I believe the Oakland Raiders might have a special group of young stars on this roster. For the next decade we might see the emergence of dominance that lifetime fans are used to. There is just too much talent for this mediocrity we have seen in the past six years.
On the offensive side of the ball, something incredible is waiting to happen.
It all starts with JaMarcus Russell. I have no question in my mind he can be the great quarterback we all want him to be.
He has every physical tool needed to be an elite QB in this league, but all the criticism points toward the lack of work ethic, and the mental part of his game.
He needs to understand that being a great QB in this league means not just staying in the film room an extra few minutes, but making sure you understand what everyone else is doing at all times, in every possible situation. If he can do that, he will be among the elite.
Then there is Darren McFadden. Greatness is in his future. He is fast, physical, and holds the ability to take this Raider offense to another level.
He averaged 4.4 yards per carry while suffering from turf toe, a nagging injury that has ended some careers. In comparison, Marion Barber averaged 3.7 YPC and LaDainian Tomlinson averaged 3.8 YPC, so I think that McFadden will be very solid at running back.
Michael Bush can be an unstoppable fourth quarter back, wearing down defenses much like Brandon Jacobs. He also averaged 4.4 YPC.
How about Zach Miller? He is going to be a Pro Bowler soon—maybe when Antonio Gates retires, maybe even next year.
If Miller can improve from last year, he will be considered a top-tier TE in the NFL, and with Brandon Myers taking the burden of blocking off Zach's shoulders, he'll be able to reach that goal.
We have a very solid group of young WRs that continues to improve. They are all very fast, which stretches the field. Honestly, if they went four or five wide with guys who can all run sub-4.4 40s, somebody is going to be open.
On to the defense...
Nnamdi Asomugha—need I say more?
Kirk Morrison and Thomas Howard are the most underrated players in the NFL. They are easily the best cover LBs in the NFL, but they may need to work on their run-stuffing abilities before they are thought of as elite LBs.
Hopefully Greg Ellis wises up and decides to play the SAM so I can stop having to watch Ricky whatever-his-name-is whiff on tackles.
Our D-line will determine the success of the defense this year. Hopefully John Marshall can put together something that can shut down the run so we can close out a game in the fourth quarter, or maybe even make a comeback.
If everyone can stay accountable, work hard, and live up to the huge expectations, the Autumn wind will take the NFL by storm next year.