The Oakland Raiders, one of the most storied franchise's in the history of the NFL. One of the most loved by it's fans, and hated by everyone else's. The Silver and Black, the helmeted man with the crossed swords behind his head, the tradition, the envy, the commitment to excellence.
Every fan in Raider Nation wants to know if this is the year they turn it around. Every year we hope it is, but alas, we are once again disappointed.
This year, however, actually may hold some promise. We have come not to expect things that are not realistic, although it may be troubling to accept.
Is it realistic to think that these Raiders can win this division this year? The simple answer is no. The hopeful answer is probably not.
The San Diego Chargers are still better on paper, and frankly, have been better in execution of basic football.
So we always hope and are let down. We come to not hope for much at all. We are not deterred, we should be, but we are not. We should feel like Lions or L.A.Clippers fans, but we don't.
We see the potential. We see the last six years as rebuilding. We see it as an opportunity to take advantage of the Cream of the Round draft picks, if you will. What I mean by that is having the early pick in every round of the draft for the last six seasons.
In spite of what the experts say, we fans know that we have had some great later round draft picks. Johnny Lee Higgins, Trevor Scott, Kirk Morrison, Thomas Howard, Zach Miller, Tyvon Branch, Chaz Schilens, and Michael Bush just to name a few.
This team has so much young talent. Some might call it loaded. I read an article the other day, written by Jonah Lathbury, called Al Davis vs. Bill Belichick in the draft room. It was a very well thought out article that I recommend you read.
The simple fact I learned from this article is that Belicheat doesn't have many hidden gems. Al Davis has actually had better drafts when you really sit down and look at the picks. Davis just hasn't had the same head coach since 2000.
I don't think anyone in their right mind would look at this roster and not see the potential. I think if some of the more successful league coach's had this roster they might jump for joy.
So, the problem is not necessarily the players, but the way in which the head coaching position has been a revolving door. Not being able to find the right fit since the departure of the much loved human "chucky" doll, Jon Gruden.
Enter Tom Cable, a man who idolized the Raiders when he was growing up. Perhaps the only guy, in his right mind, who actually wants to work with crazy old Al Davis.
Here is a man who has genuinely turned this into a team over the 12 games he coached last season. He has more wins than any of those revolving door coach's other than Norv Turner. One more to tie, two more to pass, if you're wondering.
A guy who may be the skeleton key to fit all of our mental locks.
So with this glimmer of hope, this last light trying to shine through an abysmal, apparently never ending hole that this team is falling into, I give you 10 predictions that I, as a Raider fan, hope to see happen this year.
And some that i have no doubt will happen. Time is the ultimate truth of these predictions. If more than half come true I want kudo's. If less than half come true I want no credit. LOL! Enjoy!