On the surface it may look like just another losing 4-12 season, but in reality, it’s a step in the right direction. 2014 was marred with a defensive collapse and the overall lack of talent and depth for the Oakland Raiders. There was 70 million dollars of dead cap space that could have improved the team exponentially. This season was doomed to fail from the start, but when you are in a complete organizational overhaul, it is expected by the honest fan. Some want instant results, while others reminisce about the glory days. I on the other hand, have been a raider fan since birth, but only truly became invested in the game and the team after the 2002 season. That’s when I turned 10 and started to understand the total game of football. I’ve dealt with the dark age of the Raiders my entire existence. I’ve felt the false hope of an 8-8 season twice, only to be slapped with a coaching vacancy the next season. Being a Raider fan is one of the toughest things to do because the fan’s passion is often never matched by the product that is out on that dirt and grass field. But 2014 marks the start of something new.
Led by Reggie McKenzie, Dennis Allen and Mark Davis, the Raiders have set a plan for the future. This year was the second step of what I like to think as a 5 year plan. The first step was extinguishing all the out of whack contracts for players that didn’t deserve this. This created massive dead space in the cap for 2014. The Raiders essentially had half the cap space, which meant half the talent. I believe that Reggie did an amendable job for the work he did in recruiting players like Nick Roach, Tracy Porter, Charles Woodson and Rashad Jennings. These players filled Reggie’s model player as not just an athlete, but a hungry football player. I also believe that DJ Hayden and Menelik Watson will be players in this league for years to come. With Mark Davis letting Dennis Allen continue to coach this ball club, I believe that 2014-15 will bring a total rejuvenation to Raider Nation that we haven’t seen since the Gruden days. Stay patient Raider Nation, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
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