Jun 11, 2013; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson (2), long snapper Jon Condo (59) and linebacker Nick Roach (53) run at minicamp at the Raiders Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders are underrated, but not out

It’s funny how quickly that the Oakland Raiders get beat up by Sports Media Organizations.  One analyst runs a post or story outlining why and how the Raiders will lose this year.  Another analyst jumps onto that one and states that the Raiders will be the worst team in the National Football League (NFL).  Others explain that there are no starting quarterbacks, starting receivers, or a viable defensive line on the Raiders.  Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blazzeee, blah!

I feel like Charlie Brown in an episode of Peanuts listening to a grown-up speaking.  I hear their voices, but it all sounds the same.  Unfortunately for Raider Nation, we are going to have to listen to main stream media kick the Raiders while they’re down.  Until the winning happens, the Raiders will continue to be labeled as dead last (According to NFL.com’s Analyst Albert Breer’s 32 Team Power Structure).

One story, or opinion, I just read was Ron Jaworski’s take on Matt Flynn.  Look, Jaworski has never had a nice word to say about the Oakland Raiders, never.  He’s still bitter over Super Bowl XV in 1980 when the Wild Card Oakland Raiders totally embarrassed him and the Philadelphia Eagles.  The Eagles were expected to win that game.  Instead, Linebacker Rod Martin completely shutdown Jaworski (Intercepted 3 of his passes) as the Raiders cruised to a 27-10 upset victory and became World Champions for the second time in their storied history.

The only thing that will change the opinions being presented would be a respectable record this year.  An 8-8 record would quiet a lot of critics.  NFL.com, ESPN.com, and other mainstream media moguls believe that the Oakland Raiders will have the first selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.  They say the Raiders will be dead last.  That was yesterday.

Today, I read an article by Senior Analyst Gil Brandt who is with NFL.com.  In his post (Oakland Raiders’ 2013 outlook dire, but hope remains for future), he explains the reasons why there is room for the Raiders to avoid disaster in 2013.  He states that the Raiders have a good Coaching Staff that will help get this team headed in the right direction.  Gil Brandt states, “As far as the head coach goes, I love the take-charge attitude Allen shows on the field; he’s very detail-oriented. At the same time, I think the veteran coaches who were added to this staff should be a big plus for Oakland in 2013.”

Brandt also discussed how he believed that the Raiders Offensive Line will flourish under Offensive Line Coach/Assistant Head Coach Tony Sporano.  He praised the linebackers and secondary for the Raiders.  Brandt finished by stating, Not much is expected of this team in 2013; in fact, many observers would likely already give them the top pick in next year’s NFL draft. But I think folks underestimate the value of the coaching staff, and I think the Oakland Raiders could have a few surprises in store. Ultimately, I still think they’ll win about two more games in 2013 than they did in 2012, though they have the potential to take a few more, perhaps by notching a big upset or two.” 

This was a breath of fresh air for me, in an otherwise polluted sea of negativity.  Like most of Raider Nation, I want to believe my team, the Oakland Raiders, will win the Super Bowl every year.  However, by no means am I ignorant to the reality that faces the Raiders.  They have a lot to prove.  This year is going to be a barometer as to the direction and future of this organization.

Unfortunately, last year was a wash.  In a rebuilding process there will always be a year or two that we, the fans, have to forget.  Our true rebuilding process began in January of 2012.  Mark Davis, Reggie McKenzie, and Dennis Allen have this team headed in the right direction.  It is frustrating at times, but I am in support of the Oakland Raiders and the goals they are trying to achieve.  Let them underrate the Raiders, because it will be that much sweeter when we win.  Go Raiders!

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Tags: Dennis Allen Gil Brandt Mark Davis Oakland Raiders Philadelphia Eagles Reggie McKenzie Ron Jaworski Super Bowl XV Tony Sporano

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