I have pondered this post for a while and cannot help but think this is the case.
Let me put forth some evidence as I am certain I am not the only person with this thought. Al is bent on getting the 4th Super Bowl and his last few decisions seem to point the way as he knows time is of the essence. All of us who witnessed the last press conference saw him as feeble as it gets. The mind is still strong as witnessed with his jousting with the press and statements. However once proud and strong able to move with energy and confidence, now slow, decrepit, and wobbly moving at a snails pace with his walker and looking as though he had been a victim of elder abuse at a seniors home for the destitute. The body gives in often sooner than the spirit and mind. His every 81+ years are showing and then some. We all can see the writing on the wall time is catching up with Al's body.
The similarities of the team building of the Gruden era and now are so very close if you look. A young head coach not yet proven but solid and confident. Gruden=Jackson. This team will not be built as the 99-02 teams for that push as Al seems to be wary after the Javon Walker, Sapp, Hall et al signings of the mid 2000s. There will be no massive signing of veteran FAs with championship experience and great work ethic to mold the team but rather a player representation on the coaching staff with former players having these qualities. We have made a few trades (Seymour, JC) for some solid players but Al has decided to bring in a number of former players as positional coaches all of which were Raiders at one point in their careers and solid in work ethic as well as loyal. Tough, smart players that will be great role models and teachers for today's player in the game. Steve Wisniewski, Rod Woodson and Greg Biekert with hopefully a WR coach named Tim Brown to be added as hopefully the dead weight of Lal is set a float on the river of unemployment. The speculation of another former Raider (Winston Moss) on board as DC would make the circle complete. This maneuver is a much better and a fiscally responsible approach to keep a solid nucleus of a team that can compete long term and not just sacrifice the future for the now. Throwing huge sums of money at a group of older good players that may or may not meld into a force on the field is always a gamble and as often backfires as succeeds if not the former more frequently than the later.
Solidifying a few positions through FA signings possibly a good draft here this year as last year was and the upgrade of coaching should easily throw us into the mix. One more year for the nucleus of the team to play together and will definitely make this team a contender to be considered a threat. The addition of an O lineman (Light) possibly an OLB, S and CB through FA and depending on who we keep and who we cannot re-sign will dictate further what needs are most pressing. I would argue a WR not of super star caliber but of solid speed, hands and not injury prone. After the draft will also dictate what needs are to met through player availability.
Truly the signs are there as they were in 1999 with the changes made. Everyone can argue all teams are building to win a Super Bowl but few make the correct changes needed to win. Al indeed has seen the sands in the hour glass drawing to an end and has definitively made this his last chance at glory to fulfill his desire of championship glory. Thus comes one final push.