Raiders Continue To Minimize Reggie McKenzie’s Role

There’s been plenty of speculation around the Raiders in recent days, but one dynamic that’s more galvanized than ever is the fact that Mark Davis is calling the shots.

When Mark took over for his father, he was clear in his message. “I know what I don’t know,” he told reporters six years ago, referencing his plan to hire people to make decisions he didn’t feel qualified to make.

As it turns out, Davis is becoming more qualified every day.

It was Davis who took the lead in hiring Jack Del Rio three years ago and it was Davis who went semi-rogue on Sunday night in axing Del Rio just minutes after the final regular season game.

Davis made the call to bring back Jon Gruden with a slealthy maneuver that feels very much like a move his father would have made.

Al Davis wasn’t necessarily one to overvalue coaches, but he did spend on players and the elder Davis was always one to welcome himself into the team’s on-field affairs.

If Gruden is the right coach to turn the Raiders  around (and who’s arguing that he’s not?), credit to Davis for making the decision and spending the cash to bring him back now.

Mark’s method of dumping Del Rio minutes after the final game was lousy, but doesn’t it feel like it was carried out the way the elder Davis would have done it (minus the overhead projector)?

Mark has a very good relationship with general manager Reggie McKenzie and it’s a good thing because it feels like McKenzie’s role is shrinking – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing because maybe McKenzie can focus more on building the roster.

Looking ahead, McKenzie’s role is likely to shrink even more with Gruden in the mix, but Reggie is known for his ability and willingness to accept input from coaches (almost to a fault some would say).

The Raiders have never been an organization to avoid taking risks and Gruden’s impending return is only the next of many to come.

It’s the Raider way.

There’s a new Davis running the show but the longer he’s around, the more he feels like an apple rolling back to the family tree.

Hopefully that can be a good thing.

twitter: @raidersbeat


8 thoughts on “Raiders Continue To Minimize Reggie McKenzie’s Role

  1. What if the Jon Gruden we get IS the Gruden after he beats us in the super bowl.? ,,, then what?

  2. Gruden was a very good coach, but hardly the Second Coming. Remember that he had 7-9, 5-11 and 4-12 seasons in Tampa Bay, and was only 5-4 in the postseason. He should certainly be an upgrade from Del Rio, but I wouldn’t expect miracles, particularly from someone that’s been out of coaching for 6 years.

    1. To your point about Reggie listening to coaches. Gruden will be able to clearly communicate what he needs in his players on both sides of the ball. In the past I think Raiders fans can confidently say that hasn’t happened and it’s been all on Reggie.

  3. He’s coming back to finish what he started..I truly feel that Gruden feels like he needs to make amends.

  4. Coaching is important, but they do not play. I don’t care how great a coach the media says you are, you’re only as good as your players. Name me one coached who succeeded without great players?

    1. @JAmes – I HATE the Patriots with a passion, but they’ve won many times with a mediocre roster. Most people, for example, couldn’t name more than about 2 WR’s or RB’s who have played for NE since 2000

  5. Good read.
    Gruden led us to winning season’s before, so who’s to say he can’t do it again. I know, I hope he takes us all the way. I’m not getting any younger. I need it soon.
    I’m sure glad I still have my Chucky doll!

  6. interested to see what someone as sharp as Gruden who had a bird’s eye view off all 32 NFL team’s play styles as the MNF booth guy will do.

    will he stick to his tired old playbook from the early 2000s? or will he create an exotic new hybrid offense taking only the best plays and alignments he has seen from around the league and repackage them as his own?

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