I have read and written article after article about the new look of the Silver and Black, the positive directions the Raider have taken such as the NFL draft, the addition of Hue Jackson, the retaining of coach Tom Cable and the improvements to the defense and offensive line this season.
However if you look closely you will notice that many writers will say...provided Chaz Schilens stays healthy, or if Darren McFadden stays healthy.
The Oakland Raiders have looked much improved recently. In fact, since the release of JaMarcus Russell and the addition of Jason Campbell, this team looks spectacular.
But in all reality, the team needs to look at the talent that has been stable. Lately there has been alot of talk about what a healthy Schilens can do for the Raiders offensively. Yet, recently in practice he was sidelined because of the "glass slipper". In fact he didn't play much last season because of his foot.
I would have to say that Louis Murphy, who remained healthy last season, will be the Oakland Raiders number one receiver. I am basing this off his play from last season.
Secondly is RB Darren McFadden. McFadden was signed to do a whole lot more than what he has done. In fact, this will be his year to prove the naysayers wrong. Yet in most articles written, there the saying "If he can stay healthy".
Can the Oakland Raiders win if Schilens/McFadden are hurt?
Last season McFadden was hurt and Michael Bush, who remained healthy, was able to show his strengths. Bush is a solid RB!
I believe that Bush will be the primary Raider RB. McFadden will really have to prove himself this season and stay healthy. McFadden has great catching ability and should have opportunities this season but for my money I'm relying on the proven running skills of Bush.
The Oakland Raiders have had players that worked hard all last season and stayed healthy i.e. Higgins, Huff, Branch, Asomugha, Seymour, Bush,etc. These players showed the glimmer of brightness that still shines in Oakland. Yet for the Raiders to be successful and make the playoffs we need players that are not injury prone. The Raiders need players who play smart.
Chaz Schilens and McFadden have this season to show what they were drafted for and thats to win games. To do that they need to remain healthy and play every weekend. The Raiders have a great shot at a title run in 2010 but as I've mentioned prior, all the players need to be on the gridiron and they need to punish opponents.
In memory to Raider legends Gene Upshaw and Jack Tatum the Oakland Raiders need to play hard like these men and bring back the Raider tradition of WINNING. In memory to these men, the Oakland Raiders need to "Commit to Excellence".