Oakland Raiders: Is It Time To Party Like It’s 1999?

Someone once said that, "those who can not learn from history are doomed to repeat it".

I guess that statement can be a matter of perspective depending on whom it's applied to and what part of history is being repeated.

Al Davis has seen this statement come to pass as the Raiders have revisited the mid 90's. During those dark times the Raiders were plagued with underachieving players and coaches that were as equally ineffective. The greatness of the Raiders trickled away with the great players like Marcus Allen, Bo Jackson and Howie Long, all leaving one by one. The long legacy of the Raiders winning ways faded into mediocrity.

In 1998 Al Davis hired a young head coach named Jon Gruden. After a disappointing 4-12 season the year before, the Raiders had glaring needs and they answered by drafting Charles Woodson, Mo Collins and Jon Ritchie.

After reaching 8-8 in 1998 Davis and Gruden once again approached the draft with glaring needs. Matt Stinchcomb, Eric Barton and Rod Coleman were the newest Raider rookies that would make an impact.

The 1999 season ended with a second consecutive 8-8 record. The difference was though, was that the Raiders went from a bad team, to an inconsistent team. During that season, the Raiders beat the 10-6 Minnesota Vikings, 9-7 Kansas City Chiefs, 9-7 Seattle Seahawks, 11-5 Buffalo Bills, and the 11-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On the flip side, they lost to some very subpar teams along the way. The Raiders never put together more than two consecutive wins the whole season.

Sound familiar?

Tom Cable's Raiders will have the same opportunity this year that Jon Gruden's did after the 1999 season. He is coaching an inconsistent group that will need a boost from this year’s draft as well as free agency. Instead of a complete overhaul, the Raiders should be looking for some leadership in key positions.

The 2009 Raider team accomplishments mirror...

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