I have noticed a disturbing trend amongst Raider Nation. Raider fans have a tendency to project players based on their potential. What "might," "should," or "could" happen. This leads me to the question, could the Raiders' supposed best offensive weapon Zach Miller be overrated?
I, for the record, would generally answer: hell no, are you crazy? But then when I realize that Zach Miller not only has not ever made the Pro Bowl, he's never won anything either, and has a mere seven touchdowns in three years. Ouch.
Some would blame it on the abysmal QB situation in Oakland over his career. Some would blame it on the Raiders' highly predictable, simpleton offense. Few attribute Miller's lack of dominance on Zach Miller himself. They say teams key on him and double team. I say it should be impossible to shut down the quarterback, running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers unless there is something wrong with the scheme.
Many Raiders have struggled under the Raiders' less than spectacular game-planning over this seven year slump. Randy Moss, Kerry Collins, Lamont Jordan, Dominic Rhodes, Javon Walker, Michael Bush, Darren McFadden, Warren Sapp, etc. etc.
At what point does the system get checked? I think 2010 could be that point. The Raiders have addressed virtually every main issue concerning the Nation over the past seven years. This is the make-or-break year. No more excuses. No more second year quarterbacks to dump the blame of an entire organization's dysfunction this year.
No more wife-beating scandals to deflect attention away from incompetence (I hope). No more blaming the middle linebacker for not tackling a running back eight yards downfield with a full head of steam from not being touched by nary a D-linemen. No more free rushes from the blindside (hopefully)
I'm calling out Zach Miller and his fans. I expect him to put up Antonio Gates/Chris Cooley/Jason Whitten-type number this year. He even has a quarterback who loves throwing to his tight end. Anything less than 1,000 yards and eight toucdowns would be a disappointment to Raider Nation. It's time for the "best offensive player" to step up.