NFL: Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis says no more excuses
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 28/02/14 11:55am
London born Oakland Raider Jack Crawford answers questions from Twitter courtesy of Sky Sports NFL viewers.
Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis says the time is now for the team to finally emerge from their 11-year slump, as he wants to start building a team capable of winning multiple Super Bowls.
With a hugely healthy salary cap and fistful of Draft picks, the pressure is on for coach Dennis Allen and GM Reggie McKenzie to starting building a winning team - with Davis saying that they are now all out of excuses.
The Raiders have been in a period of 'deconstruction' according to their owner, with them clearing the decks to leave them this year with $65 million of salary cap room and a full load of Draft picks to play with.
However, Davis is still disappointed that they have not even built the beginnings of a new identity after back-to-back 4-12 seasons and a general lack of fighting spirit in some heavy defeats - but that all has to stop next season.
"It's not put-up-or-shut-up, but there are no excuses," Davis told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Every off-season is the most important at that time, but this is one that we've been building toward the last few years.
"Dennis Allen has every coach that he wanted. Reggie (McKenzie) has the fifth pick in the draft, and we have almost every one of our picks. We have to hit it now.
"These guys have an opportunity to show what they can do. There are no built-in excuses anymore. The table is set for the Raiders to start building for the future. My goal is to get to multiple Super Bowls, not a one-and-done deal."
Oakland have been accustomed to losing, they've not had a winning season since making the Super Bowl 12 years ago - only going 8-8 twice as their highlights - and Davis admitted that last year was tough to watch as his team limped to a 1-8 finish that left Allen clinging to his job.
"Losing those last games last year was not good," Davis continued. "And the way we lost them was terrible. When you're not winning, there are always thoughts.
"But you have to look at the whole picture. You can't act on emotion. You just can't do it. I see continuity being a good thing, but you have to have the right kind of continuity. I am giving these guys a chance to do it. Being patient is tough."
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Davis does not see Terrelle Pryor or Matt McGloin as the future at quarterback for the Raiders, and although they have multiple areas of concern, a franchise quarterback is needed to build the team around.
"I think everybody is looking for something different, to be honest," said Davis. "I haven't really sat down with Reggie and Dennis to see what they're looking for in a quarterback, but I know what I am kind of looking for.
"We only interviewed six or seven of them, and I just wanted to see what they had to say. You're limited to the amount of people you can interview.
"If there is a guy there at No. 5 in the draft that you really believe can be your franchise quarterback - and he doesn't have to be your franchise quarterback this year, but somebody that will be in the next year or two - then you think about it. But if not, then pick another guy who is going to be a leader for your organisation.
"We have to find somebody in the draft or in free agency that is going to be the identity of the Raiders. I don't know if we really have an identity now.
"The two guys that we've got, Terrelle and Matt, are young guys that still need experience. Whether they get that here or not is to be seen."