For a long time now (6 football seasons), the Raiders haven't quite been the best team in the NFL... at all. You probably already know this, but in the past 6 football seasons, the Oakland Raiders have been the only team to ever win under 6 games each year.
each year it has been the same: awful. But... is there a chance at doing something next year?
I mean, if DHB and Mike Mitchell shock those at ESPN, JR plays to his full talent with new QB coach Paul Hackett, Aso plays like last year, the D-line steps it up, then I would pick the Raiders to win the AFC West, easily.
Problem is, that's a lot of "ifs". Some would say too many to come true. Well, lets take them one at a time.
1. Darrius Heyward-bey
A lot of people question this pick. Most of these people wanted the Raiders to get Michael Crabtree or Jeremy Maclin. The reason the Raiders didn't go with those two (according to Cable) is because they run a spread offense so the transmission to the NFL would be easier. Darrius runs a 4.3 second 40-yard dash. In other words, he's fast. He's real fast.
Which is perfect for Jamarcus Russell, who has a rocket for an arm. If the CB doesn't completely stay with this incredibly fast guy, Russell will bomb that football right over their head to Mr. Heyward-bey. Thus making Darrius a very powerful weapon.
2. Mike Mitchell
Jack Tatum, anyone? Well, turns out that this hard-hitting machine grew-up watching Tatum, and wanted to play the Safety position just like he did. I think he's succeeded so far in his college career.
Many people have said that the Raiders could've waited two more rounds to take him. WRONG! Two picks after the Raiders, were the Bears. The Bears had texted Mitchell and had told him to wait by his phone and that they were going to pick him.
3. Jamarcus Russell
This guy's talent is really something special. It's just how well he uses it. So far in his career, he has yet to put up lasting major numbers. But there are two reasons for hope.
The first one is that in his last three games, (the last three of the season) Jamarcus has thrown 2 interceptions and 6 touchdowns. I think he's finally getting a hang of pro football.
The second reason is Paul Hackett. Paul Hackett is a great QB coach, which is just what Russell needs to use all of his talent in the right way. Hackett was one of the smartest moves the Raiders have made this off-season. He will lead Jamarcus Russell to a successful year in Oakland.
4. Nnamdi Asomugha
All we need from him is a year like last year, when he was invited to the Pro Bowl (and played, unlike 2004)after he proved he was the best CB in the NFL during the regular season.
He got Steve Smith to just 2 catches for 14 yards. And another short two in the pro bowl. He limited Lee Evans to just one catch for 9 yards.
There have been plenty QBs that have said, "I will not throw to his side, at all." That includes Brett Favre and Jay Cutler, just to name a few. I'm telling you, this guy is really awesome...ugha.
This is definetaly the biggest "if" of them all. The DEs are no problem, considering we have Derrick Burgess, Jay Richardson, Trevor Scott, Matt Shaugnessy, and Slade Norris might actually play this position.
It's the DT position where we really suck. Terdell Sands? Awful. Mr. Warren? Bad. Tommy Kelly? He could be someone, but with Oakland. We definetaly could've used a DT pick in the draft, maybe instead of Matt from Ohio State.
Are there any signs of hope for this awful DT crew? Well, they had some great games like when into Mile high and beat on the Donkeyes. And you never know, maybe one of them could have a break-out year.
6. AFC West
Please suck as much as last year. Please do. It'll really help.
Last year, the winner of the AFC West went 8-8. When is the last time that's happened? 8-8, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!
As most recent years, the winner of this division was the Chargers.But it wasn't quite their best regular season year.
But last year taught us two important things:
1. Without LT, the chargers are 8-8, instead of 12-4 or something.
2. Without the Chargers, the AFC West sucks.
So, those "if"s actually are kinda realistic.
Yes, the Raiders do have a chance of doing something next year.