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Reggie McKenzie Q&A

Got about 12 minutes with Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie at the Stanford Pro Day Thursday to get caught up on recent developments. Here’s a transcription:

Q: Has the offseason gone pretty much the way you expected?

McKenzie: A little bit better, because we were able to knock out a couple of areas we felt we wanted to upgrade, and fill in or solidfy, and we felt like the O-line as a group we solidified it big time by getting the two veterans back (Cooper Carlisle, Khalif Barnes) and the coaching staff would like to see Wiz move inside, see what he can do. They feel pretty good about that.

Q: That’s the plan, Stefen Wisniewski will be a center now?

McKenzie: Yeah, they want him to work him there, knowing he can play guard, but that won’t go away from us not being able to upgrade, if we get another center, like, `we can’t pass on this center,’ then Wiz got to play guard. But going into the offseason, the coaching staff wants to see Carlisle and Brisiel at guards.

Q: Which guy is the left guard in that scenario?

McKenzie: It seems like they want to put Cooper over there.

Q: He’s been exclusively a right guard . . .is that a big deal?

McKenzie: No, no. Coop didn’t think so. Coop feels like he can do it. We’ll let him work this whole offseason and play in preseason, and get it down, and adding Brisiel helps. Khalif signed on today officially, so that kind of helps solidify, now we just need to add some depth, Getting the corners in helps, getting two guys we like and with our cap situation, we were able to kind of solidify that position a little bit.

Q: Does Jason Tarver have good things to say about Spencer, they were together in San Francisco . . .

McKenzie: Yeah, he has good things, Johnnie Lynn, coached him, he knows him, has coached him, so that was just icing on the cake to me. Getting a guy like that, coming available, too, because he wasn’t a free agent at first, and then he was. Things like that pop up and you’ve got to be ready if you want to add ‘em. We were able to add two corners, and some O-line, that’s a positive.

Q: Players that you’ve lost, any surprises there? Or guys you expected to lose? Any surprises in terms of who’s not on the team . .

McKenzie: No. No. It’s surprising to me that Michael Bush is still out there . . .

Q: Signed with the Bears today . .

McKenzie: OK, I didn’t know it was official yet. I thought the signings of Tolbert and BenJarvus Green-Ellis would hurry that process.

Q: How tough was the Wimbley move . . hoped to find a way to keep him?

McKenzie: I really wanted to keep him. But it would have cost us. I wouldn’t have been able to sign any of the players I’ve signed or wanted. Would have had to make some adjustments. That was just unfortunate it couldn’t work itself out. He wanted what he wanted and we needed what we needed and it couldn’t work out. But we would have liked to have had him, but the way the contract was at the time, we just couldn’t make it work.

Q: Was Bush another guy who wasn’t economically feasible?

McKenzie: It really wasn’t. Initially my thought process was he was going to be gone that first week. But that didn’t happen, but still, I don’t know what the numbers were, but it would have been tough for us.

Q: $14 million for four years, $7 guaranteed . .

McKenzie: We couldn’t do that. That’s more than what we could do. That’s the way it goes. This year, that’s what we’re up against. But we knew that.

Q: Is running back a position you feel good about being able to find someone, either through draft, a released player, drafted free agent . . .

McKenzie: Absolutely. I’m OK with being able find a guy. Some guys get released that can step in and play. A lot of those situations happen.

Q: Pat Lee, the Packers corner, is he on the team?

McKenzie We were putting the final touches right before I left for here. When I get back to the office hopefully it’s officially done. We were just tying up some loose ends in that regard.

Q: Looking to add another quarterback behind Palmer, Pryor . .

McKenzie: Kind of the same as like running back for us, make sure you bring a legitimate guy in.

Q: Highest priority right now? Next position to fill?

McKenzie: One thing I don’t have is a starting outside linebacker. I would like to try to find me a guy that can play there. Other than that, we’ve got a guy that can line up and start at every position. Now we just need some competition and depth in case this guy gets hurt or can’t cut it. That’s where I am now. But I’m looking for an outside linebacker.

Q: Cap situation, have heard you have $4 million in room or so . . .

