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Ron Wolf on 95.7 The Game

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 at 9:55 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Here’s a transcript of an interview former Raiders exec Ron Wolf did on 95.7 The Game (FM). Interesting to note at the bottom Wolf said he is not serving in any sort of advisory capacity with the club. It’s at least the second time he’s said it, which hasn’t slowed the belief that he’s in the ear of owner Mark Davis. The other names mentioned as being “advisors” have been John Madden and Ken Herock.

Madden has been at some games, and given his loyalty to Al Davis, there’s no reason to think he doesn’t pick up the phone every time Mark calls. As for Herock, he’s been at practices, talking to coaches, taking to players as well as Mark Davis as Amy Trask. He’s been at games as well. When I asked Trask about Herock’s involvement, she said he was “part of the Raider family.” Herock also worked at Green Bay with Wolf and while McKenzie was there.

The transcript from an interview conducted on 95.7:

Q: How are Raiders run compared to other franchises?

Wolf: I’m not into that really and truly. It’s an area I don’t know that much about. I do know having worked 25 years under Al Davis with the Raiders exactly what that was like when he was in control. The great thing about working for him was the fact that you knew what you were supposed to do and you were given the opportunity to do that. Everything was compartmentalized. I do not know what the structure is today or what it’s like because I left in 1990, but it would seem to me that whole thing has fallen apart from the sense of a structural standpoint. And I think that’s what the need to get back.

Q: Seems that now Hue Jackson getting involved in everything, even wants to be involved in hiring of a GM. How involved should he be in that process?

Wolf: Again, this is an area I’m not familiar with. I really don’t know Hue Jackson at all other than by reputation, and I would think the hiring of a general manager is in the auspices of the owner, certainly not the head football coach. If the head football coach wants to be in it, why not the head of marketing or the head of personnel, not personnel, public relations. You could run down the whole gamut of who should be in there, but I would think that’s the owner’s bailiwick and the owner should take care of it. And it sounds to me, what I’ve heard, is the owner is going to take care of that.

Q: Is Mark Davis the type that wants to be front and center, wants to be out there, or does he want to be behind the curtain?

Wolf: I think what Mark Davis’ deal is, he wants to bring the Raiders back to where they were, the glory years of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s. I think that’s what he wants to do. I also think he’s smart enough to realize what he can and cannot do, what he’s capable of and what he isn’t capable of. So I think, rather than putting himself in the limelight, I would think that he is going to hire people that would enable him to bring out the best in the Raiders. He knows, I believe, Mark is smart enough to know what he can do, and he will only help in areas that he can help in. I don’t think he feels that he needs to be the front line guy here.

Q: How will having not many draft picks affect mindset of GM coming in?

Wolf: Well, if you’re a GM coming in, you have to realize there’s only 31 of those jobs. So if you want a job, obviously, you’re not going to get a job with a top-notch operation from a won-loss standpoint because they’re doing well. They’re not going to change. So you’re opportunity is in this particular end here, where they don’t have somebody. So you have to weigh that. Do you really want to be a general manager? And if you do, do when the opportunity presents itself, you have to bite the bullet and run with it.

Q: Raiders are open, the Bears, reports are Reggie McKenzie could have his choice between Chicago and Raiders. Which is the more appealing job?

Wolf: I think that would depend on the individual taking the job. I’ve been out 11 years so I’m not as conversant in who’s good, who’s not good, within the NFL, as I once was. I’m a fan now, so I can sit back and I can second guess like everybody else. It’s two-fold here. We’re talking about Reggie McKenzie, being at Green Bay obviously they play Chicago twice a year. He knows Chicago in and out. The ins and outs of Chicago. He does not know that much, probably the ins and outs of the Raiders, other than probably from a personnel standpoint. So it will be whatever’s most appealing to him. And fortunately for the Raiders, if they’re able to get someone the caliber of Reggie McKenzie that’s a big plus.

Q: What makes him so good? Why is Reggie McKenzie so special?

Wolf: Well, he’s worked his way right from the bottom up, all the way up to the top. He’s gone as far as you can go in his particular area, personnel. He’s handled every aspect in the personnel office that one could handle. He’s signed players. He’s cut players. He’s involved with players in contractual disputes. He’s handled things with the union. He understands how contracts work. He understands how the money end of the game works. He’s negotiated contracts. But most importantly, he’s an exceptional judge of talente.

Q: How best describe his day to day interpersonal skills? Intense, pragmatic, etc.?

Wolf: He functions very well. First of all, he’s a linebacker, and I think anyone understands the temperment of a linebacker. They are a little bit different breed. Reggie’s a little bit different in that standpoint. He came in as a rookie, I think he was a 10th round draft choice of the Raiders, and started, from the University of Tennessee. To me, that speaks volumes of his toughness, his mental and physical capabilities. He still has both of those, mental and physical capability. If he gets upset he can certainly hold his own in those areas. I just think he’s perfect.

Q: Some rumblings that if McKenzie comes here or Chicago, that your son, Elliot would be tandem, a hire with Reggie?

