Mark Davis, Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen Lead the Way for the Oakland Raiders New Era
Elias Trejo – Feb 1, 2012With Al Davis gone, there is new leadership that will lead the Oakland Raiders into a new era. Needless to say, this isn't your grandpa's or dad's Raiders anymore. There have been many changes already made heading into the first full season without Al Davis, and there should be much more to come as the Autumn Wind is starting to feel much different than ever before.
Much has been made about the hiring of new General Manager Reggie McKenzie, who will now be in charge of all football operations. The Raiders have never had a person in charge of all football operations other than Al Davis. Mr. Davis always had control and rarely gave much control to others. Now McKenzie has the control and he will use what he has learned with the Packers organization to help build and usher in the new era in Oakland.
McKenzie's first task as the general manager was to fire current coach Hue Jackson. While many disagreed with this move, it was a move that had to be made. In the NFL you are judged by your wins and losses and the clock starts ticking the moment you take the job.
As a new GM, if you are going to succeed or fail; you have to do it with your own guy and you have to do it your way. There was no need to keep a head coach from the previous regime, and there is no need to put the first year of your career inÂ jeopardyÂ with a coach you didn't hire.
McKenzie's next task was to hire a new head coach that would help him bring in the "New Era" in Oakland. He mentioned in his opening press conference that he had a short list of head coaching candidates he wanted to look at and he wanted "his guy" to lead the team.
This is where McKenzie deserves a lot of credit as a business man and as a general manager. Everyone, including me, thought it was a given that McKenzie would go and hire someone from the Packers organization, like Winston Moss.
Everyone expected him to hire Moss, because that is what people do when they are given power for the first time. When someone is given power they go and hire the people they are comfortable with. Coach Jackson did just that when Jason Campbell went down and Al Davis passed away. He brought in "his guys" when he needed a quarterback and wide receiver. He brought in Carson Palmer and gave away a first and second round pick for his services. He signed TJ Houshmanzadeh when the Raiders needed a veteran receiver.
Jackson brought these guys in because he had worked with them before and knew what they could do. Unfortunately, they didn't help Oakland reach the playoffs and they didn't help Jackson keep his job.
McKenzie could have easily done the same thing and nobody would have blamed him because hiring a Packers coordinator was expected. Instead, McKenzie did his dueÂ diligenceÂ and interviewed various people around the league. That is what great leaders are supposed to do when they are put in charge. They do their homework and find the right man for the job, regardless of previous relationships or expectations.
McKenzie didn't go with the guys people expected him to go to. Instead he embarked on a search for the new head coach.
That search led him to hire Dennis Allen, who will have the ability to assemble his own coaching staff. He'll have control over every coordinator that works for the Raiders. No coach in recent memory had that ability when Al Davis was running the show. Allen showed fire and passion during his first press conference as a Raiders coach.
The word discipline came out of his mouth like an order, instead of a wish. He talked about his team playing football with respect for the game and respect for those who played before them. Many say this is nothing but coach speak, which the Raiders had plenty of last year, but this was much more than that.
Allen was not only stating what his coaching philosophy would be heading into the 2012 season, but he was stating what the Raiders philosophy will be heading into the new era. The Raiders are changing the way they do business on and off the field, and it will be much different than Al did it.
These changes, although much different than the Raider Nation is used to, will be for the betterment of the organization.
Let's not forget about the real man in charge of this "New Era." There is no question about it, Mark Davis is the captain of this ship and he is steering his organization in the right direction.
Nobody knows more than Mark, that there is only one Al Davis, and only one man was able to run the Raiders like Al did. Though Mark is a different leader than his dad, Â he still has the same goals. Mark, like Al, wants to "Just Win Baby", and wants to have a "CommitmentÂ to Excellence."
During the press conference when McKenzie was announced, Mark said, "I know what I don't know," which meant he wasn't going to pretend to be his dad. He knew he had to hire a man that would take the Raiders back to their winning tradition and that hire was McKenzie.
These three men will be the new faces of the Oakland Raiders, and they'll also be the leaders of this "New Era" that you will continue to hear a lot about. The Raider Nation must be ready for a change, and after a decade of not having a winning season, it's about time a change was made.
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