It’s a philosophy that is as old as the game itself. Bring in players to compete for their positions, and you will have a mixture of old and new players who are hungry and ready to play. The Oakland Raiders completed their first full season with General Manager Reggie McKenzie and Head Coach Dennis Allen at the helm in 2012. With the team finishing with a record of 4-12, there was a lot of heart ache. Something had to be done to right the ship as it continues the journey into the new Raiders future. I’m here to tell you that the ship has been righted.
All the Raiders have played so far are a few pre-season games. Is Raider Nation to look to those games as a barometer as to how the Raiders will play in 2013. No, please don’t. Those games are designed to allow players to get their feet wet in a game time situation. Basic offensive and defensive plays are the game plan for the pre-season. Sure, some teams bring the house at you in the pre-season, but the New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan found out how damaging that can be from an injury standpoint. He blitzed like crazy in the pre-season only to have some of his key players go down with lingering and troublesome injuries. Enough said about that.
What is Raider Nation to look forward to? Simple, the competitive atmosphere that has been created in the locker room for the Raiders players is a key element in building cohesiveness. Why you ask, because the players understand that the guy next to him has earned his spot. They understand that the guy next to him will have his back, and he will play hard. Call it what you want, cohesiveness, camaraderie, team building, etc… It’s an attitude that has existed on winning teams for eons. It’s an attitude that had been lost within the shuffle of the many head coaches and high priced contract players that Raider Nation was so accustomed to seeing.