Wolf: I don’t know that. Let me say this, Reggie’s his own man. He will hire the people around him. Say, whatever job he gets _ or maybe he doesn’t get any job _ those will be Reggie’s people. He will hire the people he thinks can best help him do his job. And it doesn’t have anything to do with the names of my son or anyone else. Let me just say this, my son’s been involved with the Packers for eight years. He’s been involved long enough to know who can and who cannot do it, and he knows that. But I don’t think that Reggie would hire him just because he’s my son. He would hire him because he has the capability of helping Reggie become better.

Q: Alluded to fact had conversations with Mark, and he would hire a GM, how deep is your involvement in this process?

Wolf: I’m not involved in the process whatsoever. I talked to Mark a long time ago about what he wanted, what type of person he wanted and I recommended Reggie, that was the extent of it. I’m not involved at all.

Q: The perception is they were leaning on you more than you let on . . . you talked about Reggie in November, was that the last time you had contact with Mark?

Wolf: No, that’s not the last time, but I am not involved in Mark Davis’ search for the general manager. Let’s make this perfectly clear. Mark is going to do what he wants to do, how he wants to do it. I was called and asked about Reggie McKenzie and that was my recommendation. And I recommend him fully. He’s more than capable of being able to do the job.

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  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Little man needs attention?! You remind of this needy loser who molested his cousin, and wanted to do his aunt.

  • ArmChair GM

    Sullivan44 Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Imagine if Hue Jackson hadn’t have taken charge when Al passed? Just twiddled his thumbs, started Boller, ended the season at 5-11? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. HC for the Oakland Raiders is a thankless job. No matter what happens to Hue, I want to thank him for giving us some kind of shot this season. Hopefully he and McKenzie work together and he stays a couple of years.
    _______________________________________________________

    Sullivan-

    Just like that TD drive that the Raider defense gave up to the Chargers last weekend, I despise 99 and a half % of what you say.

    BUT………………..

    This post is 1000% true and I agree wit you completely.

    Good post Sully.

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    Can you believe it’s this screwed up? Can you believe the Raiders can’t just come to a decision on the defensive staff? Aside from sentimental nepotism, can anyone name one logical reason Mark hasn’t fired John Herrera yet? I can’t believe there’s still this much chaos. It should have died with Al.

  • GoodOle00

    890. Go **** yourself

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Needy loser’s name was Real Monkey Raider. Do you know him little needy angry monkey.

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    LA to the bay, One of the stipulations Al used to fire Kiffin was that in Kiffin’s contract, he had to abide by “Raider tradition”, whatever the hell that means. (winning is the only tradition I’m concerned with). If there’s any stupid crap like that in McKenzie’s contract, it’s more of the same. Honestly, it’s almost impossible for me to get excited about anything as long as that rodent Herrera is still in the building. Why is here there? What purpose does he serve? Don’t give me the sentimental crap. He’s part of a losing tradition, has had embarrassing incidents caught on camera. He brings nothing to the franchise other than being a ticking time bomb!!!

  • http://::::: REALLY BIG NEWS // CANT NAME SOURCE JUST YET FOR REALLY BIG NEWS // BIG GULP SIZE BIG NEWS // NEWS TO BIG // UNCONFIRMED BIG NEWS ABOUT TO CONFIRM BIG NEWS // NEWS SO BIG TK LOOKS SMALL // BIG NEWS IS BIGGUNS

    .

  • http://ggeden.wordpress.com/ GG

    GoodOle00 Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    890. Go **** yourself

    —-

    Haha, u mad bro

  • MiamiRaider78

    Reggie is ours! Happy Raider fan here…David Stern can’t block it, can he? lol Fack Yeah!

  • ArmChair GM

    Regardless of the mistakes that Hue made, and he made plenty…

    Hue is one of the primary reasons that we sold out 8 straight home games, the most since the Raiders came back to Oakland. Without that happening, you can almost guarantee that the Raiders would have been halfway to LA by now trying to relocate.

    Like MR said, the man gave us HOPE. Whether he stays or ends up being fired, I appreciate the positive things that he did here in Oakland.

  • LA to TheBay

    Sullivan44 Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 10:57 pm
    Can you believe it’s this screwed up? Can you believe the Raiders can’t just come to a decision on the defensive staff? Aside from sentimental nepotism, can anyone name one logical reason Mark hasn’t fired John Herrera yet? I can’t believe there’s still this much chaos. It should have died with Al.

    ———-

    Despite his ambiguous role, I think this shows you just how much pull Herrera had/has.

    Herrera seemed to me to be pretty much Assistant GM/persoanl assistant/gopher.

    With Reggie McKenzie coming into town, it may just eliminate the need for Herrera.

    And really, they did make the decision on the coaching staff. They decided to fire them. And in typical Raider fashion, they haven’t done it in a media-friendly, obvious way.

  • ArmChair GM

    But YEAAAHHHHHH Reggie Mckenzie!!!!!

    If anything, his talent evaluation skills alone are worth its weight in gold!

