270

Reggie McKenzie Q&A

A transcript of Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie’s conference call with Bay Area media after the Raiders were awarded three compensatory selections in this year’s NFL draft:

What do you guys want? Yes. We’re not here to talk about my new picks, are we?

Q: Said you didn’t understand the formula, but is that what you expected, or did you not have any idea?

McKenzie: Let me tell you something. Whatever the formula is, I love this formula. I love it. I thought I would possibly get a three, a high one for Nnamdi, and the others, obviously, this is better than what I expected. So I’m extremely excited about the compensatory picks that the league has afforded the Raiders. Hopefully we can make due and have some good picks from this.

Q: Is a No.3 pick in your eyes a potential starter?

McKenzie: Yes. The No. 3 pick, the No. 4 pick, honestly, guys, when you set the board, you try to sete it to where you can have some possible starters through the fifth round. If you get lucky with a college free agent, seventh round, I’ve been fortunate to have some good fortune with latter picks in my 18-year career. I’m not going to just limit it to the third round. Ok, you’ve got a third so you’ve go tone opportunity to get a starter. I don’t want to go into this draft like that. I want to get some good players that we can try and get as many possible starters as possible. Whether they’re first-year starters, second or third year. I want to get to get some guys that got the potential to be starters. Don’t tie me down just to the third round.

Q: Coming into offseason, knowing you were going to get comp picks, did that any way change your approach to free agency?

McKenzie: No, it really didn’t. It really did not. I’m trying to build a team, so the more the merrier. If I see a possible free agent that we feel like, man we can do this, and this deal is pretty good. I’m going to do it in free agency, regardless of what we have in the draft. But that’s not going to minimize what I do in the draft, even if I sign an unrestricted free agent offensive lineman. That’s not going to say, I’m not going to draft one. I don’t look at it like that. I’m still looking for great backups who can become starters at every position. So I need a lot more picks than what I have now and some more free agent moves. The only thing I wish I had more of was NFL money and NFL cap. That’s what I wish I had more of.

Q: What do you do from here going forward in regards to clearing more space to add pieces to puzzle?

McKenzie: Not a whole lot this year. I think the bulk of it has been done. Now it’s just, you try to wait it out and see who the best fit for these 53 guys in the long run to make this team and then try to figure out, at this point its going to be production and talent. It’s not about money, money, money, as far as the comings and goings of players . . . the goings, mainly.

Q: Is the amount of picks you go into this draft with or is there a chance of trading existing players for picks?

McKenzie: that could be possible. I never close the door on trades. I really don’t. That door is always open, and so to answer your question, yes that could be a possibility.

Q: Overall how deep do you think this draft is and do you think at end of 3rd round could still land you a talented player?

McKenzie: I think there’s very good players in the middle rounds. So, from a standpoint of depth, I think it’s there. I don’t’ know as far as certain positions in the first two rounds it may not be as deep at certain spots, but for the most part there’s some good players throughout the draft.

Q: Throughout years at Green Bay , how many years did you spend on pro personnel, how much in college with draft, and how much doing both?

McKenzie: I did both a lot of times. My first year there, I began in pro personnel, so that was the brunt of my work. But when the scouting meetings started, I was heavily involved, in bringing guys in for visits, and from watching film in the meetings with the coaching, and putting the board together. So I was a part of that process early. I probably didn’t get started doing college scouting as far as going on the road and being a part of the pre-draft, the pre-combine scouting meetings until after about seven years. The last 10, 12 years I was part of that. The last 12 years, exactly. So that’s different. In saying that. I’ve always been involved in both. Always oversaw all the pro, from a free agent standpoint, and just the evaluation of my own team, which is I think is highly important, so it’s been a process, now. I’ve done this for quite some time but this is my show now so it’s going to be fun.

Q: Stepped in to new role this year, has it been frustrating spending with cap limitations and haven’t been able to go out sign free agents you wanted to get?

McKenzie: It’s not frustrating, it really isn’t. But you always like to have a comfort level, and to me, having cap, having cash, it gives you a comfort. So it’s teaching me how to manage money so to speak. This is good. This is good for me, learning how to deal on the fly with certain adverse situations. I think, initially now, we’re able to handle it so far. Hopefully, what I don’t want to do is allow this to get us in the end, but I always want to be in position, if we need to add a quality player, for a certain, and we feel it works out, financially, cap-wise, then sure, I want to be in position to make a move. And that’s my whole outlook, when we had to make certain cuts, we do it, with a future plan that we had. So far, it’s working accordingly.

Q: Still looking to add CB Pat Lee?

McKenzie: Yes.

Q: Said starting outside linebacker priority, speaking free agency or in draft?

