Oakland Raiders: Will Win With Bruce Almighty

Colin MehiganCorrespondent IMarch 1, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 13:  Bruce Gradkowski #5 of the Oakland Raiders stands on the sideline during their game against the Washington Redskins at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 13, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Given Al Davis’ track record, anything is possible for the Raiders in the upcoming NFL Draft and the imminent Free Agency period.

As ever the Raiders have many gaps to fill and positions to upgrade. Coming off yet another abysmal season one wonders if (not when) the Raiders will ever start to win football games again.

The re-signing of Bruce Gradkowski is the single key event that Al Davis must undertake this off-season. The Pittsburgh native may have only played in a handful of games last season but he showed leadership, poise, stability, and a natural football instinct when playing the position of quarterback.

Competent quarterbacks are difficult to come by in the NFL and in his short stint under center Gradkowski showed the composure and will to win that would guarantee competitiveness for the franchise on a weekly basis going forward into next season and beyond.

Similarly protecting Gradkowski should be Mr Davis’ second most important undertaking for the spring of 2010.

The Raiders could go in a number of directions in the Draft but the acquisition of offensive linemen is the tactic that I believe to be crucial to Oakland’s success. Whether we draft Anthony Davis (Rutgers), Russell Okung(Oklahoma State) or Trent Williams (Oklahoma) is secondary to the fact that the Raiders quite simply need to draft quality offensive linemen—And plenty of them at that.

These guys are the foundation of every single successful football team. The Raiders need to adopt this mindset vehemently.

The Oakland Raiders can win with Gradkowski and win soon. It is my belief, on what I saw in 2009, that constructing the team around the former Toldeo quarterback is now the winning approach Mr Davis must support and the franchise direction to be adopted.