"Pride and Poise", "Commitment to Excellence", these slogans were said at a time when Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders dominated the NFL. In recent times there are no new mottos except for the 2000 SB run when "The Silver and Black were Back!" It has been too long since the Oakland Raiders have "committed to winning'.
When Jon Gruden left the Oakland Raiders it seemed that the "magic' simply left. Rich Gannon, Charles and Rod Woodson and Tim Brown all performed well under Jon Gruden The guy was a maniac, "Chucky".
Enter Tom Cable. There is a new positive attitude in Oakland since the hiring of Tom Cable.This is the turnaround the Oakland Raider have needed and its' getting things back to normal. The Oakland Raiders are in open waters this season and on the prowl for payback and wins.
Sadly, many of us remember the coaching staff since postGruden: Norv Turner, Art Shell and the "I'm gonna get you back Al" Lane Kiffin. Was there a "Committment to Excellence" for any of these coaches?
I can only say Art Shell. Although Art Shell was not the leader he years back, he was a solid coach and believed in the Raiders. Art Shell had a history here and will always be the great HOF player, who alongside Gene Upshaw, broke down defensive walls for the Oakland Raiders. I really felt his heart was there but he was just not right for the team. Shell, like Al Davis, has football in his veins.
Norv Turner and Lane Kiffin were just not in sync with Al Davis. Norvs lips never moved and he was definitely no Tom Landry.
When I watch Tom Cable on the sidelines yelling at the players or patting them on the back, I can tell, he wants to win this game! He is very competetive and he gets the job done. We have already seen what he did postseason for the Raiders and Jon Gruden.
How about the Oakland Raider assistant coaches?
Jim Milchazik, is an awesome offensive coach and comes in with great stats. He coached for the winning Cal Bears and is a former freind of Tom.
The defensive coach John marshall comes from the Seattle Seahawks and enters his 30th season as an NFL assistant coach. John Marshall helped train a defense that ranked second in sacks from 2005-07 with 136. So far the coaching staff looks decent.
As for the Oakland Raider players, they look absolutely hungry. This is not the team that has been in the media for management issues or players simply complaining. I am sure many of you remember the Randy Moss and Jerry Porter soaps.
I can't really blame either player. Collins threw horribly to Moss and exposed him to un-needed hits. Jerry Porter just never got the chance to be a No. 1 reciever. He excelled at burning the Denver Broncos', Champ Bailey.
Regardless, the 2009 team seems to be in total synchronicity. Reminds me of the Gannon years. Tom Cable and staff have the players they need to make winners of the Oakland Raiders.
We all know the Jamarcus Russell factor, from what I have seen, he offers alot in terms of playability, leadership and youth. He also has a great teammate in Jeff Garcia. I still feel that Jeff Garcia could be another Plunkett.
Jamarcus Russell however, should have no problem becoming a top five rated QB in the NFL. Jamarcus has a lot to prove since there are many who say he is a bust. This is in no way true.
In fact it's the opposite, JaMarcus has a line of RB's that will make his task all the more easier than most NFL Qb's. Jamarcus does not have the skills of Rich Gannon but he has great size, mobility and a very very impressive arm. Jamarcus knows what is expected from him and thats to win games and play wisely. After two seasons , he is ready than any AFC West QB. Jamarcus will be surprising a lot of people this year.
The Oakland Raiders have an elite corp of young stars at virtually every position. Cable must insure that the pieces work. Only as a unit will the Raiders blow opponents out of the waters. "The Autumn Wind is a Raider".
The offensive secondary is filled with hard hitting ballhawks i.e. Mitchell, Howard, Asomugha, and Johnson. Remember Rod or Charles Wooodson?
Nnamndi Asomugha is another playmaker who is bound for a repeat Pro Bowl. Asomugha is the best CB out there. It's an ideal situation for Darius Bey to practice against Nnamndi.
Reviewing the Oakland Raider schedule, the Road to Glory is realistic. In fact the Silver and Black have an excellent chance this year to redeem seasons lost since Gruden and Gannon. Those days are gone however, and now we have the Cableman, Russell, McFadden, Bush, Higgins, Asomugha, Morrison, Howard, Burgess, Ellis, and..well you get the point. This team is simply new, young and has the playmakers that can "Just Win Baby."
The Oakland Raiders appear "Committed" in 2009 and the Road to Glory is around the corner. There are just too many pluses for the Oakland Raiders this year. The Oakland Raiders had basically hit rock bottom and the rivals (haters included) laughed.
I really don't hear to much laughing now. All the right pieces are working well in Oakland and there will be a lot said on the gridiron as to whether the Raiders are Ready to Roll.
Raidernation, prepare for ball jarring hits, mad blitzing and sacks!! We have been out of play too long and it's time to "Return to Glory"! The Oakland Raiders have only one way to go from rock bottom and baby its up! So sit back and enjoy the ride because the Silver and Black is Back!