Every week on Wednesday, I will post this segment, “Ask Raider Nation.” It is a segment dedicated to Raiders Fan’s who want to give their opinion on what’s happening in the world of the Raiders. All interested fan’s should email me and let me know they would like to have their views heard. Just Blog Baby and Fansided have a huge fan-base, so it’s a chance to communicate to the world.
Last year I ran a segment called “Ask a Raiders Fan,” and Julio Echeverria was nice enough to answer a few questions. Once again, Julio wants to weigh in on the state of the Raiders in the 2014 off-season. Julio was born in Mexico City, Mexico, and he is 34 years old. He is an IT Business Systems Analyst by profession, and he has been a proud member of Raider Nation since 1983. In 1983, Julio watched Marcus Allen make his unbelievable touchdown run in the Super Bowl, and he has been a Raiders fan ever since. Another one of Julio’s favorite Raiders is Tom Flores, because Flores shares his Mexican-American connection. However, above all others Julio holds Jack Tatum as his all-time favorite Raider. Tatum is the personification of what the Raiders franchise represents. This is what Julio had to say about the Oakland Raiders:
“This offseason has been a roller coaster for me personally. As most, I was completely floored when Veldheer wasn’t tagged in some way. I understand not wanting to overpay, but that’s a move I would’ve done as soon as it was an option. Houston to me has always been a solid player, but I don’t think he has much more upside left. I think he’s reached his plateau, so letting him go was something that I actually agreed with in a way. I must say that not resigning Vance Walker and Porter was a bit of a surprise. I felt that both of them played well for us and had more to offer. Porter would’ve been a nice complement in the slot to Hayden and Brown on the outside. I love the fact that we brought C-Wood back for one last year, but we need to figure out who will replace him long-term. I really, 100%, can’t get on board with D-Mac though. Yes, it was cheap, but why? If the intent is to give us an ulcer, they’re going to succeed I guess.”
“As far as new signings, I like, not love, what RM has done. Look, the Saffold incident is not a big deal if you ask me. The amount of $ offered demanded him to be 100% healthy. He wasn’t. Clear cut, thank you very much, but no thanks. I feel Reggie did enough to solidify one of our weakest units (O-line). We now have some serious competition with solid players. This will make all of them better and weed out the ones that can’t hack it. We need more depth, but it’s a solid unit.”
“On defense, well, hello pass rushers! Yes, I heard it all, they’re old, washed up, etc. To me, that’s the same rhetoric we hear every year. It won’t stop until we win, so I just try to ignore it. All these players are proven winners. Whoever comes in through the draft and the players that remain will benefit from learning from them. I don’t think Reggie’s done signing players, but it’ll be mostly to add depth.”
“Now, RM and coach Allen need a good draft. It’ll be interesting to see what we do with the 5th pick. I wouldn’t mind trading down and getting an additional 2nd rd selection. We might be able to get 3 instant starters since this draft is so deep. I do think that RM needs to hit though. Last year he whiffed badly on a couple of picks (Wilson and Bass), but, he also hit with Moore, Rivera, and McGee. It’s tough for me to say that I completely trust his player assessment, but I will support it as long as he’s our GM.”
“Rebuilding is over. If we don’t win 7 games this year, it’ll be time for changes. Not sure if it’ll be coaching or brass who would get the blame, but definite improvement is needed. I don’t see us in the playoffs, but I do see us competing late in the season for a WC spot. Listen, Seattle was 7-9 not too long ago, before that, they were ridiculed by the media like we are. Ask the donkey’s, who’s laughing now? My point is that our roster is better and we should win more games. It’s up to the coaches and players to make it happen. We’re behind them as always, but it’s time to turn this thing around once and for all. Raider Nation and the tradition of this franchise have suffered enough. Yes, it’s time for the autumn winds to rise once more.”
“Favorite Raiders moment… I’m changing it up… Every day I know that Silver & Black run through these here veins. Being a Raiders fan isn’t about the fall, or about wins, although I love to see the Raiders win, it’s an attitude, a passion most can’t understand, and we don’t care for them to do so either. Only we know what it’s like to love these colors no matter what, especially over the past 12 years, and how proud we are of being a part of the one and only Raider Nation.”
Thank you once again Julio, great stuff as always. You know, looking into the eyes of Raider Nation and feeling their vibe is immense, and other fan’s will never understand the passion, love, respect, honor, and hope that the Raider Nation has for the Oakland Raiders. There is only one Nation, the Raider Nation!
Again, if anybody out there in Raider Nation would like a chance to have their thoughts heard, simply email me with your request at [email protected], or follow me on Twitter @EC4Life1012. Thanks for all the support, and Go Raiders!
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