He also considers Madden, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, responsible for his first trip to the Pro Bowl, which came the season after he had a breakout playoff game in 1987 against New Orleans.
"I'd had a good year, but it was until John Madden said it that people seemed to know it," Millard said. "It wasn't just me, but linemen in general. A lot of offensive linemen never got recognition until he did the game. He pointed out the good things that offensive and defensive linemen do. He gave us exposure."
CEO Amy Trask said the club would have some sort of announcement between Aug. 27 and Aug. 31 She would say only that the Raiders were "significantly ahead" of their pace at this time last year.
Oakland's season-ticket base shrunk to less than 30,000 last season, the last year the sales were handled by the Oakland Football Marketing Association.
Owner Al Davis, who maintains he was promised a full house every week if he returned to Oakland, said, "I am not encouraged or satisfied . . . unless we sell out," Davis said.
"The best thing I did was take up boxing," Jordan said. "That helped me out so much, just the cardio and getting myself focused. I've been a little bit too nice. My agent and a couple of my (friends) told me when I was in New York, I ran a lot angrier."
"People look at it different ways, but I look at it as motivation to have been taken last," McMahan said. "So many guys were taken before you, especially at the wide receiver spot, you look and think, `Man, I could have been taken there or there or there. Look at this team and this staff. I've got Randy Moss, Jerry Porter, coach (Fred) Biletnikoff and I'm going against Willie Brown's defensive backs. I think I am in a good situation."
McMahan is having a solid camp, but his odds of sticking would seem to be slim unless Porter is traded.
Oakland's last two Mr. Irrelevant picks, current Vikings wide receiver Ryan Hoag (2003) and linebacker Andre Sommersell (2004), did not make the roster.
"I didn't want to step on anybody's toes. In Tampa, I had been there since Day 1 building it. When you are there building a house from Day 1, it is easier to yell and scream and enjoy the day," Sapp said. "But when I walked into somebody else's house that was already built, it was different. Now I have been here since we got into this (Rob Ryan's defense) so it feels a lot more like this is my team."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Aaron's making big strides. The light bulb's going off. He's saying, ‘Oh, OK.' You know he understands what we're trying to do." — Raiders coach Art Shell, who probably meant to say the light bulb was going "on."