Reggie McKenzie doesn't seem like a man who would commission, execute or enjoy a purge, now does he?
The Raiders general manager speaks softly and almost always genially -- I don't think I've ever seen McKenzie in anything close to a foul or frantic mood.
The Raiders won for the first time in the McKenzie Era last Sunday, which made them 1-2 and him happy.
They're going for two in a row Sunday in Denver against the Broncos, which would make McKenzie ecstatic.
But when you go through the list of transactions since McKenzie took over the Raiders last winter, there does seem to be a stark theme:
If you're a player the Raiders acquired before McKenzie's arrival, you'd better be producing ... or you'll be an ex-Raider fast.
That goes even if you're a relatively high-round draft pick of recent vintage, and judging by the recent releases of offensive lineman Joseph Barksdale and cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke (both third-rounders last year), it might be especially so for those high-round/low-production guys.
So are you in the middle of a roster-wide purging, Reggie?
"No," McKenzie told me after a practice a few days ago, "no purge at all. It really wasn't."
But McKenzie also wasn't disputing that he and coach Dennis Allen knew they had to make a lot of changes and will continue to contemplate any and all changes on a 24/7 basis.
There is no built-in protection for Al Davis' former favored speed-size
"I did expect to try to maneuver the bottom portion of the roster, yes," McKenzie said of his flurry of in-season moves.
"But as much? I didn't expect to lose both my starting corners (free-agent signees Shawntae Spencer and Ron Bartell) right off the bat or my starting tackle (Khalif Barnes) ...
"But you've got to account for stuff like that. I tried to envision trying to upgrade continuously, not just Weeks 1 through 4, but even Week 17, if we can help.
"Sometimes the opportunities just don't present themselves, either, if it's not the right guy. If the right guy's out there, we'll look into it and I'll talk to my head coach and say, 'Hey, what about this?' "
Just a brief summary:
"I didn't go into it just to release all the guys who were here," McKenzie said. "We just try to look at production.
"I had a whole offseason, whole preseason and all the games and training camp to evaluate most of those guys. You know, as far as those guys are concerned, I felt like we needed to upgrade, that's all."
But McKenzie hasn't wiped away all of the stalwarts of the previous regime.
First, that would be impossible in such a short time; and second, there are some holdover young players to build around, including Darren McFadden, Denarius Moore, Jared Veldheer, Stefan Wisniewski, Rolando McClain, Matt Shaughnessy and Michael Huff.
McKenzie has brought in some veterans who have contributed immediately, most notably linebacker Philip Wheeler, probably the defense's best player so far. And they just added veteran defensive end Andre Carter last week.
"As long as Reggie and I are here, we're going to continue trying to build the best roster we can build," Allen said, "and we'll look at any moves we have to make to do that."
Meanwhile, a few of McKenzie's first class of draft choices this year have already made contributions, also led by a linebacker: fourth-round pick Miles Burris.
This is absolutely not a finished roster -- it's not deep, it lacks playmakers; we've seen how slow they can look.
If McKenzie plays it exactly right, this roster still is probably two years away from the kind of roster he left in Green Bay.
But there was no way to move the Raiders forward unless McKenzie and Allen were prepared to do some radical roster shifting.
They didn't go into this planning a purge. But if outsiders believe it looks like one, they're OK with that, too, as long as the Raiders are better than they used to be, or at least heading that way.