Forget about the disastrous year in Oakland last season; it’s all about next year.
Coming off a horrific season, this is an incredibly important year for the Oakland Raiders considering that they have not had a winning record since 2002. New general manager Reggie McKenzie continues to rebuild during the offseason after a disappointing 4-12 record last season, which was third worst in the league.
Nevertheless, last season was not the year to judge McKenzie. He was with a team that needed more productivity in virtually every area.
Now that it’s a new year with a new beginning, judging McKenzie is acceptable. McKenzie made some major moves this offseason, and as a result, the Raiders are a completely different team.
After a horrific defensive performance throughout the year, defense was Oakland’s greatest concern coming into the offseason. McKenzie began rebuilding by signing several linebackers and defensive linemen, two areas that needed dramatic improvement.
He then continued to reach out in free agency and signed a few defensive backs with great skill such as Tracy Porter, Mike Jenkins and the familiar face Charles Woodson.
After the departure of Carson Palmer, McKenzie knew he needed to find a serviceable quarterback to run the offense. He recently signed Matt Flynn from the Seattle Seahawks, who certainly has the potential to become a solid quarterback, and also drafted a top quarteback prospect out of Arkansas in Tyler Wilson. Terrelle Pryor is still on the roster as well, and there has been an ongoing quarterback competition in Oakland with the stating job still up in the air for anyone to grab.
McKenzie wisely traded down in the draft, as the Raiders initially had the third overall pick but traded it in order to receive more players. I assume this was a no-brainer for McKenzie, as Oakland needed numerous players who can make an impact rather than one great player.
The recent signing of Josh Cribbs was one of the great moves of the offseason by McKenzie. The special teams unit was atrocious last season, and Cribbs is a guy who can improve that tremendously. He can play wideout as well.
With all the moves and changes McKenzie has made to this team, we are forced to judge him next year. Looking over the current roster should put a smile on any Raider fans face, as it looks very promising and improved.
However, we still have to see how it plays out. This will be the year to thoroughly judge McKenzie and his Oakland Raiders.