Like many of you, I am indescribably pumped for today's matchup against the Chargers, one of our mortal enemies. Though the game starts after 10pm in my area, and I have school the next morning, I am willing to watch this game through the end. We have all waited for at least 5 months for this day to come, so I'm sure you all feel exactly the same way.
We are in a rebuilding stage now. As Levi described in one of his recent posts as I type this, we have been through a lot last season, and this offseason. There is no doubt in my mind that we are beginning a new era in Raider football. Though I will say, I cannot be more proud of how our great team will be starting off.
We have a smart GM, and a very likeable head coach who takes no sh*t from anybody. Through him we will see discipline being instilled upon our team, and commence playing football the smart way. out with Bresnadumb, and in with Tarver, who we have got a small glimpse to what we will see from our defense in preseason (and lets hope the defense will be even better come game time). Knapp is questionable, but with Al Saunders looming in I am overall alright with having him (and hopefully he will prove his worth).
Surrounded by an overall very good coaching staff, we boast a team that I do not think has ever been more dangerous since the late 90s and early 2000s. Palmer, although expected to be sketchy, provides us TDs and a downfield presence. We have a talented group of WRs in Moore, Streater. DHB, Criner, and Ford. Oh yeah, did I also mention we got star preseason performer last season in Derek Hagan? In the words of Charlie Sheen, winning!
And have I begun to talk about our backfield yet? McFadden is healthy so far, along with Taiwan Jones and Mike Goodson. Mcfadden the ever more explosive runner boosts our offense over 300%, with his running ability, catching ability, and unnatural awareness. Taiwan Jones, who I dub as a mini Jamaal Charles, with likely share the bulk of backup duties, and we have seen the potential of this kid enough in preseason to know that he can very well be a special RB. Goodson as our 3rd option? I like it!
Then we got the ever omnipresence of FB Marcell Reece. Who not only could block, but is just an absolute matchup nightmare for defenses, and further adds to our weapons.
And all of this, behind an above average OL. Just lovely.
But what about our defense?
Our front 4 looks to be as strong as ever. Getting Shaugnessy back is a gigantic plus, and with Kelly and Houston having very good preseasons, having Seymour back with them will have me as giddy as a school girl just watching them rush the passer.
Our LBs look to be as talented as ever. I can't remember the last time we had such great LBs. I know this is premature, so I'll say "potentially" great LBs. Burris had a great preseason, McClain had a very good preseason, and Wheeler had a very good preseason. All look to be strong, aware, and have that techniquye that seemed to be lacking in recent years.
Secondary remains questionable, but hell I like the group of guys we have now. Bartell and Spencer did very well against the Lions in preseason, but hell, its only preseason. What I love most is that those guys won't be getting as much penalties as Routt and Johnson.Add in the all powerful Tavon Branch and the combination of Michael Huff and Matt "The King" Giordano, and our secondary, if anything, just looks plain solid.
So in this rebuilding year, I can not only safely say that we are heading in the right direction as superbowl contenders, but if this team stays healthy, and that IS an if, than even in THIS rebuilding year we could win this division and get into the playoffs. Think about that as you make Burgers, or gather your ribs before the game.
Whatever happens today, lets hope that it results in a Raiders win. Football is back ladies and gentelman, and whatever the future hold, I am proud to be a Raider.