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.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • LOL
    It was a typo.

  • It depends on where you live, your degree, resume, and the economy. I’m trying to get a job in wealth management.

  • I’m also trying to find an employer willing to pay for my MBA.

  • luvmarvhub

    “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.”

    What soured me for good on Stanford Routt was his response to a reporter who questioned him about the Raiders’ defensive meltdowns. He told the guy that their defensive was, he thought, pretty good.

    You don’t need a player making that kind of money who has standards as low as that.

  • Why were you asking about Amos Z?

  • bigsnow81

    I tried to change the subject to Raider football it just kept going. I’m over it, no need to get bent over bs.

  • bigsnow81

    post 867, yeah need to hit the bigger cities to get rolling.

  • I think Terrelle Pryor will surprise a lot of fans this per-season. The kid is a winner. He needs to work on his throwing motion, which affects his strength and accuracy. That an be fixed, if he is willing to learn and he gets good coaching. I wasn’t excited about the Knapp hiring as OC (I wanted Al Saunders to keep his job), but I think he did a good job developing TJ Yates last season, and I think he can do the same with TP.

  • What about Manny Lawson? According to Vittorio Tafur, the Raiders are very interested in OLB Manny Lawson.

  • bigsnow81

    I can see that. I will always want “Al” draft picks to succeed.

  • We improved our OL, and all we need now is depth on offense. Defense still needs a starting OLB (according to RM), and I also think we need an edge rusher/ Nickel pass rusher.
    I think Bryant will start at LDE, Shaughnessy at RDE, but we still need another pass rusher with speed and explosiveness in passing situations. That’s why I wanted us to keep Wimbley, but we couldn’t afford him.
    Reggie didn’t mention anything about adding another DE, we tendered Brodine, so maybe he has FAITH (lol) in the young kid.

  • bigsnow81

    He has speed, but was not a very good pass rusher. Another post stated how he wasn’t successful even though he was surrounded by an all-star cast. I think RM is waiting until the draft to fill the LB position.

  • That’s true. Lawson is also good in coverage. He can be our WLB.

  • Lawson is good in coverage and against the run. We can use him, and we can add LBs and DL for depth in the draft. We don’t have a lot picks in this draft.

  • I enjoyed chatting with you, but I’m getting tired. Good night bro.
    Later Nation.

  • bigsnow81

    You’re alright with me Raider O. I will earn your respect in the future.

  • RaiderSam

    819.RaiderLen Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 5:25 pm
    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.

    doesnt it come down to what McCann and/or Taiwan Jones offer in the return game along with D.Moore as a punt returner? They would need another vet to shore up the receiving corps with a knowledge of the
    WCO passing attack….

  • aig-raiders

    I’d love to get Manny Lawson. Dude is very versatile.

  • aig-raiders

    Raider O Says:
    March 23rd, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    I’m a finance major. I get paid to be anal.
    Used to recruit finance and accounting majors back in the dotbomb days, sooooo trueeeeee!!!!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Bengals add Harvey & Andersoon
    Colts add Stanton & Avery
    Diem & Barber retire
    Donkeys add Porter, Dreesen & Tamme
    saints sign chamberlain
    McClain, Pacman, Ginn, Henderson & Collins staying put
    Jeff Saturday to Packers
    Everette Brown – Lions
    Panthers sign Pollak
    San Fran adds Josh Johnson
    Pats sign Larsen
    Rams sign Quinn Ojinnaka
    Carr & Cotchery visit KC


    hot dang!!!

    I miss one day at the office and all this happens?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Wiz II moving to Center and Carlisle at LG?


    LT Veldheer
    LG Carlisle
    C Little Wiz
    RG Brisiel
    RT Barnes

  • RaiderRockstar

    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.


    legitimate = veteran?

    Pryor & TJones = not legit?

    what does this mean ???

  • RaiderRockstar

    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


    TB gonna play all season on the tag to prove he deserves a long-term deal??

    smart move!

  • RaiderRockstar

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

    McKenzie: No. We don’t. I wish.


    LOL, Reggie’s honesty is refreshing

    in other words – hey Raider fans, don’t hate me for not throwing around money like Donald Trump [in FA] , because I don’t have it!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    McKenzie: One thing I don’t have is a starting outside linebacker.


    safe to assume Travis Goethel or Carl Ihenacho aren’t likely to replace Wimbley?

  • RaiderRockstar

    can we even afford to re-sign Sam Williams?

    BigMac has an impossible task at hand…

    thanks, Al !!

  • Coffee’s on me RRS.

