The NFL season is getting nearer and if you are an Oakland Raider fan 2010 may prove to be a huge turn in the opposite direction. Opposite of what? Opposite of poor coaching, poor player performance and just watching the once elite Oakland Raider fall from grace.
I had written an article mentioning how the loyal Raider fans only had the shadow of the 60's, 70's, 80's and even 90's Oakland Raider teams to keep spirit alive. the shadow however was becoming weaker and weaker.
There were many times that the Oakland Raiders had imported so-called talent to get back to its pedestal, only to fall even farther and become the butt of opponent jokes.
Names like Aaron Brooks, Kerry Collins , Warren Sapp, Javon "knocked out " Walker , Lorenzo Neal, Randy Moss and even a number one NFL draft pick QB JaMarcus Russell were brought in to bring the team back. All huge failures. Randy Moss was probably a player the Raiders should have retained but Kerry Collins threw the ball and exposed Moss to serious damage by the San Diego Charger secondary and hope was lost.
As a fan of the Oakland Raiders it became more and more difficult to purchase opening game tickets ( 8 years) and only see a very, very weak defensive line crumble, an imaginary offense and watch QB's scramble to save their lives.
Art Shell even tried a comeback and actually I will always respect Art Shell. However the coaches underneath him were simply unworthy, particularly Mr.Bed and Breakfast. Then there was Lane Kiffin and I will simply stop there.
So what positive actions have the Raiders done to get it fans all riled up? Are the Oakland Raiders really back on track to becoming the elite team they had always been in the past?
The answer is yes! How so? To begin with the Oakland Raider had an amazing draft.
I am sure that the fans were simply astounded that Al Davis actually went out and got exactly what the team needed and that was lineman! I have been impressed with the roster so far. There is a lot of youth on the team and so far Michael Huff, Nnamndi Asomugha,Thomas Howard, Trevor Scott,Tyvon Branch and even Robert Gallery have become better and better. Kirk Morrison (traded) was also a great pick so regardless of what the naysayers say Al Davis knows what he is doing.
Of course we all know that JaMarcus Russell was a gigantic dissappointment to himself, the Raiders and the Raidernation. This season the Raiders have two competitve QBs in Bruce Gradkowski and Jason Campbell.
Then there's the Oakland Raider running backs. Michael Bush has been a solid RB and Darren McFadden has this season to really explode and become a fantasy player. The WRs will actually have the ball thrown to them accurately and this will make watching the Raiders play a thing of joy. Can they take the AFC West title though?
The Oakland Raiders have a very legitimate shot at taking the AFC West title provided 1) Jason Campbell makes the right plays and gets in sync with the WR's and TE Miller. 2) The offensive line give the QB time to position and throw. 3) The defensive line rushes opposing QBs.
All of the above areas appear to be stronger this season. The biggest marker for the team is retaining coach Tom Cable. Tom Cable was able to knock Tampa Bay out of the playoffs with JaMarcus Russell and left the season winning.
Tom Cable is a good coach and although many felt he was temporary, he showed heart and this season with two good QBs he should see a winning season. There is finally balance in Oakland and I will be buying my tickets here soon.
To all the loyal fans I have to say its been tough, real tough, but the Oakland Raiders will be stellar in 2010. Provided Oakland can defeat SD at least once this season then I would have to say the AFC West title belongs to the Oakland Raiders. I believe