Perception = Reality
Over the past six seasons, the Raiders organization has been tagged with the perception of a losing culture. This perception is largely based on 4 areas of concern:
(1) Results on the field - a 23% winning percentage (22-71 record)
(2) Instability at Head Coach - (6 Head Coaches in 8 seasons)
(3) Dysfunctional front office - (vacancy at GM)
(4) Questionable decisions made by Al Davis (selection of HC, draftees, and free agents)
All 4 areas of concern are inter-related. How do you 'flip the script'?
The obvious remedy to the losing culture is leadership. The teams that are successful have strong leaders both in the locker room, within the coaching ranks, and the executive staff.
In the case of the Raiders, this leadership needs to be from the top down ... meaning Davis hires a respected GM. The GM selects a capable and qualified HC. The HC handpicks his own OC & DC. The positional coaches develop leaders within each unit. The players police and enforce a winning attitude.
Changing the Perception:
The way to change the perception of the organization is for Davis to delegate real authority to a GM and HC whereby these 2 leaders clean house on both the coaching ranks and personnel. Of course this doesn't mean EVERYONE goes but it certainly means that dead wood is cleared over a period of 2 full seasons. It simply isn't possible or practical to make too many drastic, wholesale changes in 1 year.
The GM & HC need to be directly involved in this clearing process which involves selecting and retaining key personnel that (a) fit the system (b) perform (c) are worth developing.
Here’s a list compiled by Raider Nate 75 of possible Head Coach and GM candidates:
Jack Del Rio
James Lofton (possible OC too)
Mike Leach (God forbid, but I hear his name mentioned)
Bill Cowher (not likely, but a wish)
Gary Kubiak (not likely)
Floyd Reece (* added by CJ)
Ideally, the best case scenario is for the GM to be hired immediately following the 2008 season. The newly hired GM would be responsible for compiling his own list of HC candidates based on his own past relationships. The recruitment and hiring of a capable and qualified HC becomes a much easier task if someone like Floyd Reece or James Harris is already on board.