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Raiders showing themselves to be up and coming

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Justin Sullivan

Reggie McKenzie has a plan and he is going off of it accordingly, step by step he is following right along. I have said in the past that he has put himself out there by showing such supreme confidence, but that same supreme confidence has him convincing players that the Raiders are an up and coming team. It is convincing me as well.

The Raiders continue to fly behind the scenes with their steady improvements to their team. People on the outside are writing the Raiders off still and until they are proven wrong will continue to do so. However those lucky enough to have a sit down with Reggie McKenzie always seem to come out of it feeling pretty good about where the team is right now.

This is something that is pretty impressive that deserves to be pointed out. Each one of the Raiders free agent signings have come out and said the same type of quotes. After coming in and seeing what was happening there was an undeniable upward trend to the organization.

There was something being shown to them that made these players decide that Oakland was the right fit for them. Most of the players had other options to go to. Nick Roach could have been Brian Urlacher's replacement in Chicago, he could have followed their long line of great linebackers. Tracy Porter was being looked at by the Saints who he won a Super Bowl with and instead chose the Raiders.

Now Charles Woodson could have been a Bronco, but decided that the Raiders had something he wanted to be a part of instead. He was upfront about Reggie McKenzie having to sell him on the team, because he needed to be certain that he was going to be able to accomplish something here. If it wasn't going to be a contender, it had to be a team he could help become a contender.

"That definitely played a role because we're familiar with each other. But after talking to Reggie, I got a good feel about how he felt about the team and that just really gave me confidence that they're going in the right direction. Going into the facility yesterday, I felt good about where things stood, and if I signed I was going to be going to a team that has good players on the team. The game is about fundamentals and playing good football, and they have some good players, and if we can put it together then we'll win games."

When one person says that this team is up and coming and that is why they signed here you can laugh it off. When another player says the same thing you can still shrug it off. When a future Hall of Famer then comes in and says the same thing it can no longer be cast aside.

Nobody knows what is going to happen next season or for the seasons to come. We all hope for the best and expect the worst, its what we have been trained to think for many years now. When does it go from hoping for the best to expecting the best? When the whole team believes in each other and starts performing as a unit. These are the type of moments that create that belief amongst the team.

Every team in the NFL is filled with extremely talented people. The thing that differentaites them is the will to succeed and the plan to do it. The Raiders just added a player with a will to succeed unmatched by many in Charles Woodson and they have a man with a plan in Reggie McKenzie.

It will be tough to ignore the Raiders for much longer, they are going to be proving to the world that they should not be shrugged off. The Raiders are an up and coming team, now we just have to wait for them to hit the field to prove it. Reggie might be putting himself out there with his supreme confidence, but when it pays off he is going to have a pretty damn good view.