Five Thoughts On Reggie McKenzie’s New Role With The Raiders

One of the hot topics of the past 24 hours has been the working relationship between Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Jon Gruden.

For whatever reason, it’s become a bit of a contentious subject matter.

Here are a few thoughts on how McKenzie and Gruden might work together and why any suggestion that McKenzie still has ultimate authority is a little ridiculous at this point.

1 – When Jon Gruden agreed to take $100 million from the Raiders, he became the most powerful man in the building. There isn’t any way around it. It’s quite honestly a little naïve to believe otherwise. That doesn’t mean Gruden and McKenzie will be at odds. It just means that if he wants, Gruden can always lay the ace of spades on personnel decisions.

2 – Reggie McKenzie has less power now than he’s ever had as general manager, but his “demotion” of sorts isn’t because he isn’t in good standing with Raiders owner Mark Davis. This is strictly opinion, but when Davis speaks glowingly of the dynamic between Gruden and McKenzie, it’s probably hopeful as much as anything. Things are fine, but this is still the honeymoon period.

3 – If there happens to be a general manager with the personality to work with a $100 million head coach, it might be McKenzie. Two egos don’t generally work well together, but McKenzie is one of the least headstrong at his job in the business.

4 – The best way to describe McKenzie’s status with the Raiders is that he is in “wait-and-see” mode. Davis obviously wants it to work, but if Gruden isn’t happy with the way things are going in nine months, McKenzie’s role is going to change significantly.

5 – “It’s a weight off my shoulder to not have to worry about the football side of the business.” Those were the words of Mark Davis on Sunday afternoon at the owner’s meetings in Orlando. Exactly how involved has he been and why has he needed to be involved? Those are two questions it would be interesting to hear the Raiders owner answer.

twitter: @raidersbeat


10 thoughts on “Five Thoughts On Reggie McKenzie’s New Role With The Raiders

  1. I really don’t give a **** what happens to McKenzie, as I’m over his terrible drafts and conservative nature (i.e. a guy who would NEVER swing a trade for a proven impact player). I don’t know if Gruden will be better with the draft reins, but I honestly don’t think he could be any worse than RM………hate the guy! Cue the “Well, he’s a great cap guy” nonsense because that’s ridiculous…

      1. You can only type 3 words, travis? Idiot……. You’re just pissed I took your stupid canned quote “Well, he’s a great cap guy!” DERRRRPP!!

    1. Well if you take a real hard look at our cap, the management doesn’t seem want to see good player cap management and player aquisition look no farther than the Rams .What the front for rams has done in a very short time shows what a truly good front office can do, We are nowhere close to that

    2. Do you remember what our entire situation before Mackenzie? 5 top 5 draft picks that only got picked because they were the fastest in the draft, 5 OLD guys that were paid twice as much as they were worth and “played” for the ✔ only, 5 draft pick his first year starting in the 3rd round. Come on Bro he ain’t Jesus. I’m just getting tired of people talking sh!t about RM. We have a great young core all he needs to do is hit on 2 or 3 players in the draft an we will be set. Raider Nation Die Hard ! Even after Gruden long gone!

  2. I don’t care for Olsen as an OC, but I think he’s great as a QB coach. I don’t care for Reggie’s draft picks and FA prowess, but he’s a hell of a contract and cap guy. MD is eating Del Rio and his staff’s guaranteed contracts. He’s not going to eat Reggie’s contract and get a new GM on top of that. Give MD his dues. He knows a squat about the business so he gets guys that can coach to coach, manage the cap and contracts to do that, and handle the move to Vegas to do that. There has only ever been one Al Davis. In his prime, during that era, it was possible for him to do all the things required of MD today, and be GM and de facto coach. No one will ever be that influential and successful as Al Davis in that era. Too big a business for that. So to make it in this league as an owner, you at least have to follow MD’s blue print of putting people in place to excel at what they do best, including not using your owner status to do anything you hired those other people to do. It’s up to the people he hired to get it done. If he chose the right guys, it will get done. The guy they say is the dumbest looking owner out there may just be the smartest one. Keeping that hair style on purpose surely makes people underestimate you, and that is always an advantage in business.

  3. Reggie hired a lot of shitty evaluators like his brother raleigh and joey clinkscales b/c they were friends and family.

    the scouting department needs an overhaul that’s 100% crystal clear. You can’t waste 2nd and 3rd round picks year after year like reggie does on boom or bust type players. edwards jr, calhoun, watson, ward all drafted much higher than projected by 31 other teams. so the raiders are doing something wrong and it needs to be fixed

    1. I agree with you that the scouting department has needed an overhaul, especially when it comes to evaluating LB’s. Reggie can’t do it all; he relies on his staff to help out. It is still a team effort in the front office. Overall, Reggie is doing a fantastic job. Complainers like Jack Del Rio should become fans of the Dolphins where they spend ridiculous amounts of money on problem players.

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