McKenzie: Hey, let me tell you something. I will take it any way I can get it. If I can get it in free agency. In free agency, it has to work out contractually. If it don’t work out, I’m not tying my hands down to either/or. But still, regardless, I’m going to use the draft the best available player, and if it’s at position that we’re strong, so be it. If we think that’s the best guy, it’s the difference between adding solid starters and difference-makers. If I have a chance to get a difference-maker, we’re going to get ‘em. Whether it’s the draft, it’s hard to sign difference-makers if you don’t have money. If we have the potential to get some solid starters in free agency, still, I’m going to do it.

Q: The releases made so far, were those about production or lack of or was it about cap situation?

McKenzie: A little bit of both. When you talk about production versus a salary, in this business, once you get into the NFL, let’s fact it, guys, the contract and production, all of that goes hand in hand. If something is not matching, or it’s kind of out of whack, you’re going to have to be forced to make a decision. That’s what I was coming up to. It was not just all just either/or. If the production’s not there, but the guys’ making the minimum, then so be it, you can use this guy as the backup because of the contract. But when the thing doesn’t work out, contractually and production, you gotta be forced to evaluate. That’s after every season, we’re all up against that, gotta be evaluated. That’s where I made my decisions. It wasn’t, well, you’re costing too much money you’ve got to go, no, if the guy was highly productive and we could make it work, we’ll try to make it work, financially, but if not we’re going to have to make certain decisions and some tough decisions, which we did.’

Q: As you build, do you envision this team being stronger this year or take it 2-3 years to get your plan in place?

McKenzie: Honestly, I envision it being stronger.

Q: Tight end to position, elected to let Kevin Boss go, could you be comfortable with three TEs on roster or looking adding more?

McKenzie: I’m comfortable with it, but yes, I do want to continue to add. I’m not just going to, at any position really, just say, OK, I’m good there and I’m not going to add a guy. I’d like to add another guy there to compete.

Q: Is this a good draft for LBs as opposed to years past? A deep draft?

McKenzie: There are some good linebackers. Is it deep? I wouldn’t say that, but there are some good linebackers in this draft.

Q: How much does Peyton Manning being in Denver change the dynamics of the division, and to the extent that even in personnel evaluation and decision-making you might have an eye to that?

McKenzie: You know, the one thing I can say is I have a great admiration for Peyton. Now, do we have to put in a game plan for defending Peyton rather than Tebow? Absolutely. Guys, face it. This guy in the division, if he’s healthy and hitting on all cylinders physically, he’s going to be a good football player in our division. We’re going to have to find ways to slow him down. Yeah, I mean, the coaching staff, that’s going to be a challenge. And players that you add, do we have to make sure as far as cornerbacks are they going to have to be on their Ps and Qs on how they cover guys and timing and all that, absolutely. But are we going to be scared of him? Absolutely not.

  • Share/Bookmark

Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    You could always shoot your own food. That way, you don’t have to worry about the Food and Drug Dept.

  • Seymour Bush

    Chris in NY Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    arkraider Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 6:21 pm
    Anarchy is a great idea until you need to build something like I dunno the bay bridge. Or even repair pot holes in our streets. If we have anarchy who’s gonna take care of stuff like that?

    ——————————–

    The thing with anarchy is that it would create more excitement and adventure and obviously freedom, but if you think people would go on living as civilized and peaceful and with good intentions you’re kidding yourself. People will, by and large, get away with what they can get away with. And in anarchy they could get away with a hell of a lot.
    =========================================

    Chris is exactly right. Libertarianism is the greatest philosophy on Earth,until individuals or corporations start acting up. And if they do, which they will, the society crumbles.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Twocents Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:07 pm
    KoolKell, I could get along anywhere, I find good people wherever I go.
    If I could do it all over again, I would go to where the government is nowhere in sight.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$

    You should go to Somalia. I hear they have nice weather this time of the year.

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    twocents, have you decided yet whether a depression is coming, or if we’re already in one? You said both. Must be tough blogging during a depression. Hope your lap top doesn’t get jacked in the soup line. Be careful.

  • Chris in NY

    Plus in anarchy that power vacuum most likely gets filled with gangstas and tyrants. Maybe the best you can hope for is a dumb mob.

  • Chris in NY
  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    Anarchy, you mean like grown men stalking 17 year olds, accosting them, attacking them, eventually shooting and killing them because they’re wearing hoodies?

  • Twocents

    What is civilization? This country that we support with our production is killing people in Arabia and Africa and other places that we have no clue about.
    Is that civilized?

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    twocents, how bad can this depression be when you can still afford internet access?

  • Thec

    http://www.nfl.com/features/bracketology/alltimeteams?round=5
    ++++++++++++=

    Hahahahahaha…Just like I have been telling you guys…

    If you did not get to see this team play, you missed out on watching BIG BOY NFL….

