Mark Davis is out to prove that he is his own man. If you don’t believe it then just sit back and watch as the Oakland Raiders change before your very eyes.
Hiring a GM was something Al Davis refused to do despite the fact that the last time he had one his team made it to the Super Bowl. The very second this season ended Mark Davis brought in Reggie McKenzie. Let’s hope history repeats itself sooner than later.
Hiring a head coach with a defensive pedigree was something Al Davis never believed in. The second Reggie McKenzie was hired his first order of business was to fire the offensive minded Hue Jackson. Starting tomorrow the Raiders will begin yet another search for a head coach. Thus far most of the names that have surfaced are coaches with a defensive background. Most are also currently coaching in Green Bay as McKenzie looks to build the Packers West.
The Raider times they are a changing.
The first man to sit in front of Reggie McKenzie that will make his pitch to become Hue Jackson’s replacement will be Todd Bowles. The man that took over as interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins was once a defensive back in the NFL and has made his bones coaching up DBs.
Beyond Bowles the other names that are linked to McKenzie’s pool of candidates are Winston Moss, Darren Perry and Dom Capers.
All of those men are defensive minds and chances are not a single one of them would have ever made head coach under Al Davis.
For starters, AD was the default defensive coordinator of the Raiders. There is just no way he was going to waste any of his time arguing with a head coach that wanted to run the defense his way. Hence the reason why retreads like John Marshall and Chuck Bresnahan were given coordinator jobs in recent years.
While Winston Moss has been rumored to be a candidate the last two times the Raiders searched for a head coach at no point in time did it ever seem likely he’d get the gig.
This time around things will be much different and Mark Davis will see to it.
Capers is currently coaching with Moss in Green Bay where McKenzie just came from. It is only natural both men are the mix. Despite the Packers’ poor defensive performance this season Capers has long been regarded as one of the better defensive minds in the game and is a big reason why the Lombardi trophy came back to its natural home last year.
As Hue Jackson was quick to point out in his infamous press conference the Raiders’ defense was a major disappointment this year and has been during this long absence from the postseason.
No matter the ultimate reasoning behind Mark Davis’ desire to go in a different direction it is clear that change is badly needed. This franchise has failed to stop the run for the last decade and this season was historically bad.
Just imagine how much different this season would have gone had the Raiders had a defense on par with the offense. That has got to be the thought that caused Jackson to blow his lid and is surely something that often crossed the mind of Mark Davis.
For decades the Raiders were known for the vertical game but any Raider team that has ever had great success also boasted of an intimidating and dominant defense. Perhaps Mark Davis just wants to honor his father’s memory by bringing back the Raider Way via the defense. Maybe he just wants to do things in exact contrast to his father.
Whatever the case change is here.
While the coaching staff is currently the focus the next step will be to rid the franchise of players that are a part of the problem. No telling how drastic the coming moves will be. Just know that they won’t be the typical Al Davis-type changes.