With former Raiders running back Marcus Allen being inducted into the
Hall-of-Fame, let’s look at those currently wearing Silver & Black and their
Jerry Rice: The
requirement is that a player must be out of the game for five years to be
eligible but they should make an exception for Rice. He owns every receiving
record imaginable and is still better than most at his position even though he
is two months shy of his 41st birthday. You could probably name the
two best receivers ever by simply breaking Rice’s career into two 10-year
increments. Chances – Slam dunk.
Tim Brown: He is
a distant second behind Rice in virtually all categories and is coming off a
down year by his lofty standards. Brown, however, owns virtually ever Raiders
receiving record and figures to remain productive even though he is playing a
lesser role in the offense now. Chances – Slam dunk.
Rich Gannon: Has
enjoyed an outstanding four-year run since becoming the starting quarterback in
Oakland and had a record-setting season in 2002 on the way to earning the NFL
MVP. What may hurt Gannon’s chances, however, is the fact that he did not get
his chance until later in his career. Chances – Possible.
Charlie Garner: Like Gannon, he did not get
his chance to become a starter until later in his career but over the last three
seasons only Marshall Faulk and Edgerrin James have amassed more total yards
from scrimmage than Garner. He is definitely one of the most versatile players
in the game. Chances – Possible.
The man with two presidential names has become a pillar at right tackle for the
Raiders since joining the team in a trade from Atlanta. Kennedy has been a Pro
Bowl performer the last three seasons. Other than Hall-of-Famer Art Shell, no
other offensive tackle has enjoyed a better career in a Raider uniform. Chances – Possible.
Rod Woodson: He
is a member
of NFL's 75th Anniversary Team and All-NFL team of the Decade for the 1990s.
Woodson has been named to 11 Pro Bowls on the way to becoming the first player
in NFL history to make Pro Bowl as cornerback, kick returner and safety. His 69
interceptions are the most among active performers and third on the all-time NFL
list behind Paul Krause (81) and Emlen Tunnell (79). He is also the all-time
leader in interception return yards in 2002 by gaining 225 yards on the year
pushing his career total to 1,465 yards. Chances – Slam
He has achieved a lot in just a short period of time. Woodson, who entered the
league in 1998, has become a four-time Pro Bowl selection but the last two
seasons have been marred by injury. Chances – Possible but needs a health
Say what you will about his vitamin intake but the fact remains that Romanowski
brings a swagger and leadership that have helped his teams reach five Super
Bowls, winning four. Romanowski may never be mentioned in the elite group of
linebackers but he is durable and reliable. Chances –
He has had an injury-plagued career as a Raider in two seasons but is also one
of the most accomplished pass rushers in NFL history. Armstrong surpassed the
100 sack mark last season with Bruce Smith and John Randle being the only active
players with more sacks. Chances – Likely.
D’Adamo can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org