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Up and coming

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  • Up and coming


    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.

  • #2

    There has been a lot of chatter this off-season of people bashing the Raiders. Until proven differently this team will not be garnering much respect but at least its easy to exceed expectations when they are setting the bar so low. The critics are making it unlikely that this Raiders team will be as bad as they are projecting them to be simply by making it hard for any team to be as bad as they are projecting Oakland to be.

    Another thing about these negative critiques is that they will not have gone unnoticed by a team that is full of people that already want to prove themselves. This will only serve as more motivation to a player like Sio Moore who already is primed to show that he should have been drafted higher. Nick Roach didn't pass up replacing Brian Urlacher to come here and not believe in the team, people telling him otherwise will not be able to penetrate the type of confidence that Nick's signing here showed.

    Some look at the roster and think they have the worst Linebacker corp in the league, but I see a unit that is ready to fight for each other and prove that they are being overlooked. I see a unit of players that are too unknown to grade adequately right now and that makes them the punching bag of the off-season. When they get the defensive strategy figured out and start playing together naturally without having to think so much they will show the critics that unknown doesn't always mean unsuccessful.

    There is a team every year that comes out and proves everybody wrong. This team has the chance to do that because they already have everybody outside of the team and their fans counting them out. When nobody is looking over their shoulder at you then it makes it a lot easier to sneak up on them.

    I can't remember ever seeing a team so full of people that are this eager to prove themselves to the world. It is a recipe that does lead to failure many times due to it expecting players to step up and take advantage of their chance, but its also a recipe that can be successful very quickly. They are living on the edge expecting players that haven't proven themselves yet to be able to take advantage of their chance now, but if it works it can work big.

    Don't think for one second that these players don't understand the chance that they have in front of them. There are a ton of expiring contracts on a year where the Raiders will have more than $50M in cap room to spend. That means that there is a nice payday waiting for them if they can prove worthy of it, but also means that the club has plenty of money to hunt out their replacement if they don't perform well.

    All the doubters coming out and telling them they are going to be bad at a time where they know they must perform well to capitalize on their opportunity is just adding fuel to their fire. They are even more eager than we are to put the pads back on. These reports are just going to help them perform better. Put them up in the locker room and tell them this is how others see them and watch them work even harder to improve themselves and better this team.

    Between the dreams of a big payday and the determination to prove the doubters wrong there are plenty of reasons for these young Raiders to perform well this year. This is their chance and they need to take advantage of it. When they get on the field wearing their pads they will be fighting for their chance to be a part of the future of this team. If they do well maybe they wont have so much bulletin board material said about them next year.

    There is still a lot of time left before we really get to start seeing a lot of these players for the first time in Silver and Black. We all want the pads to come on and for us to get more information about what is happening with the team. Hopefully these are the players that will show the wait worthy and really get this team back to where it belongs.