ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Future of the Oakland Raiders.

Updated on October 15, 2014

The Past.

This is quite nice.
Just last year, talking about the past would mean talking about how the Raiders were full of Hall of Fame quality players, won three Super Bowls, and had the NFL's best winning percentage.
Are you asking why it's nice that we're not talking about that anymore?
I know I would be.
Well, if we're being honest that is the past for the Raiders.
And what a glorious past it was.
But I'm talking about a... newer past.
I'm talking about a decade of decadence.
A twelve year span where the Oakland Raiders were completely devoid of the one thing that they needed.
It's been a long time since the Raider Nation had hope.
Sure, there were the 2010 and 2011 seasons where the Raiders managed to scratch and claw to 8-8 records, but they were merely illusions portrayed by fluke wins and a terrible AFC West.
Sure, Hue Jackson got a little life out of Darren McFadden and Carson Palmer.
But they were also destroyed by a Broncos team featuring Tim Tebow instead of Peyton Manning.
Yeah, they swept the Kansas City Chiefs.
A team on their way to a first overall pick with Matt Cassel under center.
And true, the Chargers had Philip Rivers, but under Norv Turner, he was far from fulfilling his true potential.
Those Raider teams did win a few games, but they did it with borrowed cap space and ancient veterans who were dashing towards their expiration date.
Over the last three years, Reggie McKenzie has been desperately trying to find money and young stars for the Oakland Raiders to build on.
He comes from Green Bay's system of building teams through the draft, and that's not something you can do overnight, especially when the Bengals and Seahawks have your priority draft picks for players like Carson Palmer and Aaron Curry.
Mark Davis showed flashes of his father when he fired Dennis Allen over the phone, and while they may intimidate future candidates with that kind of unprofessionalism, that's not who the Raiders are anymore.

The Raiders who blow their first pick on the guy with the fastest 40 are gone.
The Raiders who give loaded contracts to washed up free agents are a thing of the past.
The Raiders who have tested my sobriety for the better part of the last decade have been buried.

The Present.

You may still be laughing after reading that first segment.
All that stuff is gone, huh?
The Raiders are finally headed towards the light at the end of the tunnel?
How's that 0-5 record treating ya?

Fair enough.
The 2014 Oakland Raiders are not one that history will remember fondly.
The same could have been said for the 1998 Indianapolis Colts.
It's not fair to compare Peyton Manning to Derek Carr.
But it is to compare what they bring to the franchise.
Growing pains are a necessary part of young players coming along in the NFL.
Nobody jumps right in with both feet and has all of the answers.
In fact, as bad as this start has been, I'm not sure it's going to get better.
Juggernauts like Seattle, Denver (twice), San Francisco, and San Diego again still lurk just over the horizon.
If the playoffs were ever a possibility, the 0-5 start and shadow of future opponents has surely knocked that out.
No, the 2014 season is almost completely meaningless.
Free agents like Matt Schaub, Justin Tuck, and Lamarr Woodley are unlikely to return, and I don't think they'll be missed by the Raider Nation.
The quest for a new coach is probably happening now, with Bay Area neighbor, Jim Harbaugh being high on the list of potential suitors.
The 2014 season, much likes seasons 05-13 sucks and will continue to do so.
But lets look at why I'm writing this article.

The Future.

I've said "Maybe next year" so many times as a Raiders fan...
That I've forgotten what optimism feels like.
Let me explain why I'm optimistic about the future of the Raiders.
Any good franchise is built on the addition of talented young players.
Linebackers Sio Moore and Khalil Mack are outstanding as pass rushers and against the run, despite what the statistics say. A great defensive line can make any linebacker look amazing (See: Manti Te'o), so a poor one can have the same effect. If the Raiders get some help in the front four of their defense... These two could form a terrifying duo.
Rookie cornerback TJ Carrie has allowed the sixth worst passer rating on passes attempted on him, and played outstanding football against one of the best passing attacks in football last week against the Chargers when given the opportunity. You could say that Chekwa/Roger's inability to play nickel corner made it so he wasn't tested often, but he's played extremely well whenever he was given a chance. He's a huge part of why the Raiders are 6th against the pass so far this year.
Left Guard Gabe Jackson has been a very pleasant surprise for the Raiders this year. He shut down JJ Watt, a guy that many are calling a MVP favorite in their week 2 showdown against the Texans and allowed 0 pressures against the Chargers. He's created many a hole for runningbacks McFadden and Jones-Drew to run through... Though they haven't been able to take advantage consistently enough to make an impact.
The addition of Menelik Watson has always been a blackmark against Reggie McKenzie's drafting, but last week, when he got a start against one of the highest rated defenses, he played extremely well. Not only was his pass protection much improved from what the Raiders saw in the pre-season, but the Raiders running game seemed to be resurrected. McFadden looked like the 2011 version of himself, and even MJD got a couple of successful runs in.
But if we're being real, there's only one Raider young'n that anyone gives a hoot about.
Rookie sensation, Derek Carr.
What is there to say about Carr?
He's the whole package. He has an understanding of how offenses and defenses work in the NFL thanks to a childhood spent watching his brother watch film. He ran a faster 40 yard dash than Johnny Manziel did, and has an absolute cannon for an arm.
The 0-5 start isn't reassuring, but let me try some other numbers for you.
Peyton Manning's First 5 Starts- 169 attempts, 4 TDs, 12 INTs, 55% completed, 1,129 yards. (Rookie).
Tom Brady's First 5 Starts- 159 attempts, 7 TDs, 4 INTs, 62% completed, 1,023 yards. (2nd season).
Andrew Luck's First 5 Starts- 221 attempts, 7 TDs, 7 INTs, 53% completed, 1,488 yards. (Rookie).
Derek Carr's First 5 Starts- 167 attempts, 8 TDs, 5 INTs, 61% completed, 1,016 yards. (Rookie).
Yeah. That's pretty impressive.
Now, obviously, it's not about how you start in the NFL, it's about how you finish.
It's about how he improves over time that will define his legacy.
But for him to have numbers like that... When his teams were so much worse than those other guys... Pretty impressive. He doesn't have Reggie Wayne or a Pro-Bowl offensive line, or Marvin Harrison.
He's got Denarius Moore, Mychal Rivera, and a miserable run game.
Those names don't sound familiar? Then you're clearly not a Raiders fan.

Not to mention there are some solid veterans on the Raiders squad who can be helpful over the coming years.
Donald Penn, James Jones, Austin Howard, and Tarrell Brown have played well for the price the Raiders paid.
And just think, if D.J. Hayden can come back in, stay healthy, and play well, that's one more piece the Raiders don't need to draft.
So, if we're keeping count.
The Raiders will bring...
Their franchise QB, a stud left guard, a right tackle with potential, two consistent veteran lineman, a reliable number two receiver, two amazing outside linebackers, and a pair of young corners into the 2015 season.
The Raiders will likely pick in the top five again, and I would love to see them grab somebody like Amari Cooper to help with Derek Carr's growth.

I believe in Reggie McKenzie and the good he has done for the Oakland Raiders.
And I believe in the future.
If Reggie McKenzie and Mark Davis can find the right guy to call the plays, and they hit on one or two free draft picks while picking up talented free agents...
Next year could be the year for the Raiders.
True, they've got to face off against the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers of the NFC North, and both the Bengals and the Ravens will be a handful.
But that's a walk in the park compared to the monsters they had to survive this season.
Not to mention, the other games will look something like the Jets, Titans/Jags, and the declining Chiefs.
If the Raiders can add the right pieces and get everybody on board.
Next year could be the next year I've been waiting for since Super Bowl 37.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)