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Oakland Raiders a franchise in transition

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Cleaning house: Raiders coach Dennis Allen

The bargain-bin makeover by general manager Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen is nearly complete, with the NFL draft providing the finishing touches to a franchise in transition.

It’s apparent based on offseason maneuvers the new regime has identified the reasons for its 4-12 season after back-to-back 8-8 seasons in 2010 and 2011.

While the entire team got an overhaul, the Raiders have determined offensive problems had a lot to do with scheme, while the defensive issues had to do with personnel.

The Raiders are a long way from opening the 2013 season, but as it stands, the club has already replaced eight starters from the team that lined up in last season’s finale against San Diego. Oakland gave up 27.7 points per game, ranked No. 28 in the NFL.

The only three players who remain are defensive end Lamarr Houston, weak-side linebacker Miles Burris and cornerback Brandian Ross.

That doesn’t include strong safety Tyvon Branch, a defensive mainstay who missed the season finale due to injury.
Everyone else either departed through free agency or was released. Gone from the front four are defensive end Matt Shaughnessy and defensive tackles Tommy Kelly and Desmond Bryant.

Strong-side linebacker Philip Wheeler and middle linebacker Omar Gaither (not to mention benched Rolando McClain) are no longer on the roster.

The Raiders will be able to add an impact player as they own the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, though some reports have the Raiders interested in trading down to add even more depth.

NOTE: The Raiders finalized dates and times for three of their four preseason games. Oakland will host the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 9 at 7 p.m., travel to take on the New Orleans Saints on Aug. 16 at 5 p.m. and close out the preseason at the Seattle Seahawks on Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. The third preseason game at home against the Chicago Bears is still to be determined.

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