By Steve Corkran
Friday, September 20th, 2013 at 3:38 pm in Oakland Raiders.
ALAMEDA — General manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen made it abundantly clear that they wanted a team filled with high-character players and that off-field transgressions won’t be tolerated. To that end, they have succeeded in spectacular fashion.
Linebacker Kaluka Maiava got in an altercation during the offseason. However, that happened soon after he signed with the Raiders and long before he had a chance to get indoctrinated into The Raiders Way under McKenzie and Allen.
On Friday, I asked Allen about the key to his success in this area as a direct result of the 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith getting arrested earlier today.
“Well, obviously, you try to — and I don’t know the situation that you’re talking about — but you obviously try to work with your guys all the time about making sure that they understand the limelight that they’re in and their responsibility, not only to themselves but to the football team.
“We talk a lot about that. Things come up, and you’ve got to deal with things. We’ll continue to work in that direction. We try to do a good job of being accountable and being responsible both on the field and off the field.”
Cornerback Taiwan Jones was here when McKenzie and Allen arrived in 2012. He said he and his teammates know exactly where McKenzie and Allen stand in regard to their on- and off-field behavior.
“Basically, coach Allen says, we represent the Raiders in everything we do and representing the Raiders is a big responsibility and, not only is it a responsibility, it’s a privilege,” Jones said. “Wearing the silver-and-black is a privilege, and you got to represent it in the right way.”
Jones also has no misgivings about what happens if he fails to adhere to the guidelines set forth by Allen.
“He doesn’t have to harp on it much because he made his statement loud and clear from the beginning,” Jones said. “Our fine is the maximum fine. He stressed that he doesn’t want our money, but we will pay the consequences. He got his message across from Day One.”