Ask Raider Nation: Dan “D-Rock” Racadio

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Picture provided by Dan Racadio.

Since this is NFL Draft week, I am kicking off my Ask Raider Nation segment early.  I’m sure this week will be a busy one leading up to Thursday, May 8th. 

This week, Raider Nation gets to meet a touring musician who has been a Die-Hard Oakland Raiders fan for the last 22 years.  His name is Dan “D-Rock” Racadio.  Here’s what Dan had to say:

“In Greek mythology, a phoenix or Phenix is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn.  Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by rising from the ashes of its predecessor.”

“With free agency in full-swing and a draft class so deep that everyday a hundred new mock drafts are released showing the complete opposite of the previous day, I think we as a (Raider) nation need to shift gears and wade through all of the free agency and pre-draft hype and focus on the goal: rebuilding.”

“It takes years for a rebuilding cycle to actually start working.  What exactly entails a “rebuilding cycle”?  When a team isn’t a competitive force in their division and can’t even make a run for a wildcard seed, it’s time for an overhaul.  If that team is finishing at the bottom of offensive and defensive categories and can’t seem to put together a winning season also, it’s time to rebuild.  When that team has spent the better part of a decade as the slum of the league, can only put together two .500 seasons in that time, and has only two of their 1st round draft picks on the roster, well, that team is ashes.  That’s what we were… A big ol’ steaming pile of ashes.  This calls for a change in regime.”

“Enter Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen.”

“General Manager Reggie McKenzie’s first order of business was to fire Hue-Jax and hire Dennis Allen.  Next order of business was to start to shore up one of the league’s most pathetic defenses by signing a hand-full of free agents (Phillip Wheeler included).  Item #3 on Reggie Mac’s to do list was to somehow walk away from the draft with something viable after not getting a pick until the #95 pick where he chose Tony Bergstrom.”

“With a whopping $150+ million dollars committed to a $120 million dollar cap it was time to trim the fat by releasing high-salary yet under-performing players.  Then we all scream and moan about guys like Seymour, Kelly, DHB, & Huff being released (not to mention Rolando McClain), and not realizing this was vital to our rebuild.  All of this building to our current status.”

“This is the year that Reggie has been working toward.  A surplus of money to lure veteran free agents with a chip on their shoulder, an early round 1 draft pick and possibly up to 7-8 more picks in later rounds, and a coach and system that is on its 3rd season (although I must throw in the failed zone blocking season).”

“Since the beginning of the current free agent season and now with the draft right around the corner we, as fans, need to sift through all of the hype about who the Raiders need to make an instant impact.  Who will the Raiders pick at #5?  Who will the Raiders trade down with?  Who will the Raiders trade up with?  Is the future of the Raiders franchise in this draft class?  There are two things I do know about this upcoming draft and they are; 1. Only Reggie and DA know, and, 2. Nothing we say will affect their decisions.”

“Our opinion as fans obviously isn’t a factor unless it’s a high-profile player that the fans approve of and ultimately believe in to help fill seats.  Other than that, we have not one ounce of control.  There is something we can do however, we can all shift gears back to rebuilding mode and realize that spending a 1st round pick on a high-profile, instant impact player, will most definitely improve our team at that position and be the playmaker we need to spark our team late in games but we need to resurrect every drop of patience we have left (although most of us are all bone-dry) and look ahead one year.”

“This upcoming season isn’t the “glory season” we’ve been waiting for.  With the toughest schedule in the league, the fact that we were the only team in the AFC West not to get into the playoffs, and the fact that we play the NFC West and then some this season, I think it’s pretty safe to say that unless there is a come-to-Jesus-moment early in the season, and the entire team buys into a solid hope, we should be pretty proud if we can even get to 8-8.  That would be an outstanding improvement.”

“All of the pre-draft hype is all focused on the 1st rounders and often some highlighted 2nd rounders.  Please Raider Nation, do not forget that our very own Mr. Reggie Mac found a franchise gem and future all-pro by drafting Sio Moore in the 3rd round a year ago who was the Pepsi NFL Rookie Of The Week in week 8 of last season.”

“This draft is the deepest draft I have ever witnessed and there are more players as valuable as Sio Moore in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and even 6th rounds.  If the Raiders trade down (which I would love to see), we will potentially pick up the trading team’s 1st round, 2nd or 3rd, and 5th or 6th round picks, a future 2015 pick, and/or possibly a veteran player from that team.  In turn we move down no more than seven picks, still get a high-profile, instant impact player, along with at least two more 2014 picks which we desperately need especially since we don’t have a 5th or 6th round pick this year.”

“Now what does more draft picks spell: Depth.”

“It seems to me that the correct formula to a successful rebuild in this league is this: veterans, young and talented depth on both sides of the ball, sprinkled with a few playmakers here and there… Viola, you have the personnel in place who, if put in situations to close the game out and win, will make the team a viable competitor in any division, in any conference.”