it too late in his career?Paul Gutierrez CSN
His release was deemed a problem by an incoming coaching staff in WashingtonFrom Juan Jorge (Santa,Rosa)
Bruce Gradkowski has a starter mentality in a back ups bodyPaul Gutierrez CSN
Good take...From Skyler
What's your odds on trading for luck?Paul Gutierrez CSN
About the same as Jim Harbaugh being the next Raiders coach...From r8trrail
if we were healthy we win dolphins game simple as that do you agreePaul Gutierrez CSN
I won't argue that one...too much.Paul Gutierrez CSNWith Tim Brown, Ray Guy and Lester Hayes Hall of Fame semifinalists, who is the Raiders' biggest Canton snub?Jim Plunkett( 33 )
Tom Flores( 33 )
Cliff Branch( 22 )
Ken Stabler( 11 )
Jack Tatum( 0 )
From Skyler
Coach next year in your opinion? Cable, hue, gruden, harbaugh?Paul Gutierrez CSN
You're assuming there is going to be a next season? No lockout?From The Truth
Paul, Cable's contract is up at the end of the season. So he can't be fired per se, Al will just let him walk then promote Jackson(who has two years left) to head coach. Can you see this scenario happening?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Quoting Blackstreet, No diggety, no doubt....From Kenny
Do you think Mario will get back in over Veldheer?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Mario was actually seeing time at right tackle when Langston was out for a spellFrom Lance
Paul can you find out if B. Campbell might get a shot at playing time since the Oline is playing terrible anyway?Paul Gutierrez CSN
I check in with Bruce every week...will doFrom r8trrail
what about j.p losman or is he under contract wit seatlePaul Gutierrez CSN
Not sure about J.P.'s status. Interesting...Jeff Garcia, anyone? Daunte?!?From Skyler
I renewed my season tickets this year AFTER we cut japurpledrink and this year I won't until we get a franchise qb, trade asomugha for luck?Paul Gutierrez CSN
That's a bold statement...From Vijay
What are the chances of landing Jim Harbaugh? I mean, if Cable's fired, we don't want to see the same old list of losers i.e. Gilbride, Fassel etc.Paul Gutierrez CSN
Harbaugh's already worked for the Raiders, as QB coach. So, there would be no surprises...good or badFrom Jigsaw
what would you think of us getting Traves Jackson from Vikings do you think he would be a good fit at QB?Paul Gutierrez CSN
No...I think Al Davis still prefers a big arm at QBFrom raiderlezzie
Your reference to Campbell being shellshocked got to me. In the Steelers game, midway through the 2nd quarter and through the 3rd quarter, Campbell really looked shellshocked. He missed easy throws and his timing was off as if he expected to get tackled sooner than expected. Think this will carry to the SD game now that Grad's out for sure?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Actually, Campbell not having to look over his shoulder to see if he's going to get pulled might work in his favorFrom shaun
when do we go out and get a quality number 3 cb?Paul Gutierrez CSN
You volunteering?!?From Kenny
What are the chances the Raiders get a QB in the next draft? I know they don't have a first round pick but the class seems strong. Luck, Mallet, Locker, Newton(Russell Version 2, IMO), The guy from Alabama.Paul Gutierrez CSN
Raiders should fear QB's from the SEC who wear No. 2...From r8trrail
a healthy 6 foot 4 qb with bruces mentality and we would be afc west champsPaul Gutierrez CSN
Again, no argument here...From raiderlezzie
Has Patterson's passing been much of an influence on all you reporters?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Patrick was a good dude. Loved his Raiders. Didn't know him all that well, but he seemed a good soul. RIPFrom Jerry McDonalds PIMPhand
Why does Sanjay Lal get overlooked? The WR unit has been anemic for years - little improvement is seen out of those younger guys (i.e development), yet he sticks around. Is he an Al Davis favorite? My guess Lal is gone after 2010. He has to. DHB is not a pro caliber starter. Murphy is inconsistent, JLH is a clown (figuratively and literally) and he can't take credit for Jacoby Ford just being a solid surprise.Paul Gutierrez CSN
I like your take...almost as much as your handle.From Skyler
Taking lockout out of picture, even though I think there won't be a season, coach next year?Paul Gutierrez CSN
If Raiders can pull out of this funk and finish strong...CableFrom Tichie
Cable mentioned being disappointed that they didn't stick with the running game. Isn't he the head coach?Paul Gutierrez CSN
True...though not the play-caller. What, exactly, are you insinuating?!? LOLFrom Guest
we need better lineman and a franchise qbPaul Gutierrez CSN
And I need to win the lottery,,From Bryan
Can you see VInce Young in Silver in Black in 2011? Assuming there is football in 2011.Paul Gutierrez CSN
VY's got serious issue. Not making light of them, but, yeah...serious issues.From Kenny
How come your title is Raiders insider and Maiocco's is NFL insider? You are just as much as an NFL insider as he is.Paul Gutierrez CSN
BEST question of the day...lemme ask my bosses!!! ;-)From Lance
People need to be careful abou Andrew Luck. Is it all A. Luck or mostly Harbaugh...Paul Gutierrez CSN
I think Luck just might need another year on the Farm...From Vijay
Chargers and Norv Turner are due to lose in Dec sometime. I think that loss happens this weekend just like the Raiders were due to beat them sometime and it happened in Oct.Paul Gutierrez CSN
Raiders have not won in San Diego since 2002...time for that streak to get busted too?From Kenny
What are the chances we see Bruce Campbell this year?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Well, he is on special teams...kickoff return!!!From Skyler
Hue is so overrated, I want gruden or harbaugh ( if cable is fired, I want to keep him)Paul Gutierrez CSN
Not a fan, huh?!?From joepup
do you think current the team is young enough to wait around for a QB from the next draft? I always believed that there is a "window of opportunity", when tinkering with rosters. So Im not sure the Raiders "window" will allow them that much time....(to quote Radnich)... your thoughts?Paul Gutierrez CSN
