I was harsh about Mark Davis this weekend.
I called him a coward for the way he fired Jack Del Rio. I took some heat from Raiders’ fans. I stand by that assessment because it was true. Firing Del Rio and his staff moments after the season ender on the road and leaving Del Rio to announce without his own fate facing the media was noticed around the league.
It was a bad move and Davis needed to be called out for it.
But, hey it happens, and hopefully he’ll learn from it. But the truth is, Davis is doing a fine job in Oakland. He deserves big-time credit for getting the Jon Gruden deal done.
Davis will likely be on display as much as Gruden at his coronation disguised as a press conference Tuesday at noon at the team’s facility. Davis deserves the moment in the sun. He deserves to crow.
He brought Chucky back to the sideline.
Others have tried over the years, but Davis was the one to reel in Gruden. Davis has tried twice to hire Gruden after he took over the franchise when his father, the legendary Al Davis, died in October 2011. Davis never gave up and now it has paid off.
Davis is clearly not afraid to spend money as it took $100 million to get Gruden. It’s the highest amount of money for a coach. Ever. Davis has instantly gone from being known as a frugal ‘Tommy Boy’ to a legitimate NFL baller.
He got the rest of the league noticing him.
It’s been a banner past 10 months for Davis. He was instrumental in the Las Vegas Raiders happening and now he got Gruden. I’ve thought Davis has been an underrated owner since he took over for his late father. When the transition occurred, the rest of the league snickered. Mark Davis was always Al’s son and he was never considered a real player in the league. Mark always preferred staging in the background until it was his time to take control.
Still, what I think Davis does well is let other people run the team in the areas of their expertise. Davis doesn’t meddle much.
He does step in when he feels its necessary. It was his decision to hire Del Rio three years ago. It was his decision to go after Gruden. It was his decision to fire Del Rio.
The Raiders are set up for a strong future with a hot-shot coach and in a state-of-the-art new home. His father would be proud of his son’s actions and Davis deserves his credit for that. Tuesday, he will soak up the adulation and he deserves it just as he deserved to be criticized for the way he handled Del Rio’s ouster.
That’s the deal with NFL ownership. There’s good and bad to be handled. Davis’ tenure has been mostly good and Tuesday will be the pinnacle of his Raiders’ ownership.