Coliseum. Black Hole. TV Blackout. Al Davis. Rich Gannon. Jon Gruden. “Tuck Rule”.
These are the first words that come to mind when I think of the Oakland Raiders. As a native San Franciscan, I don’t dislike the Raiders as much as I oppose the Los Angeles Dodgers.
However, with the exception of kicker Sebastian Janikowski, there isn’t much to like about the Raiders.
The Raiders are not one player away from anything.
JaMarcus Russell had great size and a strong arm. That’s about it. He wasn’t accurate, he didn’t have the intelligence to play quarterback and he definitely did not have the work ethic to become a NFL quarterback. Since Russell, Jason Campbell, Carson Palmer and now Matt Flynn have taken on the QB position for the Raiders.
Russell is a bust, a big bust, and the Raiders are still paying for their decision of drafting him, literally.
In addition to Russell, players such as Darrius Heyward-Bey and Rolando McClain have plagued the Raiders. Heyward-Bey showed some promising signs in 2011, but he never became a go-to receiver. McClain is simply a nutcase.
Finally, Darren McFadden is someone all the Raiders’ fans have to root for, but some may consider him a bust too, considering his draft position and productivity. The Raiders need a QB, a revamped offensive line, weapons on offense and leaders on defense.
The coaching carousel
They have gone through seven head coaches in the past decade, and if current head coach Dennis Allen does not turn things around in Oakland, the Raiders may, yet again, be looking for a new coach.
The Raiders need consistency, but it’s hard when owner Mark Davis and GM Reggie McKenzie make head-scratching moves. It was a shame that the Raiders let Hue Jackson go; Jackson led the Raiders to a respectable 8-8 record in 2011.
The AFC West isn’t that great, and the Raiders should just move back to Los Angeles.
With the exception of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, the AFC West isn’t that strong of a division. The San Diego Chargers are unpredictable with Philip Rivers at QB, and the Kansas City Chiefs had the worst record in the NFL last year. The Raiders are only a couple years removed from going 6-0 in their division in 2010.
Finally, as much as I dislike Los Angeles sports, there needs to be a NFL team there. The Raiders are the perfect team to move there, because they have been there before, and they are looking for a new stadium.
The Raiders need a fresh start, and if they can’t get a new stadium in Northern California, they might as well head down south.