That may be exactly why the Raiders extended Campbell a year when they acquired himFrom frank
What do you think about trading for Kevin Kolb from philly? I think it would a great fit!Paul Gutierrez CSN
More Kolb love. He got drummed out of here last week....From bambino2678
what do you think about center from penn state wiz do you think we could draft him with his dad being a former RAIDERPaul Gutierrez CSN
Would make a great story...especially if kid can play.From Lance
Will we every see a crossing route again? Or will all of Hue's play calls be that predictable?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Agreed.From raiderlezzie
What's a tweetup?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Kind of like a Flash Meeting....we say on Twitter where we meet up and then, well, meet up. And talk Raiders. Thinking of calling one in San DIego in the Gas Lamp on Saturday night...thoughts?!?From r8trrail
if they win in sd alot of jobs will b saved cable and j campbellPaul Gutierrez CSN
Good pointFrom Juan Jorge (Santa,Rosa)
Can you please teach Damon from raiders press conference live how to say (Gutierrez) gets kind of annoyingPaul Gutierrez CSN time I see him!!! haFrom Skyler
@Kenny, raider insider is much better than NFL insiderPaul Gutierrez CSN
Then there's that!From Skyler
Percent of a lockout next year? 30? 50? 90?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Right now, players are saying its close to 90From Jerry McDonalds PIMPhand
Mike Mitchell is a talkative dude, and he likes to make blanket statements about the team after games and how they play, who in that locker is really leading? Seymour seems to be preparing for his next career as a UFC combatant, T.Kelly is undecipherable and the offense is lack of any strong voices. Que pasa with that?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Seymour runs that locker room...with an open palm.From Skyler
Hue is sabotaging the offense to take control of team, get him out of herePaul Gutierrez CSN
The Conspiracy Theories have begun anew....From Lance
The players look down, but we still haven't done this well since 2002. We need to catch 1 game from here till week 17 on KC. 1 game. If they beat SD, then we are back in business. Indi can be beaten and that is a home game. KC still has to play 3 division games, STL, and Tennessee so we are not out of this.Paul Gutierrez CSN
I think the Nation loves your optimismFrom Juan Jorge (Santa,Rosa)
Paul Gutierrez for Head Coach?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Um, no...but thanks!From Jeremy
I haven't given up on DHB just yet (i'll wait till next year. it's usually in year 3 that nfl players really blossom, look at Dmac) but it seems they STILL don't know how to use him. All he seems to run are go routes over and over. Whenever he has big plays its ALWAYS on comeback routes. Yet they rarely use them... Frustrating.Paul Gutierrez CSN
You know, I'm feeling you on this take. I know I'm in the minority, but, yes.From PaulG UNLV co-ed King
Better head coach; Tom Cable or Bill Callahan? I say Cally -- the guy was a craftsman and elevated the play of an offense for one season to SB status.Paul Gutierrez CSN
I know Callahan took the Raiders to the Super Bowl, but that was Gruden's team. We all saw how that fell apart. Cable changed a culture.From PaulG UNLV co-ed King
What's more fun; watching the Raiders fall apart as the season winds down, or watching the Raiders think they are playoff contenders? :cue Price and Right loser music:Paul Gutierrez CSN
Ouch. Just. Ouch.From bambino2678
how do you see the raiders finishing the year out wins losesPaul Gutierrez CSN
The way they're playing now, I only see one win - home vs. Denver. And even that's not a gimme.From Kenny
How has Darren McFadden's attitude been lately in the locker room? I konw it's been a tough couple of games for himPaul Gutierrez CSN
Great question. One I would answer had he been around after the Dolphins game and on Monday. Alas.....From Juan Jorge (Santa,Rosa)
who would win in a 100 yard dash race, you or vittorio Tafur BUT he gets 10 second head startPaul Gutierrez CSN
I blow him away...he blows a hammy. Simple as that....From Jeremy
Mikey Mitchell has been really impressive this year, especially after everything that happened around cut time. For a guy that's been criticized for his pass coverage he's been better than Branch. At what point do we make the Wolverine package our base defense?Paul Gutierrez CSN
You know the owner prefers straight-up defense, no gimmicks, as a base....From bambino2678
will dmac get a 1000 yards rushing this yearPaul Gutierrez CSN
He needs to get going this weekend....Paul Gutierrez CSN
will be interesting since he did not play against them the first time in OctoberFrom PaulG UNLV co-ed King
You think that final game at Kansas City will be important to both clubs? Or just the Chiefs? OAK may just look to spoil the Chiefs chances with a, what, 3rd or 4th straight win at KC?Paul Gutierrez CSN
Again, the way the Raiders are playing right now, they are nothing more than spoliers in the season finale. But beat the Chargers this weekend...stay tunedFrom Skyler
@Juan gorge, give Jerry Mac 20 second head start and Gutierrez wins stillPaul Gutierrez CSN
My man....From Tichie
So, some are willing to wait until year three to wait for a 7 overall pick to make an impact when we have a lower pick making an impact after a number of months? What has given anybody any indication that DHB is a true 1 receiver? The guy still catches the ball with his chest like my 2 year old nephew.Paul Gutierrez CSN
Then there's that line of thinking....Paul Gutierrez CSN
OK, thanks again for logging on and chatting. Who's going to San Diego for the game?From Jeremy
DHB wasn't scouted as a WR who was readty to make a impact early on, but more of a project. Which was dumb, considering the raiders needed help right away. But that's not DHB's fault. Give him one more year, then you can throw stones.Paul Gutierrez CSN
OK, thanks again. Let's chat again Sunday at 12 noon, from the Q. Until then....

