Mark Davis inherited the Las Vegas Raiders when his father, Al Davis, passed away. Since taking control of the franchise in 2011, he’s only overseen a winning season once. Plenty of fans aren’t happy about it.
The Raiders haven’t had much success since they made it to the Super Bowl on January 26, 2003. In the 2000s, the franchise went through a spell of futility. Al Davis’s deteriorating health in the decade most likely played a factor in that. Things haven’t been much different in the 2010s with his son Mark at the helm.
Since 2011, the Raiders have failed to qualify for the playoffs every year but once. Most of the losing falls on Davis. Former general manager Reggie McKenzie failed to acquire talent during his tenure with the team. Currently, quarterback Derek Carr, linebacker Marquel Lee and guard Gabe Jackson are the only players remaining from McKenzie’s drafts.* Nevertheless, it was Davis who hired McKenzie, so he’s responsible for not getting the right person to replenish the team’s roster.
On the other hand, Davis hasn’t had a return from his most recent meaningful hire, head coach Jon Gruden. Back in 2018, Davis fired Jack Del Rio and brought Gruden to lead the team. That move has resulted in 11 wins in the last 32 games, not likely the result Davis expected when he gave Gruden a 10-year $100 million contract.
Fans Opinion Towards Mark Davis
Losing will wear anyone down. For that reason, it isn’t surprising to see how Raiders fandom feels about the younger Davis. In a recent survey, Tashaan Reed and Vic Tafur of the Athletic ran, fans graded Davis somewhere around the middle. On a scale from zero to 10, almost half of the fans leaned towards six or lower.
While 20.9 percent graded him at a 7 and 19.8 percent gave him an 8, there was still 41.1 percent that graded him as a 6 or lower. The path toward more solidified support is best summed up in his late father’s famous slogan: Just win, baby.
If the Raiders start winning in 2020, fan support to Davis will likely increase. One person that will surely help the franchise do so is Mike Mayock. As soon as the general manager got the job, a sense of direction and vision surrounded the team.
Also, working on Davis’ favor is the construction of Allegiant Stadium. After looking for a new stadium for years, the Raiders owner finally found financing in Las Vegas. The fact Allegiant looks to be cheaper than its counterpart, SoFi Stadium, makes Davis look smart in hindsight too.
Davis tenure as the Raiders owner has not been pretty. He’s had some misses, but he should be commended for the hiring of Mayock and the construction of the team’s new home. Even if fan perception of Davia isn’t positive right now, he’s placed the foundation of a better team in place. Eventually, that should help him gain some popularity among Raiders Nation.
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*McKenzie signed running back Jalen Richard as an undrafted free agent in 2016.