The Raiders were once one of the leagues most feared teams.
They were known for bringing in players other teams deemed outcasts, has-beens, head-cases and criminals.
Yet with this cast of so-called mis-fits they were able to win.
The Raiders were once labeled as the leagues criminal element, neighborhood bullies and as a cast of mis-fits.
Now they're seen simply as a group of mis-fit athletes and track-stars.
Look at some of the great Raider head-cases and criminals we've had: Jon Ritchie, Greg Biekert, George Atkinson, Jack Tatum, Barret Robbins, Bill Romanowski, Darrell Russell, and the list goes on and on.
Then there are the outcasts we've brought in who succeeded in Silver and Black: Charlie Garner, Rich Gannon, Rod Woodson, Jim Plunkett, Jerry Rice, and again the list goes on and on.
Fast forward to today and the Raiders criminal element and mis-fits are all but gone.
The closest thing they have to criminals are a coach with a temper, a running-back who apparently had too much fun in college and a kicker with a slight drinking problem.
All law abiding citizens compared to the likes of George Atkinson, Kenny Stabler, Bill Romanowski, Darrell Russell.
Then there's the outcasts from other teams...The Raiders have two: a defensive end with an arthritic knee, and a receiver with a troubled past and more knee surgeries than he can count.
It wouldn't hurt if the Raiders tried to re-acquire the criminal element the Steelers once accused the Raiders of having.
Tank Johnson for example, sure he has been labeled a as a criminal, but he would do wonders for the Raiders defense.
Michael Vick...Yeah, our QB situation has been that bad. Michael Vick would help the Raiders even if used as nothing more than a gimmick.
The main reason Gradkowski had some success behind the Raiders o-line is because of his mobility.
Donte Stallworth or Plaxico Burress? Either one would be a huge upgrade to the Raiders receiving core. Show me a fan who disagrees and I will show you a homer.
Adam "Pacman" Jones? I'm not calling him a shut-down corner, but could he be any worse than Stanford Routt?
Then there are all those head-cases and out-casts who could help the Raiders.
Antonio Bryant. He seems to be be on a downward trend. But it can be argued that's due to the lack of a supporting cast he has in Tampa Bay. It was just two years ago he put up 1,200+ receiving yards.
Maybe the Raiders are going the wrong direction bringing in high character guys.
Maybe its time to bring in the kind of players that once brought success to the silver and black and struck fear into opponents:
The journeymen veterans other teams have giving up on.
The head-cases and cut-throat defenders.
The players who enjoy bleeding from the forehead
Football is a violent sport in order to play, or at least be successful, you need to be a bit of a head-case and have a bit of a criminal element. And like the saying goes, "nice guys finish last."
These characteristics are one of the things that have been missing from the Raiders the last seven year. If the Raiders want to win one step is bringing in more players like: Jon Ritchie, George Atkinson, Jack Tatum, Bill Romanowski, and countless other Raider greats.