Since Reggie McKenzie first clocked in he’s been out to do things his way. Inside of one month on the job many of the pet projects, front office personnel and business practices of Al Davis were shown the exit. Quickly the rumors of Mark Davis’ desire to rid the franchise of his father’s finger prints began to spread.
Let’s got something very clear; No matter the true nature of how the Raiders will be run from here out it is an absolute impossibility to erase the Al Davis signature. Certainly his son knows this, that’s why he hired a man like McKenzie for the job instead of trying to fill his father’s shoes.
As for McKenzie, he’s just out to be his own man. There was some very necessary business to take care of in the wake of Al’s over spending and his scholarship program.
All that being said there is still plenty of Davis alive and well in McKenzie’s dealings.
This week revealed a lot of the Davis spirit still flourishing in Oakland like yesterday’s signing of Cal State Fullerton hoopster turned NFL tight end Andre Hardy. Some will see only another team following a trend. However this is a move ripped right from the Davis diary.
Just a few years ago Davis himself convinced a middle linebacker named Chris O’Neill that his future was as a tight end. Now O’Neill hasn’t exactly gone on to a stellar career but it does show the ever watchful eye of Davis at work in his desire to find and develop overlooked talent.
McKenzie might be following a recent trend but he’s keeping in step with ideals put in place by Davis long ago.
Another area in which McKenzie was clearly channeling Davis was when he was asked if the Oakland Raiders were at all interested in participating in HBO’s reality series Hard Knocks. McKenzie’s answer almost sounded like it came straight from Davis himself.
If you ask me, I say no. I like Raider business to stay Raider business.
Now there are some that believe Davis would have been open to having Hard Knocks come to the East Bay. But we all know that would have been on Al’s terms which likely would mean limited access.
McKenzie, like Davis, doesn’t feel the need to have his franchise exposed for the entire world to see. Keeping Raider business in house is the first law of the Davis Doctrine.
Now McKenzie has also spelled out a much different approach in the draft, one that does not place a high value on speed. But there will always be a place in football for bigger, stronger, faster athletes. That too is another lasting legacy of Davis that will forever be a part of the game.
Fact of the matter is McKenzie is handling his job with the poise of a true professional. He’s doing things his way with a slight wink towards Al Davis. After all, with everything Davis accomplished it is an impossible task to remove his footprints. To McKenzie’s credit he’s just trying to leave his own marks in the sand, occasionally standing in one of Davis’ when he needs solid ground. That’s about all you can ask of a man replacing a legend.