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Raiders TE Mychal Rivera looks up to Antonio Gates

Michael Rivera has stepped up his game and has been super impressive so far in the NFL. Rivera was a standout for the Tennessee Vols, but has always loved the play of Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez.

“I’ve watched him a lot — he and Tony Gonzalez,” Rivera told the . “They’re real pros who do things the right way. They run routes really crisply, take pride in their blocking and make a big difference in games.”

Rivera has nine receptions for 137 yards and an 18-yard touchdown catch. The only Raiders rookie who has been on the field more is first-round draft pick D.J. Hayden, with 159 snaps.

Rivera is a great waiver wire pick up because the kid is athletic.

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