Over the last few weeks, John Madden, Chris Johnson and a few different media sources confirmed unsettling suspicions about how the Raiders perceive themselves inside the organization.
Madden told an SFGate.com beat writer that Dennis Allen was working with less than optimal talent levels on the roster in 2012. If Madden says it, you can be sure Mark Davis knows it, even without the SFGate article.
The lack of roster talent should have been obvious to everyone but more often than not it takes someone "in the know" to comment for people to finally see the light.
It's not just a matter of salary cap woes that brought on the lack of talent problem. Though this is an appropriate fallback position for GM Reggie McKenzie to take. I have to wonder what else in the way of strategy Reggie has in mind to fix this problem. What else does he have to say to Mark Davis about the noticeable regression in performance during 2012? Dennis Allen has nothing to say other than "We have to play better." The salary cap loosening up a bit only goes so far to address the issues.
The bigger problem is apparent thanks to some recent comments by former Raiders CB, Chris Johnson. Johnson told a beat writer the locker room he was part of while with the Raiders had no leaders. None to speak of. The guys paid to be leaders did nothing except show up to collect their game checks.
This is something else that should have been obvious - and addressed. For years Al Davis paid big money to guys with the expectation that they helped win games. I have to wonder how much Al emphasized being locker room leaders to his large payroll signings. Clearly just adding talent to your team does not add up to a winning team. Leadership has to be there. Just ask Ray Lewis.
The problems keep compounding for the new regime. Not only was there no leadership a few years ago, there is no leadership now either. The coaching staff, which is supposed to lead the leaders, has no leaders among them to speak of. Not a single one. The head coach may as well be driftwood.
Factor in a first round draft bust in a position the team desperately needed to come through at Middle Linebacker and what is left? Just about every position needs to be looked at as a need not a nice to have. That adds up to a lot of rebuilding years to come.