Raiders sign rookie OT Sharpe, LB Lee, all four seventh-round draft picks

Raiders sign rookie OT Sharpe, LB Lee, all four seventh-round draft picks

The Raiders signed several members of their 2017 draft class, the team announced on Friday. Later round picks put pen to paper following the first week of OTAs, which began on Monday.

Fourth-round offensive tackle David Sharpe and fifth-round linebacker Marquel Lee highlight this group of signings, as both players inked four-year rookie contracts.

All four seventh-round picks also signed their first professional contract. That group includes running back Elijah Hood, safety Shalom Luani, offensive lineman Jylan Ware and defensive tackle Treyvon Hester.

These deals aren’t hard to work out. The NFL and the league’s players union agreed on a rookie wage scale in the last collective bargaining agreement that slots salaries by draft order, which leaves little negotiating room within the set payment structure.

The team’s top picks remain unsigned, though they’ll get done in time. First round cornerback Gareon Conley, second-round safety Obi Melifonwu and third-round defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes remain unsigned.

Here’s a list of estimated contract values over a four-year rookie deal for each signed draft pick, per

OT David Sharpe (No. 129 overall): $2,986,415 total; $586,415 signing bonus
LB Marquel Lee (No. 168 overall): $2,653,693 total; $253,693 signing bonus
S Shalom Luani (No. 221 overall): $2,494,414 total; $94,414 signing bonus
OT Jylan Ware (No. 231 overall): $2,484,295 total; $84,295 signing bonus
RB Elijah Hood (No. 242 overall): $2,469,750 total; $69,750 signing bonus
DT Treyvon Hester (No. 244 overall): $2,468,601 total; $69,750 signing bonus

Marquel Lee gets to play for his father's favorite team: 'He started bawling'

Marquel Lee gets to play for his father's favorite team: 'He started bawling'

ALAMEDA -- Marquel Lee’s NFL draft weekend wasn’t always fun, a byproduct of high hopes unrealized. The former Wake Forest linebacker wanted to go early, but slid into Saturday and waited well into the fifth round before his phone lifted spirits.

A 510 area code brought Lee out of an emotional rut, one so deep he started wondering whether he’d get drafted at all.

“When I got the call from the Raiders, everything changed,” Lee said in the latest episode of NBC Sports California’s Raiders Insider Podcast. “I was so excited to play for this organization.”

Marquel Lee wasn’t the only one. His father jumped over the moon.

“He might’ve been more excited than I was,” Marquel Lee said. “He started bawling. I’ve never seen my dad cry like that.”