  • What’s to say McGee doesn’t explode on the scene this year reminiscent to Marcel Reese a coupla of years back? Without injuries & DC’s rolling coverage his way his stats would been better last year. If the Raiders OL distinguishes themselves this should free up the FB & TE to take advantage of the WCO scheme now employed by Knapp % Co. & contribute in more than a pass blocking capacity. . .

    What type of athlete is McGee? Is he a long strider or is he capable of running WCO type patterns, I.E. slants, etc & displaying a RAC talent? Is he a good route runner? Know he was primarily a QB @ Illinois so what will it take for him to develop into a NFL caliber WR? He won’t have to carry the load (D. Moore #1, DHB has to be the #2 & hopefully Jacoby Ford can reacquaint himself as the # 3. Hopefully Murphy, who i touted coming outta college finds his Viagra prescription, rediscovers his cajones & his past attitude & contribute & the aforementioned McGee & Jones show something reminiscent of NFL caliber. . .still have the diamond in the rough possibilities, a la D. Moore. . .but can’t count on that. . .) so there is a bit less pressure on him. . .

    Defense is still a big questiom mark but based on coaching (hopefully organization equals improvement over the previous regime. . .) can’t be as bad as last year. Have to hope the pass rush is more consistent but the performance against the run will still be the ultimate question mark. . .the LB play (realize there are more acquisitions @ these positions, especially the Will to be considered). . .

    So. . .the defense equals “for your consideration. . .” with CB right behind. . .and depth @ safety. . .MM won’t have his scholarship to fall back on. . .perhaps he plays as situational WLB? He can cover TE’s & perhaps RB’s in limited capacities. . .

  • GG

    It will be essentially WCO that Knapp runs. I think our most potent offensive strategy would have to be a 3-wide I-formation set.


    Could motion Reece out and give a 4-wide look, Reece very able and would attract attention, spread the field out enabling McFadden to work in space from a rush from that look.

    Could leave Reece at FB and rush the ball inside or out effectively and thus deadlier play-action.

    Could call either FB or HB screens.

    Could have both McFadden and Reece routing to the flats.

    The three-wide also can stretch the field vertically while having Reece-McFadden stay back to block. This set also advantageous for the ghost motion end-arounds etc.

  • No Mas Diamante

    Here’s the thing with T. Pryor: None of us have seen him throw a single pass as a pro. Not in practice or pre-season or anything. Obviously the coaches think there might be something there.Let’s see what he can do before we throw him under the bus.

  • Just Fire Baby

    So I am staying in Pagosa Springs, CO in our timeshare, and we get the Denver news.

    Everything is mourning the “Tebow legacy” and they have shown Pat Robertson’s rant on it like 50 times. Fans at bars complaining, even a 50 year old crying on the news that a local “hero” has been shipped out of town.

    When it comes to Bronco’s fans and Tim Tebow, you might as well grab a seat by a window, pour yourself a nice glass of reason, and throw it right out the window.

  • fingers

    Gawd , I hate the off season….

  • raidertbone

    I think what most of us can be happy about is the fact that the Raiders are shedding the roster of a bunch of overpriced players. Bush and Wimbley are just two of the latest casualties — Reggie has said he would’ve like to have kept them, but just too much money. It may take another year or two, but we’ll be in much better cap situation, long-term. I like the path of progress, so far ..

  • raidertbone

    I love the Denver town tragedy! Truth is – if a couple of teams hadn’t had end-of-the -game meltdowns (Jets, Dolphins) and the Raiders hadn’t had last-minute defensive falters against Lions or Bills, Tebow would’ve never been annointed, he would’ve been traded quietly and the whole thing would’ve gone away. Let’s see how the Soap Opera plays out on Broadway!

  • Raiders for life

    Hopefully 1-2 of these guys from the future/reserve can step up. Carl Ihenacho played DE for SJSU and was their pass rush specialist. Hopefully he can make the transition to OLB.

