Former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf said in an interview that former Raiders linebacker Reggie McKenzie would be an ideal fit as the Raiders general manager.
Wolf, who also used to work for the Raiders, said McKenzie, the Packers director of football operations, is an astute judge of talent and every bit as qualified as former Packers general manager Ted Thompson.
“Reggie’s a tremendous evaluator,” Wolf told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “He can tell you who can play and who can’t play. That’s what it’s all about. Some can write reports but can’t tell you who can play. Whatever that is, he has that. He has a feel.”
McKenzie’s name has surfaced as a potential candidate, once Raiders owner Mark Davis gets around to hiring a general manager to fill the void created by the death of Davis’ father, Al Davis. Wolf said he doesn’t know if Mark Davis is interested in McKenzie.
Mark Davis’ hiring of a general manager isn’t expected to happen until after this season, once those employed by other teams are free to interview with other teams, and Davis has had time to map out what direction he wants to go with the Raiders.
Tom Gamble (49ers), Eric DeCosta (Ravens) and Jimmy Raye (Chargers) are other names that have been bandied about, without any named sources being attached to stories.
McKenzie interviewed for general managers vacancies with the Houston Texans in 2006, the Tennessee Titans in 2007 and the Atlanta Falcons in 2008. Each time, he was passed over.
Wolf said teams are missing out on a great opportunity by not hiring McKenzie.
“I see some of these people that are being named,” Wolf said. “You’re talking about a team that has won more games in the NFC since 1992 than any other team, and Reggie McKenzie was a huge part of that. I think that would make him very, very attractive. He’s more than qualified.”
McKenzie told the Journal Sentinel that he is interested in working for the Raiders, but only if it’s in a general manager-like capacity. He said there is “absolutely no way” that he would leave Green Bay without a promotion.
“People don’t know how great it is here,” he said. “We’ve got a great team. I think the whole organization is headed for greatness. It would be tough not to be a part of it. But opportunity is opportunity, and you’ve got goals.”
Wolf said he spoke with Mark Davis at Al Davis’ funeral. He added that he will assist Davis in whatever capacity, if asked. It seems clear the first name that Wolf will throw out if asked by Davis.
Mark Davis has declined interview requests to this point. For now, Davis, coach Hue Jackson and chief executive Amy Trask are conspiring on personnel moves and other decisions.
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