His father Al, who created the mystique of the Raiders and their “commitment to excellence” — along with a reputation for rash moves — might be spinning in his grave right now.
But Raiders owner Mark Davis said he’s trying to remain patient with General Manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen despite a 4-9 record, saying: “If you’re committed to something, you have to be patient with it.”
While Davis offered no promises during an interview with Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, he didn’t sound like a man inclined toward blowing his team up — again.
Davis called this the second year of a required two-year “deconstruction of the Raiders,” meaning McKenzie and Allen have to start rebuilding this year. The Raiders have slashed and burned and carried dead money on the cap, leaving a team that has some talented areas but is painfully thin in others.
“We had to do it. It wasn’t fun, but it was something we had to do. And it’s basically complete. That is done. And the re-construction is going to begin right after this season is over,” Davis said. “That’s the thing about this season—at times we’ve shown that there’s something there, and at times we’ve shown that maybe there’s not. There’s progress, if you look at it that way, because it makes the disappointment that much harder.
“When you’ve made some progress, patience is a harder thing to have.”
Davis said he was “very happy” with the job McKenzie’s done so far, but declined to get into specifics when asked about a very big miss on Matt Flynn (who is starting for the Packers after getting a golden parachute from the Raiders).
Of course, McKenzie was also given a near-impossible task, to keep a bad roster competitive without a quarterback. Flynn was never more than a stop-gap, and the fact he cratered so badly might make it easier to rebuild (in the form of a higher draft pick) than if he had worked out for a short-term gain.