There is an elephant in the room and every other sports writer on the planet is going to want to talk about him.
I will attempt to write an entire blog post without mentioning He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Minicamp can be the start of a magical season or the start of yet another disaster. For the Raiders, a winning record and/or a playoff appearance would be a magical season.
Seven years of losing takes a toll on any fan base. California’s economy aided the Raiders step backwards in 2009 in regards to television blackouts.
Can the Raiders climb out of the basement and back into respectability? It all starts today with a non-contact minicamp.
Last season minicamp was plagued by injuries, dropped passes and work ethic question. Not a very good way to start of a season; a season in which the Raiders won five games.
This season feels different. There is a positive vibe coming from the Raiders organization, the fans and the media.
There is one black eye on the Raiders organization., but not even “Voldemort” himself can put a damper on those vibes.
Tom Cable was giddy about Darrius Heyward-Bey’s progress. While it is hard to truly believe anything coming from the organization when it comes to a much maligned player, it isn’t often a coach smiles from ear-to-ear about a guy’s progress. He is one player to really keep an eye on this offseason.
The Raiders defensive scheme mystery is among the more interesting “good mysteries” in years. It is something the Raiders should either clear up quickly or sandbag until the regular season.
There is a lot development needed on the offensive line. It will be difficult to see how Jared Veldheer and Bruce Campbell develop if the Raiders are sticking to the zone blocking scheme, but that could be a potential twist as well. Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson is a smash mouth coach who favors drive blocking. During his pre-draft press conference, for the first and only time, Tom Cable didn’t confirm the Raiders would be a zone blocking only team.
There is plenty of intrigue surrounding this minicamp and it grows by the very minute.
The media turnout for the Raiders minicamp is substantial. The Raiders, if only for a moment, have become relevant again.
More to come…