So far, Mark Davis’s tenure as the Raiders owner has been a quite one. Many, including myself wondered how he’d run the Raiders once his father passed away. Today was really the first time he’d spoken publicly about the teams plans for the interim and the future. All in all I was impressed how he handled himself while answering questions about their future as well as the reasons he hired Reggie Mackenzie as the Raiders first ever GM even if he’s the only guy he interviewed for the job. Here’s the whole interview of the two new top dogs in the Raiders organization if you care.
One thing they left on the table which was never actually answering during the interview was why the decision was made to fire Hue Jackson. Yes they said it was Reggie Mackenzie’s choice and he wanted to start from stratch, but that wasn’t nearly as firm as when Al Davis would do his semi-annual firing (just ask Lane Kiffin or any ex-Raiders coach for that matter). Raiders fans may never know why he was fired for sure, but you have to bet that some of it had to do with the empty promises he consistently made throughout the season in a Rex Ryan like fashion including the whole building a bully angle, we’ll make the playoffs, less penalties, stopping the run, and the best trade of all-time quotes come to mind as well. The most troubling part about the firing was that he did seem to be liked by the players, and that’s something that’s hard to replace, but at the same time if you have the ears of the players why did they completely forget to show up in a few games!?! I always wondered why he didn’t request more help while handling personnel choices as the head coach/GM this year. I’m sure they would’ve gotten him someone to help out if he asked for it. Hue’s demise was for more than a few reasons. He never put Jason Campbell on the IR opening a spot for perhaps another linebacker or corner back not named Lito Sheppard that we desperately needed. Then there was the whole finishing the season losing four out of five, which could’ve easily been five of five since they played like crap in KC, but one team had to win that game.
Another thing I think that Mark Davis must’ve seen that I even noticed is that they changed a lot of their defensive and offensive philosophies once Al passed away. Would that piss his son off in a season supposedly dedicated to his father? Possibly, and the glaring change in philosophy was letting the defense play zone a lot for the last 12 games, and ultimately killed them in the Lions game when they have always been a man to man type team in the secondary. Should Jackson have been fired? There’s reasons for keeping him and letting him go. Keeping him would basically blame this past season of failures on injuries (justifiable), the defense, and spreading himself too thin playing GM and coach. The firing however shows that they are re-setting the franchise in Mark Davis’ vision of the franchise opposed to his fathers, which is something all Raiders fans might like to see after nearly a decade of losing somewhat like the Warriors tenure change. Although I don’t know a Raiders fan who honestly hated Al even in his bad years.
I think the most impressive part about all this movement in the front office is that Mark Davis consulted people he was close with, and came out with a clear vision that he would get his team into a better place to succeed not so much next year but in the future. No, he’s not a talent evaluator like Al Davis was, but he does clearly have a plan for the future. It all started with getting Reggie Mackenzie on board, and putting a staff together with that talent evaluating ability. Whether or not Reggie knows what he’s doing remains to be seen, but watching the Packers work their way to winning two Super Bowls while he was working for them, isn’t going to hurt. I thought Mackenzie was well spoken, and seemed to have a clear vision of how the organization should be run, so in the end I’m not that sad Hue is gone. If we could keep him on as the OC, I would love to see that happen, but I wouldn’t blame him for turning that job down. Should be interesting to see what’s next for them, but at the same time it’s kinda sad that the A’s, Raiders, and Warriors are all in constant re-build mode, because sadly the Raiders were pretty much the only successful team I’ve had the chance to root for lately…