Its been a tough, tough road for the Oakland Raiders. For over three decades the Oakland Raiders represented tough, fierce football. During that span they grew a fanbase that stands above all in the NFL. The Oakland Raiders represented greatness in days past but in recent times has been abyssmal.
The dark years came for the Oakland Raiders in the early 2000 years. After a decent 90's season the Raiders led by coach Jon Gruden and QB Rich Gannon made the playoffs consecutively. These were great times for the Oakland Raiders and its fans. The Oakland Raiders then released coach Gruden and after a spectacular season the Raiders were forced to face it former coach and lost to the Tampa Buccaneers in SB XXXVII. It was not a pretty game at all.
Since that time the Raiders have gone through horrendous times. They have added new coaches with repeated disappointment. In frank its been a very disappointing nine seasons for the Oakland Raiders and yet the fans still believed that they could be revived.
That time has finally come. The losing spell should be lifted this season. The Oakland Raiders have a team that will surprise many in the upcoming months. How so? Lets begin with the management.
Coach Tom Cable ( under Al Davis of course) has done his best to build a winning team and in fact has some pretty good wins under his belt now. There have been many games that the Raiders were considered the underdog. In fact all of them. But Tom Cable seems to bounce back and the Raiders managed to win.
This season however gives Tom Cable and the Oakland Raider organization a plausible shot at the playoffs. One huge reason is that Tom Cable has remained the coach and the players have played hard for him as we have seen in last seasons games.
Of course we all know about the JaMarcus Russell disaster. This is such a pivotal position and JaMarcus was supposed to do well in Oakland. So the only thing left to do was get a new QB. Enter Bruce Gradkowski and Jason Campbell. Both of these young QBs can get the job done in Oakland and have the WR's available to do the job.
When you hear names like Asomugha, Miller, Bush, McFadden, Murphy, etc its hard to figure out why the Raiders are so underrated. But understandably they Raiders have a sterotype against them and owner Al Davis. The haven't been recognized as a real team because of the instability everywhere in past years.
This season however I expect players like Jason Campbell to excel because of the roster. The backfield is filled with talented players. Mcfadden has to play his best season ever. Michael Bush is a hard runner and should also have a great season. Zach Miller is an outstanding TE. Louis Murphy more than showed his skills last season. Chaz Schilens has and should once again be the threat he was downfield.
What about Darrius Heyward Bey? Reports from mini camp claim he has grown remarkably. This remains to be seen. If true in the regular season, then the Oakland Raiders may be the best offense out there provided the O-line gives Campbell the time needed to get the ball out of the pocket. (The running game will insure that.)
The Oakland Raiders have also done an outstanding job picking up Rolando McClain, Bruce Campbell and Jared Veldheer. Campbell and Veldheer were recently signed and McClain should be signed here soon. These players are strong, fast and will make a huge impact for the Silver and Black. In fact, the Raiders should be able to tear down opposing offenses with players like Seymour, Wimbley, Scott, etc, and I expect that the Raider secondary will thrive. In fact Tyvon Branch should have great fantasy numbers!
The Oakland Raiders should have no problem taking back AFC West title. The San Diego Chargers have dominated for sometime but those years are ending. For those who watched the Raiders take on San Diego last season it is easy to see that if the offense can stay on the field longer it can wipe out the San Diego cloud. This should be accomplished with Campbell and the running skills of McFadden and Bush. The Oakland Raiders will not be limited to the running game and will threaten all opponents.
The cog ( JaMarcus Russell) that hurt this team has been removed and this season the Raiders will have no problem making up for games past. Simply put, there is just to much talent for this team not to be taken serious. If opposing teams think they are playing against last seasons team then they have underestimated the Raiders and will lose.
One last mention will be the added coaching of Hue Jackson. Hue Jackson has a great resume and is the icing on the Silver and Black cake. It has been nothing but positive actions for this Raider team in 2010. They will soon prove themselves to be the most improved team in the NFL and above all else I can guarantee that the Raiders will Return to Greatness!!!