2010 Oakland Raiders Returning to Greatness with Key Additions

RaiderusMaxAnalyst IIDecember 28, 2010

2010 Oakland Raiders Returning to Greatness with Key Additions

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    LB Rolando McClain suplexes WR Danny AmendolaJed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    The 2010 season Oakland Raiders have done a great job improving performance with the addition of key personnel. The first position that needed upgrade was QB. QB JaMarcus Russell holds the record for world's greatest NFL Bust, and, unfortunately, he gained it coming to Oakland. The Raiders went out and enrolled a young Jason Campbell, who had a rough start in Oakland but in the end he has become a Raider Nation favorite.

    On both sides of the ball there have been key replacements and upgrading. Had it not been for some costly mistakes and losses this season, the Oakland Raiders were on their way to the playoffs. There was the missed field goal attempt by Sebastian Janikowski when the Silver and Black went to Arizona. That game should have been a win. Of course, the game at Jacksonville should have been another win, but the special teams  failed.

    Looking back, well, it's all over . The best part is that the team was competitive this season. Although the Raiders are no longer in the hunt, they made NFL history when they defeated the Denver Broncos 59-14. They also defeated the AFC West, 5-0, at this point. Hopefully 6-0 when they take on the Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday in Kansas.

    Let's look at the players who improved performance and who were added to get the Raiders back into playoff contention by Dec 21, 2012.

The NFL Best Cornerback Nnamndi Asomugha

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    WR Michael Crabtree speechless as the best CB in the NFL assist in catching the pigskinEzra Shaw/Getty Images

    This player is simply the best out there and has to be a "key addition" for the Oakland Raiders. With eight years of wearing Silver and Black,  Asomugha was once on the same team as CB Charles Woodson. Asomugha was still on the bench then.The NFL is fortunate that both did not remain because Asomugha shuts down his quarter of the field. It is rare for a QB to throw his way, as he is fast and has long arms. Had the Raiders not cut Charles Woodson, this duo would have been the ultimate. Ah to dream :)

    Since Nnamdi Asomugha got the starting CB position, he has been the best at it. He is a huge factor for the Silver and Black attack, and when he is not on the field, the team must play a lot harder. Nnamdi Asomugha and Shane Lechler are the two most reliable players for the Raiders.

    It's pretty obvious that Asomugha will return to the Pro Bowl and will become a Raider HOF if he continues to play at this level. Asomugha is the best, and who is this Revis character?

QB Jason Campbell

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    QB Jason Campbell makes history in Denver with a 59-10 win !!Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    JaMarcus Russell. Are you sick yet? Well, it was pretty obvious for the Oakland Raiders and the Raider Nation that JaMarcus Russell had to go. Poof?! He was gone.

    In the meantime, the Oakland Raiders had QB Bruce Gradkowski. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneer played well in the Oakland Raider offense with some huge wins, one in particular against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Enter QB Jason Campbell, who gets cut after the Washington Redskins decide that "Campbell's soup cover-boy" Donovan McNabb is their guy.

    Jason Campbell had a tough start in Oakland, as he lost his first game, then midway of his second game he was replaced by Bruce Gradkowski. Both QBs seemed to be fighting for the team and the praise from the fans.

    Gradkowski was later hurt and taken out for the season, leaving Campbell in total control. No questions now, Campbell gets the praise. Campbell has done a wonderful job and has made the fans of Oakland even more confident in him.

    Campbell will need improvement in his ball timing for a quicker release, but other than that he is mobile, and that seemed to be lacking at the start. Today's QBs need mobility, for example, Michael Vick, Tim Tebow, David Garrard, ghost of Rich Gannon boooo, etc.

    Campbell should have the starting QB position next season. He has made the Oakland Raiders a prouder organization (barring the loss in SF). He defeated the Denver Broncos, 59-14. I just love it.

Rolando McClain, Defensive Beast of the Raiders

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    Rolando McClain in pursuit of panicked Ben RothlesbergJared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Another huge improvement for the defense was the drafting of 6'3', 255-lb. Rolando McClain. The gods must favor the Raiders because this athlete is playing like a Hall of Famer!  The instant his feet touched the gridiron he became threatening to every player against him and is solid in his tackles and hits.

    Rolando McClain made a statement when he slammed WR Danny Amendola to the ground on their first meeting. Wanna meet the guy twice? Probably not, as he pounded RB Daren Sproles into a concussion and sent him into the locker room. McClain could be the next Ray Lewis.

    Rolando McClain currently has 55 tackles. McClain brings back the fierceness of the Raiders, and this is only his rookie season!!

Marcel Reece, The Silent WR/FB

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    Marcel Reece hops over the flailing defensive front of the ChargersJeff Gross/Getty Images

    At 6'3', 240 lbs, this second-year man from Washington has been a asset to the Oakland Raiders and should make a bigger name for himself against the Chiefs Sunday and in seasons to come. Reece is a WR who became a FB who became a star.

    Coach Tom Cable seems to like Reece, as he is in every game and offers the trickery the Oakland Raiders seem to prefer lately. Reece is a solid defender and blocks extremely well for RB Darren McFadden. Reece seems to offer the same benefits of McFadden in that he has great hands when running out of the backfield.