    15 Bomar, Rhett QB 6-2 225 26 1 Sam Houston State
    95 Brodine, Mason DE 6-7 255 24 1 Nebraska-Kearney
    73 Cumbie, Jamie DT 6-7 290 24 1 Clemson
    62 Davis, Hall DE 6-6 265 25 1 Louisiana-Lafayette
    70 Hurd, Zach OL 6-7 325 23 1 Connecticut
    53 Ihenacho, Carl LB 6-3 255 23 1 San Jose State
    97 Ivey, Travis NT 6-4 325 25 1 Maryland
    38 Jackson, Rashawn RB 6-1 240 25 1 Virginia
    14 Jones, Derrick WR 6-0 191 26 R California (PA)
    43 Lambert, Terrail DB 5-11 190 26 2 Notre Dame
    16 McGee, Eddie WR 6-4 210 24 1 Illinois
    46 Miller, Lonyae RB 6-0 230 23 1 Fresno State
    67 Parsons, Alex OL 6-4 300 24 1 USC
    39 Taylor, Curtis DB 6-2 210 26 3 LSU

  • luvmarvhub

    I would like to see a team, the Jets, in this case, be successful in using Tebow’s talents by using him in certain packages as they say they will.

    Now, it remains to be seen if 1)they really do as they say they will in enacting this and 2) if Tebow will bring a new dimension to their offense and 3) that it works.

    If it does, then NFL football will have evolved once again, as it always does, if sometimes in a dilatory manner.

    Successful innovations on offense lead to innovations on defense. Nothing wrong with a sport evolving. Keeps fans interested, esp. when scouts can now go outside prototypical contraints on player evaluation, management feels more comfortable going outside previous parameters for player selection, and coaches can feel free or be obliged to construct new strategies.

    Good for everyone.

  • RaiderSam

    925.RaiderRockstar Says:
    March 24th, 2012 at 4:16 am
    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.


    legitimate = veteran?

    Pryor & TJones = not legit?

    what does this mean ???


    I think it means Pryor and T.Jones are peripheral specialist or project types, and they want guys who can convert third downs and come in and maintain drives for this season – Pryor and T.Jones probably have more value down the road. – they need someone who can legitimately move the chains, get first downs and wont finish the year on I.R. (maybe Cedric Benson and Leinart might NOT be the answers..) Jackie Battle might come cheaper, and add special teams value, and Billy Volek..although Battle may be a Charger ..they are stepping up in FA this time around

  • Marks hair

    I guess branch figures that 1 year under coach allen will give him the stats he needs to land a big contract..

  • Marks hair

    How about the lake show? Some ppl here were saying my lakers were done.. But once again the best front office in the biz came thru.. The Lakers look poised to to play championship bball down the stretch..

  • lefty12

    933-and on the flip side,let’s see him do something before anointing him the next great one as many on here are doing.

  • I just want to know if Pryor has addressed his throwing motion. In addition i remember about a week or so ago another blogger posted something regarding pryor really partying hard in the early offseason. Hope that was a mirage. . .

    #42, I think OKC has enough incentive (not to mention talent) in the form of Fish to win the west. Gasol has to be more consistent & Bynum has to quit getting anger shots from World Peace. . .the other night WP was attempting to calm Bynum down & Bynum rebuked his efforts in a vociferous fashion reminiscent of WP himself. Now if Bynum can channel hthat anger into substance on the defensive end. . .he seemed disenterested on a coupla trips down the court the other night in Dallas. . .against Dirk, no less. . .

    I hope OKC is stopped somewhere along the way (I’m from the 206 & that just would fuel the fire of our NBA bereft former Supersonics home. But that’s a subject for another day), but still don’t think the Lake show can do it. . .

  • Kentucky Oyster

    I thought this coulda been a re-load off season, instead of a un-load and rebuild. We need to get it now while we still got a healthy Palmer, someone who can get the ball to Denarius Moore. Instead, I’m afraid we’re becoming one dimensional and predictable.
    Defenses will be able to key on a one running back threat and force us into a passing team, something CP3 is not good at. If we have a strong backfield threat, Palmer will be a better QB. I don’t care for some of the off season lack of moves.

  • Thec

    How can anyone say we are becoming one dimensional, when we haven’t even seen the offense.

    Moreover, how can you make moves, when you do not have the cap space to do make them?

  • I ke move s. Ad bought wr and backs instead o building o line. Also bought speedy db who can’t defend

  • raiderlization

    Hue was not gonna do a thing without dumping some players as RM has done! Also I think the players had Hue where they wanted him! Those who are slackers that is! I have not liked DMAC’s Injury bug situationsince we drafted him! Put him on madden! Maybe it will have a reverse affect! LMAO! we need a rookie back that can play and push his over paid butt! Taiwan Jones? I don’t like due to him getting in the way of Ford after he ran a TD back he started trying to hog the ballon kick offs moving into the area where Ford would receive the ball! Saw it a number of times, yet when he did get it he looked lost!

  • Marks hair

    44. If okc wins the west fisher wont have much to do with it…. Okc also needs to prove they can beat the top teams in the playoffs.. Lakers all the way.