Oakland Raiders Heading into Minicamp with Optimism

First point: Goodbye, Kirk. We will miss you. You exemplified what a Raider should be, you always gave your all, you wore your heart on your sleeve, and you were relentlessly optimistic. We all wish you well in Jacksonville.


What a long, strange trip it's been with JaMarcus Russell. As of right now, he's still on the roster, for what it's worth. But rampant speculation has him being cut any time now, and it's hard to see any valid reason to keep him around any longer.

The end of the Russell era has occurred in the hearts and minds of Raider Nation already. We moved on long ago and now enter our first mini-camp with more reasons for optimism than we've had in a long time.

The draft this year was excellent. Rather than reaching for guys with raw talent and athletic ability early in the draft, the Raiders chose to go with excellent football players that should be able to jump in and contribute heavily to a resurgence right away.

The Raiders then snagged their raw, talented, and athletic players like Jacoby Ford and Bruce Campbell further down the line, at appropriate junctures in the draft.

But the thing that has Raider Nation so stoked: picking up starting QB Jason Campbell from the Washington Redskins for a conditional fourth round pick in 2012. Little-to-no risk involved in the trade, with the potential for a huge return.

Coach Tom Cable was vocal in his belief that if the Raiders had solid QB play from jump last season, they would have had a great shot at playoff contention. While that may have been overstating the case a little, we all saw how the Raiders responded to the fiery passion and leadership of Bruce Gradkowski when he was handed the reins. That alone was enough to elicit some "what ifs."

Now the Raiders have a quarterback that has struggled at times, but has been far more consistent and explosive than anyone behind center for the Silver & Black sinc...

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