A Silver & Black Team?

jeremy barilCorrespondent IJune 28, 2009

ALAMEDA, CA - MAY 08:  Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable watches his team during the Raiders minicamp at the team's permanent training facility on May 8, 2009 in Alameda, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Team – A group organized to work together

While watching the post-Jon Gruden Oakland Raiders,one notices that the players have too often missed assignments and lacked the drive to finish plays off. Overall, they seemed to be playing for their contracts rather than being members of a team.

It’s been a miserable six years, but I finally saw hope last season once Lane Kiffin was fired and Tom Cable was named interim head coach.

Cable inherited a disorganized team. Last offseason, and up until Kiffin's firing after the fourth game of the season, the team seemed in disarray.

The Oakland squad that Cable inherited was among another group of players that didn’t play as a team and tended to fold when they had nothing to play for.

Combined with taking care of his players, he also realized he had to cut or bench players who weren’t doing what was necessary for the team (and instead, what was bad for the environment he was creating).

DeAngelo Hall was a major bust in the man scheme and was released halfway through the season. Gibril Wilson was released because he was poor in coverage and had a bad attitude. Ronald Curry was released because he had a bad attitude and couldn’t hold on to the ball.

This past offseason, we’ve seen no drama, solid free agent additions, smart player releases, and players we would expect the Raiders to draft. We haven’t seen  players being arrested, asking to be traded, wanting new contracts, or players complaining about the system.

He hired head coaches who are great teachers with successful histories in the NFL. Cable and his new defensive coordinator John Marshall are on the same page—something Lane Kiffin and Rob Ryan weren’t ever on during the past two seasons.

This has changed the atmosphere and has provided a better team environment.

Cable has finally created a team. When players are openly stating that Cable would do anything for them and professing their love for him,  then I at least know this team is moving in the right direction.

Seeing how the team performed during the back to back wins over Houston and Tampa Bay, and how they have acted his offseason, I believe we’ll finally see an organized group of players playing as a TEAM.

Teams that win in the NFL are organized and play as a team—not as a group of players. Tom Cable is the man for the job and has built a team.