I can't deny that what you say is, for the most part, true. What I can say is: the O line looks to be improved already, just by a change in coaching and blocking schemes. I'm sure not going to tell you that everything is fixed, I'm sure it isn't, but the O line will be noticeably better this year.
I really don't see JR starting this year. I'm 99% sure that McCown will be the starter.
The run D is suspect untill proven otherwise, but here again, I think it will be improved with Terdell Sands on the other side of Sapp.
We are in a very tough division, and we do have the toughest schedual in the NFL, but I think we will win at least 2 division games, and possibly 3 this year. I think we can take Denver 1 game and KC twice. Beating SD is a stretch, I know, but we almost beat them the second game last year.
I agree that Kiffin is still a ?, but he seems to have a very good grasp of the situation in Oakland, and he is making some very good moves, so far.
Maybe I'm looking at it from a fan's point of view, but I just don't think its possible to be as bad as it was last year with Shell and Waffles.
I guess all we can do is wait and see how it all unfolds. I'm trying to stay cautiously optimistic.
Like I said, after the last 4 seasons, the Raiders don't deserve to thought of too highly, and I hope they can step up and be the surprise team of the league this year.
I know you aren't a hater... I understand where you're coming from. I hope I can come back at the end of the year and serve you a little crow!
By the way, we open the season against Detroit... we shall see.