Free Agency Will Give a Very Different Look To the 2011 Oakland Raiders

We’ve all been fixated on the coaching change in Oakland where Al Davis elected not to renew Tom Cable’s contract despite, by all accounts, the Raiders making significant, if inconsistent, progress this season. However, with the changes coming this off season to the Raiders roster, a new head coach should be of less concern than the re-signing of several key free agents.

While Raider Nation saw progress, an 8-8 season is seldom something to celebrate. A “we’re not losers any more”,(or “we don’t suck as bad as we used to”), wasn’t the mantra Davis wanted.

Letting Cable go makes sense if Davis foresaw Hue Jackson leaving for another head coaching position and determined that Jackson is more critical to Raider success going forward than Cable. If that’s the case, he should name Jackson the new head coach immediately instead of continuing to allow Jackson test the open market.

To those who are upset with the lack of consistency at the head coaching level, I say that with over 14 key contributors going into free agency, player consistency is going to be the key success factor. We’ll likely see a very different Oakland Raiders team next season.

The heart and soul of the Oakland Raiders offense has been the running game. Darren McFadden finally broke out after several injury plagued seasons.

Michael Bush proved to be a solid every down back in his absence, and a great complementary back when McFadden was healthy. The path for the running game was paved by a solid offensive line, anchored by Robert Gallery and Samson Satele.

Bush, Gallery, and Satele, along with Langston Walker and Cooper Carlisle, are all free agents. Bush has been impatiently biding his time as a back-up for several years, and will demand starter level money to stay if he can be dissuaded from leaving for a team that will let him start.

The running game was...

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