2011 NFL Offseason: Are the Oakland Raiders Climbing Back Atop the NFL?

Coming into this season, I had very high hopes for the Oakland Raiders and their quest to return to the NFL playoffs.  But considering the horrible management and long lusting seasons from the past several years, many people thought something was seriously wrong with me. After finishing the season at .500, including a 6-0 record against AFC West opponents, the Oakland Raiders are progressing.

After firing head coach Tom Cable, former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson has been promoted to take over the team. With Cable taking a job in Seattle as an offensive line coach, one player in particular to watch this offseason is lineman Robert Gallery, a close friend of Cable. But who knows, many players may choose to follow their once-beloved head coach or return to Oakland with Jackson.

Here is a breakdown and summary of the good (and bad) things that happened for the Raiders during the 2010 season and what they should be concerned about:


Darren McFadden:

What an outstanding year for him, after nearly being listed as a bust for the early stages of his young career. The former Razorback finally showed his potential after being plagued by injuries the first two years of his career and playing behind Justin Fargas.  McFadden finally was able to prove his worth while finishing the season with 1,664 total yards and 10 touchdowns. Michael Bush also stepped in as the running back when McFadden suffered an ankle injury. Bush, who is a free agent this offseason, would gather much interest in the market if he does not re-sign with Oakland.

Rookie play:

For the first time in a while, a Raiders' rookie draft class actually managed to play very well in a season. With improving play from Rolando McClain, Lamarr Houston and Jacoby Ford, The Raiders and their fans must be feeling hopeful after the production from this draft class in only their first NFL season....

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