The Oakland Raiders have successfully earned their way out of the bottom half of the NFL. Clearly the Raiders have not achieved all of their goals, but they have made improvements and will be going into the off-season with a good foundation to build on.
For the last eight years, the Oakland Raiders have had off-seasons that can only be described as a bull in a china shop. Trust me I was there.
With so many coaching changes, and a list of the players that didn't want to be there, the critical off-season has not been as productive as needed.
The Raiders have been caught up in the so called "rebuilding process" for the majority of the last decade. In order to rebuild a team, the organization and the players must gain knowledge and power from the previous season and move forward with it.
The Raiders couldn't do this because of the constant coaching changes, and as much as we would like to think that a new coach can just pick up where the last coach left off, it doesn't work that way.
For all of you that don't agree, listen up.
From the outside looking in, every NFL team will always give the appearance of having a great off-season. NFL teams will do their best to keep up a positive image, knowing that any negative press about the team could hurt ticket sales. People forget the business side of the NFL, and in all of my years of being a fan, I have never heard of any team having a bad off-season and reporting to the fans about it. It's not good for business. A positive spin will always come out in the end, even if a team does in fact have a poor off-season.
The final record of a team will always tell you the truth about who had a good off-season and who didn't.
The 49ers reported this year to have had one of the best off-season that the organization has ever had. At 5-10 I think it's safe to say that somebody miscalculated their own effectiveness, and I expect that someone on the 49ers coaching staff will lose their job this year.
Tom Cable is responsible for the productivity of the Raiders' off-season, and with their 7-8 record, most will tell you that he has eared another year as head coach. He started this year off with an incredible draft class that he and Al put together, who were responsible for at least half of all the victories this year.
Tom hasn't made very good choices with the offensive line due to his personal attachment to some of the players, which has caused many of the players to question Tom and his philosophy. But, he has manged to keep the players together despite the mixed opinions about him.
What it comes down to is winning and nothing else, and the Raiders are playing in a fashion that gives them a better chance to win games.
Even in the loss to Indy, the Raiders still made it very entertaining to watch and had a chance to take the game.
With improvements to Oakland's offensive line this team will be dangerously good. I am very excited for what is coming to Raider nation.
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