McKenzie: No. We don’t. I wish.

Q; Half that?

McKenzie: I’m just going to say no, we don’t have that.

Q: Still things to be done to create room . . .long-term deal with Tyvon Branch would lower it . .

McKenzie: Yeah, if we could do a long-term deal. But right now we’re just going to hold fast where we are, and kind of wait on these league meetings, see what kind of compensatory picks we get. We’re gearing up for the draft.

Q: How well do you understand the compensatory formula and where you fit in it?

McKenzie: I don’t want to understand it. You guys study it, tell me what you think we can get.

Q: Heard you can get No. 97 . . .

McKenzie: That’s what I hear. I’m not going to accept that until Goodell signs off on it.

Q: Linebacker, looking at draft to fill spot?

McKenzie: You can get one in the draft, you can find the right guy. Can you target someone at the end of the third round, yeah. But I think there are going to be some guysu in the latter rounds that will be able to be productive players. I’m not at all discouraged because we don’t have a first, second or third rounder. We’ll make due. It’d be nice to have one of those, but I’m not going to worry about it.

Q: Reaction to penalties on the Saints and have you talked to Dennis Allen about it since he was on staff there?

McKenzie: He said that, he just felt bad for everybody involved. It was like a bad situation for the league. Goodell made the statement, but my comment is I’m on board with Roger Goodell and the decisions he makes, because he’s preached integrity of the league from Day 1. I’m on board with any decision that he makes in that regard. I’m supportive. It’s tough. I know players, they’re going to really around it, but when you lose your head coach it’s not easy.

Q: What do you think about having Peyton Manning in the decision.

McKenzie: That will be fun. I’m a Peyton Manning fan. I was on the Tennessee staff when he was recruited. Was recruiting his whole family out there. He’s good for the league. I’m not going to be scared of him. But I know he’s definitely a positive for them.

Q: How about Denver at Oakland Sunday night or Monday night to open the season?

McKenzie: Sounds good to me. Let’s go do it.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Twocents

    A jack-booted thug is a totalitarian that has his foot on your throat. Get used to it.

  • DJ Johnny

    Every team has question marks.

    What if Brady goes down with injury? The Pats still a SB favorite?

    Big Ben in Pitt?

    Rodgers in GB? Oh my what if HE gets injured? Without Flynn?

    You show me an nfl team and i’ll show you some question marks.

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    No. You can’t respond.

    That is the point. You simply can’t represent three demensional objects in your two-demensional Euclidean space.

    It’s like Pi. It’s common but is illogical. Whereas Tau best represents the C/R debate.

    You and Seymour represent the Pi ilk. You haven’t knowledge of anything else.

    Ergo, you can’t respond.

    Brufict is such an Al project.

    Damn.

  • Carl Weathers

    John Henderson retired today. Some thought Reggie might bring him back in August. So long Big John.

  • DJ Johnny

    798.JLofty Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 4:47 pm
    Raid0, we have rule in here, no many but a few:
    don’t post bull$#it “power rankings” from lame ass bspn garbage.
    You do so at your own risk…

    For real. Don’t be so willing to hang your head and accept that were gonna suck just cuz those idiots who know nothing or care nothing about the Raiders say we will.

  • Twocents

    Lowdown, what are you smoking?

  • Raiderjambo

    Memo to all you lucky football players who have the privalige of wearing the famed Silver and Black, there are new sheriffs in town, and a hungry fan core (a la Raider Nation) who are no longer going to accept mediocrity. So our NFL Power Ranking is #26. Well each and everyone of you better hit the new season running, and playing like there’s no tomorrow, and pull this proud franchise into the top 10, and with hard work and effort maybe a playoff spot. It’s all on you, we’ll be with you every play of the new season.

  • DJ Johnny

    All I hear from “analysts” on the Raiders is how e let go so many defensive players as a reason why we’ll suck.

    DID THEY EVEN SEE OUR DEFENSE PLAY?

    Oh, I guess losing all those great players who couldn’t stop a good college team will seriously impede our chance at success.

    Gimme a break.

    I lived thru last season and have the scars to prove it.

