Raiders News: DE Arden Key Gains 15 Pounds of Muscle in Less Than 2 Months

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 13, 2019

FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018 file photo, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) breaks a tackle-attempt by Oakland Raiders defensive end Arden Key (99) during the first half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo.. For the first time in a decade, the top seed in the AFC playoffs goes to a team not led by Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. The Chiefs haven't had a true franchise QB since Len Dawson led the Chiefs to their only Super Bowl title. But after trading up to select Mahomes in the first round in 2017, then letting him learn the ropes under Alex Smith, Mahomes responded with one of the best seasons in NFL history for a first-year starter. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Arden Key has bulked up.

The Oakland Raiders' second-year defensive end has added 15 pounds of muscle this offseason, not only hitting the gym but also changing his diet.

"Salmon, broccoli, rice, a lot of rice, chicken, steak, asparagus, and that's it," Key told Michael Gehlken of the . "It's annoying. It's the same thing over and over again. The taste, I got to ask them to add some hot sauce to it, or a little salt and pepper, but I got to do what I got to do."

Michael Gehlken @GehlkenNFL

Raiders DE Arden Key on meeting D-line coach Brentson Buckner this offseason: “He had a whole clip of my almost 13 sacks.” Called it “nerve racking” to watch, knowing rookie season could’ve been more productive. Key up to 260 pounds since reporting to workouts at 245 in mid-April https://t.co/i8iB5miWSD

Key, 23, struggled to make a consistent impact in 2018, ending up with 30 tackles and a sack. He finished with a grade of 55.1 from Pro Football Focus, 92nd among edge-rushers.

But Key has spent the offseason working with defensive line coach Brentson Buckner and said:

"He [Buckner] just had a whole clip of my almost 13 sacks. Whether I fell, slipped, the quarterback got away, it was very nerve-wracking [to watch] because I could have had a better first year. But, hey, we all learn from those mistakes."

"The ball isn't snapped yet, [and] I just missed the sack already by alignment. Whether I was too wide, too tight, I didn't turn my hips enough or I didn't reach for him, turn my hips and different things like that. Most of it was just alignment and knowing what angles to take. Football is all about angles."

Key also said he had surgery to "clean out" a shoulder injury suffered during last year's training camp.

A big sophomore campaign would be huge for a Raiders team that finished with just 13 sacks last year, easily the worst mark in football. The next-lowest teams (New England Patriots and New York Giants) each had 30 sacks.

The Raiders drafted three defensive ends to mend the pass rush, most notably Clemson's Clelin Ferrell fourth overall. But getting a bigger contribution from Key would be a major plus for the Raiders in 2019 after they traded away multiple-time All-Pro Khalil Mack prior to the 2018 season.