The Raiders with the Most To Prove in 2009
Through years of criticism, including this year's draft, it's no secret the Oakland Raiders have a lot to prove. A few players have more to prove than others. Some have to prove they can still perform, while others need to show the critics they aren't busts or that they were worth being drafted that high. But on a team with so much to prove which individuals have the most to prove? Lets find out.
This former sack machine has been slowed by age and injury. He is on a contract year and some would say unlikely to be resigned next year. If he expects to be paid by another team next year he better do something to show he still has it this year.
He was the man in college, but the NFL is a different story. Here he has been a bust, a bench-warmer, a horrible tackler, an after thought, and just a weak spot in the raiders elite secondary. The Raiders even unsuccessfully tried to deal him away in this years draft. If he doesn't surprise everyone this year don't expect him in a Raider's uniform in the future.
All undrafted free agents
Specifically Frantz Joseph who was second in the nation in tackles with 156 but didn't make headlines because he transferred to Florida Atlantic in order to deal with a family crisis.
He needs to prove to everyone that he should have been invited to the combine and was worth a draft pick.
A hard hitting sure tackling beast of a safety out of Ohio. Kiper and Mcshay are fools for not knowing who this guy is. He will be that enforcer in the secondary the Raiders have missed for so long, with the ability to stop running backs in their tracks and strike fear into any receiver foolish enough to venture over the middle
He's yet to play one down in the NFL and already labeled a bust. But hey, at least he has the attitude, work ethic and combine results to warrant a first round pick. Don't be surprised when this speedster from Maryland has these so-called experts eating their words.
The Interior D-line
So far nothing has been done to improve our soft D-line Kelly is good Gerrard Warren can be good but the other two are suspect at best. Cable basically said he's counting on scheme depth and coaching to fix this glaring hole in our defense but will that be enough. Only if Sands or Joseph can step up their game, not to mention the whole unit.
Not just Khalif Barnes who was labeled as troubled in Jacksonville. But this goes out to all the offensive tackles. Specifically the one who starts at left as this has been a trouble spot on the Raider roster for years (probably since Lincoln Kennedy retired). My hopes are that Mario Henderson is the answer though some would say he is unproven with five starts at the end of last season.
He may be old and too weak to raise the hand he wears his SB rings on. But a lot of questions can be brought up about him: can he still run an NFL team, is he running the raiders into the ground, is he old and senile, and is it unwarranted how he seeks out players based on speed height and weight?
If you answered yes to all the questions above you are not a true Raider Fan and that is why Al needs to prove the critics wrong.
Haters are already calling him a puppet and a "yes man" to Al Davis by assuming he had nothing to do with the draft and isn't even running the team. He need to prove he is more than that and worthy of a head coach position not just an o-line coach
This guy bleeds silver and black and was born to be a Raider. He hits the hole with more heart and aggression than anyone around. But lately there have been questions of his durability and two young guns competing for his playing time. All this and the Raiders even had the nerve to offer him up as trade bait. He needs to prove that he is a worthy starter and can still perform.
He has been labeled a bust by many but still has many fans, coaching staff, and the Raider Nation as a whole behind him. If his performance over the last six games of last season don't continue into next season this year may be his last chance. He may be overshadowed by recent Raider news via the draft but he still has more to prove than anyone.