    I deserve a t-shirt for enduring that.

  • JLofty

    I didn’t ask what a jb thug is, I know perfectly well what that is. I pondered what a jack boot is/was.
    And “getting used to it” is a curious notion as Earth has been infested by such creatures for all of history.
    They and any others interested in Lofty’s domain will be met with well stocked AR-15 fire …

  • JLofty

    I’d buy that Tshirt DJ…

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    TC,

    Drinking. Never smoke.

    http://www.whiskyadvocateblog.com/2009/07/29/suntory-yamazaki-to-debut-1984-single-malt-whisky/

    It’s Saturday here. Doing a mid-day tasting near Shin Kong Place (新光天地).

    Tastey.

    Pass on Spence.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Blue States subsidize Red States. Red States Feed at the Trough of the Federal Govt.

    http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2004/09/red_states_feed.html

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    Who cares WHAT our “Preseason Power Ranking” is?

    If we do well this year (as I think we will), then that rating will be shown for the worthless garbage it is.

    If we don’t, then the rating was accurate, and what is there to get mad about?

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    Cleave the nation in half and have a contest.

    Why must everything be either or?

    Red vs. Blue and post the results.

    May we move quickly along to the debate of whether Ford is being elevated (and no longer on STs) or is he being traded now that McCann has been resigned?

  • DJ Johnny

    Come to think of it, ALL OF US who witnessed the Raider defense….every demoralizing play and meltdown last season, deserve at least a t-shirt.

    Years from now we’ll wear our experience like a badge of honor.

    “Remember 2011″? “Yeah…I was there man”.

    “Then you sir…are my brother”.

  • RaidO

    DJ Johnny Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 4:59 pm
    All I hear from “analysts” on the Raiders is how e let go so many defensive players as a reason why we’ll suck.

    DID THEY EVEN SEE OUR DEFENSE PLAY?

    Oh, I guess losing all those great players who couldn’t stop a good college team will seriously impede our chance at success.

    Gimme a break.

    I lived thru last season and have the scars to prove it.

    I deserve a t-shirt for enduring that.
    —————————————-

    Were some of the players over paid? Yes. Will talent level of 2nd hand replacement players be the same or better? Maybe/No. Usually that is a NO.
    That is a very fair assessment. The roster is weaker.
    This is not like the 49ers where they had good talent and just needed good coaching.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Lowdown_in_Beijing Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Cleave the nation in half and have a contest.

    Why must everything be either or?

    Red vs. Blue and post the results.
    ——————————————–
    Like RaiderLen told me the other day, “you aint the fk’n moderator”

  • RaidO

    Also in the last say 10 years i do not remember Al having this many issues with the cap and cuts. Do you?

  • RaiderLen

    I think Ford would be prime trade bait if Reggie is looking to move up in the draft, but I’d like to keep Him around and get the benefit of His play making ability.

    I like the Moore, DHB, Ford group.

  • Twocents

    KoolKell, are you saying that the productive shouldn’t have to provide for the unproductive? That is liberal heresy!

  • hendu

    Look,we all know AL could handle the cap,Bruce Allen was good as well.I believe Reggie was an assistant to the GM in GB,I would think its going to take some time for Him ,period.Im looking forward to 12,and the draft as well.Remember,Madden and Wolf are available,chin up,fellas!

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Two cents, not saying that at all, just pointing out the hypocrisy of you people.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Monkeys talking politics?
    Have fun.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Hendu!!! Are we going to win today?

  • edward teach

    RaidO Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 4:39 pm
    ESPN.com’s NFL pre-draft Power Rankings

    Raiders #26 “A new GM and a new coach are overseeing a roster that’s been dented by a lot of salary-cap cuts. Carson Palmer’s a question mark as they try to get it together.”

    The truth sets in. It’s going to be a ruff year.

    ********************************************************

    This is no more the “truth” than your opinion, or mine. It’s some guy’s take. Some guy, I might add, who probably watches and follows the Raiders a whole lot less than we do.

    It’s guys like this that say that Bush will help his new team in the passing game because he’s so good at picking up the blitz, which virtually everyone that actually watches the team knows isn’t even close to reality.

