Mark Davis says Raiders have no more “built-in excuses”


The Oakland Raiders have not made the playoffs since 2002 and lost eight of their final nine games last season.

General manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen are heading into their third season together running the franchise and have spent most of the last two seasons tearing apart an expensive, old, flawed roster that was in serious need of an overhaul.

However, owner Mark Davis says the Raiders need to be better and the time for excuses is over.

“There are no built-in excuses anymore,” Davis said to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Those excuses had been a roster that was significantly hampered by dead money left over from the release of several veteran players over the past couple seasons. Moving on from the likes of Richard Seymour, Carson Palmer, Rolando McClain and others chewed up an incredibly large portion of the Raiders salary cap last season.

However, the Raiders aren’t under the weight of those expired contracts any longer. The team is loaded with cap space this offseason and is in a position to spend in free agency.

Davis said he feels the team has been deconstructed correctly, but still isn’t sure some of the pieces they have added will become key contributors going forward.

“The deconstruction part has been done very well. I am just not sure that we put pieces in place,” Davis said.

“…even though we’ve been deconstructing, that didn’t mean we couldn’t have been adding players over these last two years that could be part of the foundation of this franchise. And I am not so sure that we’ve done that yet.”

Oakland is positioned well to find some of those foundation players this offseason. They hold the fifth pick in the draft and have the assets available to be aggressive in free agency. The 2014 season could be a chance for the Raiders to begin to turn their fortunes around. If it’s not, McKenzie and Allen may not get another chance in 2015.

55 responses to “Mark Davis says Raiders have no more “built-in excuses”

  1. Obviously our division is going to be tough to win in but we need to be at least competitive in them. And a must is to win the non division games. No more losing to the Redskins, Dolphins, Titans, Bills, Jets. Get to 9-7 this year and make a run the next. Some quality DB’s and a solid route runner would be a good start. Resign Hulk and get him some help. Then next year plug a couple more holes and have a quality system/players in place and we’ll have a solid foundation to improve upon.

  2. Good. He is 100% right. Now just trade down to get Bortels or J Football and Eric lEbron somehow and you are on to something. That’s my draft wish list but it ain’t going to happen.

  3. That’s what you get Dutch boy for hiring a complete idiot who has drafted 1 fringe starter in two draft, sio Moore. The raises have started more undrafted free agents in 3 lance nix, rod streetcar and Matt mcgloin then players he drafted in that time frame. He cannot evaluate talent, drafting a Qb in the 4th round and cutting him. Mckenzie is a disaster, the only person that has done a worse job is Obama.

  4. About time Mark “baby” Davis puts his foot down. He deconstructed his dads staff, from football field to administration. He didn’t want any ghosts telling him that he didn’t know what he was doing. So far, the ghosts have been heard in his sleep. My putting the franchise in the hands of the three stooges Allen, Tarver and McKenzie during the last three years, the team has turned into an embarrassment. Bad draft choices, horrible trades, influx of NFL rejects to plug the holes of the sinking ship. This year, Davis should Really solicit some experienced NFL experts to help with the Draft and spending of the Piggy Bank. He has allowed the three stooges to hand pick their own staff, so any more screw ups are unacceptable. The problem is that these three have proven that the ghosts were correct, Mark Davis so far has been a failure, he has put his reputation in the hands of the stooges one more time. Its either win or go home to Green Bay. Its time that the Commitment to Embarrassment is finally eliminated. The NFL will be watching.

  5. All that and Allen better learn how to manage clock, call plays and install some discipline.

    He is not a very impressive coach so far, forget the roster challenges.

  6. In my perfect world, we get 1st rnd, -Watkins 2nd round- aaron Donald 3rd round Tahj Boyd. Then give some SMART money contracts in FA to some DL,OL.

  7. $50M+ in cap space. How many rebuilding teams have that luxury?

    McKenzie could impact the team’s direction more this coming year than any other.

  8. Going on a spending spree paying over priced free agents wouldn’t be the smart thing to do here either. There is no franchise QB to go get so things might not get better right away. Need to start hitting on some draft picks and some reasonable priced free agents.

  9. They bottomed out and now have 70 million in cap space available.

    Look around the league, it’s a great time to have that much money available.

