Oakland Raiders Enter 2010 Season with a Chip on Their Shoulder
We all know that the Oakland Raiders as a team are eager to get on the field and prove that they aren't the same old Raiders that we've been watching since the last Super Bowl run. Let's take a look at some of the individual players who want to prove they can make a positive impact on their team.
Let's start at the quarterback position and go from there. JC, I am sure, has a huge chip on his shoulder going into this season. All he did in Washington was get better every season despite ownership playing musical chairs with the head coaches and offensive coordinators.
He then watched the 'Skins do all they could to acquire Donovan McNabb and was later traded for a mere 2012 fourth round draft pick.
Campbell is now on a team that is looking at him as the "savior," if you will. In Oakland, he will be embraced by Raider Nation, which is something he didn't experience with the 'Skins. I know he wants to show everyone that he can be a winner in this league and I can't wait to see him throwing bombs down the field this year.
The Dynamic Duo: Darren McFadden and Michael Bush
I'll start with McFadden. After being drafted fourth overall, he was looked at as the next Adrian Peterson. He has shown us flashes but just can't stay healthy. Word is that he is working on the things that hampered his career thus far and is poised for a breakout year.
Since JaMarcus Russell is no longer on the team, some started looking at McFadden as the next guy to label a bust. I am sure that he is going to want to prove his naysayers wrong.
All Michael Bush has done for the Raiders is patiently wait his turn and then produce big time when he got his opportunity. Now that Justin Fargas is out of the rotation, it opens the door for Bush to get his fair share of carries on a consistent basis. He was quoted in a recent article saying, "It is my time."
Man, I can't wait to see Bush and D-Mac run wild on the rest of the league.
Big John Henderson
You know this beast is going to want to prove he can still get it done. The Jaguars released the former Pro Bowl defensive tackle, thinking his better days were long gone. He may not be the same player he was five years ago, but you better believe he can still be a disruptive force in the middle.
I've always liked John Henderson. He is one of those guys that keeps the team fired up and is very vocal. He, along with Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly, and Lamarr Houston are going to form one of the scariest defensive lines in the league. I can't wait!
Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy
After an unimpressive rookie year for the seventh overall pick, DHB went right back to work after the season ended. Reports had him working on his craft all offseason as well as adding about 10 pounds of muscle to his frame. Like McFadden, some started throwing out the bust label when talking about DHB. I know he is going to want to prove his critics wrong this year.
As for Louis Murphy, he was one of the bright spots in the passing game last year. He had a solid rookie year, but he knows he can be a lot better. There was a stretch of games when he was having trouble catching anything. He did come up big when the game was on the line and I am looking forward to Murphy getting better this season.
Murphy is one of those guys that is a winner and a perfectionist. No matter how well he plays, he always knows that he can get even better.
These two, along with Chaz Schilens, can end up being a very good wide receiver trio for years to come.
Kamerion Wimbley was a beast in college and had a big-time rookie year with the Browns, recording 11 sacks. Since then, his sack totals have gone down while he learned to play linebacker. Last season, he seemed to bounce back with decent numbers, but it wasn't enough for the Browns to keep him on the team.
The Raiders pulled off a trade for Wimbley to solidify the strong side linebacker position. I know he is going to want to show the Browns they made a mistake by using him the wrong way and then trading him to Oakland.
I am confident that John Marshall will unleash this guy on opposing quarterbacks. That's what Wimbley does best. I know he is looking forward to playing in the Silver and Black and showing everybody that he is one of the best when it comes to rushing the passer.
I want to finish with Al Davis. There hasn't been a lot to get excited about over the last seven years or so. This year feels different.
Al Davis has finally put together a team that will compete this year. Over the last few years, he has been the target of criticism because of some of the decisions he's made. He since has gotten rid of all the "dead weight" on the roster and filled it with guys that want to win and are willing to give it their all. He has put together a group of young yet very talented players with a few veterans to provide leadership and keep it all together.
Man, I can't wait for the season to get started. The team we have in place is clearly the best team we've had in years. Our offense finally has a quarterback to go with the weapons we've had. The defense has been reloaded with bigger and better players along the D-line and LB core.
THE SILVER AND BLACK ATTACK IS BACK. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!