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Oakland Raiders: 5 Things Silver and Black Must Do to Be Real Contenders

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Oakland Raiders: 5 Things Silver and Black Must Do to Be Real Contenders
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

After a roller coaster 2011 campaign that saw the Oakland Raiders one win away from their first playoff berth in a decade, the upcoming season will be a challenge for the Silver and Black to return to the glory days the late Al Davis once reveled in.

The Raiders have been a team with a culture unlike any other.

From their dedicated and colorful fan base, to their undisciplined style of play and Davis' famous slogans like "Commitment to Excellence" and "Just win Baby," the Raiders are one of the most recognizable franchises in the world.

The 2011 season featured first-year head coach Hue Jackson and his undeniable will to win, the loss of a pioneer owner, injuries to their starting quarterback and running back and a glimmer of hope this could finally be the time the Raiders were relevant in the NFL once again.

Now, a new look has arrived in Oakland.

New G.M. Reggie McKenzie has selected former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen to lead the Silver and Black in 2012, and with "Peyton Manning" sweepstakes finally ending with his arrival in Denver, the Raiders have a tough task staying competitive in a very tight AFC West.

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