Is the Raiders' Time in Football Purgatory Over Yet?

Raider BobContributor IMarch 23, 2008

As I sit here in my office, I gaze amazingly at my framed 2002 AFC Champion Oakland Raiders team photo.

Why am I amazed?

Is it that a shlub like Bill Callahan was able to take this team to a Super Bowl? Is it that only two players (Sea Bass and Lechler) are the only remaining members left on our current roster?

No, as I look at that team photo, I cannot help but notice what I perceive to be an undeniable mediocre bunch of players. Jon Ritchie, Marquis Walker, Randy Jordan, Chris Cooper, Frank Middleton, and Roland Williams. All key members that helped us win the AFC, but more importantly, very replaceable athletes that could be forgotten quite easily.  

I contend that this year's squad has every bit as much talent as that, but what is missing is cohesion and a sense of stability. I'll be the first to admit that JaMarcus has to make quantum leaps to be mentioned in the same sentence as Rich Gannon. But with that being said, I can't help but feel excited about the possibilities this team can pose.

I realize that Fargas and Tommy Kelly might have been overpaid to stay, but word I'm getting is they wanted to remain in Oakland. As soon as the wins come, free agency won't be the most exciting time to be a Raider fan.

I'm hopeful that we can start to develop a little something called chemistry and the term "Raider Nation" will include most of the players.

Is 9-7 an unrealistic dream for this year’s team? I really don't think so in this extremely weak division. Hell, let's go for 11-5! Can't wait to get this year's team photo.