This current Raiders squad has a ton of talent and the ability to be one of the top teams in the league. They have their franchise quarterback locked up for quite a while, two receivers with explosive potential, a hard nosed running back signed for another year if they want him, and a defense that has the talent to compete with the best offenses in the league. So why did they struggle in 2017?
Even the great players in the league need direction and even the most jaw dropping potential only develops under the right level of nurturing. The Raiders used to always be a team that opponents were afraid of on a yearly basis. Seeing their logo on a fan’s hoodie was enough to make you cross the street and run for cover, however, the new direction the team has taken has left them on the rise but very soft. They don’t have the killer instinct this team used to be know for.
That’s where Chucky comes in and makes these players who overachieved two years ago, then fell apart last season, the team they need to be to strike fear into the league once again. Imagine the improvement Derek Carr will make when he drops some of that gentlemanly persona and takes on some of the bad boy swagger that Raiders players were known for before the NFL changed the rules. Sure the league itself has gotten soft over the nine years that Gruden has been sitting in a press box and it’s no longer acceptable to cleat an opponent in the crotch and then spit in his face but in my opinion that makes the hiring of an overconfident coach even more important to this once proud team who is trying to figure out their future.
The danger here is that Gruden who has been out of coaching for so long that he became somewhat immortalized as the next messiah, does have a Super Bowl ring, but his overall record isn’t quite as sparkling as most of us probably remember. In eleven years as a Head Coach he has a regular season record of 95-81, which comes out to 8.6 wins per season. That means you’d have to round up to even put his average squad in the running for a Wild Card berth in most years. He’s also only 5-4 in the postseason.
Where hiring Gruden benefits this team the most is by helping to put people in the seats as they attempt to relocate in the near future. He is the type of coach that will make highlights and headlines and that will keep the Black in Silver in the spotlight as they go forward.
I’m not sure this is the right move for anyone hoping this team finally finds their way back to a Super Bowl, but it should definitely bring them back to the days of being a top franchise and give fans something to boast about at least for now.