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Reggie McKenzie Q&A

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 at 4:13 pm in Oakland Raiders.

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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  • bigsnow81

    The tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    bigsnow81 Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    The tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

    =========================================

    Whoever said that was wrong, BTW.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Bigsnow81 Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 6:36 pm
    The tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    -Thomas Jefferson
    You can’t write things and try to pass it as your own. They call it plagiarism.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Bigsnow81 Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 6:36 pm
    The tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Didn’t you do the same thing the other night when we were debating faith (A Perfect Circle). Plagiarism hurts your credibility.

  • J Hill

    Raider = 26th???

    I like being the underdogg!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    If you don’t know how to quote people, then you shouldn’t do it.

  • downsouthraider

    RaidO Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 5:15 pm
    Also in the last say 10 years i do not remember Al having this many issues with the cap and cuts. Do you?
    —————————————————————————————-
    Uncle Al was probably using his “side” money on some of those scholarships he was giving out.

  • bigsnow81

    “The tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants” (Thomas Jefferson)

    I typed that with my phone. Don’t care for credibility on this blog.

    “And you think your so clever classless and free, but your still a fkn peasant as far as I see” (John Lennon)

  • bigsnow81

    I will dance around you Raider O. Bring it Raider O. Explain to me how an omniscient being changes Raider O? If we’re created in Gods image, WTF does god need eyes for? Ears? Tool

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    So…. Your phone doesn’t have quotation marks?
    You can still type the name of the author.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    You lack credibility (I know you don’t care, but I do), so I’m not going to waste my time debating with you. I have done that once already this week.

    Btw, why did you get so angry? I didn’t insult you.
    I’m not Christian, so I don’t believe god created us in his image. Go bother someone else.

  • bigsnow81

    By no means was that quote intended to be my own. I forgot who the author was. My bad, did you know that Thomas Jefferson also re-wrote the bible with all Jesus’s miracles excluded?

  • bigsnow81

    My olive branch is extended to you. Lets talk Raider football. Was that not proper MLA format for you? Do you not know MLA format?

  • J Hill

    So who are some of these LBs that our GM thinks will be available late in the draft?

    Even UDFAs he says.

    I’m thinking some small school or D2 prospects?

  • J Hill

    It’s looking more and more like Pryor is our backup QB next year.

    Coaches must like what they see so far, wouldn’t you say?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Yes. MLA APA, but I prefer APA. I recommend Keys For Writers by Ann Raimes.
    That should help you with your problem.

  • bigsnow81

    I dont think Pryor will be the #2 QB. There is a lot of off-season still ahead of us. Some fans are made that there are know big name free agent signings thus far. IMO if you get excited about giving Javon Walker a huge deal then your a fool. The last time I was really excited is when we signed Lamont Jordan and Randy Moss. Remember Amos Zearoway. Forgive the spelling grammar police.

  • bigsnow81

    What problem?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    If we’re created in Gods image, WTF does god need eyes for? Ears? Tool
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Not sure if you are insulting me (calling me a tool), or trying to quote Tool the band since you like to quote Rock bands.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Denial will not help you fix/ solve your problem.

  • bigsnow81

    Your a funny guy.

  • bigsnow81

    Keep it coming funny guy.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Thank you.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Btw, I was serious. Are you insulting or trying to quote Tool?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Insulting me*….

  • bigsnow81

    Your welcome, now do you remember Amos Zearoway. I dont care about how to spell his name.

  • J Hill

    I’m not looking for any “big names”.

    What options are out there as a backup QB that you can clearly say are better than Pryor?

    Henne, Orton, Campbell type guys, I’d be like yeah, he’s the #2. Not sure there are any guys left out there that are clear cut #2 over a prospect like Pryor.

    Moreso, if it was CLEAR that Pryor was not ready to play QB, I think we would have gone after someone a lot harder.

  • bigsnow81

    I wasn’t quoting Tool.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Yes. He played for the steelers before he joined the Raiders.

  • bigsnow81

    “simma down now” (Chinese lady mad TV)

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I like Tool.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    LOL

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Thank you for insulting me. I appreciate that. Maybe I should use insults too.

  • bigsnow81

    I was only assuming that your religious preference due to the the conversation a few nights ago. I never like attacking peoples religion, because I don’t want to burned at a stake. I have my moments though.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Why use insults when I didn’t insult you?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I’m Musl!m. Have fun using insults.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Insults are the 1st sign of weakness IMO. Yelling is the 2nd sign.

  • bigsnow81

    You can’t write things and try to pass it as your own. They call it plagiarism.

    If you don’t know how to quote people, then you shouldn’t do it.

    Is this not a backhanded insult? Maybe not, but to a college graduate yes.

  • bigsnow81

    “Insults are the 1st sign of weakness IMO” (Raider O)

    That’s an insult.

  • bigsnow81

    Have you been to Mecca?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Maybe to a college graduate who felt embarrassed or humiliated, which wasn’t my intention. I took that quote from ( A Perfect Circle) as your own words, and I responded to it. I’m also a college graduate, very proud of my education, and expect a certain level of standards from other educated people (or people who act educated).

  • bigsnow81

    What is anger to some, is passion to another. It’s all relative to a persons perspective.

  • bigsnow81

    On a Raider blog really? English major?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Yes I have, but that was a long time ago. I used to live in Saudi.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I’m a finance major. FINANCE!!!
    Go Finance!!
    Go Aztecs!!

  • bigsnow81

    No excuses about the APC quote. Did you google it, Lol.

  • bigsnow81

    I have my degree in Project Management. Your rather anal for a business major.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    No. Another poster posted something about it in one of the previous threads.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I’m a finance major. I get paid to be anal.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    To be hones, I’m not being paid anything now. I’m looking for a job.