Raiders owner Mark Davis gave general manager Reggie McKenzie complete power to hire his first head coach. Dennis Allen was his choice.
After 28 losses in 36 games, McKenzie fired the guy he hired roughly two-and-a-half years ago. That statement is a fact, but there is a difference between the executioner and the judge who sentences someone to death.
Despite repeated statements that Monday’s firing was McKenzie’s decision, Davis tapped a gavel while McKenzie swung the axe. And, as he stated on Tuesday, the owner will use a heavier hand when acquiring the next coach.
McKenzie -- or the next general manager, should Davis make such a move -- will do the hiring.
"He has the ability to reach out to people; he’s the general manager of the Raiders and he’s able to do that," Davis said. "But I will have a say in what’s going on in that."
The need to exert greater influence could come from Allen’s struggles. Davis doesn’t want a repeat of what happened on the field since Allen was brought in.
“That was Reggie’s decision and you see where it ended up,” Davis said. “I don’t know if you call it a mistake, but that’s just the process and we’re still building and we’re trying to get this thing right. And we will.”
Despite a decade of struggles, an outdated stadium and an ongoing trend of firing coaches quickly -- mostly from the Al Davis era -- Mark Davis believes the Raiders will attract quality candidates.
The 2014 draft class, including potential franchise quarterback in Derek Carr, could be attractive to work with. Davis believes a unburdened salary-cap outlook will bring quality candidates in as well.
“I believe the salary cap situation, the contracts, all of those things have been fixed,” Davis said. “I believe we’re going to have another $60-65 million in space next year and so it’s quite an encouraging and enticing thing for a new head coach if in fact we go out to find one and go through a search -- that this could be an organization they would want to be with.”
Davis didn’t want to delve too far into the future, and said Sparano will have a chance to continue on if he generates wins. The Raiders have time to examine their options, conduct a thorough search and find the right guy.
“My resume box is wide open now,” Davis said. “We’ll see.”