According to Raiders insiders, one of the reasons why the team had high hopes for Arden Key to make big strides in this third NFL seasons was because new defensive coach Rod Marinelli was excited to work with him.
With the season starting in 18 days, Marinelli’s willingness is paying off as Key has had a strong training camp. Listening to Key, it is clear the presence of Marinelli is, indeed, having a positive impact on the 2018 third-round pick, who made little impact in his first two seasons with the Raiders.
“Ah, man. I can’t put it in words,” said Key to reporters on Wednesday when asked about Marinelli. “He’s just like the grandpa that you always want who gives you whatever you want but asks a lot from you. He asks a lot from us. He knows what he’s talking about.
“He’s coached a lot of Hall of Fame guys, and a lot of guys soon to be in the Hall of Fame. And his track record speaks for itself and I feel like the whole D-line has bought in, and you don’t really have a choice but to buy in with a guy like coach Rod Marinelli because you know you’re going to get better and you know you’re going to get pushed. ”
Key said he did a lot of “self reflecting” this offseason to get mentally prepared for this training camp. He knows he is getting praise, but he simply wants to keep working in an attempt to make a real impact as part of the pass-rushing rotation.
“I’m in a good place. Mentally, I don’t take a lot of stuff too hard,” Key said. “I don’t take a lot of stuff personally because a lot of stuff in life period isn’t personal. You got to learn to roll with it and keep it moving. Get your emotions pretty much out of a lot of these types of things. Get your ego out. I learned to shut my ego up.”