    1976 Raiders <——Greatest Football team in history

  • Twocents

    I know that most of you think that the USA is number one, and I am an easy target. I am sure that Germans under Hitler felt the same way.

  • 8RaiderReign8

    You would think on a day we got three draft picks you guys would be a will to have a discussion centered around football!!!!

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    If you knew anything about Nazi Germany”..”………….never mind. Too stupid.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Most of us think you guys are ignorant, and you are disturbing us with your ignorance. Monkeys should not talk about politics and economics.

  • MikieG

    I actually took a class called “Anarchy” in college…and it is a cool idea in theory, the actuality would look alot like the Tribal Culture of the Native Americans…you live in a sort of commune called a Bolo…there is a famous book called Bolo Bolo…that goes into the dynamics of all of it..
    But like another poster said above, it’s pretty neat until you need to build something like the Bay Bridge or Defend your Country….
    Look what happened to the Indians…

  • Twocents

    We are the terrorist of the world. We have the drones that kill people indiscrimently. Collateral damage, who cares?
    If you support this madness then you are not civilized, you are indoctrinated.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Then Raider O, maybe you should keep. Your mouth shut. Get tired of hearing about your personal life anyway.

  • 8RaiderReign8

    So which linebackers do you think will fall to us in the third round?

    Any suggestions?

  • Thec

    2,065,532 sigs for Trayvon Martin…

  • Thec

    8RaiderReign8 Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:33 pm
    So which linebackers do you think will fall to us in the third round?

    Any suggestions?

    +++++++++=
    I know we are in need of a LB however, if Alameda Ta’amu, NT Wash is on the board he should be the pick

  • DJ Johnny

    Lyndon LaRouche’s brand of Libertarianism did not allow for “anarchy” if people “acted up”.

    Basically, you can get as toasted as you want in the privacy of your home w/o breaking any laws, but if u decide to get in a car and drive…and kill somebody, you’re in trouble.

    If you are able bodied, you need to at least TRY to get a job and work. If you’re just lazy, then no check on the 3rd.

    If you are disabled or too old to work…the govt. will make sure u have money to eat and a roof over your head.

    It was a social theory generally referred to as “collective social freedom enhancement and balanced support”.

    In a nutshell, your right to throw a punch… stops at my face. Otherwise…swing away.

  • Twocents

    MikeG, apply the same criteria to statism.
    You think that technology is a product of the state.
    Prove it.

  • http://www.addictedtoquack.com RaiderDuck

    Thec Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    8RaiderReign8 Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:33 pm
    So which linebackers do you think will fall to us in the third round?

    Any suggestions?

    +++++++++=
    I know we are in need of a LB however, if Alameda Ta’amu, NT Wash is on the board he should be the pick

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

    Agreed. True two-gap NTs are hard to come by. If he’s on the board, take him.

  • Twocents

    KoolKell, is the USA number one?
    Or are we just another empire out to rule the world?

  • Chris in NY

    Two things about that whole Trayvon Martin case I can’t wrap my head around:

    1) Why the media keeps exclusively showing pics of Martin as an 11-12 year old when he was actually a 6-3, 17-year-old.

    2) Why they keep referring to the Hispanic guy as white.

    Sounds like the credibility of the media’s narrative took a crushing blow today as well.

  • Pingback: Raiders GM on a high after news of compensatory picks | Sports, News, Entertainment, US Legislation

  • 8RaiderReign8

    Thec Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:36 pm
    8RaiderReign8 Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:33 pm
    So which linebackers do you think will fall to us in the third round?

    Any suggestions?

    +++++++++=
    I know we are in need of a LB however, if Alameda Ta’amu, NT Wash is on the board he should be the pick
    _________________

    Yay!!! real football conversation.

    We definitely need a NT… After looking at the one Reggie drafted in Green Bay, they look like they can come in and start immediately

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    Kell, notice twocents switched subjects to terrorism the second I called him on his depression nonsense.

  • Thec

    Agreed. True two-gap NTs are hard to come by. If he’s on the board, take him.

    +++++
    Important missing link to the run stop puzzle…

  • Thec

    I would be happy if we used all our picks on the D side of the ball.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    KoolKell Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:33 pm
    Then Raider O, maybe you should keep. Your mouth shut. Get tired of hearing about your personal life anyway.
    $$$$$$$$
    Are you serious you Effin monkey?
    Tell us about all the countries you traveled to? Tell us about your wife (if tou can call her that). What race and we here she comes from?
    Go read wiki you ignorant Bastard.

  • Thec

    This is a thin year for LB’s however, hopefully someone RM targets drops.

