Dennis Allen has been preaching the discipline gospel from his first day on the job. After seeing Hue Jackson fail miserably in disciplining his players Reggie McKenzie made a move to ensure there won’t be anymore record setting seasons for penalties in Oakland.
Naturally it will take more than just saying this team will be much more disciplined on Allen’s watch. Talking the talk is the easy part, look how far Warren Sapp got just by constantly flapping his gums. Now walking the walk is the difficult part, just see how quickly Sapp’s star is fading as proof of that.
In order for the Raiders to get themselves out of the officials’ crosshairs it will take a shift in the team’s mentality from top to bottom. Allen is going to have to rely on team leaders to spread his message throughout the locker room.
Lucky for Allen he inherited Carson Palmer as his QB. The jury might be out on Palmer’s play but there is no doubt his veteran leadership will go a long way in helping to get the Raiders focused on playing the game the right way.
In an interview with CSN Bay Area Palmer echoed what Allen has been claiming from day one. When asked what kind of team Raider Nation can expect in 2012 Palmer stated the following:
A disciplined football team that plays hard through the whistle, that understands their assignments and is willing to do whatever it takes to win. That’s something Coach Allen has come in and preached. The first thing he talked about is we’re going to be a disciplined football team and discipline sets you up for so many positive things down the line — but first and foremost disciplined team.
In case you glossed over that quote let me sum it up for you. Discipline, discipline, discipline…
You get the point. Now let’s hope the Raiders do too.
In order for Palmer’s prediction of the Lombardi trophy coming back to the East Bay to come true it’s going to require fewer mistakes. In other words the Raiders can’t beat themselves anymore.
Even if the Raiders correct their error prone tendencies there’s still only one way to prove the tide has changed in Oakland. Some of the Al Davis principles are still very much in tact and there’s one very iconic motto that will always ring true. Palmer knows that and he sums it up with this two word answer when asked how the team proves that they’ve turned the page.
In other words – just win, baby!