I've always been intrigued by the Egyptians of way back. I look at the pyramids they were able to build with astonishment and find it very incredible that a civilization that roamed the earth back when Larry King was a baby were able to build such amazing structures.
I think of the time it took to build, the patience it took, and the brains it took. Each one of those massive pyramids that still stand today all started with a vision, and all started with one brick.
In 2006, the Raiders went 2-14 and earned the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft. The cupboard was empty on offense, the O-line was weak, and the skill position players were not very skilled at all.
No QB threw over 300 yards in 2006, and only once did a running back break 100 yards rushing. The Raiders had to start over and rebuild through the draft instead of free agency.
In 2007, the Raiders began building their structure when they drafted JaMarcus Russell, a tremendously physically gifted QB out of LSU. After four years of losing 11 games or more, the Raiders decided to draft the QB of their future. The vision was born, and the first brick was laid.
In 2008, the Raiders drafted Darren McFadden, an explosive running back out of Arkansas, with the fourth overall pick. The second brick had been laid.
In 2009, the Raiders drafted Darrius Heyward-Bey, the speedy wide receiver out of Maryland, with the seventh overall pick. The third brick was laid, and the structure started taking shape.
Other bricks began to emerge, and began solidifying the foundation.
Zach Miller, Louis Murphy, Trevor Scott, Matt Shaughnessy, Tyvonn Branch, Michael Huff, Chaz Schilens, Michael Bush, Mike Mitchell, and Nnamdi Asomugha.
Now there is a saying that Rome was not built in a day, and that stands true today. A team that is empty on the offensive side of the ball will not immediately become a contender when adding only one piece.
A home cannot be lived in without a roof; a Sham Wow is only a Sham without the Wow. Though you may know what the picture will look like with only a couple pieces left to finish, a puzzle is not complete until all the pieces are fully placed together.
The Raiders hold the No. 8 pick in the 2010 NFL draft, and it is obvious what position is left to be drafted. The final piece of the structure that was started in 2007. Raider fans have grown mighty impatient, and to a point have given up hope on a structure that is almost complete.
It reminds me of the biblical story of Moses when he left Mount Sinai to reach the promise land that was promised to his nation.
It took 40 years to get there and getting there was not easy. His nation rebelled against him at times, but Moses knew where he was headed and he knew he was going to get there.
This is the fourth year of the rebuilding process. This is the final year of the vision Al Davis had four years ago. The bricks are forming and starting to take shape.
Veterans are being released, and young guys are stepping up. The future is now, and the structure is almost complete. For the Raiders, 2010 will mark the return of a once proud nation.
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