With the free agency signing frenzy in the rear-view mirror and the 2009 NFL Draft less than four weeks away, the NFL has a rebirth on its hands - The Oakland Raiders commitment to excellence.
Go ahead ESPN and the rest of you skeptics, who say as long as Al Davis is in control, the Raiders will never win again. The Raider nation has heard that one before.
One simple transaction and one simple comment, both powerful, made last week by the Raiders bring clarity to this truth.
First, Cable convinced, yes convinced, Davis to trade for starting center Samson Satele, a second rounder two years ago by the Dolphins. Davis trusts Cable period, even after the Kwame Harris failure.
Not just with the O-line but the whole enchilada—he made him head coach didn’t he? Davis complied by trading away a sixth rounder and a flop of fourths to make this happen.
Ironically, Satele was replaced by our former center Jake Grove, who wanted to return to Oakland but was lured away by Parcells and a wad of guaranteed cash.
Did ESPN or NFL Network get up in Parcells or the Dolphins' Kool-Aid for “overpaying” for an injury-plagued player from one of the worst teams of 2008? Did they commend Davis for not overpaying? SHOCKER!!!! Sorry, I digress.
Cable and Davis—clear teamwork at its best; mutual respect and trust combined with a will to get the job done.
Second, Cable declared that he was pleased with the changes thus far in the offensive line’s progress and that offensive tackle is the area of greatest need heading into the draft. He also said, “Not necessarily with the seventh pick overall since the draft is deep at the OT position.”
Does this statement mean he will draft a tackle? Or does he mean trade for one? Or just develop one on their current roster? Or simply sign a rookie free agent?
Here’s my theory. Early on, one of the Raiders offseason goals was to add players to the offensive line with a couple of free agents and one through the draft. True to their strategy, they added Kalif Barnes and Erik Pears, both with left and right tackle starter experience through free agency.
Include the resigning of free agent G Cooper Carlisle, the trade for Satele and probably a rookie free agent or two (think Barry Sims) and they are set for 2009 without drafting a lineman.
One thing we all definitely know, Cable is not going to give away Davis’s strategy if he doesn’t want his new title to be former head coach.
So Raider Nation, whether you think the Raiders should choose a big sexy, Crabtree, Raji, Orakpo, Curry or trade down with the seventh pick, the power in these two simple events is clearly a boon.
Davis and Cable are working as a real team-not media lip service team.
Think Davis and Madden or Davis and Flores.
This team mentality at the top will transcend teamwork (or as Cable calls it: selflessness) throughout the organization. Together, they will ensure a return to greatness and a rebirth of a commitment to excellence in 2009!
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