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The Raiders have a recent history of rash decisions. Hires and quick firings have been common over the last decade, but owner Mark Davis hopes to exercise patience in regards to his franchise.
Davis expressed that sentiment in an interview with San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami that was published on Wednesday morning. He wrote a column based on the interview here.
Davis expressed admiration for GM Reggie McKenzie’s role in a transition towards stability. He said the Raiders would transition from “deconstruction” to “reconstruction” this offseason now that the team is in better financial standing.
While he wouldn’t guarantee that coach Dennis Allen would be retained, he said the final three games would be important in his evaluation.
Here are excerpts of Kawakami’s interview with Davis as it pertains to McKenzie and Allen:
Q: Do you think you’ve seen enough progress from this team to stay the course with your GM and coach?
A: “There (are) three games to go, and they’re important games. I don’t really want to say anything more than that until after the season. But what I can tell you is we just went through the two-year deconstruction of the Raiders. 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 reconstruction is going to begin right after this season is over. That’s what we’ve got to do—we’ve got to build this team back up. And we’re in a good position—with all the dead money, the cap stuff, the upside down contracts… they’re all gone.
“We’re in a strong position now with all that, because of how we’ve planned and gone through this deconstruction. And now we can go forward.”
Q: Do you credit the GM and coach for this? Do you go forward with them?
A: “I’m not going to get into any of that while the season’s going on. I can tell you that once the season’s over, Reggie will debrief all the coaches, and all that, and then Reggie will debrief me, and we’ll talk about what we’re going to do. That’s when the deconstruction turns into the reconstruction, and we see how we’re going to go ahead with everything.
“It’s an exciting time for us. It’s also been a tough time for the fans, it’s been a tough time for me, it’s been a tough time for everybody. But what do they say about patience? If you’re committed to something, you have to be patient with it.
“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.”
Q: You mention Reggie doing these things. Safe to say he retains your full confidence into the future?
A: “I’m very happy with the job he’s done so far. But I’m not even thinking about those things right now—we’ve got games to play and the evaluation continues on everything. These are division games; these are important games; at some point in time, these are the games we have to win. We’ve got to do this right. This is when it gets real.”