Oakland Raiders: 4 Reasons Al Davis Has Team Headed in Right Direction
The Oakland Raiders surprised a lot of people with their 8-8 season in 2010.
The defense was a big improvement over the 2009 squad, thanks in large part to linebacker Rolando McClain and Richard Seymour.
The offense also showed some flashes of brilliance behind running back Darren McFadden.
Here are four reasons to believe in the Raiders in 2011.
4. Good Recent Draft Picks
Aside from the 2009 draft debacle, the Raiders have actually had some pretty decent drafts recently.
Since 2008, they've netted players like Darren McFadden, Rolando McClain, Matt Shaughnessy and Jacoby Ford.
All of those players have made their mark on the team.
This year, it looks like WR Denarius Moore might have a breakout year.
He's had a strong preseason so far and could be the consistent receiver Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy have yet to develop into.
3. Jason Campbell Is Not as Bad as People Think
But, he's never had the full support of a coaching staff, whether it was in Washington or Oakland.
Now, he seemingly has the starting job wrapped up and should be plenty confident heading into the season.
2011 should show us why Al Davis wanted Campbell before last season.
2. Richard Seymour Is a Strong Defensive Leader
The Raiders gave up their 2011 first-round draft pick for Seymour.
But, he's been worth every penny.
He's been a leader along the defensive line and for the defense in general.
The Raiders had the second most sacks in the NFL with 47 quarterback takedowns in 2010. There's no reason to think they'll have a steep decline in 2011.
1. Darren McFadden Is an Elite Running Back
McFadden had over 1,100 yards in just 13 games in 2010.
Now, if he can just stay healthy.
In 2008, he played 13 games. In 2009, he played 12 games. And, in 2010, he played 13 games.
If he's healthy for 16 games, the sky is the limit for McFadden.
A strong rushing attack will help the passing game as well, and could lead to more wins for the Raiders in 2011.