Oakland Raiders: The Autumn Wind of Change in the Air

The Autumn wind is a pirate
Blustering in from sea
With a rollicking song he sweeps along
Swaggering boisterously.
His face is weatherbeaten
He wears a hooded sash
With a silver hat about his head
And a bristling black mustache
He growls as he storms the country
A villain big and bold
And the trees all shake and quiver and quake
As he robs them of their gold.
The Autumn wind is a Raider
Pillaging just for fun
He'll knock you 'round and upside down
And laugh when he's conquered and won.


Well, the Autumn Wind has been fairly still since the Raiders last Super Bowl appearance. Veterans Rich Gannon, Rod Woodson, Trace Armstrong, Bill Romanowski and Barrett Robbins all had career-ending injuries and failed physicals, along with Pro Bowler Lincoln Kennedy retiring. Mr. Raider, Tim Brown, was released, and later, the ageless Jerry Rice was traded.

Leadership and morale dropped big time in Raider Nation through all the coaching changes, draft picks not panning out as well as free agents. Lamont Jordan was a solid runner, but wasn't given the ball enough. Kerry Collins was brought in and put up the stats, but always turned the ball over at bad times. Warren Sapp wasn't a good fit for Rob Ryan's defense and forced him to switch to a 4-3. 

Eventually, good young players like Eric Barton and Rod Coleman left as free agents. Other young players like Charles Woodson, Jerry Porter and Phillip Buchannon demanded to get out. Later came the Randy Moss trade that was nothing but a fiasco. 

Things started looking up when Tom Cable was actually given a third year as head coach. High draft picks like Robert Gallery, Michael Huff, Darren McFadden and Nnamdi Asomugha had started playing the way they were expected to.

The stunning move then came at the end of the 2010 season, when Al Davis opted to let Cable go in favor of ...

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