Raiders news: owner Mark Davis keen to win
The smile on Mark Davis’ face spread from ear to ear as he appeared on the video screen on Wednesday. It was justified. The owner of the Las Vegas Raiders beamed at a press conference in which the NFL announced Davis’s palace in the desert – Allegiant Stadium – had been named the site of Super Bowl 2024.
NFL owners voted unanimously, 32-0, at the NFL meeting in Dallas on Wednesday to award Super Bowl LVIII to Las Vegas. The announcement is expected to have the city full of coins due to the increased revenue from the event. And the soccer world can see the Davis Raiders at home for the game of the NFL season.
Davis, no doubt delighted with the news, however delivered a zinger during the press.
“When you’re not winning on the pitch, it’s good to win,” Davis said at Tuesday’s press conference. “And today is a huge, huge victory for all of us.”
On a momentous occasion when its new, state-of-the-art stadium was the crowned jewel of the biggest game of 2024, Davis verbally presented his football team with a quick cup check. Who could blame the owner for being frustrated with a crumbling trio of seasons of his Raiders?
After a 5-2 start, Davis’ football team sits at 6-7 and with their very slim playoff hopes in resuscitation. Of course, a myriad of things happened that helped the Raiders go under 500, but football is about winning – winning on the pitch. And the Silver & Blacks haven’t done it enough amid back-to-back season meltdowns.
Last Sunday’s 48-9 bombing at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs was the latest example of the Raiders’ futility in 2021. It was a listless contest that likely served as a catalyst for winds of change at team HQ to Henderson.
Still, Vegas is given four more opportunities to return to the winning column – something Davis is eager to see. Suffice it to say, but if there’s one game the Raiders should win, it’s next Monday’s game against the Cleveland Browns. The team has been hit by a string of positive COVID-19 tests, leaving full player status in limbo, possibly leaving Cleveland on staff.
Now Browns’ QB Case Keenum has tested positive for COVID, leaving QB Nick Mullens in line to start against the Raiders on Saturday, sources say @ByKimberleyA, @FieldYates and me. Baker Mayfield has already tested positive and is on the Reserve / COVID-19 list.
– Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 16, 2021
Then again, the Raiders saw things line up perfectly in their favor and all they had to do was hold their end of the bargain by winning. Instead, their faces are planted. Add to the mix the league moving the game from its original kickoff from Saturday to Monday, and any Las Vegas advantage can be rendered moot, anyway.
Which brings us back to the “who could blame the owner” line above. While his enthusiasm for the Super Bowl designation and his frustration with all the losses his football team have made this year are justifiable, Davis cannot and will not be absolved of the blame for the current state of his Raiders. He is the catalyst for this mess. Davis was the one who chased his unicorn and hired Jon Gruden. The owner is the one who not only brought Gruden back, but gave him complete autonomy over football decisions. Whether it was player swaps, player signings, drafting and even hiring Mike Mayock as GM, that was Gruden’s schtick. And it was Davis who opened the door to it all.
Davis may be anxious to see his Raiders as winners, but he’s the most important part in making sure that happens. Its decisions are what make the powers and lubricate the gears. Obviously, Davis is still focused on his team’s participation in the playoffs and will assess the entire organization at the end of the season.
It’s unclear whether Davis prefers big changes like a sweep and a punt or whether he will retain Mayock, interim head coach Rich Bisaccia and his squad. But if he doesn’t bring Bisaccia back and a full coach search begins, Davis will have to make a smarter choice to head coach this go-around rather than his Gruden and Jack Del Rio caps before him.
If that means being methodical, deliberate, and slow to find a successor, so be it. Whether or not Davis relies on an advisory group of alumni and Raider legends, it would be wise for the owner to combine analytics, metrics, and data into a head coach hire instead of leaving his personal desires and his desire to bring Gruden back to the clouds. a possible rental.