Mark Davis: Why Al Davis' Son Has Big Shoes to Fill for Oakland Raiders

John HickeyContributor IIOctober 9, 2011

Al Davis
Al DavisJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

For the better part of four decades, Al Davis has been the face and the heart of the Oakland Raiders.

With Davis having died Saturday, that changes. His son, Mark, will have to make the football decisions for the time being, and first up likely will be the hiring of a general manager, someone who can make the decisions that formerly landed on Al Davis’ desk.

There had been some thought that Mark and his mother, Carol, would sell the controlling interest in the team once Al died, but that does not appear to be in the plans, at least in the short term.

Longtime NFL announcer and former Raiders’ coach John Madden is a longtime friend of the Davis family, and it would come as no surprise if Madden had some significant input in the decision-making process as the Raiders go forward in the post-Al Davis era.

Al Davis mentioned the possible inclusion of Madden in the Raiders’ leadership process in a 2006 press conference.

It will be worth watching to see if Mark Davis continues to rely as heavily on the club’s chief executive, Amy Trask. Trask has been working on a new stadium plan as the Raiders and the Oakland A’s both see about going forward (separately) with someplace other than the Oakland Coliseum as home.

Mark Davis, 56, has spent more time around the team in the last few years than before, but his interests apparently are more on the business side of things, leaving football decisions to his father. It will be interesting to see if that changes with his father’s death.

NFL owners are scheduled to meet on Tuesday, and it’s not clear if Mark Davis will attend, but given the timing of Al Davis’ death, it would come as no surprise if no family member attended.

The Davis family owns 47 percent of the Raiders, down from 67 percent thanks to a sale of 20 percent of the interest in 2007. The control of the organization, however, remains with Carol and Mark Davis.