When the Oakland Raiders were owned by Al Davis, they were notorious for doing things their own way. Or rather, for doing things the Al Davis way. When he passed away and his son Mark took over, he was supposed to be the anti-Al. But while he has done a lot of things differently than his father, some things about the Raiders will never change.
The organization still walks to its own beat, even if that beat now belongs to Mark Davis. The Raiders are still extremely secretive about many aspects of their operation and still love to put on a show like they did for the non-news of Dennis Allen keeping his job after the 2013 season.
But a Davis does not truly hit his stride until he fires a head coach.
When Hue Jackson was let go, it was done through Reggie McKenzie and Davis didn’t have a whole lot to do with it. This time, however, Davis was more involved. While he said that McKenzie made the decision to fire Allen, he weighed in as well. But that he decided to be more active in the franchise is not what’s unique — after all, his minor meddling is nothing compared to his father.
No, it was how Davis handled the entire thing. After the Dolphins game, the Raiders spent the night in London before taking a 12-hour flight back to the Bay Area. After landing, Allen went home only to get a phone call relieving him of his duties as head coach. They could’ve told him at any point before he went home or simply waited until this morning so they could do it in a more professional manner.
But a phone call it was.
Then there was the press conference Davis did not attend. Well, kinda. He was at the press conference, but rather than being at the table with his general manager and new head coach, he was behind the curtain where he provided media with ample quotes afterward.
Some have pointed out that not all NFL teams have their owner present when announcing a new head coach, but Davis ran the press conference when the Raiders announced the Allen hiring. If Davis was going to attend the press conference and even take questions from reporters, why on Earth did he not just sit at the table with McKenzie and Tony Sparano?
Needless to say, the past few days have been a bit odd to say the least. But that’s just because there is a new drummer in Oakland and we have not yet learned the flow of his odd beat.