Oakland Raiders: Young Triplets Will Lead The Way


It’s no secret that the Oakland Raiders have been devoid of premiere talent over the last decade. Bad draft choices and lack luster free agent signings have limited the Silver and Black from stockpiling talent, and that creates a need for depth to compete in today’s NFL.

Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders’ brass know that the NFL is a players’ league. Head coaches and general managers play a significant role in developing a successful organization, but it’s the players who do the heavy lifting. For every great coach or administrator, there is a great player executing the game plan.

No matter the sport, great players and coaches go hand in hand. Whether it’s Phil Jackson and Micheal Jordan, or Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr, greatness can’t be reached with one shinning star. Even in a star-studded, ego driven league like the NFL, superstar trio’s have proven to be a needed commodity.

Before the Miami Heat held their infamous celebration and announced the joint union of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade as the “Big Three”, the Dallas Cowboys had set the standard for what a “Big Three” or “Triplets” meant.

The historic success of Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith probably will never be duplicated in today’s NFL. The ability to keep three Hall of Fame talents together in a world of salary cap issues and free agency is almost impossible. The same Jerry Jones who had limitless spending in the 1990’s that led to three Super Bowl wins has been hindered by a hard cap. Jones would have never let DeMarco Murray get away in the cap-less 90’s. But in the new millennium where cap space rules and loyalty is attached to the amount of zeroes on your check, keeping star players together can seem unattainable.

The sports world of 2015 is a different animal. Successful teams are built by growing young talent and not trying to build a “super team.” The Raiders are hoping their young offensive core of Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Latavius Murray, can be the centerpieces of a great beginning.

It it has been awhile since three potential offensive game-changers wore the Silver and Black. Not since Jon Gruden was calling plays for Rich Gannon, Charlie Garner and Tim Brown, have the Raiders’ possessed such offensive threats. All three have the potential to stand out amongst their peers.

Latavius Murray brings size and explosiveness to the Raiders backfield that hasn’t been seen since their move back to Oakland. His 90 yard touchdown run on Monday Night Football versus the Kansas City Chiefs brought back memories of Bo Jackson blowing by the Seattle Seahawks on his legendary Monday Night run.

The emergence of Murray late in the season finally gave the Raiders a much needed running game. It also lessened the pressure placed on Carr. The pressure of being a first year starter in the NFL is enough to make any young quarterback crumble, and not having a running game to lean on usually leads to disaster. But Carr remained poised and confident throughout the season.

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  • Amari Cooper was drafted for multiple reasons. The Raiders felt Cooper was the most polished and talented receiver in the draft. Cooper was selected to give Carr a downfield threat. Last year, Carr ranked No. 32, or last, in yards-per-attempt. The lack of explosive plays could not solely be blamed on Carr. The lack of creative game-planning and a lack of play-makers on the outside heavily contributed to the lack of explosive plays.

    The Raiders are looking to recapture some of that Al Davis mentality. They want teams to start back pedaling as soon as they step off the bus. Speed has long been the great equalizer in sports. It can cover up little mistakes and exploit big ones. The Raiders are hoping their young talented trio will continue to grow and establish their own place in history.

    Next: Derek Carr Will Take Over