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Maybe Al Davis Ain't So Crazy After All

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 23:  Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis speaks during a news conference introducing new Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin on January 23, 2007 in Oakland, California. Kiffin, a 31 year-old offensive coordinator from the University of Southern California, was named as the new head coach to replace Art Shell who was fired after going 2-14 for the season.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
jared shopeContributor IJune 16, 2009

Okay, Okay. I know I'm trying something a little crazy here, but I want to attempt to explain why I think Al Davis isn't as crazy as everybody says he is. 

Yes, he's probably the hardest owner to work for in the NFL. Yes, he's got a philosophy all his own and he's not giving up on it. And yes, the Raiders have gone 22-70 since getting their ass' handed to them by Tampa Bay. But, hey, Barret Robbins blames himself for that.

So far this year, they have brought in awesome leadership and a couple of veterans who actually have something left in the tank. Lorenzo Neal is great. He will be the biggest impact on the running game being more explosive. He's blocked for tons of 1,000 yard rushers and will be able to teach Oren O'Neal.

Jeff Garcia was probably the best QB on the market and he's been successful everywhere he's played. If Russell flops or gets hurt, they got a real pro to step in his place. Hopefully, Russell views Garcia as an ample asset—someone that can help him learn to read defenses and how to become a better player.

Greg Ellis and Keith Davis. Both will contribute but in much different ways. Ellis will be a pass rusher like Kalimba Edwards—the different Ellis is a much better player. Davis will be a big part of the special teams. 

The Cowboys released or waived Davis three times like the last four years, every time bringing him back. He's going to be an ace on special teams, much like Jarrod Cooper was.

Davis has been much smarter this year, especially with his money. 

Most of the money spent was spent in-house on players like Nnamadi and Lechlar (Thank God!!). They signed other vet's like Kalif Barnes, Erik Pears, Ryan Boschetti all for pretty cheap. 

The Raiders won't be in the Super Bowl, but I bet they win more then six games and, at worst, finish 7-9.

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