Frustration, embarrassment, and rage have overcome the faithful fan base of the Oakland Raiders. I have read and written countless articles about what should happen with regard to ownership, general management and coaching. Perhaps, what is needed is a plea to the 53 men chosen to represent our organization for the 2009 season.
What does it mean to be an Oakland Raider? It means you should carry yourself with a swagger that is unmistakable. It means that you work harder and prepare better. It means you win at all costs and never help an opponent up after you beat him down. It means you intimidate and dominate.
All of you were chosen to contribute to the legacy of one of professional sports most successful franchises. We cannot change the simplistic offensive and defensive schemes that have been implemented with the arrival of our new coaching regime. We can only plea for you to run them to the best of your ability.
When you line up against the opposition, you must play as if it were your last game as a professional football player. The world thinks you are not good enough. Your heart and desire to win are being questioned by your colleagues. Its time to stop blaming Coach Cable and Al Davis. Its time to take a long hard look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are giving your all to the Oakland Raiders and their fans.
It is time to look inside and ask yourself, Am I a loser or a champion? No one can make you believe. You are all grown men and at the end of the day you control your own destiny. You can either choose to be part of the worst team in Oakland Raiders history or be part of one of the most miraculous turn arounds in NFL History. It's your legacy, do with it what you will.
Everyone saw how you came out of the gate against San Diego, and we were all believers. So McFadden is down, and your offensive line is banged up. Langston Walker is back and might be able to remind some of you what it's like to be on a winning team in Oakland. Michael Bush and Justin Fargas are more than capable of carrying the load. Ride them right into the playoffs. It all starts up front. Many of you are career back-ups and this is an opportunity for you to make a name for yourself.
Chaz Schillens is set to make his return to the starting lineup this weekend. Do yourselves a favor. Mimic his style of play. Exhibit the same wreckless abandon he shows on every play and you will find yourselves in the midst of a push to overcome mediocrity.
Get behind your quarterback and encourage him. Block for him and catch the ball when he throws it to you. His lack of confidence is forcing him to hold the ball too long and leading to sacks and turnovers.
Most importantly, take care of the football. We cannot win games if we have careless turnovers and leave the defense on the field for 45 minutes a game.
It's time to make the decision to turn this thing around. For your fans, for your coaches and for yourselves. Understand what it is to be a Raider. Buckle up and hit the Eagles in the mouth time and time again. Play 60 minutes of inspired football and give us something to cheer for.
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