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Raiders focusing on discipline on and off the field

Conroy Black, Henry Aaron, Shawntae Spencer, Terrail Lambert AP

Undisciplined play, usually in the form of penalties, has been a major problem for the Raiders over the years.

In 2011, for example, the Raiders set NFL records for the most penalties and the most penalty yards in a single season. There’s a new regime running the show in Oakland after the death of Al Davis and they would like to eliminate those issues. That means focusing on cutting out the mistakes on the field that lead to yellow flags, obviously, but the Raiders are taking the focus on discipline even further.

“I mean, they’re real strict on discipline now as far as showing up to meetings (on time), they’re even making us check in for lunches and dinners now,” safety Tyvon Branch said, via Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group. “We know that our discipline is what got us in trouble in the past,” Branch said. “That stuff trickles down on the field, and we need to cut down on the penalties if we want to be the team we want to be.”

There’s a lot of talk about changing cultures around football teams when new coaches or front office executives take over, but the challenge rarely seems greater than it does in Oakland. Davis had his hands in everything the team did for pretty much its entire existence, for better or worse, and unwinding that system isn’t something that can happen overnight.

Oakland seems to have settled on the best approach for fundamental change, though. Changing the atmosphere of meals and meetings might throw veterans like Branch, but new players will never know anything different when they get to Oakland and that should establish a new, more structured mode of operation around the team within a few years.

That doesn’t guarantee better results, but it certainly feels like a better approach than continuing down the same road and expecting different results.

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19 Responses to “Raiders focusing on discipline on and off the field”
  1. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Jul 30, 2012 11:52 AM

    It isn’t going to be easy to change a culture that has been around for 53 years. No one complained about the culture when they were winning Super Bowls.

  2. nflofficeadmin says: Jul 30, 2012 11:56 AM

    that old formula for winning SB clearly wasn’t working anymore.

  3. jjbadd385 says: Jul 30, 2012 12:01 PM

    As a Bronco fan it hurts me to the core to say this, but I have hope for the Raiders this year. I really think they are headed in the right direction, and I truly wish them good luck. I hope they finish one game behind us this year!

  4. jlb10 says: Jul 30, 2012 12:04 PM

    not sure it will be so hard to change. reggie came in and from day 1 said it would be his way or the highway. several guys are already gone. i think for the most part reggie has weeded out the problem guys and everyone else will fall in line.
    sadly the biggest hurdle was the passing of al davis

  5. villa41 says: Jul 30, 2012 12:04 PM

    It’s going to be easier than a lot of people think. Unlike in recent times past, if you don’t do what you’re supposed to be doing (i.e., fill the right gap, seal the edge on the backside, take a stupid penalty), then you won’t be playing. It’s that simple.

    There’s good veteran leadership on the team in all three phases now with Palmer, Seymour, and Lechler. Remember, this team committed the most penalties and racked up the most penalty yards in history and STILL went 8-8. The Raiders had the 29th ranked defense, largely because of discipline issues, and STILL went 8-8.

    The offense should easily be top 10, if not top 5. The Raiders are set on special teams with the best punter/kicker combo in the league. The defense and penalties will improve. Those areas can’t get any worse. If the defense even gets to be mediocre and the penalties come down slightly, then this is a playoff team. If there’s more improvement than that, then look out. This is a team really to explode.

  6. prideandpoise says: Jul 30, 2012 12:05 PM

    The perception was that since Al loved his players, as long as they had talent and potential, he would put up with their lack of discipline. Al, rest in peace, was the only constant in decades of leading the league in penalties. Now that he’s gone, players are going to have to be accountable for themselves on and off the field- either buy into the system or hit the bricks.

    I’m willing to bet there are going to be a few more of Al’s guys gone before the 53 man roster is set.

  7. mullman7675 says: Jul 30, 2012 12:05 PM

    It’s a new era. Al was the greatest and there will never be another.

    But in this modern NFL, The RAIDERS are in good hands with Big Reg.

  8. Stupid Raiders Fan says: Jul 30, 2012 12:10 PM

    The last time they had any discipline was with Gannon and Gruden. And I miss those results.

