I don't know if everybody knows this, but Al Davis was a bit stuck in the Old School ways of football. I hope you got the sarcasm there because it was pretty thick. From the defense the Raiders played to the way they scouted players, it was all traditional Al Davis in Oakland California. Rest in peace Al along with the way his teams were put together, and hello to the new age of football.
Those who know me know I am not anti-Al. However, there were many things that he did that were completely outdated and it is very exciting to see the Raiders move forward into the new world of football and technology. Reggie McKenzie recognized this lack of present day techniques right away and has been busy upgrading the way the team does things. He updated everything from the computers and software to the very scouts out there finding future Raiders. It was due and the benefits of this evolution are going to be widespread across every aspect of the Raiders organization.
The hiring of George Li as a Football Operations Statistical Analyst is proof that the evolution is in full swing. The fact that the team went out and hired a guy as a defensive assistant on the team last year after having spent 5 years as the NFL Network lead researcher speaks volumes. Reggie McKenzie is staying true to wanting to keep real football minds in employment while also hiring someone who has to be considered one of the top statistical analysts out there. Being employed as the lead researcher for the NFL Network is quite a qualification for anybody to have on their resume.
While these new changes are being implemented, there will probably be some growing pains as well. So be it. There is no reason not to use the statistical analysis that is possible nowadays to improve this team. The future of the NFL is going to be based around using statistics generated by computers more and more, and the Raiders must adapt to survive. Reggie knows this already and is doing what he needs to do for his team to be successful for years to come.
It will be interesting to see next year's offseason with the changes that are being made now being fully utilized. As Reggie and many others have said "Rome wasn't built in a day", so it will take some time before we notice the changes being implemented. We might not ever really notice the effects, but know that they are happening and that this team will be better for them.
I don't know if moneyball is completely adaptable to the NFL, and I don't know if that is the direction the Raiders really are heading. What I know is that to compete in today's NFL you need to be able to see the trends, and nothing clearly shows the trends better than statistical analysis by computer. The more comprehensive use of statistics is necessary for the survival of a successful franchise. The future is here and the Oakland Raiders are finally in a position where they can grab hold and hang on tight!