Wow, my first post. I'm excited and terrified. I'm no writer, at least nothing professional. However, I do know I have a strong passion for this team. I often try not to use the term "we" when talking about the Raiders, but I can't help myself. I really feel like I'm part of the team sometimes, even though I'm clearly not at all. I'm not the smartest in terms of stats, technique, or talent evaluation. I'm just a fan. I've had the misfortune of growing up in a time when the Raiders were a shell of what they were. I witnessed the Championship beat down from Buffalo, the loss of Bo Jackson at the Cincinnati game, the fat bastard Siragusa falling full body on Gannon and injuring him in the Championship game to Baltimore, the Tuck game, the Gannon meltdown in the Superbowl, and the season where we only beat Pittsburgh and Arizona.
Truth be told, the losses hurt. So I've lived on hoping that the next year would be better. More often than not, I was wrong. I supported Aaron Brooks for goodness sake. That's how bad it was. Still, after watching failed team after failed team, I am still a Raider fan. As you all are. This year though, gosh do they seem different right? I could be drinking massive poisonous kool aid on this one, but this year feels good. I'm pleasantly surprised right now, but I think I saw it coming too.
For once we have a decent QB since Gannon. I don't hate too much on Jason, but I know he will never be an elite QB. That doesn't mean he won't be serviceable for this team. In Washington he was destined for failure. No good coaching staff, changing from year to year. The O Line was average at best during his time there. Different systems and weak ass targets to throw to. Poor bastard. I won't defend his love of check downs or inaccuracy with the deep ball, but I think he's coming into his zone now. I loved how he brought in the receivers for practice during the lock out and I think it's showing now.
Speaking of receivers, oh yeah! I haven't seen this kind of talent on this team in a long time. Until now, my favorite had been Brown, Rice, and Porter (along with Rison). Just look at who we got; Moore (who will grab whatever is in the air), Ford (same thing only smaller and faster), DHB (big, tall, and fast receiver with a great attitude), Chaz (a physical specimen with a terrible talent for getting hurt), and Hagen (who flat out plays and does whatever the coaching staff asks of him without complaint). Didn't even mention Boss, who has all but erased our memories of Miller. I just love these receivers, and Murphy is finally healthy too. Yeesh, what a group!
Our O Line is the best since the Gannon era too, blocking well and creating space for the running backs. Speaking of running backs, do I really need to say anything? Bush is a great second option and a strong power back. Reece is a wonderful full back and needs to get healthy again. And DMC, I'm just going to say this; MVP. What a squad, can't say enough, and the O Line also has depth. Did I mention I love this offense, cause I do. I believe a lot is owed to Mr. Davis (RIP), Mr. Al Saunders, and of course big Hue for making this offense special.
The D is another story. I love the D Line, no question. Seymour, Houston, Shaughnessy are all favorites of mine. Death Ro is good too, except his tackling but that can be fixed (I hope). After that, I'm on the fence. I like Routt, I think he is a genuine shut down corner who can also make plays on the ball. I also like Huff, I think he hasn't reached his potential yet. Mitchell is a serviceable safety thus far in his short career. After that, we aren't as strong. Especially at corner. I'll take shit for this, but CJ needs to go. He has decent skills, but I'm sick of his penalties and his sudden brittle body. Get a draft pick or something for him already. I don't miss him at all, I would rather have the rooks out there. For now, this group is serviceable when healthy. However upgrades through trades, free agency and the draft are greatly needed for future use. And I'm on the fence about Bresh as well. With Al's passing, I wonder how much the D will change, if at all?
To sum up my first post, I would like to say that I really do like this years team. I think we can go a solid 10-6 or better. I'm not feeling the bowl this year, but I'm still going to pick them to win it all :P I love the Raiders, it is so hard to pick against them. So I usually don't, but I give my justifications. Playoffs would be very nice, especially after the loss of our leader, Mr. Davis. I really believe that win against Houston was because of him. Even if all the games go to shit, I'll be right back next year saying this is the year. I love the Raider Nation and the Raider team. If people want to fear the fans, good. If people want to hate, good. If teams want to look past the Raiders, good. As Son's best put it, all we want to do is "JUST DOMINATE BABY!" This team IS different and will fight to the end. Enjoy the beers, the games, and life people!