Where ever he goes, 1,000-yard rushers follow.
He’s 260 pounds of punishment with a license to destroy.
He’s Lorenzo Neal and he was born to play for the Oakland Raiders.
Tom Cable’s mission has been simple since he took over as the interim head coach in 2008. Cable is attempting to resurrect the Raider Way.
After that deflating loss in the Super Bowl, the Raider franchise has spun out of control like a teen actor on a drug binge. Six years of losing, discontent and misdirection have turned a once feared franchise into a constant source of humor and irrelevance.
So Coach Cable went back to the basics.
Raider football used to be an attitude. It was a mentality. It was Jack Tatum standing over Sammy White. It was Bo Jackson running out of the Kingdome.
Recently, Raider football has been an embarrassment. It is Andrew Walter repeatedly getting sacked. It is Michael Huff missing open field tackles.
Insert Lorenzo Neal.
Neal is part of the plan to remind the NFL what it’s like to line up against the Silver and Black on Sundays in the fall.
Off the field, Neal is a soft spoken family man. On the field, he’s a bowling ball with a laser scope. Lorenzo has spent nearly two decades of making a living by inflicting pain. The former Fresno State Bulldog and Central California native began his career as a halfback with the New Orleans Saints. On the first start of his career, he ran for 89 yards on 13 carries. Then, just two weeks later, Neal suffered a career changing injury. He was placed on IR after an ankle injury and was told that his days as a runner were over. Neal became a fullback and was out to make the opposition pay.
What could have become a reason to return to his hometown of Lemoore and sulk over what could have been instead became a call to arms.
With stops in New York, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Cincinnati, San Diego, and Baltimore the legend of Lorenzo has spread throughout the world of professional football.
He’s been the battering ram that has paved the way for some of the all-time leading rushers in NFL history.
Neal is more of an offensive lineman than he is a back. He derives his pleasure from seeing others succeed through his efforts. Neal is selfless and dedicated. He’s exactly the kind of guy Tom Cable needs in his locker room and Justin Fargas, Michael Bush and Darren McFadden need to become the next name in Lorenzo’s 1,000-yard rolodex.
Plain and simple: Lorenzo Neal was born to be a part of the Raider Rebirth.
The analysts will tell you about the X’s and O’s. They’ll diagram plays and will wax poetic about quarterbacks making perfect throws and running backs moving with effortless grace. What they fail to discuss is the true nature of football. Football is a physical game. Lorenzo Neal knows this, its all he’s known for the last 16 years of his professional life.
With the right mentality, the wins will eventually come. This is Cable’s philosophy. Lorenzo Neal embodies everything the head coach preaches and he’s the man who will lead the new Raider Way one punishing block at a time.
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