If you scroll the Google, finding NFL greatness isn’t difficult. Yet, not every team enjoys the blessings that elite ones do. While individual players make teams intriguing, a succession of them makes them legendary. The key is maintaining the legacy through drafting and signing players. Granted, Pittsburgh’s edge rushers, Chicago’s MLB and Dallas QB help their teams standout. However, few teams sport a lineage like the Oakland Raiders secondary. With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching, rookie DBs must understand the team they are joining in Oakland. Here’s a list of reasons why being a top-flight rookie/free agent Raider DB is tougher than any other team.
Presence: Al Davis believed in keeping former players, especially standouts around the team. Hall of Fame CB Willie Brown continues his role as Director of Staff Development, a job he’s held since 1995. Before that, he served as DB coach for the Raiders. Fans can still see him on the sidelines during games.
2017 Draft: Tony Iosso’s Mock Draft 2.0 (Post Combine)
2017 Free Agency: Looking at the NFL’s biggest winners and losers
cover32 Exclusive:: Watch this one-on-one interview with the combine’s fastest prospect John Ross
Like it or not, former Raiders safety Ronnie Lott leads a group trying to keep the team in Oakland. Say what you will about Lott’s decision to choose sides, he’s trying to keep a team in the city of its origin. With that said, he watches the games and comments on the last line of defense as well.
Media: While there was no happier Raiders fan to see Charles Woodson on TV than I was. You can hear his affection for the organization. For example, the following clip shows Woodson’s devotion to the team and RaiderNation. After 14 years of media types insulting the Raiders and their fans, feels good to have a strong proponent on the air.
Overcoming Bust History: Unfortunately, for every Nnamdi Asomugha or (5-time Pro Bowl CB) Terry McDaniel, and Skip Thomas, Lester Hayes and Mike Haynes there is Patrick Bates, D.J. Hayden or Michael Huff. The Raiders selected Bates with the twelfth pick of the 1993 draft. Bates’ size and speed immediately drew interest. Where he failed was his dislike of the team atmosphere. So, he walked away after two seasons. Some players aren’t made to wear the Silver and Black. Yet, fewer are cut out to man the secondary.
In reality, the Raiders secondary is an exclusive club. Immediately, players like Karl Joseph display the style fans enjoy. On the other hand, last year proved brutal to watch as the secondary struggled in spots. Yet, a new year brings new excitement. Chances are Reggie McKenzie will draft a DB this year. Above all, to succeed, he must be able to play with intellect, passion and ferocity. From Brown to Joseph and beyond, the line of greatness must continue.