Far too long have we all been relegated to sub-par Raider Football.
Do you feel that? It is the wind that is picking up by the black clouds with silver linings circling Oakland, ushering a new dawn to the faithful.
In these turbulent times a glimpse of darkness once more begins to engulf the NFL with signs of consuming all hope for teams around the league, also known as the return of "The Black Hole!"
So far it has been a foregone conclusion that this man is our best, according to the size of the contract he was rewarded a few years back. Now he is given the tools to be what he see's himself as and we get to find out if that is what we have been waiting for so long.
There is no more time to wait and see, it's now or never for Kelly. He owes Mr. Davis that much for the money and us fans for our loyalty.
Enter DE/DT Richard Seymour. His presence alone makes everyone on the team accountable.
If his plans include a long-term deal with the Raiders or not, he will have to perform much more consistently to get the type of contract he desires.
Ask and you shall receive!
Enter Lamarr Houston, a DT from the Longhorns who led a top-ranked defense against the run. Houston had better numbers than McCoy and is an extremely disruptive force in the backfield.
The Raiders are sliding him outside at DE to abuse opposing TEs.
The added beef and his uncanny ability to break plays will go a long way into putting the 29th ranked, 155.5 rushing yards per game behind us.
Let me introduce you to the fourth piece of the puzzle "BIG" John Henderson.
True, he is not what he once was, but if he is half the man he was and is able to spread his mean streak, fiery enthusiasm, and love of the game, mission accomplished!
We just need him to hold his ground and absorb the player who runs at him. Everything else will be bonus.
With limited reps, Matt Shaughnessy compiled four sacks and was the likely starter at DE in relief of Greg Ellis, who had seven sacks the year before.
The pecking order might have shifted. In either case, Oakland has an experienced yet young and formidable DE rotation with Lamarr Houston, Richard Seymour, Matt Shaughnessy, Jay Richardson, Greyson Gunheim, and rookie Alex Daniels.
When was the last time you could claim the DE position is strong and deep?
Before Kamerion Wimbley, we thought our weakness with LB was on the strong side. If only we could get a legitimate SAM LB, we would be great. Well, as it turned out, we were much more further away than a SAM LB to be capable of stopping the run.
We had the likes of Jon Alston, Isaiah Ekejiuba, and Sam Williams, all special teams standouts for sure, but not starting quality LBs.
As it turned out we had bigger issues with our front four and specifically our DTs. As you have seen, we have made positive strides with that position.
Wimbley represents a Raiders hybrid LB who can put his hand down and get to the QB ala Trevor Scott.
This young man tallied 11 sacks his first season in the league. If the Raiders can employ him like they did his first year and get anywhere that kind of productivity out of him, it would make who ever pulled the trigger on this guy a genius.
On a hole-riddled defense, Scott has been asked to do a lot of things to help his team.
He was drafted late in the 2008 draft as a DE with very little expectations, except for the ones Scott put on himself.
Since being drafted, all Trevor Scott has done was tie the NFL for most sacks by a rookie, lead his team in sacks for two consecutive years, and accumulate 12 sacks as a DE and OLB.
Undersized as a run-stopping DE and surpassing his role as a pass rush specialist, he was asked to be a starter at the end position only to then later start at WILL LB.
I don't need to get into him being the quarterback of the defense, nor do I need to get into his exceptional football instincts and IQ, nor is it necessary to go on about coach Nick Saban's rambling that this kid is his most NFL-ready player.
What I will mention is that it was very difficult to see Kirk Morrison be traded. The run problems were not his fault and everyone knows this. He has performed admirably for an out of position LB. Too bad I will never see him at the SAM spot next to McClain and Howard.
With the additions all around McClain, the Raiders, for the first time, should be strong against the run.
Thomas Howard has the speed to cover the fastest tight ends and running backs coming off the line, the strength to shed blocks and get to his assignment.
This guy is my favorite LB at this point. Some may say I have a man-crush on him, but the truth is I just think he is a baller.
To me, he would be our starting WILL LB rotating with Trevor Scott on pass plays.
Serviceable depth is provided by Quentin Groves and Ricky Brown.