NFL Will Watch The Oakland Raiders "Return To Excellence"!

Dondi Raider@dondiraiderContributor IJuly 30, 2009

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 28: Defensive end Greyson Gunheim #97 of the Oakland Raiders sacks quarterback Jeff Garcia #7 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on December 28, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

It all started in 2002 at Super Bowl XXXVII, where the "Commitment to Excellence" slid into the abyss of the NFL at the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their former head coach Jon Gruden.

It has been well documented at nauseam how pathetic the Raiders have been since then so no need to go any further on the subject. 

Sorry Raider Haters, this one is NOT for you!

Fast forward to Week 17 of the 2008 season, where the Raiders once again faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Gruden. This time the outcome was rather different; no, not simply the score favoring the highly under dogged Raiders, but the way they dismantled the Bucs in every phase of the game and prematurely ended their season.

Old fashion Raider football was back—bruising runs, big play passing, solid O line blocking and sacking Garcia on the games' last play for emphasis. How sweet!

On offense, expect Dmac to run like the wind, Schillens to be the next great Raider receiver, Henderson to make Merriman wish he was still injured, and Russell to create his place the Raiders QB history books.

On defense, watch us rank in the top 15 in STOPPING THE RUN. 

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Kelly will show his gratitude to Al by making the Pro Bowl, leading the NFL DT in sacks, Alston will become the next Raider LB to intercept 3 passes in ONE GAME and every week will be a highlight reel of tenacious hits by Mitchell with every TV analyst eating crow.

So get ready Raider Nation—today, on the eve of our first practice, we embark on our return to "Commitment to Excellence"!