The overhead projector Al Davis used to list the reasons why he fired Raiders coach Lane Kiffin four games into the 2008 season was a metaphor for a franchise stuck in the past.
It was old and outdated, and more than a few observers snickered at the sight of the frail yet feisty Raiders owner using the contraption like a middle school math teacher.
But those in attendance also understood. This was Al Davis, the man who had done things his way since taking over the Raiders in 1963. His way of conducting business was so outdated, Raiders players did not have direct deposit. Each payday, players walked around with checks written for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But since Davis' death last October, the Raiders are entering a new dare we say modern era of how they conduct business at 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway in Alameda.
"The newness has started to dwindle, but every day is something because things have been done a certain way for so long. It's just the way it is," said new general manager Reggie McKenzie, the first man in 49 years to take command of the Raiders' football operations. "Changes are going to continue to be made through this time next year because you can't build Rome overnight."
But the construction is under way.
First, Davis' son, Mark Davis, stepped from his father's shadow to assume control of the franchise. His first major hire was McKenzie, who was given authority to make moves as he sees fit.
McKenzie fired coach Hue Jackson, who once announced himself as the new face of the Raiders, and replaced him with Dennis Allen, a former assistant coach from Oakland's AFC West rival Denver Broncos.
Longtime scouts, used to doing things Al Davis' way, either resigned or were dismissed. New scouts and other personnel were brought in and given actual titles, something not done under Davis' leadership.
"It was important to get a group that meshed together. I wanted to put in my system, so it was important to get somebody who understood what I wanted," McKenzie said. "A lot of that, when you're talking about reorganizing and restructuring, in a way, those are some of the things that I looked at.
"You put people in the right place and give them a chance to do what they do."
In the locker room, Allen began removing players who didn't buy into the new ways.
On Monday morning, the Raiders will begin their first training camp with a new owner, new general manager, new coach, new game plan and updated modern technologies.
Other than the logo and silver and black decor, Al Davis wouldn't recognize the place.
"It's different, it's definitely different," said defensive lineman Tommy Kelly, a Raider since 2004. "You don't see the same faces around here no more. It's a lot more new people. I ain't been here a lot (in the offseason), so when I'm here I'm sticking to people I know. I'm kind of a loner, so I just stay to people I know and stay out of people's way."
Although the new leadership has wasted little time in changing from Al Davis' ways, it has tried to do so in a respectful manner.
For all the quirks that made them the NFL's punch line, the Raiders have always been a family. The Raiders are protective of their own, a mindset fostered by Al Davis, who quietly paid for funerals, medical bills or other financial emergencies for former players and their families.
Hall of Fame center Jim Otto, a longtime Auburn resident, remained inside Davis' circle of trusted confidants until the end.
So far, Otto likes what is happening in Alameda.
"I've heard everything has been just positive, and that makes me feel very good," the former Raiders great said. "When things are positive, that's excellent."
"What Reggie is doing is evidently very positive with everybody, and what Coach Allen is doing is very good. It's positive football, and that's what I love."
In years past, the Raiders were said to have players on "scholarship." These were Davis' favorites who were essentially guaranteed a roster spot just by showing up.
The players knew if they had a problem, they didn't have to deal with the coach. They could appeal directly to Davis, who controlled every facet of the organization.
"It's definitely a new regime," said safety Michael Huff, the Raiders' first-round draft pick in 2006. "It's like there's more structure from the top to the bottom. Everybody knows who's in charge, who's the coach and who's calling certain shots. There's more structure and everybody is accountable, because if you don't go out there and if you don't do your job, you're not going to be here. And that's what we needed."
The Raiders haven't finished better than 8-8 since the 2002 season that ended in a blowout loss to Jon Gruden and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.
That loss hurt Davis deeply since it was Gruden one the most successful Raiders coaches since John Madden and Tom Flores who beat his team in San Diego. After Gruden left in 2001, Davis hired and fired five coaches.
Davis, as always, had his hand in the way his coaches ran the team, especially on defense.
Under Davis, the Raiders used man-to-man coverage in the secondary almost exclusively. Now with Allen calling the shots, there will be more blitzing and less reliance on man-to-man. No longer is the defensive coordinator simply seen as an extension of the front office.
"(Defensive coordinator Jason) Tarver wants our input," said defensive end Dave Tollefson. "It's not his defense, it's our defense. That's going to make a big difference. You've got to have ownership of what you're doing."
On offense, Carson Palmer, the former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback who Jackson paid dearly for last season by trading the Raiders' 2012 first-round draft pick and a conditional 2013 second-round pick (that becomes a first-round pick if the Raiders reach the AFC Championship Game), will get to show what he can do in his first full season in Oakland.
"It's a completely new offense," Palmer said. "There's really no similarities to anything I've done before, but I love all the boots and play actions and all the nakeds and keepers. I'm excited to do that, and, really, those are the things that are going to help the run game."
While past head coaches were not allowed to select their own assistants, Allen hired Greg Knapp as his offensive coordinator. It's Knapp's second tenure with the Raiders.
His first came in 2007-08, when he held the same position under Kiffin. Early in Kiffin's second year, quarterback JaMarcus Russell struggled when asked to pass a lot, something Davis desired from the first overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft.
Kiffin's contention was the Raiders lacked the talent to do so, and passing too much only exposed Russell's inexperience and the team's lack of talent.
Davis' contention was the Raiders were talented. He blamed Kiffin for not coaching Russell, not being a good play caller, and looking to return to the college ranks.
Shortly after Kiffin was fired, new coach Tom Cable took over Knapp's play-calling duties. Knapp was fired after the season.
When he met with McKenzie and Allen earlier this year about a return, Knapp liked the Raiders' new direction.
"What I liked about (our conversation) was how there was going to be a close connection between personnel and coaching on the makeup of the roster of the team," said Knapp, a former Sacramento State quarterback. "And how there's going to be checks and balances for both the coaches and the personnel to get a feel for what's best for the team and what's needed for the team. Not just offensively speaking, but defense and special teams and the family atmosphere that's going to be created by both Reggie and D.A."
It appears that players, too, will be held more accountable for their actions both on and off the field. That's badly needed for a team with a long reputation as undisciplined while coming off a season where it set NFL records for most penalties and penalty yards.
"If you're a minute late to a meeting, they get on you no matter who you are," Huff said. "It could be me, Tyvon (Branch), a receiver, it doesn't matter who you are they're going to hold everybody accountable. You've got to do your job. This is a business, this is your profession."
Otto said even though Davis is no longer overseeing the team, some things will never change about being a Raider.
"There's going to be a commitment to excellence that we've always had, and I think that commitment will be no different," Otto said. "With that in mind, I don't think Mr. Davis is going to ever leave the organization with Mark Davis and Mrs. Davis there."
Although the results on the field have yet to be seen, the changes in Raiders operations are evident right down to the now-accommodating media relations department.
McKenzie, however, said the transition is far from complete.
"Certain things will stay status quo until we can jump on it during the (next) offseason," McKenzie said. "But, yes, it's starting to sink in, but there's still stuff that goes on daily that needs to be addressed."