One of the first veteran players the Raiders brought in this off-season was former New York Giants defensive end, Justin Tuck. He brings with him two Super Bowls rings in nine years with the Giants but some NFL analysts see his age to be more of a concern than his veteran presence an asset.
"Everybody that says that can go watch the film last year and tell me I can't play the game." said Tuck
What Tuck did last year was put up 11.0 sacks while starting the entire season, showing, as he sees it, that he is far from done. It was his best sack numbers since his Pro Bowl season of 2010. And yet the Giants didn't make a tremendous effort to bring him back.
That same idea goes for many of the Raiders' acquisitions this off-season; most of whom are over 30-years of age.
"Go watch the film of all of us and tell us we still can't play the game," Tuck continued. "I don't really care. To me age is a number. I'm 31 and I feel like I'm 25."
Most NFL players feel pretty young about this time of the off-season. What really counts is how they feel come the end f training camp or come midseason and still have a couple months left of football to be played. Until then, as Tuck also pointed out "I can sit here and talk as much as I want to and obviously you guys can talk as much you you want to... we'll have the opportunity to prove everybody wrong in due time."
The beginning of his Raiders career started today after knowing only a Giants uniform for nine NFL seasons. It's a new experience which Tuck said candidly "It was weird. Very weird."
I'm sure that sentiment is true for quite a few new additions -- several of whom also spent their entire careers before this with one organization. That common ground should go a long way to bonding as well as helping their bid to prove they are still NFL caliber talents.