“When you have great coaches, you get great players. When you have great players, you have a great organization. You tell the players just one thing, Just Win Baby!” Al Davis had a way with words. From his phrase, “Commitment to Excellence,” that has been used by so many companies and teams, to the just win baby attitude he gave to his players. Davis was a pioneer among men. It’s time for the 2013 Oakland Raiders to embrace Al Davis’ “Just Win Baby” attitude. This team doesn’t need to blow teams away this year, it just has to win. I don’t care if they play an ugly game, as long as the Raiders can be victorious in the end. That’s what it means to just win. Win, and win at any cost.
Hope has always been within the minds of Raider Nation, but belief has trickled back to the forefront. Belief in a team that has shown they can drive down the field and capitalize on a very good drive. Belief that the defense can stop some of the most high-powered offenses while giving the offense a chance to keep the score close. The team is playing together. They are feeding off the emotions of the players like Darren McFadden, Rod Streater, Lamarr Houston, Jason Hunter, Nick Roach, Charles Woodson, and of course Terrelle Pryor.
The team has a sense of togetherness that is felt in the crowd at home and the crowd watching from afar. In the air is a thought, “We can do this, we can win this.” What a great feeling. Not to mention the feeling that is felt when the Raider Nation hears all the Raiders “Haters” do a 180 degree shift in their feelings for how well the Raiders are performing. Remember the beginning of the season? The haters said the Raiders defensive line could not rush the passer. They were wrong. The haters said there was a quarterback controversy. There is no controversy, Pryor is the man. They said the offensive line was in turmoil, and they couldn’t provide the protection needed to score points. Yet, even the offensive line has proven the haters wrong.
Now, it’s time for the coaching staff to pull out all of the stops and turn the Raiders offense loose upon teams. Quit trying to stuff it down their throats when the offensive line is not getting any push. Get Pryor out in space and let him make it happen. Lean on the playmakers to get the job done (i.e., Marcel Reece, Rod Streater, Mychal Rivera, and Darren McFadden). Spring Denarius Moore open down the sideline and let it fly. Playing tight with this offense and offensive line will not work. Release the fury that is Pryor.
Defensively, the coaching staff needs to continue to embrace the edge rushing with a flurry of blitzes. Allow Woodson to hunt in open space, rush Usama Young and Brandian Ross, and drive the interior linemen to push the opposing offensive line backward. Get the penetration to knock opposing teams off of their game. The Raiders can do this if they are used correctly.
Like I said, it’s time to pull out all the stops and embrace Al Davis’ mantra, “Just Win Baby!”
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