  10. They also tie Denver, Seattle & St Louis as the only 4 teams in the NFL with a whopping 10 teams with winning 2013 records on their schedule … 2 games each vs the 3 playoff teams in their own division plus the Seattle & SF playoff teams & 10-6 Arizona & ‘lowly’ 7-9 St Louis from the NFCW … plus the Patriots … it might be an upset if they’re actually favored for more than 1 game all season

  11. I am glad to read that he is awake – Reggie has done an excellent job with the deconstruction, but a terrible job with the (admittedly limited) draft.

  12. I have to admit that I’ve been critical of Son-Of-Al over the past few years as his verbal reactions often have seemed irrational and impulsive.

    However, he makes perfect sense here. With the 60+ mil in cap room and good draft position there is no longer any excuse for the Raiders not to improve significantly in 2014. Not necessarily yet to the playoffs but I would look for at least 7-9/8-8. If given this opportunity, McKenzie is not capable of making competent player acquisitions and/or Allen can’t coach them up, then they should BOTH be replaced with a new GM & HC in 2015.

  13. While I want the Raiders to win as much as anyone, I am NOT a big fan of the owner calling out his management team like this. He’s not making Reggie and DA’s jobs any easier.

  14. That is exactly how I have been feeling . Yes we have been getting rid of dead money and gross contracts but we should have been building a foundation as well and I don’t think we have . Outside Moore & Rivera no one really looked good from last years draft or the year before ……and yes I know we didn’t have a full complement of picks . I am really starting to like Mark Davis . Hope he can get a stadium .

  15. The only reason Big Reg and Allen haven’t run the fade into the ground is because they were already there.

    Money won’t change this equation. Ask Daniel Snyder.

  16. The Raiders have so much cap space they could and should sign first class free agents, however they can front load the contracts. If the player does not work out no part of that player’s salary is lingering. Still the most important factor is drafting good players and signing good players. We can only hope.

  17. A huge off season for the Raiders. If Reggie Mac. is the man, the team can build a strong foundation that will carry it for quite a while. If not, the Raiders could be in serious trouble for many years to come. After the Matt Flynn fiasco I must admit, as a loyal member of Raider Nation, I am concerned.

  18. Sir Raider Duck, OMS says:
    Feb 26, 2014 8:01 AM
    While I want the Raiders to win as much as anyone, I am NOT a big fan of the owner calling out his management team like this. He’s not making Reggie and DA’s jobs any easier.
    I here you but he’s not saying anything that nobody knows they have to win eventually or they will be fired. Simple as that

  19. I just don’t understand the criticism right now.

    Hayden almost died in November and couldn’t practive until August. How many rookie CB’s come out of the gates on fire? A redshirt year for him is fine with me.

    Watkins looked really good in the time he got. It was minimal but you want to blame Reg for an injury to one of his picks? What?

    Moore and Rivera looked really good to great. McGee, Murray and Butler all look like solid depth, taken after 5th round.

    Bergstrom was a miss but Crawford and Burris look like solid depth. Both taken after the 3rd in 2012. A draft in which his first pick was the 3rd round.

    How many GM’s hit everything? DA criticism I’ll accept but RM deserves more credit than he gets for what he inherited.

  20. I don’t see where RM has drafted any smarter than Al Davis. Sure, he didn’t just go get the fastest 40 guy, but he drafted a guy that was nearly dead 6 months before the draft with his 1st round pick. Why reach for a guy in the #12 position? Stupid! Of course he got injured and went on IR….he’s damaged goods! It’s not he was that great to begin with.
    Then, in the 2nd round, he takes a guy with all of 19 months of football experience under his belt in his lifetime and sure enough he gets injured. Why? Because his legs were just not ready to handle an NFL linemen crashing down on him, so they buckled and broke. It’s going to happen again this year, I guarantee it.
    There’s 2 whiffs in the two biggest spots in the draft for a team that absoluetly HAD TO HAVE homeruns for their rebuild process.
    Shall we talk about why Seattle holds our 5th round pick this year? RM thought it would be fun to give it to them for Matt Flynn – a guy with a couple “garbage time” starts in his whole career……another reach and another whiff…..5th rd pick is gone for nothing (actually for a loss in his only start).
    Ok, we have some serviceable backups from last year still around and Sio Moore played well, but other than that we have 2nd and 3rd string garbage or guys who will be hurt year after year.
    I’m sick of being the laughstock of the league every season because of terrible mgmt!

