When Al Davis died and a new regime was brought in to make the decisions for the Oakland Raiders, everyone knew there would be wide-scale changes, but I'm not sure anyone could have imagined they'd happen this quickly.
The clearest picture of these changes began to take form this past week, when defensive backs DeMarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa were both released before their second full professional season could begin.
On paper, Van Dyke was the quintessential Al Davis guy—fast.
Unfortunately, throughout his rookie season (which was eventually cut short by injury), Van Dyke failed to convert that speed into the ability to cover his man. This spring, however, the word on the street was that DVD was looking up.
Throughout camp, Van Dyke seemed to be the star of the defensive unit, garnering praise from everyone in attendance as rumblings began to surface that he could even earn the starting job.
And then, the preseason happened.
While the practice version of DVD had apparently improved immensely, the in-game version was the same old, same old. Whether it was missed tackles, blown coverage or getting caught out of position, Van Dyke struggled to translate his practice-field success into games.
In the end, Van Dyke was surprisingly cut yesterday in favor of veteran Joselio Hanson.
For Chekwa, the story was similar.
Unlike Van Dyke, Chekwa never garnered much praise or attention from the media in his one-plus seasons in Oakland, much of which was marred by injuries.
While Chekwa seemed to play well in spurts this spring, Allen and his staff decided he wasn't worth keeping around on the active roster at the moment, and so he was also cut. Fortunately for him, at least there was a spot on the practice squad for him.
Through both of these moves, however, the moral of the story is clear: Allen and McKenzie don't care who you are, when you were drafted or where you came from. If you can't help the Raiders win, you can start packing your bags.
As the San Jose Mercury News noted, the moves give Oakland an astonishing 23 players (out of 53) on their active roster who are new this year.
Among those 23 are six drafted or undrafted rookies, and you can be sure of one thing: They sure got the message.