NFL Franchise Notes: Did Mark Davis Make Coaching Change To Protect His Image?
YAHOO SPORTS’ Michael Silver wrote Raiders Owner Mark Davis dismissed coach Hue Jackson Tuesday “to project an image of authority,” as Davis “needs to surround himself with employees who didn’t see him routinely disparaged and condescended to by his legendary father.” A former Raiders coach said he “saw (Al Davis) tell Mark to ‘shut the (expletive) up’ all the time. It was a regular occurrence. He treated him like his opinion didn’t matter.” Silver wrote Mark Davis is “Tommy Boy, trying not to face-plant on a table full of beers,” and the thought of “presiding over a team with a brash, intelligent and charismatic coach who knew how dismissively his father used to treat him had to be a daunting prospect.” Davis will encourage new GM Reggie McKenzie to “clean out as many people on the football side of the building as he can, if only to start fresh with a new crop of employees who don’t have visceral images of his inglorious past” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/11). Meanwhile, ESPN's Jim Rome said, "If anybody needed a change in culture, it's the Oakland Raiders. Al Davis dominated that organization for decades and his mission and philosophy never changed, but their record did, for the worse. Jackson was Davis' last hire, drunk on his authority, and he had to go" ("Jim Rome Is Burning," ESPN2, 1/11).
CHANGE IN PERCEPTION: In Miami, Greg Cote writes the Dolphins need to "win" Jeff Fisher as their next coach for the “perception even more than for the reality.” The perception, “at least for Miami, is that the Dolphins are mismanaged by a star-struck, novice owner in Stephen Ross and by an inexperienced, lightweight general manager in Jeff Ireland.” Getting Fisher “won’t solve the QB reality holding this club back, but it would go a long way to mending the perception that hounds the Dolphins -- a perception only underlined a year earlier when Ross was rebuffed in his play for Jim Harbaugh.” Fisher joining would “enhance the club’s turned-ragged image.” Dolphins fans “at this point need experience and proof to hold onto” (MIAMI HERALD, 1/12).
BEAR SEASON: ESPN CHICAGO’s Wright & Dickerson noted the Bears in their search for a new GM “received permission to interview" Chiefs Dir of College Scouting Phil Emery, Patriots Dir of Pro Personnel Jason Licht, Chargers Dir of Player Personnel Jimmy Raye and Giants Director of College Scouting Marc Ross. A source said Raye and Ross "are high on (the Bears') short list." In addition, Bears Dir of Player Personnel Tim Ruskell “remains under consideration” (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 1/11).