There must have been times this season when Mark Davis got aggravated and impatient, perhaps many, many times.

There had to be a few fevered moments during the Raiders' 4-9 start this season ... and 8-21 swoon over the last two.

But the Raiders owner has remained calm in public, and this week Davis suggested to me that "patience" is his guiding mood these days.

A commitment to patience, which probably means Davis is leaning toward keeping general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen into 2014.

The point, Davis said, is that the Raiders have three games left in 2013, and then the franchise will shift from two years of "deconstruction" into a new phase.

Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis  before his team played the Tennessee Titans at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif.,  Nov. 24, 2013.
Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis before his team played the Tennessee Titans at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., Nov. 24, 2013. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

"That's when the deconstruction turns into the reconstruction," Davis said in a phone interview.

"It's an exciting time for us. It's also been a tough time for the fans, it's been a tough time for me, it's been a tough time for everybody.

"But what do they say about patience? If you're committed to something, you have to be patient with it."

It's absolutely the proper way to approach this; rebuilding the Raiders is an immense project, and impulsive moves might only bog things down all over again.

Davis said that once the season ends, McKenzie will meet with Allen and the rest of his staff, and then McKenzie will meet with Davis.


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That's when the Raiders will put together a plan of attack for their immense amount of upcoming cap space -- possibly upward of $70 million -- and the 2014 draft.

It's what Davis and McKenzie have been planning for since McKenzie was hired in January 2012 -- a few months after the death of Al Davis and the transition to his son.

Mark Davis said he didn't want to specifically speak about the futures of Allen and McKenzie past these last three games -- "division games," as Davis emphasized.

Obviously, if the Raiders lose all three in ugly ways, there is no guarantee that Davis' patience will last.

But in our conversation, Davis repeatedly named McKenzie as a key part of the future plans, which means something.

"I'm very happy with the job he's done so far," Davis said of McKenzie, Davis' hand-picked hire.

There is some wiggle room here for Davis, though, by clearly marking and separating the "deconstruction" and "reconstruction" stages.

McKenzie has cleaned out the cap problems, and Allen has built the foundation of a stronger locker room and more cohesive football.

Just for that, the two men deserve credit, because none of this has been easy.

But McKenzie has made enough small-to-medium-sized personnel mistakes to make you wonder about his long-term ability to find stars.

And while the team is still playing hard for him, Allen's defense has waned in both of the last two late-seasons.

They were Stage 1 guys. Are they both Next Stage leaders?

I think they both deserve another year, and I think Davis wants to give them another year.

But I think it's clear Davis will hear what McKenzie has to say about Allen after this season.

And Davis wants good ideas for the quarterback position, how they'll acquire more talent across the roster and how they'll push this team into immediate playoff contention.

"The reconstruction is going to begin right after this season is over," Davis said. "And we're in a good position -- with all the dead money, the cap stuff, the upside down contracts ... they're all gone.

"We're in a strong position now with all that, because we've planned and gone through this deconstruction. And now we can go forward."

The Raiders did some good things early in the season and moved to 3-4 but then hit the wall at midseason and have lost five of their last six.

The defense started off strong and has collapsed of late; the QB spot has transitioned from Matt Flynn to Terrelle Pryor to Matt McGloin, and not always smoothly.

"That's the thing about this season -- at times we've shown that there's something there, and at times we've shown that maybe there's not," Davis said.

"There's progress, if you look at it that way, because it makes the disappointment that much harder.

"When you've made some progress, patience is a harder thing to have."

There will be three more games -- important games -- and then Mark Davis and the Raiders will move on to the next and better phase.

I think McKenzie and Allen will be there with Davis, in the new Raiders era of calm, commitment and at least one more year of patience.

Read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami. Contact him at tkawakami@mercurynews.com.

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