It seems to me as if every single season, Raiders fans (including myself) are always saying: "The silver & black is back!" Obviously for the last few seasons that has never happened. However, this could be the moment we have been waiting for.
Think about it, we have stability at the quarterback position, we just finished the best draft we've probably had in years, and to add confidence we still have the same coach as we did previous years. Along, with the fact that we don't have to worry about a franchise quarterback sucking up all of the big bucks.
I'm not saying Super Bowl but, could this be it? The end of a losing era in the Oakland Raiders organization? With this coming season aboard, there are certainly high hopes.
The Raiders have played this off-season very smart.
They have brought in proven players that they know can contribute to the team. Unlike Javon Walker and DeAngelo Hall, the Raiders have brought in solid players such as John Henderson and Jason Campbell. Certainly, they both have had above average careers, at the most, on other teams but have been solid nonetheless.
Campbell brings in a much needed boost to the offense by making players on the team better. Rookie failure Darrius Heyward-Bey has looked like a star in previous OTA's and has been looking more like the first round pick they expected him to be.
The Raiders are a totally different team without JaMarcus Russell behind center. Heck, they stayed very close in games that Bruce Gradkowski started, including impressive wins against the Steelers and Bengals. My point is that without Russell, the Raiders are now an average team that can compete in games.
Another thought is how much the Raiders took the time to think before they drafted players this year.
They drafted solid players they wanted in earlier rounds, such as Bruce Campbell and Jacoby Ford. However, they got them in later rounds. Lamarr Houston has been a force so far and is a solid tackle to go along with Henderson.
Rolando McClain is a freak, point blank.
I loved this pick because he's a leader to the defensive side. This was a need the Raiders were looking to address since the departure of Kirk Morrison to Jacksonville. He's also a dedicated player to the game of football. Have you ever heard of a player that got a playbook mailed to him the day after the draft?
That's commitment to excellence
With that said, I feel the Raiders can make a push to finish at 8-8 or 9-7.
That might not sound too good, but after the last few years this will be a huge milestone the franchise has been looking for. With the Chargers having contract issues with Jackson and McNeil, the Raiders could take that as a blessing to get further ahead in the division.