History of Las Vegas Raiders
For a team with black as their primary color, one of the best descriptors of the Raider’s history is colorful. From the moves to the personalities, everything about the Raiders helps paint the picture of the NFL.
They were an original AFL team in 1960, owned by the most colorful of characters, Al Davis. The team he built and the style of play he preferred fit into the population of Oakland perfectly. Although had he gone with the original name, the Oakland Señors, it’s hard to imagine the popularity they enjoy today. Señors Nation doesn’t have the same ring.
Fortunately, Señors was scrapped and replaced with Raiders, and one of the most iconic brands in the NFL was born. So much so that, unlike other teams, when the Raiders moved cities, their fans stayed loyal. Through the move to Los Angeles in 1982, the move back to Oakland in 1994, and the move to Las Vegas in 2019.
Las Vegas Raiders Fans
The fans have also stayed loyal despite 20 years of struggles. They haven’t won a playoff game since 2002, the last time they won the AFC West.
It hasn’t always been this way. The Raiders won Super Bowl XI, XV, and XVIII. But this marks their 39th season since they last lifted the Lombardi Trophy, and their “Commitment to Excellence” slogan is becoming a distant memory.
The great characters of the team were also great players and coaches, with Hall of Fame coach John Madden leading the way. He won a Super Bowl in Oakland and then became the most popular NFL broadcaster of all time.
Ted Hendricks was a huge personality, and a four-time First-Team All-Pro. Dave Casper is a Hall of Famer and forever immortalized by NFL Films replays of “The Holy Roller.” The Raiders also have the only punter in the history of the Hall of Fame, Ray Guy.
NFL Big Changes from Last Season – Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders were in the playoffs last season for just the second time in 20 years, so they are clearly headed in the right direction. Big changes weren’t required.
But because of how last season played out, with Jon Gruden’s unceremonious departure from the team in the middle of the year, big changes came. There is a new head coach in Las Vegas in the person of Josh McDaniels, and he brings with him a certain amount of excitement but hesitation.
Josh McDaniels Head Coach for Raiders
Exciting, in that McDaniels has been the offensive right-hand man for Bill Belichick for much of the last two decades, and by proxy a guy who worked alongside Tom Brady. That should mean good things for Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.
The hesitation, however, comes from McDaniels’ previous experience as a head coach. He left New England in 2009 to try his hand at leading the Broncos, and it did not go well. He was 11-17 before he was fired in his second season.
But that was more than 10 years ago, and presumably, he has grown considerably as a coach over that time. His jewelry collection has grown, and he now has six Super Bowl rings as an assistant coach.
The other thing that should mean good things for Derek Carr is the addition of wide receiver Davante Adams. Not only is Adams one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, he’s a former college teammate of Carr. In the two years that played together at Fresno State, Adams caught 102 passes for 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns, then he went for 131-1719-24.
He led the nation in each of those categories in 2013, and his 24 touchdowns is the fourth highest single-season total in FBS history.
Watching the Carr-Adams reunion should be fun.