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    Chris in NY, when a kid is murdered by an adult, typically the media is going to show childhood pictures of the victim. That’s routine journalism, not some kind of media conspiracy. There also hasn’t been much about Zimmerman’s criminal record, which includes an assault on a police officer and an assault on a woman. So, if there’s any bias, it could be in Zimmerman’s favor.

  • 8RaiderReign8

    Chris In NY Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:41 pm
    Two things about that whole Trayvon Martin case I can’t wrap my head around:

    1) Why the media keeps exclusively showing pics of Martin as an 11-12 year old when he was actually a 6-3, 17-year-old.

    2) Why they keep referring to the Hispanic guy as white.

    Sounds like the credibility of the media’s narrative took a crushing blow today as well.
    ________________

    1) cuz those might be the best pictures they have of him

    2) he is a white guy… Spain is in Europe

  • Twocents

    Sully, you can’t really believe that the US economy is doing okay?

  • Thec

    Race need not be an issue. We had a 17 year old killed by a guy who the police dispatch told to stand down.

    Anyone who has a child should be greaving this loss.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Twocents Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Sully, you can’t really believe that the US economy is doing okay?
    —————————————
    Unemployment going down, GDP growing. consumer confidence, up……………….

  • 8RaiderReign8

    See it’s like this…

    Hispanic = Spain = Europe = Caucasian

  • 8RaiderReign8

    Thec Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:51 pm
    Race need not be an issue. We had a 17 year old killed by a guy who the police dispatch told to stand down.

    Anyone who has a child should be greaving this loss.
    __________________

    Awesome post!

  • Twocents

    Sully, the fact that everything you buy is made in China doesn’t cause you a little concern?
    You think we can scam those yellow bstrds forever?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Monkeys talking about economics!
    LMAO

  • Chris in NY

    I can’t get too wrapped up in the draft this year for a few reasons. Obviously the biggest being that we have to wait a very, very long time to pick.

    Also I’ve seen enough drafts now to know that the guy you never heard of picked in the 3rd round might be far better than the 1st rounder with all the hype (Veldheer vs. McClain, anyone?), which is why I’ve never had a problem with Hue’s trade for Palmer.

    Earlier today Jerry posted a list of the last 10 picks taken at No. 95. An elite player, a few good players, and a bunch of washouts. That’s the draft though, not just at the tail end of the 3rd round but the 1st round is more or less the same.

    I think the most glaring needs are a speed pass rusher and obviously LB help. Maybe another CB but I think the LB and outside rush specialist are the biggest needs right now and ones that will be tough to fill at this point in free agency.

  • MikieG

    Twocents Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    MikeG, apply the same criteria to statism.
    You think that technology is a product of the state.
    Prove it.
    +++++++++++++

    Money is a product of the state, money is what drives technological advancement….It would take one hell of alot of chickens to get the Bay Bridge built. The Indians didn’t have guns, couldn’t defend their country, and were wiped out..

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    twocents, you said we were in a depression. Well, first you said a depression is coming. When I asked you how you and Ron Paul know that, you then said we’re already in one. This depression can’t be all too bad if you can still afford internet access, twocents.

  • MikieG

    My whole point is that if a society is built on Anarchy, there is a natural regression back to a more tribal natural way of living..There is basically no need for advanced technology because you have to do everything yourself, Food, Clothing, Shelter, Heating, Cooling, Health Care….EVERYTHING is based upon Barter and Trade..Money does not exist..

  • Thec

    Chris in NY Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:55 pm
    I can’t get too wrapped up in the draft this year for a few reasons. Obviously the biggest being that we have to wait a very, very long time takes to pick.
    ++++++++++

    Dude you hit the naail on the head. I HATE the draft format. Stretching out the days…Puts us in a longer wait pattern.

  • Twocents

    Money is the medium exchange. Wealth is what you produce. Don’t confuse the two.
    The state does not produce anything, it only consumes.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Twocents Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Sully, the fact that everything you buy is made in China doesn’t cause you a little concern?
    You think we can scam those yellow bstrds forever?
    —————————————–
    “Yellow bstrds”???

    See, I think that’s where you people, get off on the wrong foot, in the first place. Then, in the same breath, complain about the gov’t killing people all over the world.

    You Libertarians are just soooo narrow.

  • Seymour Bush

    8RaiderReign8 Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:33 pm
    So which linebackers do you think will fall to us in the third round?

    Any suggestions?
    ====================================

    Here are some guys who are high on my board, and might be there at the end of the 3rd round:

    DT Brandon Thompson Clemson
    OLB Ronnel Lewis Oklahoma
    Michael Egnew TE Missouri
    George Iloka FS Boise State

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Thec,

    Why is this such an issue, but not all the innocent blk kids that are killed daily by other blk gang members & thugs?