Corey Lee’s tears don’t come easy. He’s a no-nonsense military man who served 11 years in the Navy before entering the private sector. He was a strict but fair father and football coach who instilled the discipline and work ethic required for his son to realize great potential.

Corey Lee is also a lifelong Raiders fan. Seeing his son get drafted by his favorite team created a perfect emotional storm.

“I’m as die-hard as they get,” Corey Lee said. “When they called his name in the fifth round, it was such a great, powerful moment. There was some relief, because he worked so hard and sacrificed to reach this point. When families were on vacation, we were in summer camps and working out hard.

“Everything we did was to prepare him for the next level. I was so proud to see him achieve a goal he had.”

Corey Lee didn’t break down completely when Marquel Lee officially became the Raiders’ fifth-round selection. This proud papa let emotion overcome for a beat, and then darted for his bedroom. He returned to the party with a brand new Raiders hat and a No. 89 Amari Cooper shirt from his vast Raiders collection.

Marquel Lee threw on dad’s gear to honor his new team and the golden opportunity to play for a linebacker-starved Raiders team.

That wasn’t Marquel Lee’s first time in silver and black. He rocked a full Raiders uniform at age 2, complete with a helmet, football pants and a Tim Brown jersey.

He donned one again when rookies reported to the Raiders offseason program earlier this month. The full-circle moment wasn’t lost on Marquel, a man proud of his past and excited about an NFL future.

“There’s a picture of me in a Raiders jersey, pants and a helmet on my second birthday,” he said. “I look at it now and think, ‘Wow. It really happened.’ I’m wearing a Raiders uniform for real. My dream is becoming a reality.”

Corey Lee grew up a Raiders fan in Southern California, going to games with his family at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Pardon Marquel for not following in those footsteps. He grew up on the East Coast when Donovan McNabb was a superstar and gravitated toward the Eagles. Ray Lewis performed in Lee’s Maryland backyard and became an athletic role model.

Marquel watched tons of NFL football with his dad, complete games where father and son would talk about strategy and scheme. Marquel would watch game tape with his father at an early age and when Corey Lee deployed with the Navy, his mother Katanya – she, too, understood football -- made sure that practice continued.

Marquel Lee was armed with natural athletic gifts and cultivated knowledge of the game, allowing him play quarterback and middle linebacker as a junior at Westlake High in Waldorf, Md. His dad was a guiding light as youth instructor, a JV head coach and a varsity linebackers coach, but took steps to separate family and football.

“As a father, I never would allow him to call me dad on a practice field or anywhere,” Corey Lee said. “I was always ‘Coach’ during the season, whether we were at home or at practice, because I wanted to keep him in that mindset.”

Football was a primary focus back then, when the family often traded summer vacations for skills camps. Despite buzz around Marquel’s talents, Corey was against his son doing interviews with recruiting websites or ranking services. Father wanted his son’s head on straight, and it has remained that way. 

Top schools were slow to come around, but gravitated after Marquel fully recovered from a torn patella and stood out early in his senior year. He chose Wake Forest, a commitment his father wanted upheld even with late interest from other programs.

His growth continued as a collegian, and took a real spike during the 2016 season. Wake Forest’s defensive captains graduated, leaving him to assume a leadership role and put team over stats. Lee considered his junior season at Wake Forest subpar, and vowed to do better.

“I was pressing a lot, trying to rush my time and trying to get to the NFL,” Lee said. “I was on a road where I thought I wanted to leave (school) early. I was so hard on myself, especially if I didn’t produce. That’s why I said it was subpar. I don’t think I played like a team player that year.

“(The next season) I made a decision to finish what I started and be the leader I always knew I could be. I wanted to help my team get to a bowl game. I hadn’t played in one. That was a major part of me coming back in 2016. … I grew up a lot. I feel like I gained respect as a team leader, and really understood what it took to own that responsibility.”

Lee might have major responsibilities as an NFL rookie. The Raiders don’t have many options at middle linebacker, and Lee will be allowed to compete for a starting spot. It’ll take a solid spring and summer to earn it and give the Raiders confidence to hand an important starting spot to a rookie. The Silver and Black could add a veteran to that position group, though they have high hopes for their fifth-round pick. Lee could well make an instant impact. 

“We definitely think he has the potential to start,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said in an interview with 95.7-The Game. “He’s a long ways away from that. We haven’t even begun to get the pads on, so a lot will be determined in training camp and the preseason. So far, he has looked very good.”

Lee considers himself well prepared for the challenges ahead, and believes he can compete at the professional level.

“I’ve been getting ready for this a long time,” Marquel Lee said. “My dad has been telling me that this experience will be different. It’s not like college anymore. It’s a job, and I have to be mentally prepared for everything I’m about to do. I’m here and I’m learning and I’m trying to do my best.”