Three New Years Resolutions: Oakland Raiders
The 2015 Oakland Raiders' New Year's Resolutions
1) BUILD A NEW STADIUM *correction* HAVE A NEW STADIUM PLAN IN PLACE
It pains me to think about how this has been on the Raiders New Year's Resolution list since John Madden won a Super Bowl in 1977. It is even more maddening (no pun intended) that the closest this has been to happening was when Al Davis moved the team to Los Angeles in 1980. After 15 years in Los Angeles and getting absolutely nowhere the team moved back to Oakland in 1995. Since then, there have been monthly reports about the possibility of the Raiders getting new digs. My favorite one came recently when the Prince of Dubai was reportedly involved in the talks via the lobbying of Jean Quan. In the summer of 2014 when reports came out of the team being courted by San Antonio, I was cautiously optimistic. I was cautious because it was a report involving the Raiders moving but optimistic because it seemed like there was a city who wanted the Raiders in town. With recent reports of Mark Davis signing a new 1-year lease in Oakland and officially naming Marc Baidan team president, it seems like San Antonio is just another pipe dream. Then again, 2015 has actually started off well for the team. For once I feel like the Raiders are making steps in the right direction with their personnel. I am a new generation of Raider fan and I have never had a sense of confidence in this team like I have since 2015 began.
2) KEEP THE RIGHT PLAYERS AND COACHES IN OAKLAND
Jack Del Rio is already on the right path to hiring the right coaches to make this team successful. There are reports of Marc Trestman interviewing for the offensive coordinator position and Mike Tice has already been hired to coach a surprisingly impressive offensive line. A crucial decision that Del Rio has to make is retaining defensive backs coach Joe Woods and his assistant Marcus Robertson. The secondary unit of the team played their hearts out despite a rash of injuries. More importantly Pro Bowl snub, Charles Woodson want them back. He was by far the best defensive player on the team not named Khalil Mack. I think this warrants another year on the job for those coaches. In addition to that, keeping players like Stefen Wisniewski is a priority. Some say that he is only worth an average salary but he is young and if moved back to the guard position, he could be worth a bit of a raise.
3) WIN FOOTBALL GAMES
The Raiders need to be more than competitive. The days of having a moral victory to boost morale are over. I am not saying that they are ready to make the playoffs but they need a winning season. Take for example the Buffalo Bills. The Bills had not had a winning season since 2004. They went 9-7 in 2014 and that is something that can be accomplished in Oakland. The excuse of having the toughest schedule in the league has run its course. There are no more excuses. The following quote has never been more applicable to me as a Raider fan since it was uttered after their 1983 Super Bowl victory.
“When you have great coaches…then after you get great coaches you get great players. You have a great organization and you tell ‘em one thing: ‘Just Win, Baby!”