    Next, all I need to hear is that we hired a top notch defensive coordinator!

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    ArmChair,

    Imagine if Hue didn’t take charge? Just went with Boller? Season’s in the toilet by early December, and Hue’s probably out. He takes charge, everyone hates him, because he couldn’t get over the 8 win mark with a cast of mostly mediocre players put together by one of the most dysfunctional organizations in all of sports. What a gig that Raiders HC is, huh? No wonder Cowher, Wisenhunt, and Peyton wouldn’t come here for the entire California coastline.

  • LA to TheBay

    Don’t give me the sentimental crap. He’s part of a losing tradition, has had embarrassing incidents caught on camera. He brings nothing to the franchise other than being a ticking time bomb!!!
    ———-

    Think you mistake me for the Company Line guy a bit too much.

    Herrera was an extension of Al Davis in these last few abismal years (excluding the improved 2010 year and through week 6 of 2011).

    As underhanded and frankly, cheap as Davis was, Herrera was that but without any fkin style or class.

    I have 0 problem with Herrera sent packing like yesterday.

  • Master Beeecham

    LAKE SHOW HOMIES STAND UP N REPRESENT

    Yo yo we’re behind but with the strength of true Purple & Gold Laker blood (and a few tokes of this massive spliff) we can “put out the blaze” – patent pending on that sweet party phrase

    Yo the moonwalk to our next ring is in full effect, just act Kool Moe Dee, runnin the show wit Curtis Blow

    HOLLA SHORTIES MAGNUM JIMMIES IN MY FANNY PACK

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    If McKenzie really is given complete control (wont’ be sold on it until the team has a retraining order against Herrera even entering the building), I’m cool with whatever decision he makes, regarding HC, anything. Wolf was no doubt our de-facto GM in the glory years. It’s common knowledge. Al played a pivotal role, too. But the records don’t lie. Raiders with and without Wolf were two different franchises. Fact that McKenzie is a Wolf protege? My goodness. What a dream come true for Raider fans.

  • LA to TheBay

    Also, how do you put “Raider Tradition” in a contract without defining it?

    Lawyers would have a field day.

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    LA to the Bay, he fired Kiffin based on that “Raider tradition” clause, and Kiffin lost in arbitration. Evidently you can do it.

  • MiamiRaider78

    We need to get back on defense-Lakers getting ran on.

  • LA to TheBay

    NBA fked the Lakers.

    Granted, one PG doesn’t make the whole team, but what a building block that could have been.

    Anyway, Lakers are gonna struggle this year. Sucks, but hey, at least the raiders got a GM.

    MR,

    Kiffin was fired for conduct detrimental to the Raiders, supposedly for negative comments made about the organization.

    An arbitrator denied his grievance for his unpaid salary. I’m not sure if “Raider Tradition” is contractually defined or if it’s more Al Davis speaking in generalities.

  • ArmChair GM

    Sullivan44 Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    ArmChair,

    Imagine if Hue didn’t take charge? Just went with Boller? Season’s in the toilet by early December, and Hue’s probably out. He takes charge, everyone hates him, because he couldn’t get over the 8 win mark with a cast of mostly mediocre players put together by one of the most dysfunctional organizations in all of sports. What a gig that Raiders HC is, huh? No wonder Cowher, Wisenhunt, and Peyton wouldn’t come here for the entire California coastline.
    _______________________________________________________

    You’re right. Most fans would be saying that Hue didn’t do anything, and he should have known that Boller wasn’t the answer, and that he should have done something about it.

    This was not a usual year for the Raiders by any stretch of the imagination. After Campbell went down, almost every analyst immediately wrote us off as having absolutely NO chance in hell to make the playoffs.

    Like you said, Hue refused to let our hope die, and kept us in the hunt til the every end.

    Like I said, he has a huge load of manure that he laid at times as well, and I’m not letting him off the hook for his faults, but seriously, give the guy some credit!

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Davis The Realist Dirty Raccoon

    Raider O Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 6:50 pm
    Raccoon,

    I can’t believe it. It really hurts. We gave the division to Tebow. I’m pissed!!!!

    ::::::::::

    We will Win the AFC West in 2012!

    If we do hire McKEnzie the first order of biz is to get a real DC, and finish rebuilding the O, and D lines.

  • Master Beeecham

    John Black, pr man down Staples Way keepin that shave tight

    Yo we gots to play that lock down D, bring back the Coop A Loop and get some locker room pics of the Laker Girls trying on each other’s panties

    Schooly Fresh, Wizzle

  • ArmChair GM

    new post

  • raidertilidie6

    to all you Giordano haters out there-

    how many of you have ever played in the nfl? how many of you ever had 5 interceptions in a season?(and I don’t mean when you’re sitting there in your boxers, on your couch playing madden)
    Don’t diss a man who has a super bowl ring, intercepted Drew Brees or a player who Tony Dungy drafted. He is a good player and is cheap. If it wasn’t for bad defensive schemes then we wouldn’t be talking about this.

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