    We’ve lost Routt and Wimbley on defense. Routt gave up 8 touchdowns last year,and accounted for over 10% of the Raiders’ total team penalties ALL BY HIMSELF. Wimbley had ONE good game, and it was against a BACKUP.

    Des Bryant really started to come into his own last year. Matt Shaughnessy is coming back at full strength. Bresnehan is gone. McFadden is coming back at full strength. DHB is coming off of his best season, and looks to be getting better every year. Palmer gets a full training camp with the young wideouts. And so on.

    You’ll have tell me how we’re worse, because I don’t see it.

  • Twocents

    Most government workers are feeding at the trough, Washington DC has the most pigs. KoolKell, who is the hypocrit?

  • hendu

    Raider O,We can dream,right O? Tell the truth ,O,how many more tickets did you buy?I bought a total of 10,a guy in front of me bought 200 quick picks,Im thinking Raider O wants to talk with ya,HaHa! Good Luck,RAIDERS!!!

  • DKnight007

    750.RaiderLen Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 3:49 pm
    Big John Henderson announces retirement.

    ^^^^^^^
    What I tell ya?

    Now Big John can eat all the wings and drink all the beer he wants on Thursday nights at Buffalo Wild Wings in Dublin! lol

    I have seen him there multiple times….chowing down on them wings! hahaha

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Two cents go back to your compound and listen to some more right-wing radio, and come back when you are more “informed”. Goodbye.

  • RaiderLen

    Hendu Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 5:33 pm
    Look,we all know AL could handle the cap,Bruce Allen was good as well.I believe Reggie was an assistant to the GM in GB,I would think its going to take some time for Him ,period.Im looking forward to 12,and the draft as well.Remember,Madden and Wolf are available,chin up,fellas!
    ————————————————–
    Actually I think Reggie understands the cap very well.

    He mentioned spread sheets and “out of wack” contracts in the initial presser.

    Reggie is cleaning things up, and gettin the house in order.

    Now is not the time for a massage of the cap. But rather a time to whip it into shape.

    2013 and into the Future Reggie will be in position to take His shots at the “name” players, if He so desires.

  • hendu

    POST825,keep on Teaching,good post.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Hendu,

    LOL
    I bought a total of 3. One for me & you, I let my daughter pick numbers on another, and my mother wanted one.
    What a waste of $200.

  • Twocents

    KoolKell, your response is typical of someone who doesn’t have a clue.
    Raider O, when you don’t undertand what politicians are doing to you, you are being a fool.

  • edward teach

    831.hendu Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 5:48 pm
    POST825,keep on Teaching,good post.

    ********************************************************

    Just my opinion, Hendu, but I think there are a few people in here that are still butt-hurt about Hue Jackson and Jason Campbell and they are looking for anything they can find to predict doom and gloom.

  • RaiderLen

    @Teach,

    Yeah I saw the rankings.

    I agree. “They” don’t know.

    It’s a collective “bit’s and pieces” perception job.

    We know better.

  • edward teach

    Len,

    You watch. The Raiders will win a few games early and those same people will call it “surprising”.

    Lol

  • luvmarvhub

    “Irving and Sapp are awesome compared to ESPN’s NBA guy Stephen A Smith…he is on his own level when it comes to being annoying, jeeesh, gotta mute the TV when it looks like he is going to start berating his ignorance.”

    You took the words out of my mouth, although Smith is much brighter than either Irving or Sapp. The mouth is even louder however. It’s his schtick and he makes a good living with that mouth.

    Now, with different style is his co-talker, Skip Bayless, every bit the idiot that is Smith. In fact, maybe worse because he’s such a suck-up trying to be politically correct all the time.

    Smith took a page out of Howard Cosell’s book. It gets old fast.

  • hendu

    Hey RaiderLen, Im not cappin on Reg,I was responding to post 818, thats all.Raiders!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Raider O, when you don’t undertand what politicians are doing to you, you are being a fool.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    I agree. I also think if you don’t understand the difference between bookkeeping and Accounting, you are not going to understand politics. lol

  • RAIDER WEAPON X http://www.raidernationstation.com/raider_nation_station

    Think Manny Lawson would be a good vet pick up but think it was Tafur who said “Pack got alot of money.”

