Horrible or Just Young? The Real Oakland Raiders

jeremy barilCorrespondent ISeptember 10, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 29:  Quarterback JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders passes against the New Orleans Saints during an NFL preseason game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 29, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

After reading several recent articles with regards to how horrible the current Oakland Raiders and why the trading of a 2011 first round pick is a waste because it’s basically guaranteed the Raiders will have a top 5 pick in that draft are completely misinformed and know nothing about the talent on this team.

One thing no one really mentions is how young and talented these Oakland Raiders are, especially on offense. The current starters 25 and under are Jamarcus Russell (24), Darrius Heyward-Bey (22), Darren McFadden (22), Zach Miller (23), and Mario Henderson (24).

The starters on offense average age are 25.7 and consist of a whopping 3.5 years of starting experience.

Al Davis has completely rebuilt this team since he fired Art Shell following the 2006 season. It’s very young, but also very talented and set to be together for the next 10 years. Throw in Michael Bush, Brandon Meyers, Johnnie Lee Higgins, Louis Murphy, and a few other players on offense and you are looking at a team that’s loaded and going to be a team to be reckoned with in the near future once things click.

On defense the Raiders have a bunch of unknown players who deserve more recognition but can’t because they play on a team that hasn’t won. If the defensive line wasn’t a sieve Kirk Morrison and Thomas Howard would become well known players, but until the team does anything they’ll struggle. Nnamdi Asomogha is the best cornerback in the game and Chris Johnson proved to be a solid starter opposite him last year after team cut DeAngelo Hall.

It’s interesting if you actually look into why a team is or has been recently. Often with teams who have had success over the lifetime of the organization and are in the playoffs every decade you know you’ll see things improve over time. I’ve the watched the Raiders win a Super Bowl. I’ve seen them in the playoffs in 3 decades of my life. I have plenty of reason to be optimistic. History repeats itself.

Once Richard Seymour figures out New England wants nothing to do him and that “it’s just business,” he should come to the conclusion the Raiders are a young team in need of direction and leadership.

The Raiders aren’t going to be a top 10 drafting team in 2011 if Jamarcus Russell continues to improve and the talent that has been built around him continues to grow. Richard Seymour could be walking into a great situation if he only opened his eyes.