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Oakland Raiders GM: 'We were a different 4-12 team'

Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has guided his team to back-to-back 4-12 seasons as he tries to overhaul a tragic roster.

According to the GM, the Raiders were much better this season than the previous 4-12 squad.

"I thought we played better without a doubt," McKenzie said, per the San Francisco Chronicle. "We were a different 4-12 team."

McKenzie pointed to an improved running game, a competitive defense early in the season and a core of young players to justify his stance.

Still, his team crumbled down the stretch, going 1-8 after showing signs of progress early on in 2013.

The Raiders will have nearly $70 million to spend this offseason. McKenzie said he'd like to re-sign running back Rashad Jennings, left tackle Jared Veldheer, defensive end Lamarr Houston and safety Charles Woodson. He's also said he'd rather not use the franchise tag.

The GM admitted his team needs to add top-shelf talent to become more than a 4-12 outfit.

"Continuity is a big part of it," McKenzie said of keeping his veteran players. "It helps you continue to progress. ... Continuity helps. Great players help more."

McKenzie has done an admirable job digging the Raiders out of a financial nightmare since he took over. However, his bungling of the quarterback situation will keep the team floundering until it's corrected.

We previewed Championship Sunday and sat down with Rams star Robert Quinn in the latest "Around The League Podcast."

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