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Playoffs 06-02-2013 05:29 PM

Sports Illustrated: The New Silver And Black
 
Pretty good read from SI...

Sports Illustrated: The New Silver And Black

SI FOLLOWED OAKLAND'S BRAIN TRUST OVER THE COURSE OF A YEAR AS IT WORKED TO TRANSFORM THE CULTURE OF AN ICONIC FRANCHISE THAT LOST ITS WAY DURING AL DAVIS'S FINAL DECADE. REASONED DECISIONS, MODERN MANAGEMENT AND PLANNING FOR THE LONG TERM? THESE AREN'T YOUR FATHER'S RAIDERS—AND THAT'S A GOOD THING

Jim Trotter

Quote:

Reggie McKenzie knew he faced a significant challenge when he was announced as general manager of the Raiders on Jan. 6, 2012. Over the previous nine years the team had gone through six head coaches, and it had lost at least 11 games in an NFL-record seven straight seasons. Oakland's last winning campaign, in '02, was a millennium ago by NFL calendars.

Still, the depths of the struggle might not have truly hit McKenzie until several months after his hiring, when he changed into his workout gear and headed to the back of the team's Alameda training facility, where his long jog around the practice fields was spoiled by wildly uneven footing and goose droppings.

If the choppy grass fields were hazardous to a 49-year-old such as himself, he thought, imagine the dangers for players. In the previous two seasons alone, running backs Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece, wideouts Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore, defensive tackles Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly and linebacker Rolando McClain had been hobbled by or missed significant time because of lower-body injuries.

When McKenzie asked who was responsible for the upkeep of the fields, which were riddled with dirt patches, the answer stunned him. The Raiders did not employ a full-time, on-site groundskeeper. Instead, the work was outsourced to a local company—astounding considering that the difference between the playoffs and a pink slip could easily come down to a turned ankle, a jammed toe, a tweaked knee or a pulled hamstring.

The field conditions were just the first of many reminders that restoring greatness to a franchise whose mottos had included "Pride and Poise" and "A Commitment to Excellence" would be about much more than just hiring a new coach and ridding the roster of its bloated contracts and underachieving players. It would be about transforming an entire culture and overhauling an organizational model that had become stale and outdated after nearly five decades under Al Davis, the iconic and imperious owner who died of heart failure at age 82 in October 2011.

No franchise in American sports has been more closely associated with its owner than the Raiders were with Davis. It was as if his face had been behind the eye patch, his head beneath the leather helmet on the swashbuckling team logo. He didn't own the team as much as he was the team. Every major coaching hire, every brilliant or head-scratching draft selection, every trade that lifted the Raiders to the league's mountaintop or dropped them into the division's basement was made by him. Davis even dictated the style of play on the field, demanding a vertical passing attack and bump-and-run coverage and often phoning the sideline from his suite during games with instructions.

For four decades his touch was golden: From 1963, when Davis took over the Raiders as coach and G.M., until 2002, when they made their last Super Bowl appearance, their regular-season winning percentage was .625, best of any team in pro football. The Raiders went to a Super Bowl in every decade but the 1990s, winning three titles in their five appearances. Davis proved himself time and again to be a personnel genius, mining college football's backwaters for future Hall of Famers and picking up future Super Bowl champions off the scrap heap.

But as his health deteriorated, so did the fortunes of the franchise. With every losing season Davis became more desperate for another title...
read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...7435/index.htm

Wolf 06-02-2013 05:39 PM

Re: Sports Illustrated: The New Silver And Black
 
Quote:

Several years before his death Davis was on the phone negotiating a deal for a free agent. The sides were close to an agreement, but Davis suddenly began coughing badly, and his caretaker ended the call so Davis could take his prescription meds. When the sides resumed discussions later that day, Davis asked where they had left off. Taking advantage of the opportunity, the agent reminded Davis that they had agreed on the guaranteed money—but quoted a figure $1 million higher than what they had come to. Davis okayed the move and an agreement in principle was reached that night.
Wow that is truly some sneaky ass ****.guess that agent slept well at night

Wolf 06-02-2013 09:23 PM

Re: Sports Illustrated: The New Silver And Black
 
Report is PR director is now fired over the story

Quote:

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis reportedly fired public relations director Zak Gilbert, blaming him for an April 18 Sports Illustrated article that cast the Davis family, including late owner Al Davis, in a negative light but portrayed new general manager Reggie McKenzie as the potential savior of the franchise.
Gilbert hadn't been allowed at the facility since the article, written by Jim Trotter, was published, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
http://sports.yahoo.com/news/raiders...7144--nfl.html

ObsiWan 06-02-2013 10:54 PM

Re: Sports Illustrated: The New Silver And Black
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wolf (Post 2169994)
Report is PR director is now fired over the story



http://sports.yahoo.com/news/raiders...7144--nfl.html

:toropalm:
Sounds like Al is still controlling things from beyond.

Dutchrudder 06-03-2013 12:20 PM

Re: Sports Illustrated: The New Silver And Black
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wolf (Post 2169994)
Report is PR director is now fired over the story



http://sports.yahoo.com/news/raiders...7144--nfl.html

Well that just validated everything in that article... lol

Playoffs 06-03-2013 12:38 PM

Re: Sports Illustrated: The New Silver And Black
 
Background for context...

Quote:

Back in the spring of 2008, when he was very much in charge of the Oakland Raiders’ singularly peculiar organization, Al Davis presided over a predraft meeting at the team’s Alameda, Calif., training facility. As coaches and personnel officials discussed what to do with the fourth overall pick, which the team would ultimately use to select Arkansas halfback Darren McFadden, the Hall of Fame owner’s son, Mark, casually drifted into the room.

“Mark,” Davis said, stopping the meeting and sounding genuinely interested. “What do you think we should do?”

Caught off guard, the younger Davis mumbled something about needing a wide receiver. Wrong answer.

“A fucking receiver?” Al Davis snapped, his voice rising. “Get the fuck out of here.”

And with that, the heir to one of the NFL’s most storied franchises slinked out of the room and continued with the rest of his day.

...Davis made a coaching change after Jackson’s promising, 8-8 rookie season: To project an image of authority, Mark Davis needs to surround himself with employees who didn’t see him routinely disparaged and condescended to by his legendary father.

“We were all in that room,” the ex-Raiders assistant coach said, referring to the aforementioned draft meeting. “We saw Mark get kicked out like a little fucking puppy dog, in front of everyone.”

Another former Raiders coach said that he “saw [Al Davis] tell Mark to ‘shut the fuck up’ all the time. It was a regular occurrence. He treated him like his opinion didn’t matter.”
...
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slu...k_davis_011112

ChampionTexan 06-03-2013 01:23 PM

Re: Sports Illustrated: The New Silver And Black
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Playoffs (Post 2170117)

Not sure what the context is - Zac Gilbert (The fired PR director) wasn't one of those long-time employees - he was part of the "New Regime", and was brought in by Reggie McKenzie who had worked with him in the Green Bay front office.

b0ng 06-04-2013 04:54 PM

Re: Sports Illustrated: The New Silver And Black
 
http://i.imgur.com/hCkHZqY.jpg

lmao


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