  9. joetoronto says: Jul 30, 2012 12:16 PM

    It should be a hell of a year in Oaktown.

    Go Raiders!

  10. stevefromla1 says: Jul 30, 2012 12:19 PM

    How about taking the referees to a camp. A camp on how to be objective.
    I guarantee Stanford Routt gets half as many penalties with KC then he did with Oakland.
    I’m all for not blaming refs but watching a raiders game you know the refs are going to make a couple of game changing plays.

  11. torturedraiderfan says: Jul 30, 2012 12:23 PM

    Cleaning up the penalties should be easier without the human penalty machine, Stanford Routt, around.

  12. boscoesworld says: Jul 30, 2012 12:29 PM

    You are gonna love Reggie McKenzie in Oakland!! He is a class act through and through. He WILL turn that franchise back around.

  13. justwinbaby29 says: Jul 30, 2012 12:37 PM

    Raiders were great and won three Super Bowls in the 70’s and 80’s because it was a different game back then. Al Davis was great but he did not adjust as the game evolved.

    The Raiders have only had THREE playoff seasons in 1993. And the reason they had those was because Rich Gannon played as well as any QB in the NFL during that time period.

    Change has come to Oakland.

  14. justwinbaby29 says: Jul 30, 2012 12:39 PM

    Raiders were great and won three Super Bowls in the 70′s and 80′s because it was a different game back then. Al Davis was great but he did not adjust as the game evolved.

    The Raiders have had only THREE playoff seasons since 1993. And the reason they had those was because Rich Gannon played as well as any QB in the NFL during that time period.

    Change has come to Oakland. Reggie McKenzie will build the team for long-term success hopefully.

  15. jjackwagon says: Jul 30, 2012 1:21 PM

    “Raiders focusing on discipline on and off the field” this explains why O-Line Coach Steve Wisniewski cleaned out his office and left the Raiders last week.

  16. raider17 says: Jul 30, 2012 2:05 PM

    Undisciplined play? Yeah right and Tom Brady didn’t fumble!
    Please explain how the Raiders change coaches and players over the years, and still seem to lead the leaugue in penalties? No wait, I’ll tell you. The refs throw the flag on the uniform. Hopefully this ref bias has died with Mr. Davis, but we shall see. We’ve been getting shafted so long it’s common practice for me to count to 10 after we score a touchdown because you know it’s coming back. As soon as I see the flag, I’m just hoping it’s not 15 yards. Maybe we can finally see what it’s like to have the refs call a fair game.

    Al Davis Forever!!!
    Just Win Baby!!!

  17. txraiderfan says: Jul 30, 2012 3:34 PM

    The refs have screwed us on a weekly basis for years. Don’t believe it? I challenge you to watch the Vikings game last season again (as I did last week) and tell me the Raiders weren’t shafted on at least 4-5 times in the first half. That’s is only one example.
    How about the PI call on Ford that was waived off against the Pats? Let’s not even discuss the tuck rule.
    No matter who was coach, we were crapped on every week. If you bother to watch the games, you see it time and time again.
    Hopefully, now that Al is dead, the officiating will be a little more equitable.

  18. raiderapologist says: Jul 30, 2012 7:50 PM

    raider17 says: Jul 30, 2012 2:05 PM

    Please explain how the Raiders change coaches and players over the years, and still seem to lead the league in penalties?
    —————–
    The owner didn’t change. Players weren’t held to account for mistakes. It’s not just the zebras.

  19. justaraiderfan says: Aug 6, 2012 1:29 PM

    If they want to win and be in the playoff hunt, then those penalties are going to have be cut way down. I think we can all understand the occasional offside, false start, pass interference,etc. but, when its being done at an alarming rate there’s an issue. I think Al allowed this to happen to show that in spite of the penalties that the Raiders could still win. That ain’t workin’ anymore. Al has passed on and now its time for the new regime (Mark/Reggie/Dennis) to put their mark on this franchise. I think Reggie/Dennis will put them on the right path. Go Raiders!

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