No one knew exactly when it would happen, but there was plenty of confidence among the top three picks in the Oakland Raiders’ 2014 draft that the team would eventually improve after they joined the roster.

The Raiders had gone 4-12 in 2013 and would slip to 3-13 in 2014 before going 7-9 and 12-4 the last two seasons.

‘Derek always kept encouraging us that things would get better’

“We didn’t know the time frame and all this, but I remember rookie year, me, Khalil and DC, we always talked about the change coming and how we were going to turn things around,” Jackson told Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn on the SiriusXM Blitz. “And Derek always kept encouraging us that things would get better, so me and Khalil always said, ‘Derek, he knows something’s about to happen with us.’ And he was right.”

Carr and Jackson are reaping the rewards of the turnaround, with each receiving huge second contracts. Next up is Mack.

‘We know that, if you don’t come out and work and prepare to win, you won’t win’

But the focus isn’t on the rewards. It’s on sustaining success and what it takes to make that happen.

“We have a certain group of guys, we don’t get to the hype,” Jackson said. “We know that, if you don’t come out and work and prepare to win, you won’t win. Anybody can get beat by whoever and whenever, so you’ve got to be dedicated and work hard throughout the week and do the whole process like you would normally do it no matter what.”

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