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alicia

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Raiders GM: MEJ 'extremely motivated' to prove his dominance

The Oakland Raiders are hoping to get more out of defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. in 2017 than they did in 2016.

in turn,Edwards, is ready to prove that he can come through for them. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie described Edwards' mindset during a recent radio interview on 95.7 The Game.

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not just a solid football player, so he’s ready to roll,Authentic Kenny Stills Jersey, but he’s dominant," McKenzie said of Edwards,Authentic Julius Thomas Jersey, per Raiders.com. "He’s healthy,Teddy Bridgewater Jersey, he’s strong,Authentic Linval Joseph Jersey,"He’s extremely motivated because he wants to show the league that he’s a dominant football player, he’s in a good mindset, and we are extremely anxious to see him get going come this season."

23, joined the Raiders as a second-round pick out of Florida State in the 2015 NFL Draft. He started 10 of the 14 games in which he appeared as a rookie and finished the season with 42 tackles,Edwards, two sacks, two defended passes and three forced fumbles.

however, put his playing status in jeopardy after that season. Edwards ended up receiving medical clearance for his neck,Kenny Stills JerseyJulius Thomas Jersey,A neck injury,Authentic Teddy Bridgewater Jersey,Authentic Harrison Smith Jersey, but a hip injury suffered in the first preseason game of 2016 derailed his entire sophomore campaign.

he was practically invisible,Harrison Smith Jersey, registering just two tackles. In Oakland's playoff loss to the Houston Texans,Linval Joseph Jersey,Edwards started the season on injured reserve and did not return until Week 16. In two regular season games, he started to find his stride and recorded three tackles.

the Raiders need Edwards to be a dominant interior force. They lacked one last season,Heading into the 2017 season, and the defense suffered. The unit ranked 26th in the NFL.

Having a healthy and motivated Edwards in the fold will help Oakland defend the run more consistently and will also open things up for Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin and others on the edge.

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