Well I've finally forgiven my Raiders for their business decision to move to the desert. The unforgivable city officials are the villains I blame for the breakdown in negotiations to stay in Oakland. They had home field advantage, possession of the ball, time on the clock and still simply fumbled the ball away, game over. I may not agree with owner Mark Davis moving the team, but I understand when it's comes to doing profitable bizzness!
I do expect to celebrate an Oakland Raiders Super Bowl championship before they leave the bay. We diehard, dedicated silver and black fans are owed nothing less than a Lombardi Trophy to add to our championship case. Over the past fifteen years we've put up with our city, our owner, our team, our league all falling short of helping the Raiders return to greatness. Now we appear to be rebuilt and loaded with all the arsenal needed to take our place amongst the elite NFL teams of the league once again.
My training camp visit didn't reveal much about the team. It was a hot, sweaty, Napa, California afternoon that brought out the silver and black fans, God love'em. As usual, it's the offensive position football skills that are most noticeable at training camps. And let me say that the Raiders have running backs, receivers, quarterbacks and a plan to attack defenses this season.
QB Derek Carr was his accurate throwing self with no signs of lingering effects from the leg injury sustained last season. Carr looks reeling and ready to go, showing a zest for the love of his teammates and the game. Former first round pick EJ Manuel is a Raider and could prove invaluable should our..............let's just say he's a welcome sight to see backing up Carr. He was rifling passes to receivers in practice with pinpoint accuracy. I still like the kid Connor Cook's arm. Connor I saw dropping passes into the hands of receivers with a touch so graceful; but again it is non-contact practice.
Briefly saw Marshawn Lynch beast-ing through the O-line, but it was DeAndre Washington showing off an explosive toughness to finish plays right in front of me that pumped up the volume. DeAndre looks like he added some muscle and/or beast attitude over the offseason. He'll need it to spell Lynch and pick up the slack from big back Latavius Murray leaving to the Vikings. Jalen Richard and George Atkinson III were there but didn't see much of them. Nor did I see the Mexico City Marauder FB Jamize Olawale, who should be a big part of our short yardage offense this season. And we can't sleep on rookie RB Elijah Hood. Yah never know what young buck the beast bug will rub off on. He's a likely candidate!
New tight end Jared Cook was also seen making plays. There was also the little speedster Jaydon Mickens, wide receiver from last season's practice squad, sprinting around tacklers bringing back memories of Jacoby Ford . And did I mention newly acquired wide receiver/kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson showing off his receiving and returning skills?
It's only Day 4 of training camp. I'm like all football fans in August, craving on-field action with a passion that's snarling at the end of it's leash. I've been here before with the Raiders, seeing all the potential on the team and thinking "yes, this is our year." Well folks, with little to go on but gut instinct, I'm already planning to attend a championship parade in Oakland come 2018, and it won't be led by Steph Curry, Draymond Green or KD. I'm talking Carr, Mack, BeastMode and the whole damn cast of silver and black personnel right down to the Raiderettes riding up Broadway and around Lake Merritt in a victory parade like no other. The Raiders have a good chance to go the distance this season and I am onboard for the ride. Win, Lose or Tie...........
Oakland Raiders 2017
"It's Our Year!"