Go ahead, admit it: when you saw Seattle’s Richard Sherman going off on 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree following the NFC title game, you thought Sherman would have made for a perfect Raider … albeit, an old-school Raider.
But because of the sea change and paradigm shift that has occurred in Silver and Blackdom with the new regime of Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen, the art of trash talking has gone the way of the dodo bird. Gone are the likes of Mike Mitchell and Tommy Kelly of recent vintage, of Warren Sapp and Randy Moss from the mid-oughts, of Lyle Alzado and Ben Davidson for the more silver (and black?)-haired denizens of Raider Nation.
Allen does not have a real policy on trash talking, though he would frown upon it if the player could not back it up. Allen’s concerns are more with players executing and being disciplined. Because even when Mike Jenkins picked up a silly 15-yard taunting penalty for knocking the ball out Ryan Mathews’ hands on the sideline at San Diego in the penultimate game of the year, Allen did not pull Jenkins.
“My thinking was that Mike Jenkins playing in the football game gave us the best opportunity to have success,” Allen said the following day. “I had a conversation with him when the drive was over, but in the middle of the drive I felt he gave us the best opportunity to have success, so I wanted to keep him in the game.”