- May 3, 2009
[h1]Winning attitude important in building Oakland Raiders[/h1]
April 30, 2:21 AM
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DHB will block as well as catch.
Photo by AP Photo/Nick Wass, File
- Infected by losing
- Buying team concept
- Arguing the Raiders draft
- Murphy ready to work hard
- Special teams play underrated but important
- Oakland needs Raider attitude
- Asomugha elite on and off the field
The common thread among all of the players selected by the Oakland Raiders is that all of the draft picks are high work ethic players who are leaders and winners. This is a far cry from the Raiders of the recent past who were about themselves first, and a sign that the culture of losing that has infected the Raiders for years is finally lifting.
The first round pick Darrius Heyward-Bey of Maryland, whose selection at number seven was mocked by most draft followers, could not talk enough about following the lead of Jerry Rice's legendary work ethic. He has also made it a point that one of his strengths is his ability to block down-field. This is a stark contrast to the favored pick Michael Crabtree making a gesture of relief when his name wasn't called to join the Oakland Raiders.
Second round pick, Mike Mitchell from Ohio University managed to work his way up draft boards for different teams, despite not getting invited to the combine or receiving any of the predraft hype. He had to work harder than anybody else taken on the first day to receive that honor. He has also handled himself with nothing but class since hearing his selection bashed mercilessly.
Fourth round pick Louis Murphy was a team captain his senior year at Florida. He toiled in the shadow of first round pick and now Minnesota Viking Philadelphia Eagle Percy Harvin. This did not bother him as his goal is not personal numbers, but wins. When Cable called him to tell him that he was now a Raider, Murphy's first response was to ask for the strength and conditioning coach's number, and his second thing was asking to play special teams. Special teams is the all guts no glory type work, that makes the difference between wins and losses.
The Raiders added another worker as an undrafted free agent in Florida Atlantic's Frantz Joseph. These guys are representative of what Coach Cable wants to bring to the Oakland Raiders. It has to be about having that winning attitude and playing as a team. Nnamdi Asomugha and Justin Fargas shared the Oakland Raiders "Commitment to Excellence" award this past offseason, because they have that attitude.Gibril Wilson, on the other hand, was cut because he didn't.
Coach Cable is bringing the team together, which is something that has not happened for the Raiders. Fullback Luke Lawton said it best, "I love Coach Cable. I would take a bullet for that man. He cares for us as individuals, and he understands that we have to stay together in the system."
There have been numerous questions about the draft after a very solid free agent signing period. However, the draft guides only go so far in analyzing the prospect. There is no measurement for heart. The Raiders are populating the team with players who will leave everything on the field, and that is a recipe for success.
bash all you want haters, the raiders are gonna be back real soon.