Chemistry the Al Davis Way: How Subtraction Is Addition for the Oakland Raiders

Sometimes when you're mixing a drink, you can get the ingredients all wrong.

You might put in too much soda pop and it gets way too light. Other times, it's too much of the active ingredient and you fall asleep all the time.

If there is one thing Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis is known for, it is that he will make his drink how he sees fit.

Sometimes it is his Achilles' heel, and sometimes he hits it out of the park.

Chemistry is a little understood concept, especially to those who are only familiar with the concept of the "id." In an NFL locker room, this kind of hubris can be a team killer. Like a good drink, you want a little, but not too much.

This offseason, Davis did some major tinkering with the mixture of his beverage, the Raiders, but three areas where he has made a wonderful potion are sure to impact the team—and its chemistry—for a long time.



Uncharacteristically, Davis went with solid, dependable picks with his first two choices of the 2010 NFL Draft by taking guys on the other side of the ball.

Rolando McClain has a chance to become a Pro Bowl-caliber player, and was a smart decision taken in the eighth spot. Gone were the flashy overpaid choices of the past. Enter the dependable, hardworking guys.



Once again going against his character, Davis manned up and made a difficult, but necessary, decision by ending the JaMarcus Russell experiment at quarterback.

He jettisoned the overpaid and under-performing dead weight in favor of the hard-working and driven when he plucked QB Jason Campbell from Washington in a preseason trade.

Everything else remained pretty much the status quo, as the move at QB was the key ingredient.



It would have been easy to point the blame at head coach Tom Cabl...

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