ALAMEDA -- The leaguewide relief at the return of NFL officials was greeted Thursday with little more than a collective yawn by the Raiders, who three games into the season have been remarkably free of penalties.
After setting NFL records for penalties (163) and penalty yards (1,358) in 2011, the Raiders are ranked 29th in penalties (14) and 30th in penalty yards (102) this season.
A team that had 59 pre-snap penalties a year ago, an average of 3.7 per game, has six in three games in 2012. After 30 personal fouls in 2011, the Raiders have only one this season.
Did the replacement officials come in with less of a preconceived notion of how the Raiders play?
"It's one of those things, when you have a reputation for doing something and you go into a game, it's more likely you're going to get those things called on you," safety Tyvon Branch said.
Or, given the reduction of pre-snap penalties that aren't judgment calls, has the Dennis Allen regime cleaned things up?
"I think our guys are buying into being a disciplined football team and doing things the right way, and it's a continual work in progress," Allen said. "We've had three games, so we've got a long way to go. ... I would attribute it to our players understanding more what they need to do than I would anything external."
Allen's approach has been more understated than his predecessor, Hue Jackson, who promised to get the penalty issue cleaned up and then produced
The Raiders had 15 penalties for 131 yards in last year's season opener in Denver alone.
Rather than have officials at practice every day, an unprecedented step taken by Jackson last year, there were only three officiated practices during training camp.
There is also the factor of Allen having a bottom-line final say on all things that occur on the field, a first in the organization since Al Davis became head coach in 1963.
Allen's philosophy regarding penalties blends in with his beliefs in other areas, as well. He is big on responsibility, which linebacker Rolando McClain believes is why the mental mistakes are down.
"He's making it a big issue for us to stop getting penalties," McClain said. "Some penalties you can't control. You do your best, but sometimes they will get called. Our problem was the crazy pre-snap, offsides, neutral zone and all that. If we can cut those out that's a big difference for us."
Defensive back Michael Huff thinks there has been a trickle-down affect into a lot of areas -- penalties included -- based on the approach of the new coaching staff.
"From Day 1, D.A. came in and preached discipline and accountability," Huff said. "Before some coaches have done it, but I don't think guys bought in.
"It's there in every way, from the meetings, the schedule, meeting times, being here when you've got to be here -- and not having certain guys that can be a minute late. All that discipline has kind of led to us being more disciplined on the field."
Branch said he didn't change his approach to accommodate for the shortcomings of the replacement officials nor will he alter things for regular crews.
"You just go out there and play football," Branch said. "Even with the regular refs, they're going to make some calls you don't agree with."
With the regular officials back on the job, Allen and his staff will pore over data to provide scouting reports on crews to determine if they have any tendencies.
"We evaluate what all the crews call, and we're on special alert on the things they call a lot," Allen said.