Part of the Bay Area News Group

Reggie McKenzie Q&A

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, March 26th, 2012 at 4:00 pm in Oakland Raiders.

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.

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  • Thec

    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.
    ++++++++

    Whats even more telling and a better story is the GBP draft choices over the last few years, they hit some doubles, triples, and Hr’s drafting in the later rd’s.

    RM had his hand all over that…

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Thec,

    I’m not saying we don’t have race issues, and I’m not saying this shouldn’t be an issue, but shouldn’t we be more concerned with dealing with a bigger issue that kills more blk kids on daily basis.

  • Seymour Bush

    Twocents Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:58 pm

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

    You really can’t say the state doesn’t produce anything. think of all the medical and other research is performed by the state such as UCSF. That isn’t private corporations doing it. There would be no profit in it for them especially in a short run.

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    twocents, you said we’re in a depression. Either recant, or hang it up for the night. Your credibility is toast.

  • Twocents

    KoolKell, isn’t that what we are doing, scamming the Chinese. The rhetoric has you all upset. In the end we will default on our obligations, but you are more concerned about the rhetoric.

  • Chris in NY

    I’m not trying to say anything about the kid, but it’s just shoddy journalism run amok.

    Preposterous to incessantly flash photos of a police mugshot of the one guy from a prior incident — and no, obviously that has been in no way downplayed by the media — and a smiling 12-year-old when the person was a 6-3 17-year-old with a bit of a spotty record.

    Now there are reports of witnesses saying that Martin was the agressor knocking Zimmerman out that corroborate Zimmerman’s account to police and injuries he had sustained when police arrived on the scene.

    I’m not pretending to know what happened. I have an idea of what I suspected, but I really don’t know. But the sensationalistic reporting has been a travesty.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Twocents Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 7:58 pm

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

    Where do you think our advanced technology research, comes from? The Technology that brought men to the moon? the Technology that brought man to the bottom of the oceans? That entreprueners were able to capitalize on to bring you your Ron Paul Website?

    US Govt Reasearch, the founder of Bell Labs, and many others.

    It’s not so simple, 2cents.

  • Thec

    Raider O Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 8:01 pm
    Thec,

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

    ++++++++

    Loss of life at any hands is bad, does not matter who the killer is.

    I will say that with what we have gone thru in this country with the lynchings, and discrimination makes what zimmerman did worse in some eyes. You have to realize that a lot decendents from slaves still have open wounds from slavery that have not been healed.

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    Raider O, most black people are murdered as a result of drug related crimes, or robberies. And I agree, that is a problem everyone should be addressing. What Zimmerman did was different. He saw a black kid wearing a hoodie, stalked him, accosted him, tried to physically subdue him without warrant, then shot the kid when he tried to fight back. That is pure chaos, and it’s a brand of racism most Americans thought that this country had moved past. This needs to be addressed just as much as black on black crime, and as you can see, it will be.

  • Twocents

    Sully, it is an election year, they are pulling out all the stops to keep the economy from imploding. What you think is a recovery is merely government propaganda. Talk to me about a year from now.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    He had on a “Hoodie”, yeah and it was raining like hell outside, as well.

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    Chris in NY, it took you till today to realize journalism is shady? Like I said, they’re letting some things about Zimmerman slide, too, like the fact that he has a criminal record which includes an assault on a police officer and an assault on a woman. There’s just as much evidence of a media bias against Martin as there is a media bias against Zimmerman.

  • Twocents

    KoolKell, you forgot to mention the Volt.

  • Thec

    Twocents Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 8:05 pm
    KoolKell, isn’t that what we are doing, scamming the Chinese. The rhetoric has you all upset. In the end we will default on our obligations, but you are more concerned about the rhetoric.

    ++++++++++

    Did we ever replace the gold plated tungsten we sent to the chineese with real gold???

  • Seymour Bush

    Twocents Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    KoolKell, isn’t that what we are doing, scamming the Chinese. The rhetoric has you all upset. In the end we will default on our obligations, but you are more concerned about the rhetoric.
    =================================

    How do you know we wouldn’t just “rework” that contract, instead of flat out defaulting? That is more likely what will happen, forgiving a bunch of that debt. (See Greece, Euro, Germany 2011-2012)

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Thec,

    I know race is an issue in this country for a lot minorities but Blks and natives experienced a different level that I can only imagine.
    My point is, I’m more concerned about blk kids and other minority kids being killed by gangs and peope who share the same ethnicity. Look at Mexicans gangs in CA & AZ.

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    twocents, this depression must be so horrible. Like I asked you earlier, are you at a soup line right now with your lap top?

  • Twocents

    We live in confusing times. The government claims that without them we would be nothing. Some people believe them and vote.

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    Raider O,

    Americans can be concerned about both black on black crime and the type of racism displayed by Zimmerman and the Sanford PD that let him walk free, all at the same time. And, America will be. You can count on it.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Sully,

    I think we have bigger issues to be concerned about especially for minorities. Let’s try to keep our young minorities out of the prison system, get them a good education, and elevate their way of life to minimize crime that kills minorities and all Americans.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Twocents, just the fact you were so blantly wrong about the “jury of ones peers”, just goes to show, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    And these Charlatans out in rural radio land, are making a fortune off people, with fears and hysteria, and the basest? instincts.

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    Raider O, see comment 219. You’re absolutely right. We should be more concerned about black on black crime. But, at the same time, we can also be concerned about a growing problem of racist vigilantism…and we will be.

  • Thec

    O, question for you Bruh, how far back can you trace your lineage, and heritage?

