First we were winning...then we were losing...then we...ugh. Well, you know. This is how the 2011 campaign went for our beleaguered Raiders. Compound shaky play, mortgaging the future on a QB fresh off the couch, the injury bug, down to the passing of the embodiment of our franchise, Mr. Davis, and you've got a recipe for disaster. Now, yet again, our beloved Silver and Black is in rebuilding mode. But let's not pull the plug on the future yet.
Now, I realize since the season ended there's been a lot to digest. The hiring of Reggie McKenzie from the Packers and his purge of most of the coaches and staff as well as whispers of a return to LA are the biggest. Yet and still, we have to wait and see what actually happens before passing judgement.
McKenzie, a former Raider, is fresh off of leading the Packers organization to an incredible renaissance post-Brett Favre. While he is changing the old guard in Oak-town, I don't believe in Hue Jackson's assertion that he's gutting the organization. I doubt Hue would feel that way if he wasn't canned.
McKenzie comes into the unenviable task of trying to right a ship that had been going the opposite direction for so long that it doesn't even know how to turn around. Its going to take tough decisions and patience. He's going to have to figure out how, if at all, Carson Palmer can be a long-term asset to the team and how to re-coup some draft pick in order to build for the future. Heavy stuff, huh?
The coaching carousel must also stop. There has to be a level of consistency in order for the team to solidify into a winner. It would help if the new coach was not an unproven assistant. We've tried that and it doesn't seem to work very well. What we NEED is a tough-as-nails coach who's been through the war as HEAD coach and knows how to win. If you know who that is, please forward his name and number to Reggie.
I truly believe that McKenzie, a former Raider himself, is looking out for the team's best interest. If that means bringing in new blood from the outside, I'm okay with that. Al ran this team his way; now it's time for Reggie to run it HIS way.
In 2012, we shouldn't expect to see a Raiders squad as good as we did in 2011. That plan has been blown up. Now it should be about 2013 and beyond. Don't get me wrong; I would hate to see Tim Tebow and his cast of misfit toys back into the playoffs again. But I'm thinking about something loftier than just a playoff berth. I want Super Bowl banners. Multiple. So if it means enduring more overhauls and a couple more sub-par seasons...that's the price you pay for greatness.