    We don’t…

  • RaiderLen

    Edward Teach Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 5:56 pm
    Len,

    You watch. The Raiders will win a few games early and those same people will call it “surprising”.

    Lol
    ———————————-
    LOL,

    Well to them, I guess it would be.

    And when the Raiders begin to win consistently, they will be all over the Nations Jock.

    I admit that I like when “they” say good things about the Raiders, but I take all of it with a grain of salt.

    Good and Bad.

  • RAIDER WEAPON X http://www.raidernationstation.com/raider_nation_station

    Our Gov has been Corporatized, hostile take over, part out, cut dead weight out flow (security net programs: Medicare, Soc Sec. Unemployment) maximize profit, supress “enemies” ie anyone who objects to their lawlessness

    Have a good night Nation!~

  • RaiderLen

    Hendu Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 5:58 pm
    Hey RaiderLen, Im not cappin on Reg,I was responding to post 818, thats all.Raiders!
    —————————
    I hear ya.

    I was amplifying your belief, by taking it a step further.

    I really do trust Reggie to get this right.

  • edward teach

    Len,

    The media crowns a new champion before the season starts every year, and they also are willing to tell you who is going to be terrible.

    All I care about is the attitude of the people that actually work for the Raiders. Coaches, scouts, players, the whole bunch.

    We still have a hole or two to fill, but this team has a lot of talent. If they want to win and feel like they’re being put in a position to do so, they will.

  • luvmarvhub

    Seymour Bush said,

    “Did you guys hear that some imbecilic conservative troglodyte talk show commentator was blaming Trayvon Martin’s death on the hoodie he was wearing? Conservatives are getting further and further and further out of step with the rest of the universe it would be funny if it wasn’t so alarming.”

    That wasn’t an “imbelcilic conservative”….it was one of the four or five “progressives” on Fox, Geraldo Rivera. Heard his commentary and in a way, I see his point. He wasn’t exonerating the killer at all. He was suggesting to parents that they need to harp on their sons to dress as if anyone could come at them at anytime because of fear. He said he always tells his young son that people judge young people based on how they dress, and he has a young son who insists on wearing pants hung low, etc. He said he insists that his kid not wear those pants hung low with a hoodie covering his face, that the clothes evoke a fear response in people.

    True enough. I don’t much like Geraldo’s politics, but his point was that kids can’t rely on others to use good judgement. If a person is fearful, they respond negatively. He wasn’t even suggesting that this killer was in fear himself, just that it’s a good idea for parents to counsel their kids on how we are all judged by how we dress.

  • RaiderLen

    Edward Teach Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 6:10 pm
    Len,

    The media crowns a new champion before the season starts every year, and they also are willing to tell you who is going to be terrible.

    All I care about is the attitude of the people that actually work for the Raiders. Coaches, scouts, players, the whole bunch.

    We still have a hole or two to fill, but this team has a lot of talent. If they want to win and feel like they’re being put in a position to do so, they will.
    ———————————————–
    100%

    I really do like what’s happening.

    It’s different for sure, but invigorating.

    Mark, Reggie, DA…

    This whole off season…Draft, FA, , Pre Season, and Regular Season are uncharted territory, and yet I feel very confident that this Team will perform better in 2012/2013 than they did last year.

    The best part, I expect the Team and Organization to get better in successive Seasons.

    We’re on the way up!

  • Twocents

    Okay, my last statement. If you think politicians are going to save you, you deserve what you are going to get.

  • RAIDER WEAPON X http://www.raidernationstation.com/raider_nation_station

    “It is the duty of the Patriot to defend his country from its Government.”

    Thmoas Paine

    Have a good night Nation…

  • RAIDER WEAPON X http://www.raidernationstation.com/raider_nation_station

    “It is the duty of the Patriot to defend his country from its Government.”

    Thomas Paine

    Have a good night Nation…

  • BewareofRaiders

    I see webb from bmore is a rfa what are the ravens asking for him?