Darren McFadden Finally Comes Out of Cocoon To Fly in 2010

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    RB Darren McFadden dances his way through the KC Chiefs secondaryJed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Darren McFadden has become the running back he was foretold to be. However, for the most part, most thought him to be a BUST, as he hardly played due to injuries. In fact, rarely do these highly injured players remain healthy.

    McFadden has silenced much of the media and fans as he proved himself a 1,000-plus yard running back. McFadden has become one of the NFLs elite RBs this season. McFadden, aka " D-Mac," is a pleasure to watch as he dances his way through the defensive lines. He is extremely athletic and is a danger to defenses as he finds the hole with a fast burst. Once McFadden is loose, he is gone to the house.

    McFadden currently boast 1,157 rushing yards, seven TDs and averages a 5.2 yards per carry. Drafted by the Raiders in 2008, his stats have doubled in everything. McFadden will be another threat for defenses next season and will factor in the Raiders' turnaround.

    The Oakland Raiders can make it to the Super Bowl by 2012.

Secondary Nightmare, The True Ball Hawk, Raiders WR Jacoby Ford

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    Jacoby Ford has great speed and fights for every ball! A great rookie year!Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    WR Jacoby Ford showed up in a huge way against the Kansas City Chiefs. Ford not only got them into OT with a huge pass from QB Jason Campbell, but he also made a spectacular catch to help Janikowski make the game-winning field goal. It was a great game.

    Ford is a rookie who is simply sensational. He is a true specialist when he returns kickoffs for TDs. He fights for every ball that is thrown his way. Ford is a player that can play both WR and CB and will soon become the Oakland Raiders No. 1 WR.

    Ford has 24 receptions for a total of 435 passing yards, with two TDs. The yardage may seem low, but if you look at receptions, he is averaging 18 yards a catch. That's good, and with an improved QB next season he should have higher numbers.

    Ford is definitely a winner for the Silver and Black.

Richard Seymour, 'Nuff Said

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    Since the arrival of Richard Seymour, the Oakland Raider defense is a lot meaner and tougher.Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Mr. Richard Seymour. Since Mr. Seymour's arrival, the Oakland Raider defense hasn't been the same. It has improved dramatically. For years opponents were able to run through the Raiders defensive front. The Raiders were not a threat at the line. Opposing QBs had time to set and pass the ball two seasons ago. It was not a good time for the Raiders. In 2010, the adjustments have been made.

    At a height of 6'6' and weighing in at 310 lbs, Seymour is very agile and quick to get at QBs. He currently has 5.5 sacks. Alongside Tommy Kelly, who is also having a great season, the two are solid.

    The Raiders needed a player like Seymour. He brings the spirit of a champion, as he has played in five Pro Bowls and played in four All Pro teams. Seymour was formerly with the New England Patriots and traded after three Super Bowl wins. It was a great trade and why Seymour is key in the Raiders' return to glory.

    Seymour signed a one-year deal worth $12.4 million on June 19, 2010, meaning the Raiders will have to renew a contract with him.


Mike Mitchell? Who Is He?

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    Mike Mitchell: Another new star for the Oakland Raiders defenseJed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    This second-year CB came out of the woodwork. All of a sudden there was this guy named Mike Mitchell, and he played for the Oakland Raiders. Mike Mitchell tackle here, Mike Mitchell stops the run, Mike Mitchell with the interception!

    Mitchell was drafted in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft. The Raiders (i.e. Al Davis) took notice of Mitchell after he posted a 4.43 time in the 40-yard dash at Ohio University's pro day. Since speed is a factor in Davisball, it was obvious the Raiders would go for the speedster, and the results have been perfect.

    Mitchell currently has 51 tackles and one interception. Mitchell fits perfect on the Raider attack. He is fast and has already made a name for himself as a Raider. A great pick for the Raiders in 2009.

Matt Shaughnessy, The DE Leading The Way

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    Matt Shaughnessy coming in for the kill.Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Currently tied for seven sacks with Tommy Kelly is rookie DE Matt Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy has 53 tackles and is another surprise for the Oakland Raiders defense. Shaughnessy was picked in the 2009 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders with the third pick. He has played well and will be there to get the Oakland Raiders back to the playoffs.  Players such as Shaughnessy have the experience now to dominate the 2011 season.

    Coming from Wisconsin, Shaughnessy performed well in college, with almost every award for his tackling ability. Shaughnessy will get better as he learns from Seymour and Kelly. The future is so bright, I gotta wear shades.

Lastly, a Giant Called Jason Veldheer

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    Rookie Jared Veldheer manhandles veteran Julius PeppersJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Giant has awoken in Oakland. Jared Veldheer is a huge and powerful man. There is a video of him on YouTube, and he deadlifts 425 lbs. This OT comes from a small city called Hillsdale. He is an enormous 6'8", 315-lbs tackle.

    Veldheer plays great at left tackle and proved himself against Dwight Freeney when they matched up this past Sunday. As he becomes more familiar with the game he will be a solid tackle for QB Jason Campbell. Veldheer is another key addition player and is a rookie.

    The Oakland Raiders are picking up talented players ( I still question Darrius Heyward-Bey, though) and the choices are pinpoint. Veldheer is proof.