  21. Allen is a decent defensive mind. At this point in the new Raiders adolescence they’d be better off building a gnarly defense first. Go all D in the draft and free agency. That would give them their best shot at 8-8 or even 9-7 which is what it’s gonna take for Allen & McKenzie to keep their jobs

  22. No more built in excuses?? Good! Because we are tired of hearing the same ole lame ass excuses year after year after year. It will be nice to hear some NEW excuses this year.

  23. It’s fine to think that and express your desire to win, to the establishment you hired. However what you don’t want to do is put pressure on McKenzie and Allen to win now, to the point where they make short term decisions at the expense of long term sustained success, just so they keep their jobs.

    There’s zero reason NOT to expect clear improvement, but just keep the big picture in mind. This team is so depleted of talent, that it’ll take more than one off-season to build the foundation for successful franchise. Set realistic goals and judge against them.

  24. The Raiders need to have a competitive year next season.It will make the move to Los Angeles more welcomed to the SoCal residents.

  25. Every time I thought D Allen runs out of excuses he comes up with a handful of more excuses. Most of which he pulls from the media when they make excuses for him.

    Mark Davis is right though. There’s only been de-construction. No building blocks have been attained in the past two draft classes. All the Raiders have to show for in Reggie McKenzie/Dennis Allen Era is a Backup QB – McGloin. Sio Moore’s pretty solid as well. That’s it though.

  26. Excellent statement to make at the right time. I agree. I want to see an offense that sustains drives, a defense that stays in the top 10 for more than half the year, special teams to have a better return game, and at least 8 wins. (Division is tough and we have the NFL toughest schedule this year. AFC and NFC West opponents)


  27. Davis is out there trying to make sure he says what he thinks all Raider fans want to hear.

    Thing is, there is a lot of us Raider fans that know that free agency and this upcoming draft is not enough to close the gap between this team and upper echelon teams in the league. A lot of us know that this team could be way better than last season, way more competitive and still end up with 5 or 6 wins because of the schedule. The Raiders are not in a worst to first kind of division.

    With that said, if they can bring in some talent with all the money they have, I think anything less than a top ten defense should get Allen fired. The offense I’m willing to cut some slack on because of the QB situation. But the defense is Allen’s specialty, it’s his third year, show us the goods man.

  28. I actually hope the Raiders become relevant again. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to be pretty much given those two wins every year.

    Part of me wants Charger V. Raider games to mean more than just draft positioning, or a chance for them to hurt our playoff chances.

  29. Please take an impact player in the draft i would rather have 1 pro bowler than two fringe players if Clowney is available please take him if not Watkins or Lee or the WR from Texas a&m.If you screw up this draft its the plank for ye Matie

  30. Haha…that jack off who would rather be a Browns fan. That’s hilarious…tells you just how bright he is.

  31. We need to win 8 games. I have been a huge advocate for DA and RM but Mark is right the time for excuses is over. We need to show significant progress and we need to hit our draft picks.

  32. “psly2124 says: Feb 26, 2014 1:35 AM
    Mckenzie is a disaster, the only person that has done a worse job is Obama.”

    LOL, nice “logic” there. Like Obama, McKenzie is surrounded by crazy incompetents who actively PREVENT him from doing his job. Only the uneducated blame the McKenzie or Obama.

  33. He’s right no more excuses we have to draft well this draft or its over. Last years draft was suspect with our 4th round pic not even making the team. It only produced one quality player so far and that was Sio we HAVE to do better this time around. With that being said and the current situation of our roster i dont think we should draft a qb. All of the top three qb’s have issues or “red flags” and just because we need a qb i dont think we should invest the next 5-7 years of our franchise in someone who has questions to their game. If we draft a qb this early it needs to be a for sure automatic guy like Luck. Our team has a lot of holes in it and when rebuilding a team you should always start with the trenches an build from there. I think with the LB/DE from Buffalo Khalil Mack should be our selection. He’s stout against the run and may be the best pass rusher in the draft plus he makes plays (16 career forced fumbles FBS record) something we need. But most importantly he has a non stop motor on him something you cant say for Clowney. Build the team now first get weapons an oline for offense and solid linebackers and pass rushers on D then you can plug in a qb later rather than get a struggling qb now who doesnt have the proper weapons around him its just a set up for failure.

    Go Raiders

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