  • MikieG

    For some reason this stupid a$$ed page wont load my comment, says “oops you already said that, blah blah” even though its not even posted on here.
    Interesting statement 2cent…
    “Money is the medium exchange. Wealth is what you produce..”
    I will have to think about that for a bit, but just as an FYI, money doesn’t exist in an Anarchist society…and wealth is exactly what you produce…and what you produce is bartered and traded for other goods and services..which begs the question about technology: Who is going to barter and trade NASA to launch the next space mission–or who is going to barter and trade for the steel fabrication for the next Bay Bridge…? Answer: Nobody—The resources that the state provides the infrastructure for these things to happen will cease to exist..

  • http://www.raiderettes.com Sullivan44

    Education is key, too, Raider O. Good point. But believe it or not, Americans are capable of taking more than one thing serious at a time. Americans are capable of focusing on better educating poor minorities and eradicating the type of racism Zimmerman displayed, all at the same time. Part of being an adult is having more than one thing you have to take seriously, is it not? Does anyone just go through life taking only one thing seriously? Not smart.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Thec,

    My family can trace it accurately for more than 7-8 centuries, after that it’s debatable.

  • Twocents

    KookKell, and the New York Times and MSNBC are truth tellers, give me a break.
    The issue is not between Republicans and Democrats. It has come down to those that believe in an all powerful state and those that believe in freedom. Freedom and liberty, KoolKell you don’t even understand the concept.

  • MikieG

    Twocents Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    We live in confusing times. The government claims that without them we would be nothing. Some people believe them and vote.
    +++++++++++++++
    I agree with you to a certain extent. Without Government, we would be a tribal society..and any other country with a Government and an Army, would enslave us..just like what we did to our friends, The Native Americans…Its because Other countries have governments and armies, that we do the same.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Sully,

    Not saying we can’t focus on more than one issue, but what I’m saying is we shouldn’t lose focus of the real issues.
    Minorities in prison, lack of education, improving their living standards, etc…
    We shouldn’t allow the media that sells air time to dictate what is important and when.

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Uh Raider O monkey, is talking politics, god forbid.

  • http://raiders.com Mark Clemens

    Thec Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 8:18 pm
    O, question for you Bruh, how far back can you trace your lineage, and heritage?
    ————
    I can trace mine back to the the 17th century. Ancestors came to Virginia from England.

  • Seymour Bush

    There is no denying the economy is recovering. And there can be no denying that the conservative policies were the very ones that caused the economy to tank. The economy is beginning a sustained period of slow growth. In spite of conservatives trying to tank it further.

  • Twocents

    I am all for defending ourselves. I am against aggression to enrich the ruling class.

  • Just Fire Baby

    KoolKell,

    Looks like you found yourself a new dance partner.

    Got to say, I am both relieved and jealous, lol.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I thought I was talking about race and society issues. Only an uneducated monkey would confuse that with politics.

  • Twocents

    Seymour, appologies, but you are an idiot.

  • MikieG

    Raider O Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 8:24 pm
    We shouldn’t allow the media that sells air time to dictate what is important and when.
    +++++++++
    Thats the ‘American Idol’ phenomenon at its finest..”This person won a contest, we the media think that they are good, proceed to idolize..” and the scariest thing about it all is that people actually DO!
    American Idol showcases everything that is wrong with our Society…hell, it even has the freaking word IDOL in it….

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Vegas,

    I hope not! I usually ignore the monkeys, but I couldn’t resist today.

  • Just Fire Baby

    The answer to the Trayvon killing?

    More police. Yup, you heard Zimmerman claim that all these **** get away all the time on his 911 call.

    Why do they get away? Because we don’t have enough police. If he had confidence the police would be there in a few minutes, he would have more than likely laid low.

    More police = less need for dangerous Rent-A-Cops on a mission

  • papertiger418

    More football talk, please

  • Just Fire Baby

    O,

    I was talking more about TwoCents.

    Him and KK butt heads about daily now.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Thec,

    I’m assuming you asked about tracing my heritage for a reason? I think I know where you are going with this, but I like to hear your view.

  • MikieG

    papertiger418 Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    More football talk, please
    +++++++++

    Cant wait to see what we can do with a healthy offense this year..McFadden and Palmer, full offseason with Jacoby, DHB, and Moore…! Gonna put up some points and move the chains..

  • Seymour Bush

    Twocents Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Seymour, appologies, but you are an idiot.
    =====================================

    I accept your apologies, but you have not proven even remotely one thing that you have espoused on here all night. It is just doom and gloom and the sky is falling and the society is going to crumble. Isn’t that the same fear that the conservatives have been spewing for decades? Bottom line two cents, people in America do not want a shack in the hills with a ruddy horse path down to town to buy a sack of mill grain. They want a stable managed society with goods and services and they are willing to pay for it. Is that not clear?

  • http://www.Raiders.com KoolKell

    Raider O, if you’re not a blog monkey, what are ya?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Vegas,

    Thank you Baby Jesus!!!

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Shhhhh
    I’m trying to ignore the monkey. Maybe it will leave me alone!!!
    Sssshhhhhh

  • MikieG

    Twocents Says:
    March 26th, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    I am all for defending ourselves. I am against aggression to enrich the ruling class.
    ++++++++++++

    Absolutely

  • papertiger418

    The only class I want to rule is the Raiders over the rest of the NFL. I am for aggression to enrich the team’s prospects.

  • Just Fire Baby

    In all facets of life, and sports, their are winners and losers.

    I don’t hate on the winners in life. More kudo’s to them.

    It’s the losers that piss me off. Get it together!!!