One of the great truisms is that the elite teams are greater than the sum of their parts. This lack of a unifying esprit d' corps has been on ongoing problem for the Silver and Black during their recent struggles.
At the recent Organized Team Activities it was revealed that the players are spending a lot more time together away from the practice fields. This may not seem like a big thing on the surface, but it is a sign that the team is coming together on a deeper level, which will help them play for each other instead of just themselves.Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey said of the team spirit, " Everybody’s wanting to go out to eat, go over to San Fran, get some dinner, go to the movies or something. It’s more of a team this year."
Head Coach Tom Cable had been talking about the importance of the team spirit and playing "the right way" since he took over for Lane Kiffin in 2008. However, he credits the players for their initiative in this process, "That’s the things we talk about at our team meetings about being a team, looking out for each other and all that. They’re kind of taking the bull by the horns, if you will, and taking it upon themselves to do those kinds of things, and those are important.”
Cable said that it wasn't just one player pulling it together, but that it was spread across the entire team, "There's a lot of guys really kind of involved with this whole thing, different positions doing it and doing it together. So, it's good, it's very good."
Teams that hang together tend to play together. This is the next step in the evolution in the Raiders as they look to escape their malaise that has set in since the Super Bowl loss eight years ago.