Returning Marcus Allen to Raiders meant a lot to Davis' mom

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Returning Marcus Allen to Raiders meant a lot to Davis' mom

OAKLAND -- The way new Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie sees it, Marcus Allen's return to the Raiders today to light the ceremonial Al Davis torch is only a good thing.Even if the most diehard of Davis supporters are cringing at the thought."He was a great teammate of mine," said McKenzie, who was a Los Angeles Raider with Allen from 1985 through 1988."I didn't know he hadn't been back (to the Raiders). I knew there had been some beef, but I didn't know he hadn't been back. So I'm glad to see him back."The simmering feud between Allen and Al Davis never dissipated, and many fans had issues with Allen signing with Kansas City in 1993, even if he had been benched for the last few years of his Raiders tenure. This after being named Super Bowl XVIII MVP and the league MVP in 1985.But when Davis passed away last Oct. 8 and his son Mark took over as owner, there seemed to be a changing in the Autumn Wind, so to speak.It was at the younger Davis' behest that Allen is back in the Raiders' good graces, even if Allen never played a game as an Oakland Raiders running back. He went into the Hall of Fame in 2003."I always like to see things as positive so I look at it as a positive situation," McKenzie said. "It's a tribute to Mark as well as Marcus to try to bring the family closer, and that's what it seems like they're trying to do."Initially, the Raiders hoped to have Allen light the torch for the opener on Monday Night Football before a scheduling conflict necessitated the change."It's a good thing. He was a great teammate and a great player so I want him to be a part of my family while I'm here. Me and Marcus (have) always been close as far as playing together. He's a class guy right there, man, so I'm glad to see him."
Marcus Allen declined to speak to reporters prior to lighting the commemorative Al Davis torch but the man who reached out to the Super Bowl XVIII MVP talked briefly to CSNBayArea.com, the San Francisco Chronicle and Associated Press.Bringing Allen back, "meant a lot to my mom.
"Throughout the annals of the Raiders history, the L.A. chapter was very unique," Mark Davis said. "We had a lot of great players come through there. You think of the Howie Longs, the (Cliff) Branches, but Marcus was the leader of that whole group. He was the absolute true Raider. There are very few football players I've seen like him, that worked that hard."

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”