Being a Raider fan over the years has made me a very bitter soul who relishes "Black Monday" as much as anyone I know. I enjoy watching others get skewered as several in the Raiders franchise have been before on this day so my peers and I are not alone wallowing in our misery over another failed season. It also allows me to see if there will be any valuable commodities worth a look available. After today, the most shocking fall out was not a coach firing but that of a possible future Hall of Fame executive, Bill Polian and his son Chris. After that I knew who was on the top of my wish list for the newest GM/ President of Football Ops for the Oakland Raiders to ring in 2012.
Those of us who have followed football over the past twenty years are well aware of how much this guy has meant to the game of football. He was the architect of five Super Bowl appearances between two different teams, the fastest to make an expansion team into a Super Bowl contender by taking the Carolina Panthers to the NFC Championship after only their second year of existence and a missed FG and a brilliant onside kick away from possibly winning two more Super Bowl Championships in those five appearances. The man knows how to draft and how to manipulate free agency and trades. He helped build the Buffalo Bills from 2-14 to a Super Bowl appearance and near win in less than five years against the NY Giants by signing away Jim Kelly from the UFL. He orchestrated one of the biggest three-team trades in history by helping to trade Eric Dickerson away for perennial Pro Bowl OLB Cornelius Bennett and drafting HOF DE Bruce Smith. The trade also helped build one of the most successful cores by drafting Thurman Thomas and CB Nate Odoms. He of course manipulated the draft to trade out of the first overall pick to draft 5th and add more talent along with one of the games great coordinators in Dom Capers to nearly pull off one of the greatest two week stretches ever by destroying the Aikman, Irvin, and Smith Cowboys in the divisional playoffs to then nearly make the Super Bowl only to come up short against Brett Favre in Lambeau in only their 2nd year of existence. Of course many can argue about the last few years and his draft choices not allowing the Colts to be build for the long haul but that is just not fair. You can put the man down for a 2-14 season but he was also responsible for drafting Peyton Manning when many including the owner were wanting Ryan Leaf. You can also say he would be perfect for our current HB situation as he was behind the trade that sent the brilliant HOF HB Marshall Faulk to the Rams which made many question his methods. Of course Edgerrin James' career while short made many fans forget what they gave up to get him. The drafting the likes of TE Dallas Clark when many thought he was too slow or questioning why he would draft a speed receiver like Reggie Wayne when many thought the Colts should go defense proved many wrong with his statistical achievements as well as clutch playoff performances including one SB win. Dwight Freeny, Bob Sanders, Robert Mathis, and the most recent drafting of Pat Angerer have proven he's still got it. A sensible man like Bill Polian would know what it takes to put together a winner on defense and would go after a gentleman like Mike Nolan who was the catalyst behind the Miami Dolphins' recent 6-3 surge to finish the regular season. I am hoping the Raiders are reading this since they would be doing a huge disservice by not bringing in one of the greatest football minds of our time to follow one of the greatest of all time.