Al Davis and Tom Cable Are Closing The Door On 7 Years Of Raider Woes



  It was January 26th of 2003, a day that would define the once proud Oakland Raider franchise for the next seven years. It was a day that should have been celebrated. The Raiders were making their fifth SuperBowl appearance against a Buccaneer team that the Raiders, on any other day, would have methodically dismantled. However, fate had another agenda as the Bucs took advantage of an ill-prepared Raider team.

In previous years, an aging Raider team had watched their opportunities taken away. In the 2000 AFC Championship, The Baltimore Ravens sent Tony Saragusa to take quarterback Rich Gannon out of the game. It worked. Gannon's shoulder was separated, and the Raiders were unable to move the football. The following year, the Raiders again fell victim to the infamous "Snow Job," where the officials misinterpreted the "Tuck" rule and gave the New England Patriots a gift that they would have not received if it was against any other NFL opponent.

When the Raiders took the field in 2002, they left nothing to chance. They pillaged the NFL; dismantling teams with the precision of an offense lead by MVP quarterback Rich Gannon.

Then the wheels fell off....

The last team that the Oakland Raiders wanted to face in the SuperBowl was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jon Gruden, the Bucs head coach, was in his first season in Tampa after being traded from Oakland. His former offensive coordinator and new Raider coach Bill Callahan had created the playbook for the Oakland offense. A playbook that had not been changed since Gruden was there. On top of that, the NFL decided to experiment with the SuperBowl by playing the game only one week after the Championship game instead of the customary two weeks. That decision cost the Raiders any chance of revamping the playcalls.

If that wasn't enough, Center Barrett Robbins, who was going to the ProwBowl and was sited for his excellent job of c...

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