Young Davis isn't his dad, and he's mad

Published: Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 5C
Last Modified: Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 - 6:13 am

OAKLAND – The Raiders' No. 1 fan walked into the locker room, standing up after his team let him down.

"I'm embarrassed," Mark Davis said. "I'm (ticked) off. I'm not happy."

The managing partner witnessed his team's latest travesty, 60 minutes of mostly uninspired, ineffective football that left fans alternately frustrated and fuming.

The booing that rained upon the Raiders after their 38-17 loss to New Orleans on Sunday couldn't have been clearer, though it would have been louder had the team's abysmal performance not chased away so many of the 56,880 long before the end.

"I apologize to them," Davis said, referring to the fans who stayed and those who fled this eyesore before its conclusion.

Davis stayed until the end. The first-year boss witnessed Oakland's third consecutive defeat, each decisive, wrecking a season that through seven games showed a glimmer of hope.

"The word 'regression' may be (appropriate)," he understated, acknowledging a team that was 3-4 before the Nov. 4 home game against Tampa Bay but will take a 3-7 record to Cincinnati next Sunday.

"I'm not happy," Davis reiterated, maintaining an even tone. "Why should I be? Why should anybody in this (locker) room be?"

Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, usually the bluntest voice in the room, had nothing to say. Quarterback Carson Palmer stood there and took it, a bag willing to be punched.

Hybrid running back/receiver Marcel Reece, who accounted for 193 yards, making him the one Raider to earn an acquittal, offered a serving of displeasure.

"Stats are irrelevant when you don't get the 'W,' " he said.

The locker room was fairly barren when Davis walked out and made his most extensive remarks of the season.

He didn't tear into his general manager, Reggie McKenzie, nor did he blast his coach, Dennis Allen. Davis declined to call out any individual, other than himself.

"It's on me," he said.

Actually, it's not. He's aware he isn't the football savant his father, Al Davis, was. That's why upon taking over for his father, who died 13 months ago, Mark followed the advice of a group of advisers that included John Madden, Ken Herock and Ron Wolf, men with a Raiders pedigree.

Moreover, that's why Mark hired McKenzie, then authorized the GM to replace 2011 coach Hue Jackson with Allen. Allen then was authorized to assemble his staff, a level of clout Al Davis didn't grant to his head coach.

Put another way, Mark Davis isn't to blame for the Raiders losing seven of 10 in his first full season at the top of the organizational chart.

And yet, Davis offered no excuses for himself or anyone else. He expressed confidence in Palmer, didn't moan about the effects of the salary cap and didn't gripe about the loss of draft picks. Davis didn't dare mention injuries.

"You have coaches, you have players, you play," he said.

Oakland's failure Sunday was system wide. The coaches were outcoached, the players outplayed, and the fans simply gave up.

The score is mere wallpaper. The game itself was much worse for Oakland.

As the third consecutive game in which the Raiders weren't competitive, it represented a season gone south in every conceivable way, with every new low followed by something newer and lower.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Monte Poole



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